Drum Lesson

Hello all,

Happy New Year to all of you who continue to follow this blog and to the newcomers who’ve found your way here. I hope you come here knowing that I’ve got a new challenge for which we need your help. In a few days we’ll have a new Bill to fund Spinal Cord Injury Research in my original home state of Pennsylvania. Before I provide the details for you, let me share just a little bit of the why.

Yesterday while Gabe (my son) was working out as he so often does in our garage turned Rehab Gym, I caught a precious moment. For those of you new to this ongoing narrative, Gabe suffered a spinal cord injury about 8 1/2 years ago, which rendered him quadriplegic. To the surprise of many, sometimes even me, he has continued to pursue his passion as a musician. He leads, writes and sings in a band here in Mpls where they are currently recording their 4th album.

Yesterday while he was riding his FES (functional electrical stimulus…stationary bike with stim) bike, he was giving my 15 year old stepson, Jordan a drumming lesson. Since the gym doubles as a rehearsal space its cluttered up with musical gear, and one full drum kit. Jordan idolizes his older brother quite a bit, and like idolaters everywhere, he hopes to follow in his idol’s footsteps and form his own band one day.

Footsteps. Therein lies the joy and the sorrow, like so many things in life. Jordan was getting a lesson from listening to and keeping time with one of Gabe’s recorded tunes playing loudly over the gym speakers. And Gabe was directing him with his head, his mouth and his arms,, keeping his count and feel on time. There is no step in Gabe’s foot for Jordan to follow.

Gabe was never much of a drummer (keys were his thing) but years of writing songs from the bottom up with specialized software and seeing them take shape in his band has made up for much of that, not to mention being a passionate student of many kinds of music. It was a beautiful thing to watch Jordan keyed in on the cues coming from Gabe’s body while he struggled to keep his hands and feet on time and in pace. Yet it also reminds me of what my son could do with the use of his hands again, or a full diaphragm, or even his legs.

Please help us continue to move the dial on the research that is currently creeping in on the strategies to do just that. Like our Facebook page ‘PA for the Cure’, so you can get updates on our progress and sign our new petition here. Remember you do not have to be a PA resident to show support, so please share with all of your contacts.

Call or email Senator Scavello and ask him to make sure that we pass the PA Spinal Cord Disability Research Act, and to consider making it an ongoing allocation in the PA Budget. The email link is right under his picture on the homepage.

Thanks for your support

Matthew Rodreick


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