Kenny Chesney fan with terminal cancer skips chemo to meet star - New York News

Kenny Chesney fan with terminal cancer skips chemo to meet star

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ELK RIVER, Minn. (KMSP) -

Minneapolis hosted dozens of musical acts this past weekend, including a country music celebration that attracted over 40,000 people to Target Field. For one fan, that was the show of a lifetime.

Diane Grinde, of Elk River, and her family will forever cherish he photograph of her cuddling up to her musical idol back stage at Target Field. Grinde, who has terminal lung cancer, skipped chemotherapy last week to see if she could make her wish come true.

Taking a look around Grinde's home might make a person wonder whether Kenny Chesney might actually be a member of her family.

"I bet you're thinking I'm obsessed," she quipped. "This is my Kenny Chesney bathroom."

He can be seen above the Jacuzzi and on a wall calendar behind the door.

"It can be September 2012 for me as long as I live," Grinde said.

It's the stuff of teenage crushes, but Grinde says Chesney's music inspires and lifts her.

"It's been so innocent and so long that I can't call it an obsession," she said.

Even in her darkest moments, his music helps her keep going.

"I'm 65 years old. I have end-stage adenocarcinoma," she said. "Who wrote the book on how I am supposed to act? I don't know how."

Grinde got her diagnoses nearly two years ago, and she was given just months to live. Since then, she has found something special in every single day.

"Projects that friends plan -- don't know if I should tell you this, but the funeral is done," she said. "I don't know where the strength comes from."

Family and loved ones created a bucket list, and attending the Kenny Chesney concert was an absolute no-brainer. Yet, Grinde's daughters, Amanda and Ericka, were inspired to do more.

"You don't want to have any, 'I should have done this. We could've done more, had more moments,'" Amanda Bakken said. "This was one of those moments."

A moment that is now frozen in a photograph, one that came together after Grinde's daughters tracked down a Chesney connection at a Nashville record label. He flew to the Twin Cities and escorted Grinde back stage for a handshake, an autograph and some small talk with her musical idol.

"To make this come true was pretty special," Bakken said.

The Target Field grounds crew spent Sunday removing the final remnants of the weekend concert, but the night of dancing and fun will be cherished by Grinde and her family for years.

"I'm only 65," Grinde said. "If I die now, what a waste -- unless I teach, share, spread."

The loving, devoted and free-spirit mother and grandmother plans to do just that with her family.

"I had children and that was unbelievable," she said. "I can't even tell you, my whole life was the kids -- and they like me!"

Grinde has already outlived her prognosis, and her positive attitude may have something to do with it. There's a quote hanging in her house that reads, "Don't count the days, make the days count."

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