PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mike Shaffer, of Latrobe, says his mother was a big Bon Jovi fan, but she died of breast cancer before she ever had a chance to see the band play live.
“Never had the opportunity to see a Bon Jovi concert, and I had it my head for a few years that I would buy Bon Jovi tickets and donate them to a breast cancer survivor,” said Shaffer, “and hopefully, they would have a chance to enjoy the concert like she would have.”
That person is Erin Smith of the North Hills. Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer when her daughter, Madison, was a baby and she was pregnant with her other daughter, Mackenzie.
“It was obviously a difficult time,” said Smith. “We had to make a lot of decisions based on what we were going to do.”
Mackenzie was born healthy, and now the family is back to as normal as you can be caring for two little girls under the age of 2. That appealed to Shaffer, who still remembers how his mother cared for their family through good and tough times.
“She was always a music fan, and I wanted a way to honor her and to help with someone going through the same thing, because it’s a tough road,” said Shaffer.
So, Smith is going to the concert, keeping in mind the man who wanted to honor his mother’s battle with cancer by giving a cancer survivor a gift he knows she’ll enjoy.
“I think it’s really amazing given that the difficult experience he’s been through that he could take time out to do something good for someone else shows the kind of person he is,” Smith said.
Smith says she now hopes to “pay forward” Shaffer’s gift to another cancer survivor.