By Diana Rocco
STRATFORD, NJ (CBS) — Nineteen-year-old Kevin McGuire and his family are ready for what is sure to one of the most memorable moments of their lives.
On Saturday, they’re leaving for a trip to the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas and a meeting with pop sensation Taylor Swift.
“I think Taylor is one of those people who you don’t really see that often. Classy, sweet and kind,” said Kevin McGuire.
“She’s a big part of the reason Kevin survived, too, because she just lifted his spirits so much,” said Kevin’s sister, Tori McGuire.
Last year, Kevin was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. His sister started a Facebook page asking Taylor to be Kevin’s prom date.
Within two days, they got a response — while Kevin was still in the hospital. Taylor asked him to accompany her to the ACM’s instead.
The Facebook message read, “I was wondering. The ACM Awards are coming up. Will you be my date?”
It was signed “Taylor Swift.”
But two days before the show, cancer kept Kevin from the date of his dreams. As Taylor accepted her award on stage, she thanked Kevin and his family and friends.
Kevin watched from home, badly needing a bone marrow transplant. His 11-year-old brother was a match. Just last month, Kevin was given the all clear. Now, the Academy is flying out the whole family as their guests for the show.
“Going through what we’ve been through…it’s symbolic, in a way. It started my chapter with my cancer. Now it’s behind me; I can close the book on it,” McGuire said.
“It’s kind of like the big finale to this awful dream that we’ve had,” Tori McGuire agreed.
Kevin is already back to work at Applebee’s and is starting college in the fall. He’ll be taking lots of pictures and tweeting from the AMCs, which air on CBS on Sunday night.
If you’d like to learn more about being a bone marrow donor, visit: www.bethematch.org