Dean Thomann, diligent farmer and loving family man, was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he, dressed in his classic farmer overalls and cowboy hat, humbly met country music legend Willie Nelson at the Hinterland Music Festival in St. Charles, Iowa. The memorable moment was made possible by Thomann's daughters, who entered their father into a contest created directly by the festival to gift the most deserving father VIP tickets and a chance at memories that could never be recreated.
Thomann's daughters used this opportunity to highlight their father's best qualities, and we've heard enough to know there is no shortage of them! The girls also described Thomann's resilient battle with Stage 4 colorectal cancer and how music icon Willie Nelson's music kept their father going strong through his intense chemotherapy treatments.
Their submission ultimately took the prize, sending Thomann on his way to the star-studded festival. Additionally, with a little help from outside parties who were familiarized with Thomann's story, the farmer from Iowa was granted the opportunity to meet Willie Nelson!
Dean, the Willie-loving Iowan with stage 4 cancer I profiled earlier this week, met Willie before his set tonight! pic.twitter.com/fbKvpemfqj— Matthew Leimkuehler (@mattleimkuehler) August 7, 2016
“He's my favorite of all times. He’s been there. He’s done it. He’s been through the school of hard knocks kind of like I have. He's done his time, and he’s still doing it," Thomann said upon being interviewed by The Des Moines Register in regards to his contest victory.
Thomann continued to lightly touch on his devastating health situation.
"There's nothing tougher than an illness. There's nothing tougher than cancer...I just want my health back," he explains.
When asked about his life priorities in light of his devastating cancer diagnosis, Thomann surprised his daughters by saying, "Family is first.. And my cows second."
From out of the cameras view, Thomann's daughter can be heard saying, "Wow, that is the first time he's said that!"
Despite his circumstances, Thomann's spirits and hopes continue to stay high and motivate others who are becoming familiar with his inspiring story.
You can check out the encouraging interview with the hardworking farmer below.
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