Earlier this year, RDR
wrote about Dustin Chapman
, a young man with achalasia and a passion for singing.
Achalasia, a rare disease in which the smooth muscles controlling the esophagus fail to relax, is known to give its patients difficulty swallowing and talking. With proper treatment, though, Dustin has been able to continue with his music career and was even garnered the attention of America’s Got Talent producers in January.
This month, Dustin’s dream came true when he was given the opportunity to sign with the winner of the 10th
season of American Idol, Scotty McCreery. Below, the 2 sing McCreery’s See You Tonight
The visit came about thanks to a May 19th
Facebook post from Dustin’s mother about her son’s desire to meet and sing with McCreery.
*Please Share and tag Scotty McCreery* :)
Dear Scotty McCreery,
I am writing in hopes that this will get to you and that you can help me make a wish come true for my son, Dustin Chapman. Dustin is a junior at Catawba College where he is triple majoring in Music Business, Popular Music, and Worship Arts. He has such a burning passion for music and his dream is to be a performer one day; however, that dream is being threaten with a rare disease called achalasia which only affects one-in-100,000 people. This is a disease which affects the esophagus, thus making eating and drinking near impossible, and can also cause a substantial amount of damage to one’s vocal cords. It is a progressive disease with no known cure. Dustin began having problems with this during his senior year in high school. He couldn’t eat or drink anything, he lost over 50 lbs, and was admitted to Duke University Hospital where he had various surgeries to try to repair the esophagus muscle. In July of 2015, he had a 13-hour surgery and finally he was finally able to eat and drink again. We were hoping this would be a permanent fix as things went really well for about 18 months, but in January of this year all of his symptoms returned and we are again desperate for answers and a solution for his health condition. Dustin is so positive and is very grateful because he knows there are others who are suffering even more than he is. He is loved by everyone who meets him and is an inspiration to so many people. Earlier this week, we went to Duke for yet another procedure and didn’t find the answers that we were looking for. This led to Dustin, my positive fighter, to become discouraged. On the way home I was trying to make him feel better so I said to him, “What can I do for you?” and he said to me with a smile on his face (while he was still under the affects from being put to sleep), “You can get me to sing a song with Scotty McCreery, that’ll cheer me up.” So I told him that I would somehow make that happen. I have written all of this in hopes that somehow I can make this happen for him. You have been a musical inspiration for him as you have stayed true to your faith while continuing to pursue a career in country music, which is ultimately what he wants to achieve. My family has been fans since your Idol days, and I feel as if this would bring a feeling of restored hope back to my son. I know it’s a long shot, but maybe somehow this can get shared enough to get to you.
Sandi Chapman--A concerned yet grateful mother.
The singer became aware of that campaign and replied a short 2 weeks later: