Music has been a bright spot for Christine throughout her entire life – and especially while undergoing treatment at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s.
And when CHOC nurse Erika Crawford heard Christine playing a familiar song on a piano while receiving chemotherapy treatment one day, she spoke up.
“I told her I knew that song on the ukulele, and that we should play together,” Erika recalls.
Since then, the pair has regularly jammed together while Christine, 17, is in CHOC’s Outpatient Infusion Center. Inspired by Erika, Christine started learning the ukulele and the pair will tinker on songs together.
They even gave their duo a name: E.C. Teal, which incorporates their initials and the color they both happened to wear one day.
Because infusions can take hours, music helps Christine pass the time and take her mind off her condition.
“I’ve always loved music,” she says. “Going through cancer made me realized just how much I loved music.”
Erika began playing the ukulele only a year ago. She was previously learning the guitar and thought its smaller cousin might help her learn faster. And now, it serves as another way for her to connect with patients like Christine.
“It’s fantastic,” she says. “It’s the best part of the job.”