Cancer survivor Danielle El-Jor got the surprise of a lifetime this week by none other than country music icons Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
Last year, El-Jor had big plans to audition for The Voice, but was stopped short by a startling diagnosis: stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I missed my audition in June 2015 due to a spot found in my trachea. The same day of my audition, I had to go in for a biopsy to check and see if my cancer had spread to my trachea,” El-Jor tells Wide Open Country.
Her nineteenth birthday was a somber one, beginning chemotherapy and eventually delaying her college education to overcome her health hurdles.
When the local radio station K95 in Richmond, Va., ran a K95 Prizefighter contest that would honor someone who was fighting adversity, her friend saw an opportunity.
“My friend Amanda was amazing throughout the whole process! We won a meet and greet through K95. At the meet and greet Garth asked me what my story was followed by what my dream was. When I told him about The Voice, he invited me to his soundcheck on Sunday afternoon. At the soundcheck he was amazed and asked me to perform with him at his concert Sunday afternoon. I never would have ever expected that to happen! It was truly a dream come true,” El-Jor says.
Brooks even collaborated with El-Jor on the song choice, picking the Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis duet “I Told You So,” after El-Jor told Brooks that Underwood is her favorite country female vocalist.
“We rehearsed one time and then after that, it was next performed on stage. He is amazing,” El-Jor says.
On Sunday, El-Jor joined Brooks on stage at one of the most anticipated concerts of the year in front of a crowd of thousands.
“That moment on stage was like none other. I will never have an experience like I did with both Garth and Trisha. They have a special place in my heart forever. I can’t thank them enough- trust me I’ve tried- and their humbleness is inspiring to many,” El-Jor gushes. “As for Trisha and Garth- they are the most down to earth, loving, caring, and generous people that I have ever met. The selflessness they have for someone they’ve never even met before was so gratifying.”
Now that El-Jor has beaten cancer, she hopes to continue her dream of singing. “Whether that be another audition for The Voice or going to Nashville in a couple of months… I definitely want to chase my dream.”