LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you were a customer at Coffee Times in Lexington in the early 2000s, you might remember a certain barista.
Her personality is bubbly and memorable. On Thursday, she was a guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show.
"She was a barista and one of the best," said Terri Wood, who owns Coffee Times. "She still ranks up there as one of the best we ever had."
Wood has known Allie Olson for about 20 years.
"She had a skill with people that is beyond comparison, really," Wood said.
Olson spent more than a dozen years living in Lexington. She graduated from Lafayette and certainly left the kind of jolt of energy and buzz like the one you get from a morning cup of coffee.
"I love the people there," Olson tells LEX 18. "I still call it my home."
Now, Olson lives in New York City. She's an artist and hosts a YouTube show for kids. Still, she sees herself sitting on green grass overlooking beautiful horse farms and breathing in fresh, Kentucky air.
"Every time I get off the airplane and breathe the air, I just want to bottle it and bring it here because I miss it so much," Olson says.
When she took this next step in her life, it included going up three flights of stairs to her New York apartment. Stairs these days -- that aren't always easy to climb.
"The Lexington community has been one of the biggest supporters of just me going through cancer," she says.
Olson was diagnosed with breast cancer during the pandemic. While she had groceries and other things delivered, a UPS driver delivered much more than the basics. He delivered a friendship.
"One time I had to sign for something and I just thanked him for it," Olson says. "I said this means so much to me because going up and down three flights of stairs is really exhausting."
"I said I don't know if you can tell but I have cancer and it means a lot to me. And he said oh, I'm here to help you. I've had cancer twice."
"If I wasn't home, he'd leave me sweet little notes on the UPS slips. If I knew I was going to have a package delivered, I'd leave him little notes and water and snacks."
Through the powers of social media, producers from the Kelly Clarkson Show got word of this back and forth kindness.
"If you're going to go through something tough, it helps a lot to help others and to try to inspire others."
Soon enough, they were on a flight to Los Angeles to tape the show. This wasn't the only unexpected part of Olson's journey. In order to keep everyone healthy, Olson hadn't been able to see her mother since she was diagnosed -- or since the pandemic began.
One of the surprises has been the two reuniting in Los Angeles on the Kelly Clarkson Show.
The Kelly Clarkson Show can be seen on LEX 18 weekdays at 2 p.m.
Olson has relied on donations for rent, food, and bills. She is unable to work with surgery coming up. If you'd like to donate, click here.