HEALING Trauma Through Music

posted by Fred LeFebvre - 

Imagine yourself in the position of a newlywed couple, expecting a baby in three months.  Today is the day you find out whether your child will be a boy or a girl! You are sitting through the ultrasound… anxiously.  A droplet of sweat runs down your forehead as you wait for the big announcement. Finally, the doctor proclaims, “It’s a boy!”BUT… something doesn’t seem right.  The room goes silent. The mood dims down.“What is that…?” The doctor continues to examine the ultrasound.Your heart sinks. “Is something wrong, doctor?”There is a long pause.“Your child seems to have a tumor.  He’s too small to identify where it is, but it seems like it’s around his kidneys”“Will he be okay?”The doctor looks of solemnly.  Then, he replies, “If you’re lucky, a benign tumor… worst case, cancer.”____As scheduled, your baby receives a surgery three months after birth.  Due to how small babies are at three months old, the surgeon must make an opening across half of the baby's back in order to operate on the tumor.  During the process, they find that the tumor is about the size of a golf ball and appears to be relatively hard ㄧthey had never come across such a tumor before. Upon opening the tumor, they realize that it is not cancerous.   However, what they find inside is troubling.  After the procedure, the surgeon comes looking for you.“I’m sorry to tell you this, but your child’s spinal cord is severely curved.  Unfortunately, the tumor was in the way while it developed. At this point, the only thing we can do is periodically check up on him for the next five years and hope for the best…”____Let me introduce myself.My name is Daniel Lee, and I am currently dual-enrolled in Sylvania Northview High School and the University of Toledo.  If you haven’t caught on yet, I am the boy in the story. In a way, I guess I can call myself a “survivor”. My spine healed back over time and straightened out again.  Was it luck? A miracle? I’m not too sure, but what I do know is that without my parents and the Toledo Children’s Hospital, I would not be where I am today… reaching out to all of you for YOUR help.____Before I get ahead of myself, let me share a bit of my personal background.While I was healing over the years, my parents were worried that I would be physically disabled for the rest of my life. Eventually, my spine healed by the age of six, but I was still ashamed of the big scar that lingered from the middle of my back to my side.  When I went outside, I felt insecure to show my scar.  I didn't quite understand why I had to have an imperfection that other kids in the neighborhood did not have.  Sometimes, I would feel sharp pains where the staples had been inserted.  To get my mind off of this, I would always sit next to the piano when my mom played.  She would then notice this and start playing my favorite children's tunes for me. After some time, she noticed that I was feeling a sort of comfort from hearing gentle music, so she started taking me to violin lessons.Now, I see my scar as a second chance in life, rather than an imperfection.  To this day, I can not thank her enough for helping me heal through music.  She is my hero.  As a child, I remember being immersed in these powerful emotions when hearing or playing my instrument.  To others it may have been noise coming from a clueless child, but to me it was a form of crying my heart and soul out.____Okay, enough talking about me. Let’s talk about my mission and why I need YOUR help!My parents, my teachers, my doctors… they have all done their part in helping me grow and heal.  Now it’s my turn to GIVE BACK.Although I’ve been touring various nursing homes to serve our elderly, I believe that helping our future (the children) is just as important.  It pains me to see that there are so many kids suffering from trauma.  These kids have gone through a loss of a loved one, physical/emotional abuse, or a life-threatening medical procedure.So… what exactly am I doing?After I came up with a music curriculum, for children who have been suffering from trauma, an instructional team was formed to fight for the cause.  We are taking these kids through a “crash course” of music over the summer. We hope to help them experience the same type of healing and growth that I experienced through the gift of music.We are currently working with Promedica Toledo Children's Hospital's Department of Trauma (The Cullen Center) and Hanmi Presbyterian Church in hopes to reach out to the children of our local community.Your contributions will go towards two goals:1.)  The kids will fill out a survey, indicating the instrument that they are most interested in.  The money will go towards surprising the kids with instruments that they will be able to hold on to for a lifetime!and...2.) Providing kids with music study books and the necessary accessories to compliment their instruments such as rosin, a case, a tuner, etc...Thank you for helping us give back.  None of this would be possible without YOUR support!

Fred

Fred

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