Orem man battling cancer hopes to check meeting Dolly Parton off bucket list
Dec 16, 2023, 9:10 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — A man from Orem who has been battling colon cancer for the last two years is hoping to check meeting Dolly Parton off his bucket list.
LeGrand Gold, who grew up in Tennessee like Parton, said he does not remember a time where he disliked her. He’s a fan of her music, the way “it tells stories.” He and his wife Alice Gold raised their five kids around Parton, taking trips to Dollywood and even reading them books sent to them through Dolly’s Imagination Library – a free book gifting program.
“From the time a child is born until they go to kindergarten, every month she mails out books,” LeGrand Gold said. “She does stuff like that I think is really cool.”
“She’s unapologetic about loving everyone,” Alice Gold said.
That love is something the Gold family is trying to embody as LeGrand is in the midst of his cancer battle.He was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer in 2021.
Creating a bucket list
During a breakfast date, Alice came up with the idea to create a bucket list for LeGrand or LG as she calls him to try and complete.
“He was going through a really kind of down phase of just over everything,” Alice Gold said. “So just got out the napkin and started saying, ‘what do you want to do? What do you want to do before you die?'”
A year ago, LeGrand made a list of 11 things called “LG’s List of Living” which includes attending a March Madness game.
“The number one, because I love college basketball,” he said “So that was that’s the first thing that came to mind.”
While he hasn’t been able to check that off his list, his favorite item he has checked off is a trip to Chicago he took to see Natalie Merchant in concert.
He also went to an NBA game in hopes of seeing Charles Barkley during a taping of “Inside the NBA” for TNT. He got an RV and took a road trip.
LeGrand’s health however is declining. Doctors told him he only has several months to live after he stopped responding to treatment. He is now entering hospice care.
“I’m doing things like picking a cemetery, picking a mortuary, picking a lawyer to go do your last will, it’s stuff (I) never thought I’d do,” he said.
Alice took to social media, writing Dolly Patron asking her to help fulfill one of her husband’s final wishes of meeting one of his favorite artists.
Grateful for all who have helped
The post has been shared by family, friends, and strangers alike, something Alice and her family is grateful for.
“I have gotten so many messages from all over the place,” she said “That’s been the most heartwarming thing. Even if he never gets to meet Dolly, we’re at the end of his life and that all of these two strangers have come out…and reached out and said, ‘I will do what I can. I don’t know you, but we want to make this happen.'”
While there’s so much more LeGrand and his family wish they can do, the wish on his list right now is a greeting from the Queen of Country.
“I would just say, Dolly, you’ve helped me through the last two years, and it means a lot to me,” LeGrand Gold said.