Hey guys! Words cannot describe how excited I am to be a part of the Tuesday's Children family! It has always been at the top of my bucket list to run the NY Marathon, and now I get to do it on one of the coolest teams. My family (especially my father) and I are huge supporters of the charity. My dad was a first responder during the 9/11 attacks, and it is always an honor to contribute to the families of his brothers and our heroes.
The last two years have been by far the craziest of my entire life. The music industry is a never ending marathon in itself. The journey over the past few months has been incredible to say the least. I was able to share my love for music and the stage around the country on tour, release some of the material that I've been working on, perform on a massive global platform, and make the friends and support system of a lifetime. I feel so fortunate and I thank God everyday for the love and support that everybody has shown. I feel closer and closer to the finish line with every lyric.
After a while of living out of a suitcase in hotels around the US, I have finally been able to come home and spend time with my family this summer. My little brother (18 years old) just joined the Marine Corps and left for Boot Camp in Paris Island a few weeks ago, so I was really happy to be able to send off the boy and I'm even more stoked to see the man that comes home.
The work, pressure, and travel in music is not always so forgiving on the mind and heart. It absolutely takes its toll on your body and on your well-being in general. Sometimes I think the universe is yelling at me to slow down and I just blatantly ignore it. I have always been obsessed with my job and craft, so stopping and breathing isn't easy for me. However, my health has to come first. I understand that now. Recently my family and I were given a serious wake up call...
As I was recording and doing press out on the West Coast, I noticed that I was waking up in a very dark place everyday. Stress has always been a weight in my life, but over the course of a few weeks something felt different. I was losing my voice often, and struggling to keep my eyes open and my moods/energy consistent. My happiness was the last concern on my priority list and my folks new something was definitely up. So, long story short, I came back home to NY for a bit (we had just sold out my first homecoming show since tour at Webster Hall in Manhattan) to rehearse. While grocery shopping with my parents, I felt a small lump on my throat. We really didn't think much of it, as I mentioned I tend to ignore bumps in the road (pun intended) for the sake of speed and production. I was homeschooled so my lame immune system is always giving out on me. Either way, my mom and dad thought it would be a good idea to check it out just in case, so I went in for some ultrasounds and tests (via Urgent Care believe it or not). A few appointmets later, I was definitively diagnosed with Hashimoto disease. The doctors found 18 tumors on my Thyroid...Which would explain what I had been going through emotionally. I'm pretty convinced after all this that my Thyroid is more important than my actual brain. After that diagnosis, my Thyroid specialist wanted to double check and biopsy the tumors to make sure they were not cancerous. It is unlikely for Thyroid cancer to occur in younger people.
I went into the hospital for a biopsy on the tumors, performed my show at Webster Hall, and got a call from the hospital a few days later. It turned out that 12 out of the 18 tumors tested positive for cancer. My Thyroid needed to be surgically removed fully immediately and let me tell ya...I've had some serious chill time to binge watch Game of Thrones and Orange is The New Black these days. After they took out my Thyroid, I have been undergoing radiation treatment in NY. Yes. I'm basically a radioactive spider. It took a lot for my family to toughen up and go through this with me. It was very unexpected. When you're 20 years old, you have this Superman entitlement mentality. Like you're indestructible...And sometimes all it takes is God telling you it's time to take a break for you to understand that you are most certainly not.
I didn't want to publicize what I was going through but my team and family insisted that it was something I should share with the people that have stuck by me all this time. I know I have been totally MIA for a few months and I do owe you guys an explanation. You have been with me through thick and thin. I know I shouldn't have anything to be nervous about...But I'm a total insomniac and professional over-thinker/crazy person so this is hard for me either way. Cancer is a tricky topic. The doctors are very optimistic about a full recovery. They have actually been a lot of fun. One of them even made me homemade hummus! I was really lucky to score with such an awesome surgical/nuclear medicine team at Cornell. I was even luckier that so many of them watched my season of American Idol. I go into the hospital every time with a smile on my face. Things could always be worse. I always feel kind of awkward about complaining or showing any emotion about serious things...I guess that's where my age really shows. The first thing I did when I found out about the cancer was crack a joke. My little bro knows me best...The second they wheeled me out of surgery he says, "Man! I tried to warn you the music business was cut-throat..." Somebody remind me to kick him in the shin when he gets home! Thank God I have people in my life that were there to help me deal with this when my reality finally clicked for me. I'm a tough-guy, but I don't think I have ever experienced anything scarier. My family and true friends have really come out of the woodwork to keep me in good spirits. I forgot that I had people in my life that love me so unconditionally. It's comforting to be reminded that God never gives you more than you could handle. Ok. I'm done rambling. I'm getting emotional now.
All of that being said, running has always been extremely cathartic for me. I have had some time to be with my own mind and reflect lately and I think it's time I give this thing a real shot! I am a very theatrical person, so crossing that finish line on November 6th is what I want to do...To officially prove I can kick this thing's ass. Everyone thinks I'm crazy right now. Probably because I am. But I'm crazy with a smile on my face and the stamina of Rocky Balboa. Thank you all for always having my back. Everyday I learn more and more about how powerful love is and how blessed I am to have music in my life. Music will always be there...And I'll always get by with a little help from my friends. I can't wait to show you guys all of the songs I have been working on in my t-shirt sweatpants the last few months. I plan on releasing a single for you right around the time of the race...I figure I might need a second wind before the marathon even begins. I am so ecstatic to be working with Tuesday's Children and I definitely encourage anybody who is reading this to donate to the project! I promise it'll be worth it. I love you guys! Meet ya at the finish line...
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