The Buckhead Theater rocked one recent Saturday night with performances by six kids and teens who are fighting cancer. One older girl, a 21-year-old Lambert High School graduate, stood out among the rest.
Meredith Myers has never had cancer, but she sang at the Rally Idol 2 event on Jan. 28 in honor and memory of her 12-year-old sister, Kylie.
“Kylie was just the most incredible person I’ve ever met. She had a smile that could light up any room. She was constantly trying to help out other people and so much more concerned about making everybody else happy than anything else, and she just encountered every challenge head-on,” Myers said.
The Oglethorpe University student performed in front of more than 800 people and four American Idol alumni who served as guest judges for the fundraiser for Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research that brought in more than $135,000.
Myers said being able to sing in her sister’s place meant more to her than just honoring her memory.
“Music and singing was something Kylie and I had always both loved and shared, and so I wish she could have been the one up there singing, but it was really neat to remember her and honor her in that way and be able to remember what we loved doing together so much and share that with other people,” she said.
Other singers included a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old fighting ovarian germ cell cancer, a 12-year-old fighting soft tissue cancer, a 19-year-old fighting solid tumors and one more girl singing in memory of her sister.
Kylie Myers was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma at the age of 12. She passed away at the beginning of February 2015, days before her 13th birthday.
“When we found out she was diagnosed with cancer, she looked up at us and she said, ‘You know, God must have a bigger plan for me,’” Myers said. “And even after she passed, she’s still making a huge impact in the childhood cancer community, and I’m just really proud of her for that.”
Rally Idol was first held in 2014 as the vision of sisters Emily and Courtney Roach, with 13-year-old Courtney leading the charge this year.
“It was a celebration of these kids who have been through so much while also trying to use their struggles to help other kids who are going through something similar,” Myers said. “It was neat to be able to meet and love on all these other kids that have gone through something similar to my sister and to spread awareness at the same time as celebrating their strength.”
The foundation has a goal to find “better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures for childhood cancer,” according to Dean Crowe, CEO and founder of the organization.
Former American Idol contestants Clark Beckham, Haley Reinhart, Casey Abrams and Anthony Fedorov participated as guest judges for the event.