Music has always been a big part of Justus’ life. As a toddler, he loved belting out “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” on his toy microphone; by age three, he was already starting to sing harmonies. “He was quite the little ham,” said his dad Jason.
When Justus turned four, he was diagnosed with encephalitis, a dangerous inflammation of the brain that damaged his ability to walk, talk, and eat. As the family adjusted to this new reality, music was the thread that connected them to life “before” and “after.” “It was hard to get Justus to focus back then,” explained his dad. “But when an instrument was played, it immediately got his attention.”
Though he faces a lifetime of tough therapy, Justus impresses everyone around him with his fearless spirit and can-do attitude. “He’s super-driven and works so hard,” said Phil, a MyMusicRx Specialist. “He loves to vocalize and sing along to whatever we’re doing.”
Of course, as Justus grows, his musical tastes are evolving too. “Twinkle, Twinkle” has been replaced with Taylor Swift, and Bruno Mars is a new favorite. “He loves amped-up party music,” said his dad. “That always gets a big smile.”
Justus was recently named a CCA Hero and was honored at ceremony in May alongside his family and friends.
CCA continues to deliver MyMusicRx to thousands of seriously ill kids like Justus across the U.S. and Canada, serving 5,300 children in the past year. Trained MyMusicRx Specialists engage kids in bedside sing-a-longs, offer instrument lending for self-expression, and provide access to CCA’s digital music medicine program, MyMusicRx.org. Scientifically proven to help pediatric patients manage pain, boost immunity, and decrease emotional stress, CCA uses music medicine to heal.
With your generous donation, we can grow this program and spread the healing joy of music to more children, teens, and families.