When Music for Mott Is All Mia Wants for Her 11th Birthday

Thanks to the generosity of Hannah and Joe of Acoustic Eidolon, we held the first Micah Smiles benefit concert for Mott’s music therapy program on April 30, 2014. It was a magical evening of celebrating Micah, raising awareness about the healing powers of music, and helping to bring more healing music to more kiddos at Mott Children’s Hospital. The very next evening, our family joined Bob, Mott’s music therapist, and Meredith, the Micah Smiles music therapy fellow, on the 12th floor of Mott for Skyline Café, where Acoustic Eidolon, Bob and Meredith played for dozens of Mott’s kiddos and their families.

Acoustic Eidolon’s music is out-of-this-world beautiful. If you missed the 2014 benefit concert, be sure to join us at The Ark on April 1, 2015 where Acoustic Eidolon will perform again to benefit the Micah Smiles Fund for Mott’s Music Therapy. Acoustic Eidolon played at Skyline Café until it was Meredith’s turn to come up and play a few songs. Every time I hear Meredith play, I feel closer to Micah. It’s almost as though Micah is the music in Meredith’s songs. My heart melted when Meredith invited a young patient named Mia Litzenberg to join her in the next couple of songs. Meredith strummed her guitar while Mia sang, and it was simply beautiful and magical.

Meredith and Mia

Meredith and Mia

Even though Mia was in the hospital for several days to receive treatments for her severe eczema (a skin condition that affects more than 30 million Americans), she was overjoyed to have the gift of music to lift her spirits and help her heal. Mia leaned in close to Meredith and her face lit up with joy, as they played and sang for the other Mott children and families, together.

As Skyline Café came to a close that evening, I made my way over to Mia and her mom to express how much I loved her performance. We exchanged contact information and have stayed in touch via email and Facebook.

Recently, Mia’s mom emailed me to let me know that Mia’s 12th birthday was just around the corner, and instead of birthday gifts, Mia had asked her family and friends to donate to the Micah Smiles Fund for music therapy so that more of Mott’s kiddos could enjoy the same healing music that she did during her stay at Mott. Music holds a special place in Mia’s heart as she takes both voice and piano lessons on the side.

I was blown away. Mia’s generosity, compassion and thoughtfulness brought tears to my eyes. I was honored that Mia thought of Micah, music therapy, and the children at Mott Children’s Hospital during her birthday.

While most kids create a long list of birthday presents they’re hoping for and rip open present after present, Mia did not want anything for her birthday. All she wanted was to give the gift of music to kids in the hospital. And so she did.

Mia celebrating her 12th birthday

Mia celebrating her 11th birthday

Mia recently celebrated her 11th birthday and asked all of her family and friends to donate to the Micah Smiles Fund for music therapy. In honor of Mia’s birthday, over $500 was contributed to the Micah Smiles Fund, which will be used to bring more music to more kiddos at Mott.

I had dinner with Mia and her parents after her birthday celebration, and Mia was ecstatic, proud and grateful to celebrate her birthday in such a beautiful, meaningful way. Mia explained that she has everything she needs, and all she wants is for other kids to benefit from music the way she did. Giving is what makes Mia happy, not receiving birthday gifts that she doesn’t need or may not even like. Mia explained that Meredith’s music, smile and joy helped her to heal and lifted her spirits when she was really down from being in the hospital. It’s a gift she’ll always treasure and wants to share with others.

Happy birthday, Mia, you are an inspiration! Thank you for helping the Micah Smiles Fund bring the healing sound of music to more kiddos at Mott!