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A Child’s Cancer Story Inspires Taylor Swift

By now you may have heard Taylor Swift’s heart-rending song “Ronan,” about the too-short life of a little boy. Ms. Swift gave it an emotional performance on the Stand Up to Cancer telethon on Sept. 7, and it has been topping the charts ever since.

The real boy behind the song is Ronan Thompson, an impish 3-year-old from Phoenix with coppery blond hair and mesmerizing big blue eyes. In 2010, a few months after his third birthday, Ronan was given a diagnosis of neuroblastoma, an often deadly childhood cancer. He died on May 9, 2011, three days before he was to turn 4.

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