One of the most powerful aspects of Country Cares, an annual event for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, is the way artists get to connect with the patients, something Brett Kissel experienced during his first visit.

The country singer, who's originally from Alberta, Canada, made his St. Jude debut during the 2020 Country Cares for St. Jude. While visiting the hospital, Kissel had the chance to meet a patient named Jasmine, who is battling leukemia. In a conversation with Jasmine's mother, Kissel learned that over the course of her treatment, Jasmine developed an infection that traveled to her brain, causing her to lose her speech. Her mother recalls that on Oct. 5, Jasmine was singing a song from Frozen. The next day, her ability to speak was gone.

"That hit home to me," the father of three admits to Taste of Country, adding that Jasmine's family is optimistic about her recovery.

"Through the research that St. Jude is going to do and has done, they feel very hopeful that not only will they cure her cancer, but they'll be able to make Jasmine have a very normal life," he continues. "It's funny how families in these situations are just asking for normal, they're not asking for extraordinary, they just want to be normal. And St. Jude gives them that chance."

Kissel released his fourth studio album, Now or Never, in January of 2020. His 2019 single "Drink About Me" reached No. 1 on the Canadian country charts. Throughout his career, he's won 10 Canadian Country Music Awards and a pair of Juno Awards.

From Feb. 6-7, Taste of Country will assist more than a dozen country radio stations in raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a webathon/radiothon. Nearly $9.2 million has been raised during the previous five joint efforts, with much more raised from other TSM stations later in the year. If you'd like to donate, check here for various options.

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