DECATUR, AL. (WHNT) — In November, the tragic death of Atlanta rapper Takeoff hit headlines after a shooting incident claimed his life. At the Grammy Awards in February, the fallen rapper’s uncle Quavo paid him a tribute with a little help from an Alabama singer who was enduring something of her own.
No one thought 28-year-old Cheyenne Sanchez would ever sing again after doctors told her she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at 21, but she defied the odds and let her voice carry a powerful message on one of the biggest stages in the world.
Sanchez said the diagnosis changed her life.
“They said it would be six weeks after my cancer surgery whether I would know or not so I thought that I was gonna have to sit there for six weeks and not know whether I would have a voice or not,” she said.
The doctors explained to Sanchez that there was a 90% chance she would never sing again after the surgery to remove her thyroid and lymph nodes. But despite those odds, she came through it singing and smiling.
“Oh it’s a miracle it really is,” she said. “I mean I remember when the doctors told me that there was a huge chance that I would never sing again and even if I spoke that my voice would be really raspy and horse.”
Seven years after her surgery her voice carried her to this year’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. The Decatur singer joined four other vocalists from Maverick City Music to sing backup for Atlanta rapper Quavo during the memorial tribute to deceased rapper Takeoff who died in a tragic shooting incident in November.
Sanchez said in both her own personal darkness and in the tragedy of Quavo’s nephew, it was the lord that held it all together
“It was just a solemn feel you know it was very emotional, but we were all excited that Quavo chose to bring in worship in that moment,” she said. “He could have chosen any artist to sing to honor Takeoff but he chose worship and so we felt like that really showed his heart and showed Takeoff’s heart, that no matter what in the middle of the darkness we have to lean on the Lord.”
Sanchez said she has dedicated her life to health and wellness. She now spends her day-to-day as a hospice worker working to educate the community on terminal diagnoses and how people who might receive those diagnoses can live the best quality of life they can. She says both singing and hospice care are her passions. now she wants to encourage others
“Never lose your light, never lose your passion, write your dreams down,” Sanchez said. “Make a dream board no matter if it sounds crazy or out of reach nothing is impossible with God.”