A Florida man with stage 4 cancer only has months to live, but country superstar Tim McGraw granted his dying wish of somehow being present for his young daughters’ future weddings.
Mike Hugo, was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer with a median survival rate of 14 months, almost exactly a year ago.
The young father has two daughters, Bridgette and Brooke, aged 6 and 7, who he has spent the last year attempting to teach “all the life lessons” he can in the short amount of time he has left.
In a video he posted to Facebook in early February, Hugo shared that he didn’t want to be a ghost to his two daughters as they grew up, and has taken to writing future birthday cards to them, so they remember that he loved them.
A teary-eyed Hugo said that he wants to be present for their future wedding days in any way possible.
“One of my dreams is to be with my little girls for their wedding and be there dancing with them, but statistically, it’s going to be tough,” he explained in the video.
“I’m going to fight hard to get there, but one of my dreams, or goals, is to do a duet with ‘My Little Girl’ with Tim McGraw.”
“If I’m there, it would be awesome because it’s a beautiful song,” Hugo continued. “And if I’m not there, then at least I can be part of that wonderful day that I hope happens and hope comes.”
He asked viewers to contact McGraw if they had the connections, and they certainly came through.
Shortly after he made the post, Hugo was contacted by McGraw’s representatives, who flew the family to Nashville meet the “I Like It, I Love It” singer at the Grand Ole Opry.
Hugo told Good Morning America that he put on a tuxedo and danced with his girls on stage, which will be turned into a video to accompany the duet he and McGraw performed of “My Little Girl,” a 2006 tribute to one of his three daughter with country star Faith Hill.
“He just couldn’t have been more gracious with his time and energy,” Hugo detailed about the singer.
“He still took the time to sing with somebody [who] can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”
Hugo said that meeting McGraw was one of the many life lessons he had for his daughters.
“‘Hey, whatever you want to do? You could do it,'” he explained. “You know, the trick is to actually just do it.”
McGraw has been an advocate for brain cancer since his father, former MLB pitcher Tug McGraw, died from a glioblastoma brain tumor in 2004.
He established the Tug McGraw foundation to “enhance the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with debilitating neurological brain conditions such as glioblastoma brain tumors, mild-traumatic brain injury from military exposures, and post-traumatic stress.”
The singer recorded one of his biggest hits “Live Like You Were Dying,” following his father’s passing, but almost didn’t release it, because he was afraid that others would claim he was “playing” off Tug’s death.
“My Uncle Hank was there, my dad’s older brother, and we had been recording all day,” McGraw recalled. “And about three o’clock in the morning, I looked around at the band. I said, ‘I think it’s time to do this song.’”
“We spent the next three hours up until sunup recording this song, and my uncle collapsed in a couch crying every time we did a pass of it.”
“That’s got to be one of the most special memories I have of making any music anywhere,” he concluded.