Feel-Good Friday: Country Singer Walker Hayes Makes a 79-Year-Old Cancer Survivor's Day

Virginia poses with Walker Hayes and her daughter Tara. (Credit: YouTube)

Country singer and Alabama native son Walker Hayes seems like a really cool cat. He often performs with his teenage daughter, he constantly expresses gratitude for the privilege of performing, and his Instagram is full of fun, family stuff like, "trick shot" videos, which appears to be an obsession for him.



But Hayes' act of kindness to a cancer survivor in East Idaho earned him even more cool points and makes him the subject for this week's Feel-Good Friday.

Virginia is a 79-year-old who just beat an aggressive form of colon cancer. Walker Hayes is her favorite artist, and according to her daughter Tara, she plays the "Applebees" song every day, several times a day. Hayes was scheduled to sing at the Idaho State Fair, and as a treat for Virginia, her children bought her tickets to see him. But Tara reached out to Nate Eaton of East Idaho News for a big ask.

I was wondering if there is any way you could try to help me out with something for my mom. She is 79 and just beat an aggressive colon cancer. She had her last chemo last week. She is obsessed with Walker Hayes. She tells her Alexa all the time to play “the Applebees song”. We got tickets to take her to the fair to see him. This will be her first outing post chemo and it would make her world after the last 9 months she has had to get his autograph or maybe even meet him for a minute? Thanks East Idaho News!


The song's official title is, "Fancy Like," and it became a viral hit in 2021, spawning dance moves and homage videos of people doing the dance in front of their local Applebees. The Oreo shake mentioned in the lyrics even inspired Applebees to bring it back to their menu! Now that's the power of social media. The song, which Hayes wrote as a celebration of the simple things in life is still as catchy, hilarious, and fun as it was when Hayes first brought it to us. And not a swear word to be found, which is quite refreshing.


So, it is understandable why Virginia loves the song and plays it often. You cannot help but smile when you listen to it, and someone battling deadly cancer needs all the smiles they can muster. Virginia had her last chemotherapy session in early September and had not been outside of her home or a hospital facility since 2020. So it was a big deal for her to not only get to a concert but to get a chance to see an artist who had helped her through. "That's what got me through all this was listening to his song," Virginia told Eaton. She said her health prognosis was good. "No cancer, no blood clots." 


Eaton and East Idaho News made it happen. Hayes not only agreed to meet Virginia and autograph her cool custom-made Applebee's shirt, but he invited Virginia, her daughter Tara, and the entire family to the VIP section for the concert.

When Virginia said that "Fancy Like" was what got her through, Hayes hugged her and said, "I love that it lived with you through that process. I'm proud of you!"

We hope Virginia is blessed with many more years, made happier by her loving family and a country singer who wrote a great song that helped her survive, and who also cares deeply for his fans.


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