“I think he’s so cute,” she admitted. “He’s my favorite singer in the world! I listen to his music every night before I go to sleep and my favorite song of his is ‘T-Shirt’ but I love them all.”
When Xani was referred for a wish last year, there was no question what her wish would be. After all, Thomas’ music has helped Xani through the biggest challenge of her life.
“Xani’s doctors found growths on her optic nerve in October 2016,” said her mom, Susan. “Her vision started declining rapidly and she’s needed to have chemotherapy treatments for her tumor every week for the past year.”
“It’s been really hard for Xani and she has irreversible damage to her vision, but listening to Thomas Rhett helped her. Every night, she relaxes and listens to his music. It’s her special, happy place.”
While waiting for her wish to be granted, things continued to get better and better for Xani.
“We found out she was going to meet Thomas Rhett and see him in concert in Arizona, then the following week, she rang the bell for her last chemo treatment!” said Susan.
To make it even more special, the weekend of her wish, Xani celebrated her 9th birthday on Friday, then had her hair and makeup done on Saturday to prepare for Thomas’ concert.
“Make-A-Wish Arizona picked me up in a big limo and I was so nervous thinking about all the questions I was going to ask him!” said Xani, who headed backstage full of excitement.
“When we first saw Thomas Rhett, I looked at Xani’s face and I started to get emotional,” said Susan. “I almost started crying. He is someone that everyone loves, and the fact that Xani was able to have this special experience one-on-one was beyond words.”
Xani seemed star-struck at first, but Thomas was quick to welcome her and calm her nerves.
“He gave me a big hug and he was so nice and sweet,” said Xani. “The best part was when we sang ‘Crash and Burn’ together and he played his guitar for me. He even sang a happy birthday song for me!”
“Thomas sat on the floor with Xani and let her ask him all kinds of questions,” said Susan. “Then they talked about his pets, how he met his wife Lauren, and what his songs are about. By the end of our time with him it felt like they were friends. Xani even gave Thomas an invitation to her birthday party.”
Thomas gifted Xani a set of drumsticks from last year’s tour before they said their goodbyes so he could head to the stage.
“The rest of the night, Xani was so full of joy and twirling around in her flowy dress,” said Susan. “My favorite part was seeing her so happy and singing along to his songs.”
The next day, Xani had her birthday party and was so excited to tell all of her friends about her special day with Thomas Rhett!
“Xani is starting fourth grade this fall and she’s doing great,” said Susan. “We look back on our journey and I don’t think anything can ever top how happy this wish has made my daughter.”
“One of our favorite songs by Thomas Rhett is ‘Unforgettable’ and that’s truly what this experience was for me.” Xani said.