Lifestyle & Human Interest

Country Star Kelsea Ballerini Surprises Boy, Who's Blind And Battling Cancer, with Present


A 9-year-old boy battling brain cancer was moved to tears when he unboxed a surprise gift from country star Kelsea Ballerini.

Ayden Morgan of Ocala, Florida, has brain cancer, which left him blind in 2013 when he was just 3 years old.

To cope with his illness, Ayden frequently turns to music and singing, and loves listening to country artists like Ballerini.

“In tough times — he helps escape all of his worries by singing songs and listening to music,” Tiffany Henke, Ayden’s mother, told WZTV.

In April, Ayden had the chance to meet Ballerini, 26, in person at her concert in St. Augustine, Florida.

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During the meet-and-greet, the pair talked about their shared love of music. Ayden told Ballerini that he was learning to play the electric guitar.

The boy’s remarkable story clearly made an impression on Ballerini, who has met countless fans as one of country music’s biggest names. She remembered the boy, and wanted to gift him with a very special, heartfelt gift.

In October, Henke came home to find a large box on her front porch addressed to Ayden. She was puzzled by the return address that read Nashville, Tennessee, mentioning that her family did not know anyone from that area.

When Ayden came home from school, Henke filmed as the boy opened his mail and pulled out a black instrument case.

Inside the case was a beautiful customized electric guitar, with Ayden’s name written in Braille. A lovely handwritten note from Ballerini herself was addressed to Ayden.

“Ayden, meeting you in St. Augustine really touched my heart, and I wanted to get you a special guitar to encourage you to keep playing and using your gift. All my love, Kelsea,” the note read.

An emotional Ayden was in disbelief that his favorite artist sent such a thoughtful present.

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“I can’t believe Kelsea Ballerini sent this to me. I can’t believe it. My favorite singer sent me the most amazingest, most greatest thing,” Ayden said in the video. “I’m so happy right now that she sent me this. I can feel the love — that she wanted to send this to me.”

The moment was emotional for Henke, too, as she realized the love and thought that Ballerini had put into the gift.

“The gift that she sent us was absolutely unbelievable,” Henke said. “I never would have imagined in my whole lifetime that someone would have done something so thoughtful for my son.”

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Page, Arizona
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Lifestyle & Human Interest