Patty Garner Anderson remembers her 16-year-old daughter, Ally, who died in November after five years with cancer. Taylor's music brightened her life.
Patty Garner Anderson will never forget her daughter Ally's smile at Taylor Swift's Eras Tour stop in Cincinnati on July 1. Swift handed Ally her "22" fedora as she danced down the stage.
"It changed my daughter's life immensely," Patty tells PEOPLE exclusively. "I hadn’t seen Ally smile and laugh like that in a very long time."
Ally, who battled cancer since 2018, released a TikTok video from that night showing her wearing the hat in a bathroom and covering her mouth. "what happened," she captioned the video. She posted another TikTok video of Swift putting the hat on.
"no words to describe what it felt like to be pulled from my seats to the floor," she says. I realized immediately. So many years ago, Taylor was my first concert. a true circle moment."
Patty claims Ally was an early Swift fan. Ally attended her first concert at 8 years old, the 2015 Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour.
Ally's life changed in September 2018, when she was 11. Rare soft tissue cancer Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma was diagnosed. Patty said Taylor's songs "brought light to Ally’s life." during her cancer battle.
Like many fans, Patty adds "she knew every single word to every single song," calling Ally "kind, loving, fierce."
Her Swift fandom was clear. Ally played music while showering, organizing her room, and driving. Her only role was that.” Ally got Swift's "The 1" lyrics tattooed on her left forearm: "And if you never bleed, you're never gonna grow."