I have now been cancer free for 11 years. Music played an enormous part in my own healing process and has continued to be an incredibly important part of who I am. I can’t imagine my life without it.
In January of 2001, six-year-old Hannah Moses (Show 241) was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphona. While being treated at the Cleveland Clinic, she found her cello to be a source of both comfort and happiness. Fast forward to 2012 – Hannah, now cancer free, wanted to share the healing power of music and highlight its importance as a method of therapy. She traveled to the Cleveland Clinic with friend and violinist Haruno Sato (Show 241), where they performed for guests and patients in the clinic’s lobby. She was then invited to attend a Cleveland Clinic Child Life staff meeting to share her own personal struggle with cancer, and how music became a powerful tool in helping her cope with recovery. She says the following about the visit:
“Our goal was simply to share our music and demonstrate the important role that music and art play in healing.”
We asked Hannah a few questions to learn more about her visit to the Cleveland Clinic…
FTT: What was it was like having to stay for months in a hospital at such a young age?
Hannah: The hospital can be a scary place for anyone, but I remember it being especially confusing and foreign to me as a kid. The first thing I noticed was the constant noise – pagers going off, the beeping of the IV’s, nurses coming in and out of my room to check my meds; it never seemed to stop, not even at night. I never fully got used to all the sounds – which made for a lot of sleepless nights over the next several months.
FTT: What role did music play in helping you cope with this?
Hannah: I remember one day my dad brought my cello to the hospital and my mom practiced with me like we did every day at home. Being able to have my cello there with me helped me block everything else out – not just the constant noise, but also the reality that was cancer.
It gave me a sense of something normal to hold on to, and some days that was the only thing that kept me going. A lot of people don’t realize how much children understand. I may have been only six, but I knew what was happening to me, and music was my way of coping. Because of the cancer, I could hardly walk, and because of the chemo I had very little control over my body. Being able to express myself through music was something that couldn’t be taken away from me; it was something that was still mine.