September 28, 2015
To Whom It May Concern,
My son Dalen was diagnosed at 11 years old with a brain tumor called “optic pathway glioma”. This tumor causes vision loss. Dalen was a sports fanatic! He loved basketball, baseball, and football. He loved participating in these sports; he loved watching sports. Because of his tumor, he was unable to play sports and to watch sport because of the vision loss. You can tell his spirit was crushed from the effects of the brain tumor. However after about a year of treatment, to prevent the growth of the tumor, we found that Dalen has the gift of music! He can play the piano by ear; he can play the drums, and somewhat strings. But with music therapy during chemo and music lessons from Steve at Growth Through Music, Dalen’s spirit has been lifted. He’s excited again about life, about music, and about creating music. Music takes Dalen away from the reality of brain tumors, vision loss, and chemo treatment. We are so grateful for the opportunity from Steve at Growth Through Music for offering free music lessons for Dalen, and for so many more children going through the same journey.
August 19, 2015
Our journey has been a challenging one…my daughter Simone was diagnosed with a horrible disease called aggressive Fibromatosis, a tumor causing disease that caused a golf ball size tumor on her jawbone.
After extensive surgery she was placed on 2 years of chemotherapy, she was only 9 years old. She suffered through more than 20 surgeries and 13 protocols of chemotherapy battling the disease. She tolerated weekly chemotherapy from age 13 until she passed.
My daughter lost her battle at 26 years of age. My blessing is that she had a daughter, a sweet beautiful little girl that bought the joy back into my life. I grieve twice, I miss my daughter and I grieve for my granddaughter, she misses her mom. But we have been given a phenomenal gift! The gift of music! She loves to sing and has been given an awesome scholarship from Growth Through Music Foundation and is taking drum and guitar lessons! Her instructor Steve “raves” about how talented she is! Of course I’m thinking she is the best too! She is so tiny (she’s 7) that you can barely see her behind the drum set, but she is jamming. She is beaming; her smile is so bright and she is very proud of how she sounds. Music is a ministry, a comfort, and inspirational.
I am so thankful for the smile that her lessons bring to her face. This experience is a true blessing in our lives and we are so thankful for how Growth Through Music Foundation has helped my adorable granddaughter.
(Grandmother to Talia Green, & Mother to Simone Ellis – My Angel in Heaven)
September 28, 2015
To Whom It May Concern;
We are thrilled to be a part of the Growth Through Music program. This is an amazing and wonderful opportunity for my son to be able to participate in with his siblings and friends he has made during the last several years of his journey.
As a survivor of Pediatric Leukemia, my son has shown me what it is to be a true hero. Watching him become ill, hospitalized and diagnosed during his first few days of the Kindergarten school year was heartbreaking. The thought of my small child being scheduled and prepped for surgery, injected with various chemotherapy drugs, hooked up to an IV, assigned to a hospital room within a matter of hours of arriving at the hospital is a thought that is difficult for many to comprehend. Through prayer, family & community support and the support of organizations like Growth Through Music that provide resources to children, siblings & families of children battling Pediatric Cancer, we watched Matthew grow and thrive despite his cancer. These opportunities allow the children to feel normal and free, allowing them to be able to take their minds off of treatment, chemotherapy & hospitals. It allows them an opportunity to escape and rewards them for their courage.
We appreciate the opportunity to participate in this program. The time, effort, compassion and knowledge shared with the patients and siblings by the dedicated team at Growth Through Music is an experience the children will keep with them for the rest of their life. Our family is excited to see our children’s continued growth and success as they participate in this valuable program. Thank You.
To Whom It Concerns,
My name is Candi Baouendi, my daughter is Kyarra Casado. She has done 6 years of Chemotherapy since she was eight years old. She became very withdrawn and anti-social with her treatment. She has a hard time communicating and being social with others. Since having the opportunity to learn and play guitar with Growth Through Music Foundation, she has been so happy and always so excited to come to her lessons. She is getting over some anxieties of being around others. Playing guitar has brought out a new confidence in her. She is not as emotional as she was and has been coming well out of her shell. She’s only been playing for a month now and it has helped her so much in such a little bit of time. I am so thankful for Growth Through Music and their impact on my daughter’s life. They have given her a gift that she will cherish, and share with others, for the rest of her life.
August 27, 2015
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Dr. D.L. Gilbert, I am the senior pastor of The New Revelation Global Church. My 12-year-old son Javen is receiving drum lesson sessions every Tuesday with Growth Through Music Foundation, and is extremely excited learning a new instrument. He truly desires to become a musician, and to be able to exercise that knowledge by becoming a drummer for our church. This is something he has been inquiring about for some time. Javen has been diagnosed with Sickle Cell, as well as Rheumatoid Arthritis, undergoes various treatments, and is not able to actively participate in many of the popular sport activities available to children his age, due to his conditions.
That’s why my wife Carmella and I were thrilled when the opportunity was presented to us at a Growth Through Music function at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando by Steve and his crew of sincere and talented musicians. Our son has had two drum lessons so far, and desires to continue to practice at home during his intervals, and enhance the techniques he’s learning at rehearsals. My wife will attend the majority of Javen’s lessons with him, but we both had the privilege of attending his initial lesson, and seeing his effort, as well as the joy on his face, my heart was overjoyed. Hats off to Steve and Growth Through Music Foundation for a phenomenal job!
Dr. D.L. Gilbert