For one Florida teenager, playing the violin was everything—until a rare bone cancer ravaged his arm to the point where Joe Ginem couldn’t lift a pencil. After undergoing chemo, his shoulder needed to be reconstructed, and the surgeon told him he could do so in a way that would make daily tasks simpler ... or help him play the violin better. He chose the latter, and now, despite lingering pain, the 19-year-old's sights are set on Juilliard, ABC Action News reports.
“At one point I said to him it's not even about the arm anymore. You gotta save your life. And he just kept saying no, I know I'm going to play. And I need that arm,” said his mother. The cancer is in remission. After the surgery, “even those first times” he played, his mom said, “when it sounded so horrible. It sounded beautiful to me."