When This Country Singer Brought His Mom On Stage, He Knew Exactly What Song To Sing For Her

"My prayer is that this song ... helps end this nightmare disease."

On July 27, at the Dubuque County Fair in Nashville, Tennessee, country singer Jay Allen invited his mother on stage to sing a song that would touch the hearts of so many. 

Allen, whose mother Sherry Rich was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, sang "Blank Stares," a song he wrote following her diagnosis. 

"It's a song I wrote for my mother who suffers from early onset Alzheimer's at the age of only 53," Allen said in a January news release after releasing the song, ABC News reports. "She's in the final stages and doesn't have long to live, but I still find hope in the long goodbye ... My prayer is that this song becomes a mighty tool that ultimately helps end this nightmare disease."

Lori Richard-Dittmer, who was in attendance while Allen sang to his mother, shared a video of his performance on Facebook with the caption: "Okay I've been to many concerts and this tops them all ... One of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced."

Richard-Dittmer's video alone already has more than 1,128,000 views.

"God gifted me with a voice and the ability to write songs, and I feel He gave me an opportunity through that to not only help my mama but to use 'Blank Stares' as a tool to fight against Alzheimer's," Allen told ABC News. "This video going viral is proof that we have the ability to take something bad and turn it into something good. Please continue to like and share. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."

People have since flooded the comments section of Richard-Dittmer's video, many of whom have shared their own experiences with the disease. About 5.7 million Americans live with Alzheimer's, the Alzheimer's Association reports, and it is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. 

"Beautiful song," one person wrote on Facebook. "[It] will be 8 months since I lost my dad. [This] makes me cry and think of him even more after hearing this song."

"I cried at the beauty of your love for your mother! You are an awesome young man & a great singer!! Wow!! Powerful!!" another wrote.

Allen's song can also be found on YouTube, where the singer wrote that all proceeds from it will be donated to Abe's Garden. Abe's Garden is "a nationally recognized model of residential care, day programs and community-based services for those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Continually-trained team members provide evidence-based care and engagement opportunities for residents and program participants. The organization and its campus promote well-being for those impacted by dementia, their families, and professional care partners," it says on its website. 

"Music is powerful," Allen added. "Let's do something with it."

If you would like to get involved in the fight against Alzheimer's, click here.

Cover image: Anna Webber / Getty Images for Alzheimer's Association


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