(WWBT/CNN) — A Virginia college student was set to audition for TV’s “The Voice” two years ago, but Hodgkin’s lymphoma ended that opportunity.
But then recently, Danielle El-Jor got the chance to sing with country music stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
She won a meet-and-greet with the star couple through a local radio station. She told them her story and added she’s a huge Carrie Underwood fan.
When Brooks heard her story, he invited her to sing during his concert soundcheck.
“So I sing with Trisha, and I was singing one of her songs with her, and I had the lyrics up because I’m like, I’m not going to mess Trisha’s song up right in front of her, there’s no way. She wasn’t feeling well, she had a little bit of a cold, and she’s like how would you like to sing with me? And I was like what? Tonight?!?”
El-Jor was also impressing Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, so Brooks took it a step further.
“Since you’re a huge Carrie Underwood fan, you must know the song ‘I Told You So?’ And I said ‘yes, I love that song!’ and he says just sing for me the chorus, in your key, whatever you want. And I started singing a cappella and then the band comes in behind me, in my key, it was like, perfect, I was like, this is like a movie right now!”
And her “movie” was just getting started. After the soundcheck, El-Jor and her entire family were invited to lunch with the couple.
“He sits down at the table next to me and says, ‘Let’s do ‘I Told you So’ tonight on stage together,’ or today at the 3:30 show. And I’m like OK! And he says ‘Are you nervous? You don’t have to do it.’ And I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?! Let’s do this! I would love to do it!”
And, of course, she brought the house down.
El-Jor says she’s healthy, but her doctors recently found a spot near her liver. She’s staying positive about it and, after all, her performance earned her an invite to Nashville to meet with Brooks and Yearwood’s manager.
“I figure, ya know, if this little thing is going to bring me down, I can sit on my butt and do nothing, or I can get out there and make something of myself, and that’s what I’ve decided to do, is make something of myself.”
“And take a trip to Nashville?”
“Just a casual trip to Nashville, yes,” she says with a laugh.
Editor’s note: Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will be doing four concerts Dec. 8-10 at the Blaisdell Arena to benefit Pacific Historic Parks: WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument (USS Arizona Memorial), Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and Battleship Missouri Memorial.