Blake Shelton gives a really big gift to this little leukemia patient Facebook/WQAD

We already knew Blake Shelton had a big heart, but his giving spirit is on full display with his latest act of kindness.

Eight-year-old Sammy Hodgett has been battling T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia for nearly half of his young life. He was diagnosed three years ago, and has undergone chemotherapy and other treatments ever since.

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It was actually a reaction to his chemotherapy that put him in a medically-induced coma for nearly six weeks.

His mother, Becky Hodgett, tells Illinois TV station WQAD, “We actually lost him twice. They had to do, like, even epinephrine in his heart. It was insane.”

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Sammy had to learn how to walk, talk and eat again after that experience, and his mom says it’s “truly a miracle” to see how far her son has come since that coma.

While he was unconscious, Sammy’s family played him one of his favorite country songs, Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here,” which the family affectionately calls “The Redneck Song.” He seemed to recognize that Blake hit, and it was one of the main songs he sang during his recovery process.

A Facebook post from family member Mandy Dietz Atkinson explains, “Sammy has always been a big music lover, so singing and dancing were a huge part of this process. Hearing him sing the ‘Redneck’ song again when he was able to was one of the most beautiful sounds we’ve ever heard.”

As Sammy faces seven more months of chemotherapy treatments, his family has secured a pretty sweet surprise for him. He’s going to be Blake Shelton’s personal guest at the superstar’s upcoming show in Moline, Illinois. Blake and his team saw the family’s Facebook posts and the story on the local TV station.


Sammy’s family broke the good news on Facebook saying, “It took only 10 days for our little Facebook post/mission to make it to Blake himself. A whole bunch of hearts full of love and support for Sammy made this happen. Sammy will get to meet Blake before the show and be his personal guest.”

Blake tweeted at Sammy about their upcoming meeting, too!

On top of that, a local restaurant has stepped up to provide dinner for the family prior to the show.

What a feel-good story! We’re so happy Sammy will get to meet his hero, Blake Shelton, this coming year. We’ve also got our fingers crossed for video of Sammy and Blake singing “Boys ‘Round Here” together. Now, that’s a duo we can get excited about!

Blake had another memorable encounter with a young fan this past year that earned him a nod for Fan Moment of the Year at the Rare Country Awards.

Blake is also nominated for Male Artist of the Year and Grand Ole Opry Moment of the Year at the Rare Country Awards. You can vote now through Dec. 13 at The winners will be announced during our livestreamed concert event on Dec. 14.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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