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Bo’s Song: Brave and True

Savannah Outen, Bo Oliver and Leora Friedman
From left: Bo Oliver, Savannah Outen, and Music is Medicine founder Leora Friedman

Yesterday afternoon, singer Savannah Outen met Bo Oliver, a 16 year-old cancer patient at Johns Hopkins. She had spoken with him by phone a few times after learning about the Music is Medicine program, run by a group of Princeton students. The program encourages musicians to write and record songs for pediatric oncology patients, and proceeds from the song will fund research on these cancers, which are expected to be diagnosed in nearly 12,000 children this year. 

Bo told Savannah he wanted he wanted an uplifting song, and, with songwriter Tom Harrison, she wrote "Brave and True." And, for the first time, Bo heard Savannah sing his song yesterday. 

"I am strong.
I am brave and true...
...The world is smiling too."

Those are the lyrics that struck me yesterday when I heard Savannah sing. And, you might wonder how each of us can make a difference in the fight against cancer. Our senior writer has an answer, which she included in the following message in one of our recent publications:

"The story is told of a little boy who finds thousands of starfish washed upon the beach. How could he save them all? After all, what difference could one person possibly make? He reached down and threw one fish back in, then another. 'I made a difference to this one, and this one,' he said. Just suppose our community approached pediatric cancer in the same way. Suppose we could change how cancers are treated one child at a time. We can. We are."

"Brave and True" will be available soon on iTunes, and a video of Savannah's visit to meet Bo at Johns Hopkins will be posted in a few weeks.

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