Rapper Lends Voice to Non-verbal Teen; iTunes Song Benefits CMN Hospitals

SALT LAKE CITY (March 9, 2017) — Born without a jaw, 17-year-old Isaiah Acosta, of Phoenix, Arizona, has never spoken a word. Against all odds, he just released his first lyrical rap song, “Oxygen to Fly,” on iTunes, benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals). Recognizing Isaiah had a poignant message to share, CMN Hospitals introduced him to one of the Southwest’s biggest rappers, Trap House, who collaborated with the teen and gave his voice to Isaiah’s lyrics and first track.

The song speaks to Isaiah’s struggles of living with serious medical conditions, despite doubts from medical professionals. The experience was captured in a documentary short, produced by CMN Hospitals and directed by award-winning director, Torben Bernhard.

Isaiah is currently serving as the CMN Hospitals Champion ambassador for Arizona, representing the 10 million children who receive treatment at 170 member hospitals every year. In Isaiah’s community, CMN Hospitals donations go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and support the Hope Fund, which helps launch critical new programs, purchase essential equipment, conduct cutting-edge research, provide charitable care and more for kids like Isaiah.

“It’s eye-opening to see the challenges Isaiah faces, like changing his tracheotomy weekly and using his phone to communicate what he’s thinking. Like many of the children our member hospitals treat, Isaiah has a such a positive outlook on life,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “We’ve learned that sometimes the quietest voices are the ones with the greatest impact for good.”

Isaiah wants to inspire other kids who feel different or bullied. When offered a cosmetic jaw, Isaiah turned it down, wanting others to accept him for who he is: a boy who loves hip-hop, fashion, has an impressive hat collection, frequents a local barber shop and volunteers at Phoenix Children’s Hospital where he receives care.

Isaiah’s story is catching attention. The documentary was recently shared on Upworthy’s social media channels, garnering nearly 100,000 views in its first hour. Isaiah, Trap House and Bernhard will also be sharing their experiences at the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 11, 2017, encouraging attendees to use their talents and creativity to help their own communities.

Visit Oxygentofly.org to download the song, watch the documentary and music video, and also to learn more about Isaiah, Trap House and Bernhard.

Media Downloads

About Trap House
Rapping since the age of 10, Tikey Patterson, A.K.A. Trap House, is currently crossing over all regions of hip hop culture and activism in Phoenix, Arizona. Known for his booming, grimy voice and big heart, Trap is known for consistently giving 100 percent, both artistically and in his community. Trap is constantly giving back to help others, leading toy drives, anti-violence campaigns and hosting showcases to unite the Arizona rap community as active role models with a distinct “Southwest sound.” When approached for “Oxygen to Fly,” Trap admired Isaiah’s unbreakable spirit and was honored to record such a personal, raw, elegant track as the instrument that provides Isaiah’s voice.

About Torben Bernhard
Torben Bernhard is an award-winning director, editor and cinematographer who has made films on subjects ranging from the disappearance of a town in Southern Utah, to the life of a trash picker in Thailand, to “Transmormon,” the story of a Mormon family’s gradual acceptance of their transgender daughter. He has directed and produced several critically-acclaimed short and feature documentaries that have been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Upworthy, People Magazine, The Huffington Post and more.

About Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Phoenix Children’s Hospital has provided hope, healing and the best healthcare for children since it was born in 1983, and has grown to become one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country. Phoenix Children’s providesm inpatient, outpatient, trauma and emergency care across more than 70 pediatric subspecialties, the most comprehensive pediatric care available in the state. The Hospital’s six Centers of Excellence have grown in size and expertise to place them on par with some of the most prestigious of their kind in the U.S. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals donations support the hospital’s Hope Fund which helps launch critical new programs, purchase essential equipment, conduct cutting-edge research, provide charitable care, and do much more for kids like Isaiah.

About CMN Hospitals
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity’s Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children’s hospitals need community support, identify your member hospital and learn how you can Put Your Money Where the Miracles Are, at CMNHospitals.org and facebook.com/CMNHospitals.

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