Kenny Chesney’s 2015 Big Revival Tour was the most attended country music tour of the year and Chesney made them most out of the situation by to saving some lives. Literally.
The more than 1 million concertgoers that attended Chesney’s concerts throughout the year were given the opportunity to participate in the Love Hope Strength Foundation’s Get On the List Campaign, a mobile drive to register potential bone marrow donors. With a simple cheek swab test, potential donors get entered in the national donor bank.
Random matches are like finding a needle in a haystack, but Kenny Chesney’s fan base, No Shoes Nation, provided 25 potential lifesaving matches for people fighting life-threatening bone and blood cancers.
“When Kate McMahon with our tour promoter explained it to me,” Chesney said, “It seemed not only so simple, but the kind of thing the No Shoes Nation is all about. 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.”
“It’s really easy,” says the Get on the List campaign’s director, Tim Bramlette. “We bring the pop-up tent and the Love Health Strength Mini Cooper – and they set us up in the parking lot where all the special stuff is. Our team comes down and we make ourselves available to give people information. They fill out a form, swab their cheek, and are only contacted if they’re 100 percent a perfect match, which doesn’t sound like too much, but the number of people on this planet?”
The swab only takes a few minutes and can save a life. If a match is found, contact is made. “The participant could be across the world, across the country or next door. You never know, and that’s the amazing part,” said Bramlette. “If you are a match, it’s easy. You sit in a chair for a couple of hours. 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.”
“I learned through the Spread the Love Fund how small things can sometimes make a major difference,” said Chesney. “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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