Thursday, June 25, 2009
My wife works at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta on the AFLAC Cancer Center. One of her patients is Leo, an 18-year-old kid with terminal cancer, and his dad told her early on that Leo is a huge Stevie Wonder fan.
Beth (the wife) works with Rock Against Cancer, and through their local volunteer and the Atlanta NBC station, she got in touch with Stevie's management ahead of the concert he played here last night. Leo and his family got to meet with Stevie before the show, and not only did Stevie walk out and dedicate the show to Leo, he brought the kid out onstage, sat him down on the piano bench next to him, and kept him there the entire show. We were up on the lawn (the Ampitheater at Encore Park in Alpharetta), and you could literally see the grin on the kid's face from way back there. They also had dinner together after the show.
After the concert Leo's family invited Beth to the after-show party backstage (I tagged along shamelessly), where Stevie played keyboards and harmonica for a good hour, but spent most of his time hanging around with Leo, who by then was walking about six feet off the ground (and on an entirely personal note, watching Stevie Wonder play "Overjoyed" to a small room from a yard away pretty much pegs the cool meter).
There aren't ten big stars in the world who'd do all that. Hell, there might not even be two.
So, to reiterate: Stevie Wonder = Good Guy.
There should be a story about it on the Atlanta NBC affiliate ("11Alive") either tonight or tomorrow.