Monday, August 5, 2013

A friend in need

I first met Kelly DeHaan at the University of Utah about 2001, where we both studied music education and choral conducting. Kelly and his wife, Shellie, are very dear friends. For many years, we performed together as part of an LDS fireside group. He currently teaches choir at West Jordan High School in the Salt Lake Valley and works frequently with Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City as a performer and music director. He has one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard.

He recently posted the following on facebook, and I'm appealing to my readers to consider buying his CD to help with this cause:

"My dear friends,

For more than three years I have been battling a condition called gastro esophageal reflux disorder (GERD). It’s an ugly word for an ugly condition. Due to a combination of hiatal hernia and over-zealous acid and pepsin production in my stomach, there is an almost constant presence of acid on my vocal chords and in my esophagus. This acid eats away at the tissue and leaves my voice raw and vulnerable. The continual erosion and healing in my larynx and esophagus is a cause of concern for doctors as this is an ideal environment for the development of cancer. There is no sign of cancer at this point. For three years I have been taking the highest dosage of anti-reflux medication available. I have changed my diet and eating habits. I have tried vocal rest, voice therapy, allergy shots, chiropractic assistance, and I have had endless scopes that have showed no progress, only progressive damage. I have consulted with 5 different doctors about this issue: an ENT, a gastroentrologist, a general surgeon, and two gastric surgeons. They all agree that the only permanent solution to my particular reflux problem is a surgical process called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This surgical process reroutes the acid and pepsin to the large intestine and creates a small pouch from the stomach for initial digestion. This surgery is common for severe weight loss treatment. It will also stop the acid and pepsin from attacking my esophagus and vocal folds forever. Finally.

After two failed appeals to our medical insurance for coverage, Shellie and I have decided to pay for the procedure ourselves. With two missionaries in the field this is truly a leap of faith, but we feel the time is right. I have scheduled a date for the surgery later this month. I know this is the right path.

In thinking of how to pay for this surgery it came to mind that many of my friends and members of my choirs have often asked me to record some of the songs they have heard me sing at various firesides and church services over the last few years. The Lord blessed me with a small window of time where my voice felt healthy enough to go into the studio and record a few songs. They are all songs of faith and testimony. These are songs that have changed my life over the past few years. My dear friend Merrilee Webb accompanied me and together we recorded the songs at her amazing sound studio. I am reaching out to my friends, hoping that they might be interested in supporting me with this project. If I can sell about 1000 CDs the bulk of the surgical costs will be covered. Maybe you know of someone who could benefit from this type of music. I feel really great about how the songs turned out. You’ll recognize most of the tunes: Consider the Lilies, How Great Thou Art, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, There is a Savior, and many others.

I feel like this project will help me continue serving the Lord with my voice and my music. I’m so thankful for the way He has blessed my life with singing and with friends. Below is a link that will take you where you need to go if you’d like to place an order. Thank you so much for your time and friendship.

Kelly DeHaan"

Whether you are LDS or not, if you enjoy religious music, you will enjoy this CD.

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