Taylor Swift Sings ''Ronan'' in Concert, Shares How Cancer Has Affected Her Life During Emotional Performance: Watch

Singer previously debuted the track back in 2012 at Stand Up to Cancer

By Alyssa Toomey Aug 18, 2015 6:00 PMTags

It wasn't Taylor Swift's model squad who made headlines following her concert in Glendale, Ariz. last night. Instead, the standout moment was a special song the singer dedicated to one very important woman in the audience. 

The 25-year-old beauty brought the crowd to tears on Monday when she sang the track "Ronan" in concert for the second time ever. Swift previously debuted the track in 2012 at a performance for Stand Up to Cancer. 

The "Shake It Off" stunner wrote the song for Ronan Thompson, who died from neuroblastoma at the age of 3 in 2011, using blog entries written by his mother, Maya Thompson. Maya was in the audience on Monday, so it was only fitting that Taylor performed the heartfelt tune after sharing a story about the way cancer has recently affected her life. (Swift revealed via Tumblr in April that her mom, Andrea, was diagnosed with cancer)

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A video posted by Maya Thompson (@mamamaya) on

"I think that in my opinion, one of the greatest things that a human being can ever do, is to go through something unbearable and then share their experience with the world. And I think, the braver you are, the more completely honest you are," she told the audience. "There's a woman here tonight named Maya Thompson…and I wouldn't know half as much as I know about childhood cancer and childhood cancer research if she hadn't shared her story about her son Ronan." 

She continued, praising Maya for her strength: "The thing about childhood cancer is that it's really really hard to talk about. And it's really not something that you bring up…but the fact that she brought it up, she had this blog called Rockstar Ronan and I would read it every night. And in it was this account of what it was like to watch cancer take over my life. And since then, I've had cancer hit really close to me in my family. So because Maya's right there, I would like you to give her a round of applause, please." 

Before singing the tune Taylor added, "I just wanted to take a moment and try to play this song...I think because Maya's here tonight—I think she deserves it." 

E! News caught up with Maya after the performance, who revealed that the special moment was a complete surprise.

"I was dancing with my two-year-old daughter during Taylor's concert and I felt somebody tap me on the shoulder. It was Taylor's tour manager and she said, 'Taylor wants to know if it's alright to sing "Ronan" tonight.' I started crying immediately and responded back with a very emotional 'Yes,'" she shared. "That's the thing about Taylor. She thinks of everybody else before herself. Here she is in the middle of her set list and she was thoughtful enough to make sure I was alright with her singing it before she actually did." 

Maya said Swift has a "heart of gold" and she "has been very generous to our family in the most thoughtful ways." 

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"Everything surprises me about Taylor and that is what makes her so lovable," she gushed. "Just when I think she has outdone herself, she goes and does something so mind blowing that I am continuously surprised and inspired. She is one of the most powerful celebrities in the world, yet she remains so humble and seems to only wants to use her power to empower others." 

Maya took to social media after the sweet moment and shared her own personal gratitude for Swift. 

"I still can't believe tonight. I still can't believe you did this. This will forever be one of the most special moments of my life. Thank you @taylorswift for your beautiful heart and for never forgetting my Ro. I love you to the moon and back. #ronan #fuccancer #secretsong #1989 #allhailqueentaylor #myhero #swiftieforlife #rockstarronan @ronanfoundation," she captioned an Instagram video from the concert. 

READ: Taylor Swift donates $50,000 to an 11-year-old fan with cancer

We also asked Maya what she would say to a fellow mom whose child is battling cancer, and she provided an imfortative and heartwarming response. 

"First of all, I'm so sorry. There is no reason good enough for any child to go through something so horrific as this. I know how hard this is. I know how lost, alone, and scared you must feel, but you can't ever give up," she said. "When you think you don't have the strength to go on, find your strength in others. Let other people lift you up. Let other people give you a break so you can take that 10 minute shower and recharge. You have to become an advocate for your child. Ask questions. Get second, third and forth opinions. If something doesn't feel right, listen to your intuition. Find your army of people to help you through this and learn to accept the help and love that is offered. Hug and kiss your child every second that you can. This is a battle. This won't be easy, but your child is worth every amount of fight that you have. There will be times that you think you have nothing more to give, but trust me, you do. Your strength will come from the one staring up at you from their little hospital bed. Never forget that." 

Watch the video and then be sure to download "Ronan." All proceeds from the single go to cancer charities, including the Ronan Thompson Foundation. 

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