Area teens release CD to cope with illness

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by Erica Heartquist

Bio | Email | Follow: @EricaHeartquist

kgw.com

Posted on November 13, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 13 at 4:32 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- There's a newly released CD that is not going to top the billboard charts, but, its creators will tell you in many ways, it does something much more impressive than that.

The writers and performers are all local kids battling life-threatening illnesses.

At Color Block Studio in Southeast Portland, music was made. On Wednesday, the song "Sunshine Inside" was performed at the studio by the artists who wrote it.  With the help of singer Shelly Rudolph and guitarist Chance Hayden, Molly Martin, 13, recorded her song about life with cancer.

"It's crazy because it's just so good and it expresses how I feel about it so well," said Martin, who was first diagnosed with a brain tumor at age three.

Rudolph helped write Martin's song and they put it to music. Now, "Sunshine Inside" is one of eight songs to make up the Portland Lyric Project. 

"She’s incredible. She’s so inspirational and confident and charming and wonderful," said Rudolph about working with Martin on the project.

"Our first session, we just sat and talked about her experience," she added. "It was kind of weird hearing my voice because I hadn't really heard it on a CD or anything before. When I heard it I was like, 'I guess I'm pretty good. It's all right,' " said Martin with a laugh.

The songwriters on the CD are all teens just like Martin, who in their own words share their experience with life threatening diseases.

“I think that sometimes when people first meet me, they see that my face doesn’t look like everyone else’s because the left side can’t work. I don’t want to tell them everything about my brain tumor. Then, when they hear the song they [find out] I had a brain tumor," said Martin.

"Some parents said to me that they've never heard their child talk about their illness, their disease or their experience the way that they were able to express it through song," said Mary Turina, president of the Childrens Cancer Association.

"People just keep coming forward and saying ‘We’d love to help, we’d love to get involved and we’d love to do this. It’s just awesome," Turina added.

Martin had surgery to remove her brain tumor when she was just three. Nine years later, the tumor had grown. Now, after a second surgery and more than a year of chemotherapy, the tumor has stopped growing.  She said the experience was hard to talk about. So, in the recording studio, she sings about it, instead.

"Its a way to express how I feel better than talking about it," she smiled.

"It was just magic, really beautiful," added Rudolph who decided to get invovled with the project after she, herself was in the hospital a few years ago.

"It was terrifying. But when I was there, I had amazing support and then I realized I really wanted to do something to help others, especially kids if I could.” 

The CD's are for sale for $15 each and 100-percent of the proceeds go toward the Children's Cancer Association.

"It's heartwarming and touching. Just to be able to do something to support anybody in pain and afraid is huge. That's why we're all here, I think, to make life easier for each other if we can," said Rudolph with a smile.

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