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December 28th, 2012
06:37 AM ET

Teens from Florida based bands raise money for Superstorm Sandy victims; Nicholas McDonald, 17, & George Pennington, 16, perform live

Many musicians jumped in to offer help after Superstorm Sandy hit the northeast. Several big name artists like The Rolling Stones and Billy Joel performed in an epic concert here in Madison Square Garden earlier this month to aid victims of the storm. But there were also many smaller benefits around the country, including one put on by two bands from Tampa—"Stix of Fire" and "Circle 4".

Made up of high school teens, the young artists raised almost $6000 for a relief fund, saying they did it because so many people have offered help to them during their own local disasters and they wanted to do the same for victims of Sandy. Seventeen-year-old Nicholas McDonald of is a member of "Stix Of Fire" and 16-year-old George Pennington is a member of "Circle 4”. They come to “Early Start” this morning with their story and a live acoustic performance.

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Filed under: Aid • Music • Superstorm Sandy
December 14th, 2012
09:27 AM ET

Minnesota teen uses music to cope with cancer; CNN's Ed Lavandera reports: leaving 'unforgettable melodies is Zach Sobiech’s final wish'

“Early Start” brings you a story of a brave 17-year-old Minnesota teen. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Zach Sobiech doesn’t expect to live to see his 18th birthday but he is determined to leave behind a musical legacy. CNN’s Ed Lavandera has his story.

“Zach Sobiech’s soul is filled with lyrics racing against time to get out,” Lavandera says. Zach was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer three years ago. After ten surgeries and endless chemotherapy, his doctor has told him he has just months to live. His mother has since suggested he write letters goodbye to family and friends.

“I am awful at writing,” Zach says. “I can’t sit down and write a letter. I’ve tried. I decided to pick up my guitar to start playing music.”

“That’s how his song called ‘Clouds’ was born,” Lavandera says, “a goodbye to those he loves.”

“It’s kind of me always being there for them,” Zach says. “If they keep singing that song throughout their whole life out, I’ll be right there next to them the whole way.”

He can’t stop writing lyrics now, “there are so many songs he wants to leave behind,” Lavandera says. “I can’t really put on the breaks at all,” Zach says, “I can’t wait for anything.”

“Turning the heartache of cancer into unforgettable melodies is Zach Sobiech’s final wish on this long goodbye.”

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Filed under: Cancer • Medical • Music • YouTube