When Garth Brooks takes the stage for two sold-out concerts at U.S. Bank Stadium, both the artist and a certain fan will be remembering a moment from Brook’s last Twin Cities’ appearances.
“Honestly, I don't think I would be here without that night,” Teresa Shaw said.
Five years ago, Shaw was battling breast cancer. She drove from Mason City, Iowa with a handmade sign she carried into Target Center.
Shaw waited for Brooks to sing one of his signature songs, The Dance.
As the first few piano notes echoed through the arena, Shaw raised the sign on which she had written: “Chemo this morning. Garth tonight. Enjoying the dance.”
Brooks caught a glimpse of the sign mid-song – and stopped the show.
The performer motioned Shaw to the stage. Then he bent down and embraced her, before lifting the cancer patient’s sign skyward.
“God just stuck his hand out,” Brooks told the crowd. He pointed to Shaw as the crowd roared. “You have all of my strength, you have everybody's strength in here,” he told her.
Then, Brooks gave Shaw his guitar.
“I was ready to give up and my dad had passed away two weeks before that,” Shaw said Friday from her Iowa home.
Her cancer is now in remission. Life is good.
“That night just helped me get another boost,” Shaw said. The prayers, the messages and the gifts sent to her by people who’d seen the exchange live and online helped fuel her recovery.
Asked about the moment during his Friday news conference, Brooks took a couple seconds to compose himself.
“I have a higher power and I do believe if we all focus on one person that that helps that person,” Brooks said. “And there were a lot of prayers for that woman.”
Brooks and Shaw have stayed in touch. She’ll meet with him this weekend between his two shows, just as she did at concerts she attended in Des Moines and Omaha.
In a long performing career, cities run together and tours become a blur. But, for Brooks, certain moments will always stand out. “Will Teresa be one of those moments?” he asked rhetorically. “Yes.”
Brooks had Shaw’s sign framed and carried it with him on the rest of the tour as a good luck charm.
Eventually he returned it.
The sign now hangs on Shaw’s living room wall. “It reminds me of where I was and how far you can go, and what one moment can do to your life,” Shaw says.