Musical talent and a sunny personality oozes from Gigi Pasley, a 15-year-old freshman at Centennial High School. While her life has never been easy, a unique music program at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital is helping her cope with cancer.
"Leukemia three times, osteosarcoma once," Gigi said, describing her medical history.
Osteosarcoma is a word a child should never have to pronounce, but Gigi isn't letting the word, or the illness, stop her.
"Nothing in my life is normal," she said.
Since birth, hospitals have been part of Gigi's life, and music therapy is now helping to change it. The Vanderbilt program is designed to help kids heal, and it's growing.
"At first, I thought, 'I'll record the song.' Then I thought, 'wait, we're in Nashville. I'll get famous people to do this,'" said music therapist Jenny Plume.
Now, some of Nashville's top musicians are singing the kids' tunes on an upcoming CD Everybody Has a Story, including Gigi's take on how nothing in her life is normal.
"And so I really don't like the word, so I came up with the song, What is Normal," she said.
Six-time Grammy Award-winner Amy Grant signed up to sing Gigi's song on the album.
"Without music, I either wouldn't be here or I'd be 10 steps back," Gigi said.
Gigi has been cancer-free now for five years, so most of her hospital visits now are follow-up appointments and just dealing with the after-effects of undergoing two bone marrow transplants.
Everybody Has a Story is set for release next month. Along with Grant, artists appearing include Phil Vassar, Alison Kraus, Kix Brooks, Faith Hill and Nashville's own Fisk Jubilee Singers.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:22:14 GMT
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