TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 13: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Raymond James Stadium on April 13, 2023 in Tampa, Florida and screengrab from a video on WSMV's website
Octavio Jones/TAS23/Getty Images for for TAS Rights Management/ WSMV

Taylor Swift Concert Will Be the First for Teen With Rare Disease


In the latest feel-good story connected to Taylor Swift, a 14-year-old Knoxville, Tenn. resident with a rare disease will make the trip to Nashville's Nissan Stadium for one of the May 5-7 Eras tour stops. Nora Gooden's mom delivered quite the birthday surprise: sought-after Swift tickets via stadium staff. The Gooden family will have wheelchair-accessible accommodations for Nora, plus extra reserved seats around them to guarantee an optimal view of the stage.

Per Nashville's NBC affiliate WSMV, Gooden "has a disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) which is a rare, severe progressive, neuromuscular disease that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord and the muscles used for vital activities including breathing, eating and walking. SMA does not impact the ability to think, learn and build relationships with others."

Gooden is in home care and, according to WSMV, "is on a treatment called Evrysdi which is a prescription medicine used to treat SMA in both children and adults."

She's among the latest Swifties gifted with a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience. When Swift took the stage on March 18 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., 13-year-old Isabella McCune was in the audience as the headliner's special guest. Swift's good deed fulfilled a promise from five years ago.


A 2018 accident burned over 65 percent of McCune's body, and those injuries required nine months of hospitalization. During that span, McCune had to miss one of Swift's Reputation Tour stops. Swift's music kept McCune's spirits up through scary times, as did a visit to the hospital by Swift herself.

"Isabella, I hope you feel better soon. I'm so honored you've been listening to my music. You're so awesome and I can't wait to have you at a show. Stay strong, gorgeous. Love, Taylor," read a note from Swift to McCune (as reported by Phoenix's ABC 15).

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