Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Music Is Medicine

No, the title is not a cliche.  It's the name of a fabulous organization founded by the daughters of one of my colleagues here at Johns Hopkins.  Leora and Ariella are musicians themselves, and they firmly believe that music can truly help in the healing process.  Founded when the girls were still teenagers, Music is Medicine is now an organization with national reach.  Quite a feat for two sisters from Baltimore.

Last year, I wrote about a visit one of my patients had from Drew Seeley, her favorite singer.  He wrote her a song, and I'll never forget the look on her face when he showed up in her hospital room to sing it for her.

Yesterday, lightning struck twice, when my patient, Bo, received a visit from Savannah Outen, who flew to Baltimore to serenade him with a song she wrote just for him.

 Bo is a musician himself.  In fact, I've seen him play at a fundraiser to help raise money to cover some of his medical costs.

So after Savannah played, Bo picked up the guitar, and in a truly priceless moment, played for her as she sang his requests.  Her version of Landslide (performed here by Fleetwood Mac and here by Smashing Pumpkins) was absolutely beautiful.  Moments like this, unscripted and real, remind me of all that is good in people.

I was there to hear the music, but Bo and his family had a surprise for me, too.  A framed picture of me and Bo... in one of my... uh... better moments in clinic.  Yes, that's me, hard at work curing cancer!

The song Savannah wrote and sang for Bo, "Brave and True," will be available soon on iTunes.  If you can't wait that long, check out this song to hear what a beautiful voice she has.

Related Posts:
Music Can Heal
Fishing, and the Kindness of Strangers
A Musical Wish