A chronically ill Pismo Beach native living in Nashville, Tennessee, traveled back across the country to watch Faith Hill perform at the California Mid-State Fair on Tuesday because, she said, “I would not be here today without her.”
Dallas Albury, 35, was born and raised in Pismo, but at age 13 she and her mother, Ginger, moved to Nashville. There she developed her passion for concert photography and has lived ever since.
At age 23, Albury was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and 10 years later, doctors found a rare inoperable pineal tumor in her brain. There are no cures for either, and doctors could not determine how much longer Albury will have to live.
“Nobody knew what was wrong with me; I was passed from doctor to doctor, and it took them 10 years to figure it out,” Albury said.
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Albury is diagnosed with “invisible diseases,” and her physical appearance does not give away her illnesses, therefore, she said she often receives hate or bullying from people who assume she is lying.
When she was diagnosed with the brain tumor in 2016, she planned to commit suicide with a gun. She was tired of the hospital visits, tests and pain, she said.
However, before she pulled the trigger, one of Hill’s songs came on, and she was compelled to put the gun down, she said.
Albury had been a longtime fan of Hill, she often listened to the country star’s music to draw strength for her day-to-day life and even had “Faith” tattooed on her wrist for her birthday a few years prior.
“(Hill) literally saved my life, and she didn’t know she did it. I can’t explain it other than a God thing,” Albury said.
Two weeks later, Hill and Tim McGraw announced their Soul2Soul tour, and Albury said she felt it was a sign.
“This was the tour that I wasn’t supposed to live for,” Albury said.
She later added, “I am so glad to still be alive; I have done so much and gotten to see so much of the country because of (Hill).”
Albury took to the road and attended as many Soul2Soul concerts as she could, amounting to 25, including the tour’s finale at The Mid-State Fair.
Although by now she has seen Hill perform more than 100 times and spoken with Hill briefly on several occasions, she still feels a rush of excitement at each concert, Albury said.
“When I watch her, the pain goes away. She has a song, ‘Free,’ and that’s how I feel when I see her,” Albury said.
Albury was hoping to speak to Hill again at the Mid-State Fair but was unable to do so, however, the concert brought her to tears, nonetheless.
“Musicians know music heals people, but I don’t think they know the impact they have on people’s lives. It takes just a few seconds,” Albury said.
She hopes to continue take concert photos and spread awareness about the severity of invisible diseases and suicidal thoughts.