Cancer-Stricken Claremore Teen Gets Surprise Gift From Country Music Superstar
published on 11/28/2010
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Cancer kept a Claremore teen from attending the Brad Paisley concert at Tulsa's BOK center Saturday night. But her best friend still went and brought back a souvenir that more than makes up for missing the show.
Kenya Potthier and Sierra Kihega share a strong bond. They share a birthday, October 16th, a love for concerts and a love for country music, especially guitar players.
One thing they don't share is osteosarcoma cancer.
"In September I got diagnosed," Kenya Potthier said.
Kenya has undergone one round of chemo at Saint Francis Hospital, while her best friend stands by her side. Before round two started, the seventh grader at Will Rogers Junior High wanted to go to the Brad Paisley concert.
"We still planned on going together," Kenya said. "But then my counts were low and I couldn't go."
The two were disappointed, but Sierra still went, and didn't quite leave Kenya behind. She made a sign.
"It had a picture of Kenya and it said 'Cancer Sucks and Brad and Darius rock.' And it had a little story that said 13-year-old Kenya wanted to be here. Could you sign something for her?" Sierra said.
During the show, Sierra was moved down to the front row. And the country music star noticed. Paisley read her sign, took the white Stetson off of his head and handed it to Sierra.
"He said 'give the hat to her.' And I'm like 'Okay!'" Sierra said.
"She called and said 'You are never going to believe this but Brad Paisley took the hat off his head and signed it for you!'" Kenya recalled. "All night we were shaking. I couldn't sleep!"
That's not all. After the show, the BOK staff took the hat back for Paisley to autograph and brought back a second autographed cowboy hat for Sierra.
On the inside it says "Especially made for Brad Paisley." It's a Stetson hat," Kenya said. "It smells like Brad Paisley. We sat there for a good 15 minutes and talked about just that. That it smelled like Brad Paisley!"
Kenya's chemo treatments will last 11 months as she battles sarcoma. Her second round will start next week.
If you would like to make a donation to help Kenya in her battle against cancer, you can do so through the RCB Bank in Claremore. Checks can be made out to Kenya Potthier Cancer Fund.
Donations can be mailed to
P.O. Box 189
Claremore, OK 74018
Sierra Kihega [left] and Kenya Potthier [right] wear the hats given to them by Brad Paisley.
Brad Paisley also autographed the hats.
Supporters can purchase Team Kenya T-shirts.