Voting Ends 5/30/2024 at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time

Soaring Dreams

Soaring Dreams

230 votes

Saji La’Akea Azure-van Loon

Brain Tumor Type

Date of Diagnosis

Participant Group
Brain Tumor Survivor / 13 - 20 Years of age

Performing Arts

Artist Statement (include type of art, techniques & materials used, what it means to you)
This is me playing a piano piece representing my love for music. Music can unite us and bring peoples hearts together. I call this piece ʻSoaring Dreamsʻ because music makes me think of an infinite space filled with infinite possibilities, representing me flowing through it as if in a dream.

Artist Bio: Tell Us Your Story
I was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma tumor in 2020 after never having any health issues. I went from 0-100. After three surgeries and proton beam radiation, I feel like my health will never be taken for granted again. I still have regular bloodwork and MRIs to track my brain and endocrine system. In January I started taking a daily injection of HGH, which was its own hard thing for me since I hate needles. I have grown an inch since starting this therapy which is great because lots of my friends were growing taller than me. My brain has decided to self correct a lot of issues I was expected to have forever (like diabetes insipidis) but it wasn’t telling my body to grow taller. I am proud that I’ve faced my fears and am now giving myself the injections! I play piano every day, and feel like music has helped me stay grounded through all these changes since I was 9. The hospital even brought a keyboard to my room when I was recovering from my big surgeries. Music is so important for everyone to feel….it can bring people together no matter their background or their own circumstances.

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