While in the midst of his Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour, Luke Combs took a moment to celebrate one of his fans. The country singer met with Kylie Schwartz, a stage 4 cancer patient who recently finished proton therapy treatment, after his concert on Sunday at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
“When I started proton therapy treatment, I told Dr. Mihalcik that I needed to be done before May 12 and he made it happen,” Schwartz says in a statement. “I was beyond excited to see Luke Combs in concert!”
Schwartz didn’t just catch Combs’ show. The singer sent a makeup artist to the 23-year-old’s house to help her get glammed up before the concert. Her neighborhood also raised money for a limo to escort Schwartz and four friends. After the show, Schwartz met Combs.
“As soon as I walked in, he knew exactly who I was,” Schwartz says. “He gave me the biggest hug, and an even bigger hug when we left. He was extremely sweet and genuinely cared. Plus, his concert was amazing! There is nowhere else I would have rather been than at Red Rocks. I’m so happy.”
Earlier in the week, Schwartz became the 4,000th patient to graduate from the Chicago Proton Center, marking the end of her proton therapy treatment. In August 2018, she had a rash that wouldn’t go away and after multiple visits to doctors, a CT scan showed a 13x7-centimeter mass in her chest.
She soon learned the cancer had spread to her spine, arms, pelvis, legs and bone marrow and she was diagnosed with stage 4 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. After months of chemo in Colorado, Schwartz was referred to Stephen Mihalcik, a radiation oncologist at the Chicago Proton Center.
In March, she began proton therapy at the Chicago Proton Center and chemotherapy at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. Today, Schwartz’s tumor has shrunk to 4x2 centimeters. Now home, Schwartz will continue chemotherapy treatments in Colorado until the end of September.
“I’m truly blessed to be alive and live the healthiest life possible,” Schwartz says. “I plan to have a life after cancer. I want to go back to work, finish college and start my own foundation -- one that helps cancer patients of all ages. This entire experience has changed the way I look at life. I now have something to prove.”