Did you know September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month? And fittingly, singer/songwriter Taylor Swift has released a new song, about a mother losing her 4-year-old son to cancer. The song, Ronan, was inspired by mom Maya Thompson's blog, which details the time she had with her youngest son, Ronan. Swift lists Thompson as co-author of the song.
The country music superstar performed her new song live for the first time at the Stand Up to Cancer Benefit last weekend.
Ronan is a touching tribute to a mother's memories — of dreams and toy cars, joy and heartbreak. Maya's son, Ronan, was diagnosed in August 2010 with a Stage 4 nueroblastoma. The cancerous mass, which settled behind his left eye, was treated aggressively but months later, the little boy died.
Flowers pile up in the worst way, no one knows what to say about a little boy dying. Come on baby, we're gonna fly away from here. — Taylor Swift
Maya went on to found The Ronan Thompson Foundation, in hopes of raising awareness and funds to find a cure for childhood cancer. Almost 13,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. and approximately one-fourth don't survive the diagnosis, according to the American Childhood Cancer Organization.
Maya received a call from Swift about a week before the performance, telling Maya she'd written a song about her son and asking if it would be okay to perform the song live. Maya later wrote on her blog about the conversation she had with the 22-year-old singer on her cellphone.
“Hi Maya! How are you?” Taylor said in that sweet darling voice of hers.
“Hi Taylor! I am well, how are you?” as if she was just another one of my everyday friends.
My calmness soon turned to complete and utter frozen shock when these words came out of her mouth.
“I wrote a song for Ronan,” she said. The tears started pouring down my cheeks as soon as I heard her say those words. But her words didn’t stop there. Not only did she write a song for you, but she wanted to know if it would be alright to preform it on the nationally televised Stand Up 2 Cancer show...
"Now, people will want to pay attention. Now, maybe childhood cancer will get the awareness/funding/and attention that it deserves. Now, maybe less children will die in the future due to somebody huge, stepping up and caring. Taylor Swift, just changed the face of this disease and all I can do is sit here and sob about it.
But I am sobbing in a way that I never sob anymore. Because I am so unbelievably happy, Ronan. This is all because of you and our love story. One that will live on forever and do such good things in this world." To read more from Maya's blog, go here.
To learn more about what you can do to raise awareness about cancer, go to the American Childhood Cancer Organization.