I'm very excited to announce the first song in the Songs4Good Project. This song is inspired by my very friends (and twins) Nat and Rory Challis, both who have been diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis.
Nat was diagnosed around 10 years ago and Rory, only in the last 18 months.
It's safe to say that MS has changed their lives and provided many ongoing challenges that they have to face on a daily basis. When I sat down with both of them (via Skype, as I was on the road), the main thing that jumped out to me was their courage and optimism to get through as best they can. In the face of a crappy day, they both agreed that the best way to get through was to smile. So much so, that when we would see them in a social situation, it was hard to believe that they actually had Multiple Sclerosis. But the truth of the matter is that they do, and looks can be deceiving.
In 2012, we all got together through our Gigs4Good project and had an awesome night in a Community Hall in Leongatha; a country town in Victoria, Australia. I sang a few songs and the Leongatha crew had done an amazing job in getting local businesses to donate goods On that night, we raised over $9,000 for MS Research Australia. This was before Rory's diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, became apparent. Gigs4Good proved to me, the difference we can make when we all come together as human beings inspired by a common interest.
So, being I'm a songwriter, I wanted to write a song for them to let them know I love them and care about their journey through life. But, then I was reminded of that night in Leongatha and the many other nights we shared with passionate people through Gigs4Good to raise money for good causes, and Songs4Good was created.
Songwriting has always been very personal for me, and even co-writing with one or two people has sometimes been challenging for me. But the reality is, we all have something to say. I'm grateful that I have the ability to write songs to help me express how I feel and Songs4Good is about encouraging anyone to express themselves, whether they can write songs or not. I'll be the facilitator of the song, but I invite anyone that's suffering from MS or that's been touched by MS to let me know thoughts or feelings and help me write the lyrics (words) to this song.
I've started it (check out the video above) and now it's up to all of us to finish it. I do hope you get behind Songs4Good and come together with me to all write this song. Together, we can let Nat, Rory and anyone else living with MS that we care about them and that they're not alone.