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.


  1. Thanks for sharing a great story. Makes me glad that I ordered Stevie Wonder's "#1's" just three days ago.

  2. Best wishes to Leo, thanks to Beth.

  3. This is a great story on a day like today.

  4. I think we needed to hear that story. My wife and I found a new appreciation for his song "Isn't She Lovely" after our daughter was born. Listen to the emotion in Stevie singing about his baby daughter, knowing that he cannot see her. I recall us listening to it with our new daughter and getting emotional.

    I appreciate what Mr. Wonder did for this young man and I hope he can someone recover.

  5. Stevie Wonder has always been a class act, but that is an amazing story. Awesome, actually.

  6. This concert was quite amazing. Stevie Wonder is just an awesome performer but truly the way he reached out to Leo shows he is a class act. Very passionate about his music and the people who love his music. I'm sure Leo was not able to sleep that night!

  7. Wow. That brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing act of service.

  8. Hey this is Kate from 11Alive and is doing a special where Stevie Wonder helps a local teen - this is a really special story airing tomorrow in the 6 am hour on 11Alive Today. Here's a preview:

    ATLANTA -- 18-year-old Leo planned on spending next year tackling his school books...not battling a stage 4 cancer. But one thing always lifts his spirits: Stevie Wonder's music. Leo's a huge fan. Leo said, "He's really been helping me get through this situation."

    11Alive arranged for Leo and his family to go to the Stevie Wonder concert here in Atlanta. Not only did Leo get to see it, 11Alive and Stevie had much more in mind. It's a surprise you have to see to fully apprecite. Leo's story airs Wednesday morning in the 6 am hour on 11Alive Today.

  9. Hello!

    I hope you had the opportunity to watch Leo's story this morning on 11Alive Today.

    Our viewers have been commenting on it -

    GaPeach1023 wrote:

    "What a beautiful story Jaye. I was moved to tears over the effort you put in to make this dream come true and the response from Stevie Wonder and his time."

    If you haven't seen it yet, please join us tonight at 11 - we'll run it again, or you can watch it anytime at the link below:

    Let us know what you think! Post your comment after your watch the story right there on