The Cancer Support Fund (CSF) at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) in collaboration with Al Bustan Music Festival held a walk-in concert entitled “Beethoven – Where Hope Grows” on the 21st of February 2020. The walk-in musical concert featured Italian award winning player Gloria Campaner playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata for cancer patients and guests.

The event was a new collaboration in line with the Institute’s new approach to combine arts and medicine in treating cancer patients. This is the second of a series of musical acts the institute engages in to advocate the role of creative arts in the healing and treatment journeys with the hope to enhance the hospital environment and patient experience.

“Music has been around since the start of civilization and has played an integral role in human life. It has been referred to as a universal language, an acoustic phenomenon, a symbolic medium and an agent of change. The idea that music has healing powers goes back to ancient times. Apollo was the god of both music and healing. Hippocrates is said to have played music to help treat his patients. In the Old Testament, King Saul’s fits of depression were alleviated by the music of young David. As the Director of NKBCI and co-founder of the Cancer Support Fund, I strongly believe that active music engagement will allow all patients, especially cancer patients, to reconnect with the healthy parts of themselves, even in the face of their debilitating condition. Today, we are leading the move in Lebanon by bringing the arts into our hospital environment through musical performances,” said Dr. Ali Taher, Director of Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute and Co-founder of the CSF.

“We are fighting cancer with music, we are beating sickness with art, today our medical combat doesn’t come with hospital instruments, today our battle is melodic. To date, we have helped in less than a year 225 patients,” added Ms. Hala Dahdah Abou Jaber, President and Founder of the CSF.

“AUBMC is the place where hope grows, when we face a problem, hope is renewed we salute cancer patients and their courage and wish them all the best, music gives hope and healing powers and we hope we can spread this to our beloved patients,” said Ms. Laura El Khazen Lahoud, Vice President of Al Bustan Music Festival.

The event took place at the AUBMC, Halim and Aida Daniel Academic and Clinical Building Lobby where the baby grand Yamaha piano, generously offered by Mr. Salim Abou Samra, found its new home. The piano was painted by Billy The Artist, a painter volunteering his time to paint pianos with the New York based NGO Sing for Hope whose mission is to spread music and art to those needing it the most in healthcare facilities and schools. Other than being a special piece of art, the piano is also signed by music icons like Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora, manifesting its uniqueness even further.

This occasion comes in a series of continuous events whereby the CSF will lead the initiative of combining art and medicine to make them an integral part of the patient recovery journey. The CSF continues to stand by its patients, offering them the newest treatments available, despite the difficult times that Lebanon is facing. Such efforts bring to life and reaffirm the CSF’s vision of being the national and regional reference for adult cancer patient treatment and support.