'I cried when I found out': Former Villanova cheerleader battling cancer gets Taylor Swift tickets

"I'm so excited," Raquel Doke says. "I cried when I found out that I was going."

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Fmr. Nova cheerleader and cancer patient gets Taylor Swift tickets
When Villanova University posted the video, a fellow alumnus and his family stepped in to make sure Raquel Doke got two coveted tickets to the show.

VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It's the now viral video shared by Villanova University that helped fulfill the wish of a former student and cheerleader.

You see, Raquel Doke is a huge Taylor Swift fan. She's also battling cancer.

When the university posted the video, a fellow alumnus and his family stepped in to make sure she got two coveted tickets to the show.

Raquel Doke has stage four adrenal cancer. She moved to Houston, Texas for treatment.

Now 28, the veterinarian took to Tik Tok to see if Taylor Swift, or any of her fans, could help her score tickets to the show.

"I'm a big fan," Doke says. "It would be an absolute life-changing experience."

Raquel Doke

Doke cheered for Villanova's men's basketball team when they won the National Championship at NRG Stadium in 2016. It just so happens that's where Taylor Swift is playing in a few weeks.

"Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get tickets," Doke says. "People were reselling them for crazy amounts of money and I was like, 'There's no way. I just can't like afford this.'"

Doke's friends suggested she make a TikTok video "to see if Taylor Swift will see it or something."

She says last summer she noticed changes in her health.

"I started getting a bloated abdomen," she says. "I started noticing my face was swollen. I'm a veterinarian, and ironically enough, I was actually learning how to treat animals with cancer when I got diagnosed with cancer myself."

After a major surgery and chemotherapy, she says she found out she's in partial remission.

"This is good news," she says.

Doke also got this news: fellow Villanova alum Phil Holt and his family's company, Holt Logistics, got her two tickets to the show.

"I was like, 'we have to do something about this,'" recalls Holt, who comes from a family of Wildcats.

"Just hearing her story I was like, 'There's no way she's missing the show,'" he says. "So if we had to buy tickets ourselves, we're going to make it happen."

And they did, buying Doke two tickets to Swift's April 23 show in Houston.

"I'm so excited," Doke says. "I cried when I found out that I was going."

Doke has now transitioned from IV chemotherapy to IV immunotherapy.

She has one more surgery scheduled for the end of the month.