Jelly Roll Grants a Cancer Patient’s Dying Wish With a Private Show [Watch]
In a TikTok post shared by the James Bess Foundation — an organization that grants final wishes for adults facing terminal illness — 65-year-old Suzanne Durham, a former Nashville house manager for women in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, shares a little bit of her story.
Durham has Stage 4 Small Cell Carcinoma, which is an aggressive form of lung cancer.
"The first time I went to the doctor, before this last time, he told me that the cancer was untreatable," she explains, tears welling up in her eyes. "And, um, I'm just having a really hard time."
She goes on to say that the doctor had given her about five months to live, but she suspects she have less time, given "the way that I've been feeling." When asked what her dying wish would be, she says she'd love to meet Jelly Roll, have dinner with him and watch him play a show.
The video was posted on July 8, and the following day, it had reached Bunnie's attention. "We can def make this happen. What city is she in?" the singer's wife replied in the comments.
Just days later, they had set it up.
Another video posted on the James Bess Foundation's TikTok shows Jelly arriving to meet Durham, greeting her with a big hug.
According to Music Mayhem, the meeting took place at Nashville's Life Church, and included a photo session and private, stripped-down show where Jelly was joined by his guitarist, Alex Mark Howard. He played a set for Durham and a group of her friends, including his own hits like "Need a Favor" and "Son of a Sinner" as well as covers of the Eagles' "Take it Easy," Alan Jackson's "Neon Rainbow" and more.
Jelly Roll, a former addict himself, frequently shines light on the problem of addiction in his songs and gives back to those affected by it. According to local NBC affiliate WSMV, Durham is a recovering addict who transformed her own recovery into her mission to help others as a manager of a rehab facility.
"I’m glad I could come to visit you. This is cool, and I’m glad you had some friends come too," Jelly said during the event according to Music Mayhem. "I was coming to you if you were by yourself in a bed … I got choked up earlier not about her situation but because I was able to serve a woman who spent her life serving.
"Somebody who came out of the situation you came out of and turned her life around and immediately found purpose helping people who were in that same situation,” he added.