Toby Keith Shares Heartfelt Message After Being Unable to Travel To Accept Lifetime Achievement Award

by Clayton Edwards

Earlier this year, we learned that Toby Keith was battling stomach cancer. Keith received the diagnosis in the fall of 2021. Since then, he’s been going through chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatment to eliminate the cancerous cells. As a result, he has had to take some time off to recover. So, he canceled all his tour dates for the year. Additionally, Keith had to miss the SabesWings Strikeout Fundraiser where he was set to receive a prestigious award. He was having a rough week in his recovery and couldn’t travel to California for the event.

SabesWings, a foundation headed up by MLB great Bret Saberhagen and his wife Kandace, planned to honor Keith with their Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the Toby Keith Foundation and the OK Kids Korral. The “Red Solo Cup” singer was heartbroken that he couldn’t attend in person. However, he wasn’t going to let the distance stop him from accepting the award or shedding some light on causes about which he is passionate.


Toby Keith was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at The SabesWings’ Second Annual Strike Out Fundraiser in Paso Robles, CA and shared a virtual speech, accepting the honor.

♬ original sound – Music Mayhem

Toby Keith Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award Virtually

In the video, Toby Keith sits in what looks to be a comfortable chair. Instead of a cowboy hat, he sports a University of Oklahoma ball cap. Keith opened his message with gratitude and an apology for missing the event. “Hi,” he began. “I’m honored to accept the lifetime achievement award from SabesWings. I’ve been through a crazy year dealing with cancer myself and was unable to attend the event and I’m sorry about that.”

Toby Keith went on to thank “all the folks at SabesWings,” before talking a little more about the award. “Bret and Kandace select individuals for this honor in three categories – servitude to a collection of people who are in need, making a difference in the lives of others, and the common thread to work cohesively with other groups sharing a purpose and passion.”

Then, Toby Keith talked about how his foundation and SabesWings are important for cancer patients and survivors. He listed the shocking statistics concerning debt and bankruptcy that plague the vulnerable demographic. Both SabesWings and Keith’s foundation help patients afford medical care and help with other expenses. Additionally, Keith’s foundation helps families of children who are fighting cancer.

“My foundation, the Toby Keith Foundation, founded the OK Kids Korral in Oklahoma City. We facilitate lodging and food and transportation to and from the hospital for the kids with cancer and their families while they stay across the street from the Children’s Hospital,” he said. “Helping ease that burden is the reason we started the foundation. It’s truly a dream come true.”

You can go to the Toby Keith Foundation website to learn more about what they do and see how you can donate to make a difference.