Country superstar Taylor Swift was centerstage at the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday night. She was a vision in her gold and silver mesh dress on the red carpet, and she floored the audience with her performance of “Highway Don’t Care” with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. But Swift’s greatest ACMs moment came before the event started: Instead of showing up with some big-shot celebrity, Swift invited a 19-year-old fan named Kevin McGuire, who had been battling leukemia, to escort her to the show.
Last year, the New Jersey teen's sister launched a Facebook campaign to have the singer be McGuire's date to his high school prom. Bolstered by tens of thousands of followers, and the support of celebs from Perez Hilton to Troy Aikman, word finally got around to Swift herself. Touched by the invitation, Swift replied, “Kevin, I’m so sorry but I won’t be able to make your prom. But I was wondering, the ACM Awards are coming up. Would you be my date?”
At the time, McGuire was too ill to attend the ACM awards. But since he is much healthier this year, Swift invited him and his whole family to come to the 2013 ACMs. A white limousine picked the McGuires up from their home in Somerdale, New Jersey, and drove them to the airport, where they boarded a plane to Las Vegas. McGuire accompanied Swift to the awards, but wasn't able to sit in the audience with Swift or walk the carpet with her; during the show, Swift sat next to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, while the McGuire family sat in the back left. But Swift met the McGuires backstage again after her performance.
Before the show, the family hung out in Swift’s hotel room and took pictures with her before she began preparing for the big show. After meeting his dream-girl, McGuire tweeted, “If you guys think she's pretty in pictures, I can't tell you how stunning she is in real life.”
This wasn’t the first time that Swift had reached out to a sick fan. In March, Swift visited a 10-year-old cancer patient in a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, and in January, she got together in Nashville with a 17-year-old girl suffering from brain cancer.