FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fighting cancer is no fun for anyone. But for teenager Tori Pence it’s a lot more tolerable when combined with a little musical collaboration and now she can do that right inside Cook Children’s Hospital in Forth Worth.
“Whenever I go through chemo, I don’t know, it’s kinda lonely,” the 16-year-old explained. “I’ve played guitar for as long as I can remember. So it’s nice to be able to have something to do, get your mind off it [cancer], to do something you love to do.”
Country music great Garth Brooks funded the hospital recording studio that has become a major hit in the new play and educational center called Child Life Zone.
At 4,000 square feet, the Child Life Zone at Cook is the third largest zone of any children’s hospital in the country. It also boasts a broadcast studio, teen room with video games, a pool table, theatre, library, kitchen, and craft center.
Longtime local musician and artist Sonny Burgess is the hospital’s full-time director of clinical pair programming. He’s seen how having a creative escape not only helps sick kids, but also sometimes creates a lasting gift for those who love them.
“We teach ‘em guitar and [how to] write songs. Some of these doctors are sharing [that] these kids are actually taking less pain medication when they’re doing music,” Burgess said. “Unfortunately, if they do pass, we have something for the family, some closure hopefully for them, something for them to go back to. It’s amazing what music does.”
Mansfield native Tori Pence is proud of her recording, click on video below to check it out.
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