The Power Of Playing Music In Tough Times

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In The News

Ryan (who goes by the nickname Gooch) wasn’t sure if he would be able to enjoy playing the guitar again after his car accident that caused his quadriplegia. After his injury, he spent six months at the Magee Rehab Hospital in Philadelphia.

“I had no idea what the future held. I had no idea if I would get any movement back at all.”


quadriplegic man playing a guitar

But Ryan eventually was able to regain movement in his arms, and he began to strum the guitar again in a modified fashion that works with his new abilities. He lays the guitar across his lap and strums the strings with the pick he holds in his right hand. He also uses a modified slide with his left hand. And he produces some pretty awesome music this way.

Unbelievablely, after already going through the life-changing events presented by his spinal cord injury, Ryan was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a rare blood cell cancer. But luckily for Ryan, he was able to take a medicine that put his cancer in remission.

Ryan’s music has played a key role in helping him to move through his struggles. What started out as a a form of therapy has turned into something much bigger. Ryan recently released an album titled “Coming Home.” And he’s also formed the Music in Motion Foundation to help raise money for music therapy in such places as schools, hospitals, and prisons.

Ryan wants to share his love of music with others:

“I just want to keep giving back and kind of keep the good vibes going around. This life is really tough. As long as you have the right mindset and keep moving forward, that’s all that really matters.”

What hobby have you returned to after an injury? Tell us about it, and you might be featured on AbleThrive!

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