Zach Bryan meets Wisconsin teen battling rare condition

GERMANTOWN, Wis. - There is something about music that brings comfort to those who listen.

A Germantown teen's dream came true after a concert at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee on Wednesday night, March 20. Megan Pederson got to meet country music star Zach Bryan.

Bryan's music has helped Pederson through some very tough times. She is dealing with a rare condition that has caused her to become severely malnourished. Her experience has now gone viral, bringing awareness to the disorder.

<div>Megan Pederson with the guitar signed by Zach Bryan.</div>
Megan Pederson with the guitar signed by Zach Bryan.

"It says ‘I’ve ridden the fear even though I was afraid every single time,’" Pederson said.

Pederson, 19, said she's transported to another place when her favorite artist, Zach Bryan, is on.

"Last winter when I started becoming sick again, it was just on replay," Pederson said.

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Lately, Bryan's songs have felt a bit more like medicine.

"It has played a huge role in giving me hope," Pederson added.

Three years ago, Pederson was diagnosed with Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome or "MALS."

"There’s lack of blood flow and inflammation of nerves which has caused me an inability to eat," Pederson said.

In summer 2023, Pederson got treatment in Oklahoma. She spent months in the Sooner State. But there was one bright spot: a Zach Bryan concert where she had a chance meeting with his (Zach's) dad.

<div>Megan Pederson meeting Zach Bryan's dad.</div>
Megan Pederson meeting Zach Bryan's dad.

"It was the hardest 62 days of my life, but also the best 62 of my life," said Pederson.

They stayed in touch, and he invited Pederson to see his son perform in Milwaukee. But she didn't realize the surprises that would come along with it. Bryan invited Pederson and her siblings backstage.

Zach Bryan gifted Pederson his signed guitar at the show that night.

"She’s kind of running on fumes right now, so this is so good for her," said Courtney Pederson, Megan's mother.

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Pederson shared her experience on TikTok, and it already has millions of views. She wants her time in the spotlight to help others, the same way her favorite musician has for her.

"I do not and will not fear tomorrow because I feel as though today has been enough," Pederson said.

Pederson had surgery in 2021, but her condition returned. Right now she's at a stand-still as her disorder is currently inoperable.

You can help support Pederson by donating to her GoFundMe.