PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 8th Annual Governor’s Ball is just a week away. It will be a night filled with music, dancing, and New Year’s Eve fun at the Sentinel Hotel. The ball benefits an amazing program at Portland’s local children’s hospitals.
It’s been said that music heals the soul. And that happens to be one of Kira Bailey’s favorite things to do.
“She plays piano. She loves to sing, and all of that had to be put on hold—or so we thought,” said Kira’s mom, Sara Bailey.
However, this is not your typical sing-a-long. 14-year-old Kira has spend the last two years in and out of the hospital.
“I started doing volleyball and I would get these hideous blood bruises on my arms,” said Kira. Those bruises sent her mom looking for answers.
“It was one of those mom instincts, like, either you are seeing her or I’m taking her to the emergency room because something is just not settled with me,” explained Sara.
Then came Kira’s diagnosis. Leukemia. It started two years of constant hospital visits, tests, and chemotherapy at Randall Children’s Hospital. Still, Sara and Kira are thankful for the high notes.
“It’s amazing,” said Sara. “It’s something that I never knew that I needed and I’m so glad that someone else figured out that we needed it.”
The tunes, created by the well-known musician Patrick Lamb through the program “My Music Rx,” were just the prescription the doctor ordered. The Children’s Cancer Associated created the program to fill sometimes bleak hospital rooms with music, friendship, and a break from reality.
“It’s really like our little medicine delivery truck, and I call it the ‘jambulance,'” said Lamb. “Music is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. It’s one of the only things that helps the heart, the mind, the soul, the spirit. And we hope that through that, it’s going to help these little kids’ bodies.”
While fighting a disease like Leukemia might start in the body, the mind has its own battles.
“I literally saw Kira’s eyes just light up,” said Sara. “It was one of the first times in a couple days that I really saw Kira—joy, that soul back in her.”
Today, Kira is just months away from finishing treatment. Lately, she has been singing a new song with her own lyrics, and feeling the power of a new beat.
“I love talking about the future,” said Kira. “I see myself going past the treatments, ’cause I get to go into high school done with chemo. I can be a whole new person. I don’t have to be the cancer kid, I can be Kira.”
The Governor’s Ball is hosted by KOIN 6 News’ Ken Boddie at the Sentinel Hotel on New Year’s Eve. A portion of ticket sales benefit the Children’s Caner Association. Tickets are available online now.