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Macklemore makes emotional visit to ailing fan in hospital

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Apr 26, 2013 | 1:27pm EDT

Rapper Macklemore dropped by a hospital in Vermont on Thursday (25Apr13) to visit an ailing university student who was too ill to attend his show. The Thrift Shop hitmaker was in town for a performance at Saint Michael's College when he learned about the plight of a fan named Sam, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. In a bid to cheer him up, the 29 year old, real name Ben Haggerty, made a special trip to his bedside and even held a moment of silence for Sam at his gig. Opening up about the emotional experience in a post on his official webpage, he writes, "When my girl told me about Sam's story and that we would have some free time on Thursday, it was a no-brainer to visit him in the hospital. "The email we received was from one of Sam's friends who explained the situation. Sam is in his junior year in college, and up until last Friday his life was going great. He hadn't been feeling well the last month, and went to the doctor to get some blood tests late last week. "The doctors got the results, sat him down, told him he had leukemia and would immediately need to start chemotherapy in order to hopefully beat the disease. Just like that. "Sam's story resonated with me. I can't imagine being a healthy kid, at the end of my junior year in college, and getting diagnosed with leukemia. It's one of those stories that reminds you how fragile life is, gives you a reality check on your own issues, and make you appreciate the health of you and your loved ones more than ever... "I've done these types of hospital visits before, and sometimes they can be a little awkward. What do you say to someone in Sam's position? This is a complete stranger, who is going through a life-altering trauma, abruptly disconnected to the world they once knew. No amount of 'you'll get through this' pep talk seems substantial enough. You want to say something that might leave a lasting impression but the words aren't there. But when I first shook Sam's hand I could tell he was connected. He's the type of kid that immediately puts the room at ease. He makes eye contact and speaks from his heart, not sugarcoating what he's going through, but not feeling sorry for himself either." And the rapper admits he got more out the hospital visit than his fan did: "These types of experiences are important for me. They bring me back to a place of gratitude and give life a tangible value, beyond the instant gratification that my job provides. Being a rapper is one of the most narcissistic careers in the world... Fame suffocates the spirit and consumes you if you let it. You wake up thinking about you, and go to bed thinking about you. That's not a good place to be. "With over 200 shows booked for the year, I barely get to see my family and spend time with the people that remind me where I come from and what's really important... In all honesty, it's the Sams of the world and the situations they go through that give us perspective on our own lives."

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