This is His Fight Song: Cancer Patient Sings Duet with Rachel Platten
“I have a question. Can I have your autograph?”
A courteous but serious question asked by 7-year-old Jeremiah Succar just after singing “Fight Song” with the song’s creator, Rachel Platten.
Platten recently surprised Jeremiah at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles when she learned through social media that he was a big fan of her and her new hit song.
“Jeremiah loves “Fight Song”—he memorized the lyrics after three or four times of listening to it,” says Jerry Succar, Jeremiah’s father. “He used to sing it when he got a lot of headaches, but now he sings it in the morning, before bed and during shots he has to get.”
Recognizing what the song meant to Jeremiah and how it was helping him get through his treatment, his parents started #RachelMeetJeremiah on Instagram. From there, the hashtag was embraced by their large group of friends and family on various social media platforms and reached Platten herself on Twitter.
His cancer, his fight song
Jeremiah is diagnosed with stage-four atypical rhabdoid teratoid, an aggressive, fast-growing tumor that occurs in the brain and spinal cord. He is currently being treated at CHLA by Girish Dhall, MD, pediatric oncologist in the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases, and just finished his second round of chemotherapy. Despite his cancer, Jeremiah remains a kind, polite and strong kid.
“Jeremiah doesn’t like getting shots and his nurses would always apologize,” his dad says, “but he would reply with, ‘It’s okay; I know it’s your job.’”
That same cordial manner was evident during Platten’s visit, as was Jeremiah’s inner strength. Fight Song has been his anthem since he was diagnosed in May, and it’s obvious that he is truly living the song’s message of courage.