Cancer Survivor With ‘Bad Blood’ Gifted Taylor Swift Tickets, Golfer Backs Out of the US Open and More


From a teen cancer survivor being gifted tickets to Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras’ tour to Michael Hendry backing out of the US Open due to a leukemia diagnosis, here’s what’s happening in the oncology space this week.

Michael Hendry backed out of the 2023 US Open due to a cancer diagnosis.

Let's golf | Image credit: © StefanoT -

Michael Hendry will not be competing in the 2023 US Open after being diagnosed with leukemia in early April.

Professional golfer Michael Hendry announced on Instagram that he will not be competing in the 2023 US Open after being diagnosed with leukemia in early April.

“The last 6 weeks have seen me in hospital undergoing treatment to try and rid myself of the disease. I have a long battle ahead of me. This is the fight of my life, a fight for my life, but one I am determined to win,” the 43-year-old golfer, who is from Auckland, New Zealand, wrote.

After announcing his diagnosis and that he was stepping back from the US Open, Hendry received support from professionals and fans alike on social media.

Guy Heveldt, a New Zealand-based sports reporter wrote, “Grateful to Michael Hendry to trust me to tell his story. He's back home, in a break from two heavy lots of treatment at the moment, but is adamant he can beat (leukemia) and return to golf.”

The Smiths’ bassist, Andy Rourke, died of cancer.

Andy Rourke, the bassist and founding member of the rock band, The Smiths, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 59, according to a post from the band’s guitarist, Johnny Marr.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer. Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans. We request privacy at this sad time,” Marr announced on Twitter.

After his death was announced, tributes came in via social media to honor the rock bassist.

The band's frontman, Morrissey, wrote, "His distinction was so terrific and unconventional and he proved it could be done. He was also very, very funny and very happy... At the end of it all, we hope to feel that we were valued. Andy need not worry about that."

Singer/songwriter Rick Astley wrote, “Very sad news about Andy Rourke. I met Andy with Mike Joyce in LA in the ‘80s. Such lovely guys, made time to chat to a kid from Newton-le-Willows, Heroes! R.I.P. Love to his family and friends.”

A teenage cancer survivor was surprised with Taylor Swift tickets.

After Hallie Barnard survived a rare blood disease — which she related to Taylor Swift’s song “Bad Blood” — Barnard created a foundation, Hallie’s Heroes, which helps match patients with potential bone marrow transplant donors. Barnard eventually received a life-saving transplant thanks to her foundation, but then learned that her blood disorder led to an osteosarcoma diagnosis.

Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that originates in the bone-forming cells.

After undergoing surgery to remove the osteosarcoma from her leg, Barnard said she would listen to Taylor Swift and daydream of seeing her. Then one day, a man whose mother was being treated at the same cancer center as Barnard gifted her front-row tickets to see Taylor Swift on her “Eras” tour.

"To escape it all, I would just kind of daydream. And sometimes I'd listen to her music and I'd daydream about [Swift] and meeting her and seeing her in person. And I guess, I dreamt about it, but I never thought that it'd be possible,” Barnard told CBS news.

Amanda Kuhl, wife of MLB’s Chad Kuhl, underwent cancer treatment before heading over to her husband’s game.

Earlier in the week, Chad Kuhl, a right-handed pitcher for the Washington Nationals, accompanied his wife, Amanda, to chemotherapy treatment for her breast cancer before heading to Nationals Park to pitch. Amanda and their two-year-old son, Hudson, came to the game too, because it was fireworks night at Nationals Park.

Amanda was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30 this January, but refused to let her diagnosis stop her from attending games — especially on fireworks night.

“Tomorrow, I’ll take my time and I won’t come to the game,” Amanda said to “But tonight’s fireworks, so we’re going to come to the game and we’re going to enjoy that because we enjoyed that last year. I know he’s going to have fun tonight.”

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