Man battling disease finds expression in music - WSMV Channel 4

Man battling disease finds expression in music

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Robert Sebastian Robert Sebastian
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Nashville man's bravery and resilience in battling a life-changing disease shows up every day in his music.

When Robert Sebastian was just 12 years old, he knew something was wrong. He was losing sight in one eye and simple balance was suddenly a major problem.

Everything in his life was about to change.

"It went from riding bikes and wanting to be a pitcher for the Red Sox to not doing any of those things at any time," Sebastian said.

Sebastian first heard the word tumor in the sixth grade from doctors talking about him.

"I didn't really know how to handle it," he said. "I had family, friends and people were there for me, but it was too much to comprehend."

Seventeen years later and it's still hard for Sebastian to comprehend. Multiple surgeries have helped, but his world is still a blur.

These days, it's music that keeps Sebastian going forward.

"It's already taken me places," he said. "I think it will take me more places."

Sebastian recently played a benefit show with Michael McDonald, raising money and awareness for the disorder known as neurofibromatosis.

"You have to hope for better treatment or care in the future, but you have to do what you can now," Sebastian said.

Daily living may be a struggle, but Sebastian's life through music carries his message.

"The message of never giving up and hoping they like the music too," he said.

Sebastian's condition is know as NF, and May is NF Awareness Month. This year's theme is "I know a fighter."

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