Kenny Chesney Helps Find Bone Marrow Matches on Big Revival Tour
Kenny Chesney didn't just mount the biggest country music tour of 2015, he also used that platform to try to save lives.
The country superstar partnered with the Love Hope Strength Foundation’s Get on the List Campaign for his 2015 The Big Revival Tour, which was the most attended tour in country music in 2015, drawing 1,335,0022 fans. The campaign set up mobile locations on-site where fans could volunteer to have a simple cheek swab, which was then entered into a national bone marrow donor bank and cross-referenced against people fighting life-threatening bone and blood cancers.
Volunteers are only contacted if they are a 100 percent match to someone on the list. In the end, 25 potential matches were identified through their collective efforts.
“When Kate McMahon with our tour promoter explained it to me, it seemed not only so simple, but the kind of thing the No Shoes Nation is all about," Chesney says in a press release. "Give back to others, help where you can, live to the fullest and make a difference. I can’t believe they’ve found 25 matches, but I couldn’t be prouder for the fans who come out and live these songs with us.”
The fans who have been matched up to patients in dire need won't even be put to much trouble to make a very important difference.
"If you are a match, it’s easy. You sit in a chair for a couple of hours," says Tim Bramlette, the Get on the List campaign’s director of events and artist relations. "They filter your blood and pull the healthy stem cells out of your plasma, and the recipient has them injected into their blood stream the same way they were extracted — through a drip, right into the blood stream.”
Chesney was thrilled that his fans, the No Shoes Nation, stepped up to help out.
“I learned through the Spread the Love Fund how small things can sometimes make a major difference,” he states. “I know my fans will pitch in, will help people in need. This was something so hard to believe, given how easy and simple it is. I’m thrilled to hear 25 matches have already been found. Maybe we should call them the No Shoes, All Heart Nation.”
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