It all started with a social media campaign. Little Joshua John Waldrop, a 5-year-old cowboy with two different kinds of stage four cancers, wanted to meet Alan Jackson. In a Facebook post, it simply said that he loved Alan’s version of “I’ll Fly Away” fromÂ his 2006 gospel album,Â Precious Memories.
Thanks to thousands of folks who shared that post and a few thousand more who e-mailed Alan’s fan club and management team, Joshua, or J-Dub, as his family calls him, got his wish. And it was magical.
Country Weekly was invited to witness this special moment between Alan and Denise Jackson and Joshua’s family, who were given the royal treatment by the Alan Jackson team. The entire family, which includes six children, was flown from their home in Rutledge, Tenn., and invited to tour the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Upon reaching the Alan Jackson exhibit,Â they were greeted by the country star himself. Alan’s quiet demeanor and towering physique rendered J-Dub speechless, but Alan immediately knelt down and received a warm embrace.
J-Dub and his family were treated to a personal tour by Alan and Denise, who walked with the family, pointing out personal items that were Alan’s favorites as a child. They then were escorted behind the display, whereÂ Alan and his young fan took pictures beforeÂ they sat down with a guitar to sing. J-Dub’s voice was barely a whisper as he joined his new friend on “I’ll Fly Away,” but he broke into a shy grin when Alan sang “Little Bitty” for him.
Perhaps one of the most magical moments fell beyond the camera’s lens when Denise Jackson, a cancer survivor, asked J-Dub’s mom, Connie Lampkin, if they could pray together.
Our best wishes go out to J-Dub and his family as they continue this journey. And special thanks to Alan and Denise Jackson and their team for including us in this sweet afternoon