“Ronan,” Taylor Swift’s new song, has quickly found it’s way to No. 1 on the iTunes chart and has been downloaded more than 327,000 times. While the Grammy-winning singer ordinarily finds inspiration for her chart-toppers from personal trials with romantic love, Ronan’s lyrics come from a different place altogether.
Ronan Thompson was only three years old when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an often-deadly childhood cancer. His mother, Maya Thompson, began a blog called Rockstar Ronan, as a way to keep family and friends up to date on her son’s deteriorating health.
Many strangers began to follow his story too — including Taylor Swift and her mother, reports MSNBC.com. After rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, Ronan passed away three days before his fourth birthday.
Six months later, Thompson’s final words to her son -- “Let’s get out of here” -- and heart-wrenching posts shared after his untimely death prompted Swift to reach out to the grieving mother. Soon after their tear-filled meeting, Thompson got a call from Swift, who said she had written a song about Ronan and wanted to give her a writing credit, since it was based on the words from her blog.
“I was very touched that she knew such important little intimate details about his life and death and our story,” she told The New York Times after Swift’s performance of Ronan at The Stand Up to Cancer telethon held earlier this September, which is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
All of Swift’s royalties are being donated to cancer charities. Ronan’s mother’s share will go to the Ronan Thompson Foundation, which will hopefully allow her to establish a neuroblastoma research and treatment center.