Inspirational Teen Musician
Talented teen survivor inspires others with music, raises nearly $11,700
Flushing, New York (June 26, 2013) - For most teenagers, cancer is something that happens to other people. But for 15-year old musician Audrey Chan, the disease became all too real when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in March of 2011.
“We were shocked because there was no family history of thyroid cancer,” said Audrey’s parents, Joanne and Dr. Sing Chan. “We were also heartbroken because Audrey is close to the perfect child. We encouraged her to rely on God for strength and healing.”
Audrey had a thyroidectomy at Beth-Israel Medical Center in New York, followed by a radioactive iodine treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Thanks to those medical treatments and love and support from family and friends, Audrey has been cancer-free for two years. But that’s just the beginning of Audrey’s recovery.
Before cancer, Audrey’s one passion in life was music. She started piano lessons at the age of three, violin lessons at the age of seven, and she recently started playing bassoon. She plays in both her school orchestra and the Herald Youth Orchestra. Now Audrey has two passions: music and fighting cancer. On May 18, she combined those passions into a “Music for a Cure” concert at Promise Ministries in Flushing and raised nearly $11,700 for the American Cancer Society.
“As a cancer survivor, I always want to help other people living with cancer,” said Audrey. “Music is something that everyone can enjoy and it’s something that I love. Classical music concerts are very familiar to me, so I thought it would be fun to organize a concert.”
And organize it she did. Audrey recruited her parents, her family, and her best friends Samantha Ng and Melanie Lam and their families to help put together an event for nearly 300 concertgoers.
“Once the concert got going and I watched my friends perform, I realized that all of them were having tremendous fun, and how happy they were about raising money for such a good cause,” Audrey said.
“Then the moment came when I performed by myself. I usually get slightly nervous, but that night was different. I didn't feel any pressure at all, just very happy and light-hearted. It seemed like I was watching me perform and the evening flew by,” said Audrey. “For me, the highlight was playing “By the Ocean,” a beautiful piece composed by my music teacher Julian Yu. I performed it at Carnegie Hall when I was first diagnosed, and performing it at the benefit felt like a happy ending to my cancer journey.”
“Cancer is definitely not easy to deal with,” Audrey said. “But music made it an easier battle to fight. It’s a way of expressing my feelings and it helped me overcome many of my problems.”