Tim McGraw Drives Hours to Fulfill College Student’s Wish Amid Health Battle

This story is a true testament to the fact that Tim McGraw truly strives to follow the message of his own hit song, and always stay “Humble and Kind.”


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 7, 2024


12:03 pm

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Tim McGraw with Emily; Photo Courtesy Make A Wish America

Tim McGraw went the extra mile to fulfill the dreams of a college student after hearing about her ongoing battle with an undisclosed illness. 

Emily Kelley is currently a student at Western Kentucky University, but during her junior year of high school in 2019, she was in the midst of a two-year battle with an illness. Then on April 25, 2021, everything changed when she underwent a surgery that she considers to be “one of the best days of my life.” As a result of her journey, she found herself involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Tim McGraw Happily Agreed To Help Grant This Wish

Scooter Braun, former manager to artists such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, and Dan + Shay and current member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation board of directors, heard about Emily’s story and made it his mission to help grant her wish to meet the country superstar. 

“This past January we had our @makeawishamerica board meeting in Nashville and I heard about Emily. She has been overcoming so much and fighting the good fight and her dream was to meet Tim McGraw. When we heard this, I reached out to Tim and like the incredible human he is he agreed,” Braun began in his recent Instagram post. 

He went on to explain that just two days before McGraw was finally set to meet Emily, something unfortunately came up and he would no longer be in Nashville at that time. So they came up with a new plan to have Emily come to his concert in Music City three months after their initial meeting was scheduled to take place. However, the “Something Like That” singer decided he did not want to wait that long, so instead, he sent Emily a message offering to get in his truck the following week and drive several hours to her home in Kentucky to spend the day with her.

“Hey Emily, Tim McGraw here, sorry I couldn’t be there in person today to say hello, but I’ve heard a lot about you and about your wish to meet me,” he said in the video message. “Since I couldn’t make it today, I thought I might drive up to see you at your home in a few weeks, if that’s okay with you and its okay with your family. I’d love to drive up and hang out and spend a little time with you and talk country music with you, talk about all the things that you love and meet your family. I look forward to seeing you, I hope you guys have a great day.”

In another video, Emily appeared to be teary-eyed as she responded to his message with so much gratitude and excitement. She said, “Hi, Tim, I’m so excited to meet you. Thank you for granting my wish.”

Tim McGraw with Emily and her Family; Photo Courtesy Make A Wish America
Tim McGraw with Emily and her Family; Photo Courtesy Make A Wish America

The Country Star Got In His Truck And Drove Several Hours To Kentucky

The social media post included a slideshow of photos documenting McGraw’s emotional day in Kentucky. He was captured exploring the young woman’s hometown, sitting down on the couch of her home for a chat and posing for photos with her and her family. Later, the pair got to met up once again during his recent stop in Nashville, TN as part of his current Standing Room Only Tour. 

Braun concluded his caption by saying, “Grateful to Tim and our make a wish family and the big machine racing team for making Emily’s wish come true. Tim is truly humble and kind 🙂 True Legend of a human! And yes Emily was at the show in Nashville with Tim in his past weekend too :)”

Emily also shared a few of her favorite memories with McGraw via Instagram, followed by an abundance of gratitude towards the country music superstar and his incredibly kind efforts towards her and her family. 

“Make-A-Wish Foundation, Scooter Braun, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Scott Borchetta & his race crew – ✨THANK YOU✨,” she wrote. “These past few months have seriously been a dream come true. I could never thank you guys enough. Such genuine and amazing people, Tim, Faith, Scooter, Scott & MAW went above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” she continued. “Tim coming to visit me for a bit in my hometown, and letting me celebrate my 3rd kidney anniversary at his concert to see him again in nashville was such a great once in a lifetime opportunity! Tim, Faith, Scooter, Scott, MAW Foundation, and all the others that helped this ✨wish✨ come true over the past few years, I truly will never have the words to show the gratitude and praise they all deserve. I’m so blessed💖”

This story is a true testament to the fact that Tim McGraw truly strives to follow the message of his own hit song, and always stay “Humble and Kind.”

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.