The core of any charity organization is the people. People that exhibit the passion of the cause and carry its torch every day. The Hard Rock Heals Foundation, through its work with Musicians On Call, celebrates Jeremy Bar-Illan who, after losing his young son to cancer, turned his pain to passion and now brings joy to hospital patients year round. Below is an excerpt from People.com’s human interest story featuring Jeremy and how volunteering with Musicians On Call results in healing of patients and volunteers, alike.
Musician Jeremy Bar-Illan spent over a year watching his 17-year-old son, Zachary, suffer from osteosarcoma — a type of cancer that starts in the bones. After his tragic death, the grieving father vowed to always keep his son’s memory alive…
“Music was always my passion,” says Bar-Illan, himself a life long musician. who is from New York City. “The shock of losing my son was the incentive to say that life is too short and I can’t keep on doing something I detest. I needed to really find where I belonged.”
The last thing he expected was for that passion to bring him right back to the hospital.
After meeting a fellow guitar player, he learned about Musicians On Call, an organization that has been bringing live music to patient’s bedsides since 1999.
All it took was one visit and Bar-Illan was hooked.
“I was completely blown away by not only the experience of what music could do for the patients, but also by how much it filled me up and helped me go forward,” Bar-Illan says. “Instead of feeling like I couldn’t be there, it felt like I belonged there.”