Brantley Gilbert inspires an ailing fan and, in turn, she inspires everyone else Facebook/Children's Hospital of Illinois
Facebook/Children's Hospital of Illinois

He is the screen saver on her cell phone, her favorite country artist, her No. 1. And Brantley Gilbert is obviously darned honored to be all of those things to a patient named Brittany at Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

Brittany was brought to Brantley’s attention on social media by Rachel Gudeman, who tweeted the country star saying, “You don’t want to miss this story.”

Brantley didn’t miss Rachel’s message and, in fact, shared Brittany’s story from his Twitter page. He called the pretty young lady “a fighter” and added, “Thanks for being part of the BG Nation,” the name collectively given to his very devoted fans.

Brittany’s story is a hard one, but it is also full of inspiration. Diagnosed with cancer at the age of 19, Brittany lost part of her face when a tumor was removed. She went into remission, and then in 2014 she was diagnosed with lung cancer. This year doctors discovered that the cancer had spread to her hip, and she has also gone into renal failure. On the Hospital’s Facebook page, Brittany says, “I’m worried because I know what it means. I worry for my parents and best friend. I’m scared they will have to make end-of-life decisions. I don’t want them to have to do that.”

Fortunately, Brittany has found a way to help cope with her pain, her illness and her diagnosis—she talks to the nurses about country music. She says, “Brantley Gilbert is my favorite. He’s my No. 1, always. Concerts make me feel alive. I love going. That’s where you can find me outside of the hospital, a country music concert.”


Brittany’s concern for her parents is incredibly selfless and remarkably mature, and that seems to come from her awesome faith.


“I have to believe that God has a plan, and He’s either going to make me better down here or He’s going to take me home so I can be with my grandpa,” she writes. “I’m OK either way. One way or another, I’m going to be with people that love me.”

Brittany, you’re in our thoughts and prayers.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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