Long-time readers should know a thing or two about Lee DeWyze, for his journey from Frames onward has been meticulously followed and reported to you by yours truly in the form of multiple reviews on JNoodles Review. The aforementioned Frames was reviewed (even once in food form) and the latest "Blackbird Song" covered, but we've never quite had a story like this.
Dinah Alfaro is a certified Lee DeWyze superfan and a member of the dedicated "FamiLEE" who are largely responsible for carrying Lee's career on successfully in his post-Idol world. For Dinah, though -and for many FamiLEE members- Lee's music means much more to her than just another artist's work to get into. According to an essay written by Dinah's daughter, Stacy Campbell, Lee DeWyze quite literally saved Dinah Alfaro's life. He may not have been right there in the flesh during her struggle, but it was his American Idol win and subsequent promise to see him in concert one day that kept Dinah pushing on through the worst.
First, it's time for some background on the situation. In 1972, when Dinah was 19-years-old, she had received a blood transfusion that would eventually be unveiled as the reasoning for her Hepatitis C diagnosis nearly four decades later. Prior to the disease really beginning to grab a hold of her, Dinah was a tremendously successful aerospace marketer who was able to vigorously travel the world for 33 wonderful years. Though as the diagnosis drew nearer, she was growing more and more noticeably fatigued until, eventually, she became disabled and could barely function.
Stacy had to quit her job as a teacher to take care of her full-time, and things got to the point where she had to physically take her mother to the bathroom and bathe her because she had lacked the energy to do so herself. Soon enough, things got even worse as a once vibrant, outgoing woman began to entirely lose her will to live. She would refuse to eat and was constantly in and out of the hospital, with her daughter believing that each subsequent visit would be her last. She was called five times for a liver transplant between February and October of 2011 and each time they'd be denied on the basis of the liver donated not turning out as fitting for her. By this point, she was stuck in a nursing home as she was too sick to be taken care of at her house.
However, there were two things that kept a tiny spark in Dinah's eye: her grandson, Jack, and Lee DeWyze. Stacy recounted in her essay that, when Ryan Seacrest announced on May 26, 2010 that Lee was the 9th winner of American Idol, Dinah had cried tears of joy, and from there, it was DeWyze Day each day in their household in an attempt to keep her going. Stacy had downloaded every song Lee had ever crafted up to that point and they played it in the house 24/7, which brought unfounded joy to her mother's otherwise empty life.
Flashing forward, back to October 21, 2011, it was time for their sixth go-around to the hospital for a potential transplant. By this point, Stacy had recalled that her mother was "listless and barely holding on," but by the very next day, Dinah was astoundingly being wheeled into to surgery. It was a match! Furthermore, the surgery was performed by world-renowned surgeons who made it an unequivocal success. If it weren't for Lee's music, it could easily be said that this "Beautiful Day" (Lee's cover was played constantly on the trip there) would've never came, and the world would've lost a beautiful soul far too soon in the form of Dinah Alfaro.
This is a very special case proving just how potent the healing power of music can truly be. This post comes shortly after Lee's visiting the Mattel Children's Hospital as well, with that particular hashtag below being coolly familiar as per the entire context of this feature:https://twitter.com/musiciansoncall/statuses/492480562943512576
For Lee, and subsequently for all musicians, Dinah Alfaro's story is but one amazing reminder that you- just one individual -can make a world of difference by remaining passionate and pursuing your craft. What his music has been able to do for Dinah is unprecedented, and as time goes on, his music will always be remembered by the Alfaro family and all of his dedicated fans as one of the defining moments as per why he is so well-loved. It all comes down to this: because of his hard work and dedication, he deserves it.
A HUGE special thanks goes out to Dinah herself for relaying this story with PopWrapped and JNoodles Review and giving the green light to use her story as the basis of the debut of our new Music Heals feature. You have been such a major supporter of the site since its debut, and even before then your support for me as a writer in general has been unprecedented. Thank you!
As time goes on, we will endeavor to bring you the most inspirational stories over this moniker, so watch out for them!