Dolly Parton Grants Wish for Fan With Terminal Cancer, Sings Classic Hit

Photo from Dolly Parton’s Instagram

Dolly Parton Grants Wish for Fan With Terminal Cancer, Sings Classic Hit

By Movieguide® Contributor 

When Tennessee native LeGrand Gold wrote his bucket list, he never imagined that meeting Dolly Parton would be one of the items he would check off. 

“I thought, ‘Well, it’s never going to happen,’” Gold told NBC affiliate KSL of the chance of meeting the legendary country singer. 

But right before Christmas, he got the surprise call of a lifetime. 

“Hey LG, it’s Dolly P. I’ve heard you’ve been a fan of mine for many years, and I just wanted to thank you for that,” Parton introduced herself. 

Before the end of the call, the “Jolene” singer told him, “Just know that I will always love you.” 

She followed that by singing one of her best-known hits, “I Will Always Love You,” replacing “you” with “LG.”  

“She sang me a song, put my name in the song. I feel like I’m immortal now,” Gold, who has been a lifelong fan, said. He and his family are season-pass holders to Dollywood, his wife Alice told Parton. 

“We’ve been flying above the silver lining for days,” Alice said, per PEOPLE magazine. “Out of the 11 items [on the list], we thought Dolly would be the impossible, but true to Dolly form, she once again reminds the world that dreams really do come true.” 

After Gold was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer in 2021, Alice suggested last year he write a bucket list, or what they call “LG’s List of Living,” which included a trip to Chicago with his wife, an Alaskan cruise and attending March Madness. 

“The scans showed the cancer spreading and getting outside of my liver, and so they said the chemo is not working anymore, the radiation is not working anymore,” Gold said. “They just sent me home and said be with your family.” 

Parton thanked Gold for letting her be part of his “journey,” of which meeting his favorite singer was surely a bright spot. 

“I always want to make people happy with my music and with the things I do and the things I say, and I’m just happy to know that I’ve touched your life in some way. So thank you for honoring me with that,” she told Gold. 

The Country Music Hall of Fame inductee is well known for her altruism. Parton started the Imagination Library in 1995 to fight illiteracy by donating books to parents who enroll in the program. The organization celebrated donating 200 million books earlier this year, as reported by Movieguide®: 

It’s been one of my greatest gifts in life to help instill a love of reading through my Imagination Library,” Parton said. “Reaching 200 million books worldwide is a major milestone that I’m so very proud of, and I want to thank all of our local program partners, funders and supporters from the bottom of my heart. But we’re just getting warmed up, we have so much more to do! Together, we can inspire even more children to dream more, learn more, care more, and be more.” 

To celebrate the milestone, Imagination Library will place seven bookmarks inside the books shipped during September – International Literacy Month. 

Discovering a bookmark will allow recipients to meet Parton over Zoom, receive a signed letter and photograph from the country music superstar, obtain tickets to Dollywood, and receive a $2,000 donation to their local Imagination Library program.  

Parton shared how she seeks God in all her ventures, and Imagination Library is no different.  

“You know what I found? One dream is just a stepping stone to another,” she wrote in Guideposts. 

She went on to say, “So what did I do with this dream? Again, I started with prayer, making sure the Lord didn’t think I was off my rocker. Then, an idea came. I started something called the Imagination Library.” 

The 77-year-old added, “I’ve learned over the years to trust the dreams to God. No telling what will happen. And it will happen if it’s supposed to happen.” 

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