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Teen With Cancer Gets Musical Surprise

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Music can affect us in many ways. It makes some dance and others sing along. However, for one teenager in California, music has been his lifeline as he battles a terminal illness.

On Saturday, he was treated to a private jam session with professional musicians.

Raymond Alaniz started off Saturday morning thinking he was getting a tour of a music studio. It's a bit of a dream.

"I'd like to live and play music for people. If I could live off of that, it would be wicked awesome," he said.

Some of his mother's friends heard about his musical aspirations and wanted to do something about it.

"I told him there were a few musicians who had heard about him," said Tracy Alonzo, Alaniz's mother.

That's where Jeff Hall comes in.

"We have a great place; why not use it for something wonderful?" he said. Hall owns Maximus Studios, and he arranged a jam session for Alaniz with professional musicians.

Alaniz loves to play his guitar, but it's more than a hobby. To Alaniz, music is therapy.

"I don't think I would have made it that far if I didn't have something to be able to use as a medium to express myself to other people," he said.

He has been battling DSCRT, or Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor for the last six years. It is now considered terminal.

"It's a very aggressive, nightmarish kind of cancer," he explained.

He has nine guitars, and with every strum of each one, his worries vanish, along with his pain.

For Hall, the battle against cancer is personal.

"I have a real heart for people with cancer. I almost died of cancer 30 years ago," he said.

"As musicians, we feel like we have these gifts. We feel like we're rich. We should give them back," said Dan Johnson. "People care about him, and his situation. We all feel for him. We don't know what to say or what else we can do, other than make the world a little lighter."

And so the jam session happened. The band played on for hours. For Alaniz, he was immersed and forgot about all his problems for a brief time.

"They don't make it intimidating at all. They're very nice. It felt like I was playing with friends," he said.

"I'm very thankful. Music is a beautiful therapy. I'm glad it's helped my son," said his mother.

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