Friday, October 23, 2009
Tears on my Tracks
Crying on the subway. Rarely do I do this. Well, frankly, never until today.
I was reading an article in New York Magazine by David Amsden and just starting crying. Tears rolling down my eyes. People wear their pants around their ankles on the subway, others vomit and pass out, so tears is not the weirdest thing on the MTA, but it was odd to have just such an involuntary reaction on the way to jury duty.
I think I only cried at written material once before (The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - don't ask me why). I only cry at every movie, a lot of commercials and, Family Ties when I was hungover.
This article is about a teenager from the Woodstock, NY area named Killian Mansfield who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called synovial sarcoma. He had to have part of his jaw removed and endless painful treatments. Meanwhile he became a killer ukulele player and decided to record an album before his death to raise money for Hope & Heroes, the integrative cancer therapy program at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
He rounded up all these amazing musicians and did it. He did it. He couldn't wear earphones in the sessions because the pain against his skin was too much. Tumours developed in his mouth and throat. He left here last August. With a completed album and a lot of very loving family and friends and grateful kids.
I know this story screams "Movie of the Week" or "we have heard it before" or "Meryl Streep as his mom!" but each of these stories is a triumph, an inspiration and a reality check. Wow, whatta a bloke! What an incredibly passionate young man. What a dreamer in the best way! I am moved to tears once again just writing this. Cancer will always affect me in such a deep way after going through it with my mum. I have never been the same person after that. But Killian, my God, he was 16 when he died.
This kid didn't get to be 47 and wonder what happened to his career and why he doesn't own.
Read the article here
Buy the album and help raise money for "Hope and Heroes" here.
Rest in Peace, Killian. You're a good man.