Teen plays violin again after battling bone cancer
A Florida violinist is thankful this Thanksgiving for every note he plays. The teen nearly lost his ability to play to cancer. But, as Erik Waxler reports, he never gave up on his music.
When Joe Ginem plays the violin, nothing else seems to matter, “It's definitely my biggest passion.”
Joe was coming into his own as a musician when four years ago, when he was 15, what started as a sore arm and shoulder, turned out to be a rare form of bone cancer. Joe had osteosarcoma.
“When my arm finally gave out, I couldn't lift anything. I couldn't even pick up a pencil,” Joe said.
During a long tough year, there was no music for Joe, just hospitals, surgery and chemotherapy. But he wasn't giving up. Not on his arm and not on his violin. Treatments at Tampa's Moffit Cancer Center were successful, but there was a choice to make. “My surgeon gave me the option of being able to make daily tasks easier or being able to play the violin better. And I chose the musician route,” Joe recalls.
So now, it may be a little more difficult to grab a cup of water, but he can play his violin again.
Joe's cancer is in remission. When he plays the violin there is in pain, but he says nothing like the pain that would have come without his music.
Osteosarcoma typically develops in growing bones and is most often diagnosed in patients between the ages of 10 and 25.