In a drastic turn of events and some accidental networking, a longtime Paul Brandt fan is being given the opportunity to meet his idol next month.
Shane Kinniburgh bought tickets for Paul Brandt’s Red Deer concert for himself and his girlfriend, Krista Brower, months ago.
“We’re going to the Paul Brandt concert and Paul Brandt’s media found out and said I can meet Paul Brandt,” Kinniburgh explained.
However, this is no average meet and greet.
Kinniburgh has been sick with cystic fibrosis his entire life and a year and a half ago his health got worse. He’d been living in Rimbey at the time but was told by doctors to move back to Ponoka, there were many procedures, medication and many surgeries to follow.
It was after Kinniburgh contacted the Red Deer Advocate to promote the Great Strides Walk for cystic fibrosis he received the invitational email.
“We just got talking and they (Red Deer Advocate) said ‘oh, you’re a Paul Brandt fan?’,” said Kinniburgh.
He’d just gotten off the phone with Brower when he checked his email. ‘The first thing I did was phone Krista. I’m like wow, what’s going on?”
Kinniburgh, who grew up on a farm outside of Airdrie with unbreakable country roots, and Brower are both big fans of Brandt. “He’s just so normal, he’s a person of integrity,” said Brower.
“For me, whenever I’m sick I just like listening to his music. It’s inspiring,” Kinniburgh added.
When Kinniburgh listens to Brandt’s music he has the ability to see beyond his illness and reach for hope and support. “Bad things have happened to me my whole life. I wasn’t able to reach out for help.”
But now that he’s able to reach out Kinniburgh is seeing kindness everywhere. “I love this town because they’ve helped me so much since I’ve gotten sick.”
For three months he was house-ridden and he says Brower couldn’t walk down the street without being asked how he was doing. ‘This town is great. I thought I was going to be judged for being different.”
Kinniburgh names Brandt’s Didn’t Even See the Dust as his favorite song “because for me I can see my illness and I can see how I can break through it.”
“Just listening to his music there’s hope. The end’s not coming, there’s hope . . . there’s people that love you and there’ll always be people that love you,” said Kinniburgh.
Although he’s looking forward to the concert Kinniburgh wants to be able to thank Brandt. “To be able to say thank you, you’ve encouraged me to keep fighting every day.”