Five-year-old Jordan sits up in her hospital bed tethered to an I.V pole, surrounded by monitors, plugs, and tubes. It is her fifth straight day on the pediatric inpatient unit of Presbyterian Hospital and although this is one of many stays, she's smiling and she's singing. Jordan is dressed from head to toe in soft, fuzzy, pink pajamas, belting out a song she's making up ad-lib right here, right now with her music teacher. She sings with gusto, expression, and enthusiasm, waving her arms and lifting her voice as the teacher plays his guitar. One song melts into another and into another. The beats draw in nurses and doctors who immediately laugh and tap their feet.

Up one floor, Kelsea, a teenage oncology patient, is back for her first chemotherapy treatment after relapsing one week ago. She has gone from the dynamic world of college, friends, and academic aspirations to the isolating reality of illness. Despite her overwhelming circumstances, she has agreed to a guitar lesson with an Arts For Life music teacher. Within minutes she is playing a base line on her guitar "e" string, giggling at her natural abilities. She plucks single notes as her teacher strums chords. They are jamming with Kelsea's mom and Dad looking on, snapping pictures, and making memories.

These scenes are repeated room by room for hours as Arts For Life's music teachers make their rounds. The miracles they create, the smiles they encourage, the joy they bring are all made possible by Speedway Children's Charities and a grant they have awarded to the nonprofit organization, Arts For Life. 

With help from Speedway Charities, Arts For Life's music teachers will work with hundreds of young patients during 2010, bringing them much needed support services. The musicians will teach patients to play the guitar, drums, and piano while also offering lessons in song writing. While doctors focus on implementing innovative research and treatments aimed at curing childhood cancer and blood disorders, Arts For Life programs decrease patient stress and anxiety, keep patients active and engaged, and help families cope with the realities of illness. Arts For Life Charlotte's 2010 music program could not happen without the generous support of the Speedway Children's Charities.

January 27th, 2010

Lyrics by Jordan, age 5         

 

You can make a difference in this world

Don't worry about a thing

Don't worry

You can make a difference in this world

 

Even if it takes a long time

You can do anything to make a difference

You can make a difference in this world

 

It's a wonderful day today

It's a wonderful day today

It's a wonderful day today

It's a wonderful day today

 

La lala la laaa

Da dada da daaa

 

You can make anything happen

You can make anything H-aaa-pppp-eeee-nnn!!