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Texas Country Artist Finds Inspiration Volunteering At Cook Children’s

By Melissa Newton, CBS 11 News
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From left, country artists Randy Travis, Charley Pride, Sonny Burgess and others sing Christmas Carols to children while volunteering at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. (Credit: Cook Children's)

From left, country artists Randy Travis, Charley Pride, Sonny Burgess and others sing Christmas Carols to children while volunteering at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. (Credit: Cook Children’s)

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Nathan Amezquita, 16, of Odessa, is trying his hand at guitar.

“It’s fun, and it’s something I like to do,” he said. “Just making my music, that’s all I’m into, just think about the music.”

Although the teenager admits learning the chords can be difficult, guitar lessons are perhaps the easiest part of his day.

He has spent the last six months in a hospital room at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth undergoing chemotherapy.

“I was diagnosed with AML, Acute Myeloid Leukemia,” he explained. “Right now it seems like it just ran together, but it’s been hard.”

While Nathan is in the hospital, he’s been taking guitar lessons. He has only had four sessions so far, but is already writing his first song.

“It’s been a rollercoaster, you have your highs and your lows,” his mother, Clarissa Amezquita said crying, “Especially if it just happens like that, one day to the next, your child is in the hospital. You never expect it. Who does? You never expect cancer.”

It’s no wonder why he’s advancing so quickly: His teacher is none other than Texas Country music recording artist Sonny Burgess.

“Nathan is an inspiration,” Burgess said. “Not only what he’s battling, but to be able to play music and do what he’s doing, he’s just a natural.”

When he’s not climbing the country music charts, the North Texas native volunteers his time at the hospital sharing his talent with children who want to learn.

“I do it for the kids. It’s the only reason I do it,” Burgess said. “With the joy I get coming up here and being with Nathan and with any of the patients I work with, it’s ten times more than anything I’ve done in the music world.”

While Nathan may be the student, Burgess said he’s learning just as much, not about guitar, but about life.

“He’s just been very positive for my life,” Burgess said, “There’s so many positive things you learn from the patients here.”

Nathan has one more chemotherapy treatment left. He hopes to return home to Odessa in January.

“Very uplifting,” Nathan’s mother said, “Something encouraging and something to look forward to other than being here and thinking about this ugly disease.”

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