Detroit Catholic Central High School student fills cancer center with music


Jonah Lyon, a Catholic Central High School student, volunteered his time to play guitar and piano for patients at the Botsford Cancer Center.

The Botsford Cancer Center is filled with live instrumental music thanks to 14-year-old musician volunteer Jonah Lyon.

Jonah, a freshman at Catholic Central High School in Novi, needed to fill 10 community service hours as a school requirement and decided to spend some of that time entertaining patients at the Cancer Center.  He played holiday music and contemporary songs on his guitar and on a piano in the Cancer Center lobby.  The piano was recently donated to Botsford and Jonah was the first volunteer to grace its keys.

Jonah’s mom, Dawn, said he’s been playing piano for seven years and guitar for two.

Jonah’s service comes under a new volunteer program at Botsford called “Music from the Heart.”  Created from the idea that music can be good for your health, the program recruits musicians to share their talents with patients and visitors at Botsford Hospital or Botsford Cancer Center.  Jonah found the opportunity on our volunteer website and decided it was right for him.  We agree — it was a great way to share his talents and even get some practice.  Patients and employees alike loved it!

Patients in the Botsford Cancer Center enjoy Jonah's music as they stroll through the lobby.

Cynthia Bonkowski, Botsford’s volunteer services manager, said having Jonah and other musician volunteers here is about engaging patients.  And that’s exactly what happened.  People stopped to chat with him about his guitar and smiled as they passed by.  His notes filled the empty air and landed as smiles onto the faces of patients and visitors—and for that we are thankful.

If you have a gift for music, we’d love to hear from you!  Pianists, guitarists or any other

musicians can volunteer a little bit of time playing for our patients, brightening their day and maybe even helping to improve their health.

To learn more about our Music from the Heart program or to volunteer, please call (248) 471-8082.  You may also learn more about volunteering at Botsford.

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