It’s hard to deny that Taylor Swift loves her fans. From day one the “22” singer has made her fans the priority in her singing career, giving them special access to her tours, walking through the crowds at concerts, and giving out far more hugs than your average person.

But plenty of fans gained even more respect for Taylor this past Friday in Charlotte, N.C., on the fifth date of her Red Tour, when she pulled 8-year-old Emma Routh on stage at the end of “Sparks Fly.”

Emma is fighting Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure. In her short 8 years, Emma has already gone difficult bouts of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, surpassing any prognosis her physicians gave her in the beginning.

So how did this little girl from Texas make it all the way to Charlotte to experience such a once-in-a-lifetime day?

Taylor Swift 'Red' Tour

Credit: Jodi Phillips/The New 103.7

On March 10, Charlotte station The New 103.7 received a Facebook message from a wonderful Lexington, N.C. listener that told the story of Emma and how she was granted a Make-A-Wish to meet Taylor in Charlotte–and that unfortunately, it had fallen through at the last minute. Many listeners and fans of Emma rallied to get her situation noticed, and Tanner–host of The New 103.7’s Tanner in the Morning Show–couldn’t let this pass without at least trying to make this girl’s dream come true.

Fast forward to March 20.

After 10 days of calls back and forth between The New 103.7, Big Machine Label Group, and Emma’s parents, her wish was finally granted. Emma secured not only a pair of front row tickets to the show, but also a meet-and-greet backstage to visit with Taylor herself.

In fact, Emma touched Taylor so much backstage that, during her show, she brought her out on stage.

Taylor Swift and Emma Routh

Photo courtesy of Prayers for Emma

While Taylor made her way back to the main stage after riding a small platform that was ascended above the crowd for most of the song, the singer stopped when she noticed Emma and even stopped singing so she could grab the little girl and bring her on stage, letting 8-year-old Emma wave to the crowd with a huge smile on her face. The cheers from the crowd were ear-shattering as the two bonded on stage while the song continued on.

Not long after the show, Emma’s parents took to her ‘Prayers For Emma‘ Facebook page and wrote this message of appreciation:

Taylor, you are truly a beautiful soul. The kindness in your heart is amazing. Thank you to everyone who made this happen. Jeff Davis, tanner at WSOC radio station, and to everyone else who helped make this happen. Truly remarkable night we will never forget. We are so thankful.

Another message from Emma’s parents spoke to how special the night made Emma feel:

Taylor Swift, thank you for making our night by pulling Emma up on stage during Sparks Fly. You are such a beautiful person. This was a night we will never forget. Emma kept telling me, “I feel so special tonight.” When we are not promised a tomorrow with our sweet Emma, every moment counts. You gave us memories that will last a lifetime. So grateful tonight, and that she can forget about all of the pain and just be a kid again.

Taylor Swift’s Red Tour continues through September.

-Jodi Phillips, The New 103.7/Charlotte


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