How this SoCal cancer survivor's surprise hospital visit from Taylor Swift helped her #StayFearless

Wednesday, August 2, 2023
How Taylor Swift helped this young cancer survivor stay 'Fearless'
Khloe Carlson-Torres was battling eye cancer when she received a surprise hospital visit from Taylor Swift. Now, as her cancer remains in remission, the 14-year-old from Glendora is more "Fearless" than ever.

GLENDORA, Calif. (KABC) -- Khloe Carlson-Torres spends her time doing things most 14-year-olds do.

She is figuring out life before high school, hanging out with friends and listening to a lot of Taylor Swift.

"Any of her music is kind of like a teen's life too," she said.

Swift's sophomore album "Fearless" - which the megastar wrote as a teen - was released the year Khloe was born.

It took on a new meaning in 2013 when Khloe was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, the most common type of eye cancer in children. Khloe spent her 5th birthday in and out of chemotherapy.

But soon enough, she was about to go through her first breakup.

It turns out, her treatment worked. She broke up with her eye tumor, and in the words of Swift (and Khloe!) they're never, ever getting back together.

It wasn't long before the megastar learned of Khloe's journey.

Soon after, Swift was right there in the hospital, telling Khloe how strong she was during a surprise visit.

"I was just in shock a little bit," recalled Khloe. "I was just standing there staring at her."

"Now when I'm like thinking ... 'Oh, I have to do this,' I'm just like, 'Well, I've done a bigger challenge before. This doesn't really matter that much.'"

The 14-year-old is going on eight years cancer-free, and through the years, she has gained a fan base of her own, receiving encouraging letters and cards from people all over the world.

The hashtag #StayFearlessKhloe launched a community of people who can relate to and support her cancer journey.

As Swift begins her six shows in Los Angeles to close out the U.S. portion of her tour, you can bet Khloe will be in the stands, going through each "Era," and knowing every word.

So often, music can help us heal our inner child. If we let it, it can also show us how that child has grown up.