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Livin' on a prayer 16 January 2006
Henry Daily Herald article

Source: The Henry Daily Herald

When radiation treatments stole Becky Miller’s strength, it was music that flowed from her ears to her legs, energizing her body with each stride. The beats and rhythms pushed the breast cancer survivor and Norman resident to the tune of more than 400 miles.

Thousands of miles away in Donetsk, Ukraine, teenager Tatyana Konovalova picked up an album by chance and found the lyrics to be powerful and provided clarity to many of her problems.

Two individuals at very different stages of their lives found inspiration and motivation within the same band. And last Saturday, they were there at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Perhaps cheering louder than most for the musicians who have given them so much. For every run and every hurdle made smaller by carefully crafted lyrics, they were there to see Bon Jovi.

There is no mistaking the popularity of Bon Jovi. The ’80s “Hair Band” carryovers have sold more than 100 million albums and continue to pack arenas. While the announcement of a Bon Jovi concert would drive fans to the venue by the thousands, the band from New Jersey was able to bring two fans together.

Tatyana, 16, arrived in the United States last year as part of the U.S. State Department’s Future Leaders Exchange Program. The Henderson family of Arnold, Mo., soon found out Tatyana wasn’t so unlike Americans her own age.

“She had been here two or three weeks, and she found a concert in Wisconsin,” said Margaret Henderson.

“She was like ‘let’s go,’ and it was the next day.”

The Hendersons would soon learn if Bon Jovi was playing, Tatyana’s mind was working. The music may have driven her host family mad, but for Tatyana there were answers to be had.

“I can feel that in a song, I know the solution to the problem,” she said. “Jon ( Bon Jovi) helps me.”

If she has troubles with her friends, classes or homework, it’s Bon Jovi or Jon to be exact that pulls her through.

“The other guys are great, but out of most of the people, I like Jon,” she said. “In my mind, Jon is amazing.”

It seemed the “Amazing Jon” had powers even the Hendersons didn’t understand. Tatyana learned of the concert in Oklahoma City and wanted to go. Margaret, formerly of Norman, knew she could make it work. Two tickets were purchased, but Tatyana’s best friend Melannie couldn’t attend. Margaret asked her mother, Libba Smith of Norman, if she knew any Bon Jovi fans who would act as a chaperone. Libba’s search turned up Becky.


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