Lifestyle & Human Interest

Mom Battling Cancer Surprised by Andy Grammer with Backstage 'Don't Give Up On Me' Performance


A North Dakota mother has clung to the lyrics of Andy Grammer’s “Don’t Give Up On Me” as she battled an aggressive form of cancer.

Thanks to a faithful friend and “some divine intervention,” the pop singer was able to surprise the mom with a heartwarming backstage performance after one of his recent concerts.

Merideth Sorenson, 34, was excited when she learned that she and her husband were expecting their third child together in February 2018, but soon the joy of welcoming a new child would be coupled with devastation.

The following month, she began to feel pain in her lower abdomen. According to a GoFundMe campaign later set up for her, doctors told her the pains were “normal pregnancy pains” and that there was no reason for concern.

Soon, however, the pain became unbearable and Sorenson knew the pain couldn’t be “normal.”

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The mother went to the emergency room in April where an MRI discovered something suspicious in her small bowel. Doctors scheduled an emergency biopsy to determine whether she had cancer.

When Sorenson woke up from surgery, she learned that surgeons had discovered a softball-sized tumor that had ripped open her intestine.

To save her life, and the life of her growing infant, doctors removed 18 inches of her intestine, her right ovary, her right Fallopian tube and her appendix. Had she waited any longer, she would have lost her own life and her baby’s.

She was also diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

When she was only 23 weeks along with her youngest daughter, she went through her first round of chemo; she would go through two more before giving birth to Hope eight weeks early.

As Hope grew strong in the NICU, Sorenson was fighting for her life in a different hospital. Thankfully, Sorenson was released just in time to bring Hope home.

Since then the mother of four has been balancing the fight for her life with spending precious time with her husband and kids.

“Despite the news she continues to receive, Merideth is FIGHTING,” her friend, Hannah Hannerson, wrote on the GoFundMe.

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“This mom of 4 has a ridiculous pain threshold and could fool anyone with what is taking place inside of her. She chooses to get up everyday and take care of her family despite the emotional and physical pain she is enduring. I am so proud of her.”

One of the things that helped her get through both good and bad days was Andy Grammer’s “Don’t Give Up on Me.” Hannerson said the song quickly became an anthem for Sorenson after its release earlier this year.

So when the opportunity arose to bring Sorenson to an Andy Grammer concert in Minneapolis on Sept. 22, Hannerson hoped she could get the pop singer to send Sorenson a shout out.

Grammer’s team, however, couldn’t fulfill the faithful friend’s request.

But thanks to “some divine intervention,” something even better happened.

Sorenson was able to meet Grammer and sing along to her anthem in a heartwarming, backstage moment.

“Through a series of God connections (which I will share at a later date) this freaking WARRIOR got to sing her anthem on the couch with Andy Grammer and his amazing band,” Hannerson later wrote on her Facebook page.

The singer also shared a video of the sweet moment on his social media.

“Singing Don’t Give Up On Me to people every night who have really used it in their life has been so crazy awesome,” the singer wrote. “This one was a little extra special.”

Sorenson is still continuing her fight but has a little more hope after receiving encouragement from the man whose lyrics helped her get through the worst days.

“This experience has filled Merideth with so much joy, strength, and hope to continue her fight,” Hannerson wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Her faith has been renewed and her dream came true.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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