Kenny Chesney Superfan With Terminal Cancer Crosses Big One Off Her Bucket List
Kenny Chesney meets thousands of fans every year, but for 65-year-old superfan Diane Grinde, standing face to face with the ‘When I See This Bar’ singer was something she’ll cherish for the rest of her life — even if she only live a little while longer.
Two years ago, Grinde was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, given just months to live. That caused her to live her life differently in order to cherish every single moment. It also propelled her family and friends to create a bucket list, and which included attending the Kenny Chesney concert in Minneapolis on Friday (July 12).
That was an absolute no-brainer, as she is a longtime fan. Yet Grinde’s daughters, Amanda and Ericka, were inspired to do more.
“You don’t want to have any, ‘I should have done this. We could’ve done more, had more moments,’” Grinde’s daughter Amanda Bakken told KMSP-TV. “This was one of those moments.”
Instead of just attending the Chesney show, the girls contacted a connection to the singer who was able to escort Grinde backstage, where Chesney ‘spread the love’ with a handshake, autograph and heartfelt conversation.
That meeting was a big deal, not just because Grinde finally got to be up close and personal with her favorite singer, but she skipped chemotherapy to meet him. That wouldn’t be a huge surprise if you were to walk into Grinde’s home, because you’d see just how much she truly loves Chesney.
“I bet you’re thinking I’m obsessed,” the superfan quipped, showing reporters her Kenny Chesney bathroom. He can also be seen above the jacuzzi and on a wall calendar behind the door. Added Grinde, “It can be September 2012 for me as long as I live.”
Grinde says Chesney’s music inspires and lifts her — which is definitely needed as she goes through this difficult and somber battle with cancer. ”It’s been so innocent and so long that I can’t call it an obsession,” she explains of loving the star’s music, adding humorously, ”I’m 65 years old. I have end-stage adenocarcinoma. Who wrote the book on how I am supposed to act? I don’t know how.”
Rather than being beat down by the bleak prognosis, the inspiring country fan will continue facing each day head-on, crossing every item off her bucket list and being grateful for the chance to do it. “I’m only 65,” Grinde said. “If I die now, what a waste — unless I teach, share, spread.”
Also hanging in her home? A quote that reads, “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” As for meeting Chesney, to quote one of his hits, she probably “had him from hello” with her inspiring story.