Tuesday, December 22, 2015
– Kenny Chesney's 2015 Big Revival Tour wasn't only the most attended country music tour this year with more than 1.3 million fans, but the tour also may have saved lives.
Participating in the Love Hope Strength Foundation's Get On The List Campaign, concertgoers at Chesney's stadium shows could join a mobile drive to register potential bone marrow donors with a simple cheek swab test that, in co-operation with Delete Blood Cancer, gets entered in the national donor bank for potential matches.
A total of 25 potential matches to people fighting life-threatening bone and blood cancers were found.
"When Kate McMahon with our tour promoter explained it to me," Chesney said. "It seemed not only so simple, but the kind of thing the No Shoes Nation is all about. Give back to others, help where you can, live to the fullest and make a difference. I can't believe they've found 25 matches, but I couldn't be prouder for the fans who come out and live these songs with us."
If a match is found, contact is made. "The participant could be across the world, across the country or next door," said Tim Bramlette, the Get on the List campaign's director of events and artist relations. "You never know, and that's the amazing part. If you are a match, it's easy. You sit in a chair for a couple of hours. They filter your blood and pull the healthy stem cells out of your plasma, and the recipient has them injected into their blood stream the same way they were extracted- through a drip, right into the blood stream."
"I learned through the Spread the Love Fund how small things can sometimes make a major difference," said Chesney. "I know my fans will pitch in, will help people in need. This was something so hard to believe given how easy and simple it is. I'm thrilled to hear 25 matches have already been found. Maybe we should call them the No Shoes, All Heart Nation."