The summer of 2019 was busy for HLFYA Peter Monks as he and two friends rehearsed music and created the saxophone ensemble known as the “Trumbull Trio.” The 3 thirteen year olds live in Trumbull, Connecticut, met in elementary school and play the saxophone. Peter picked out songs for the group, and many hours of rehearsal were required until they were ready to set out and perform.

Peter celebrated his five year anniversary of liver transplant and being cancer free this year. As an 8 year old, he had an accidental finding of a stage 3 liver cancer, known as hepatoblastoma. Peter endured months of chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan and then was told his only hope was a liver transplant. He was then transferred to NYPH Columbia for the liver transplant and follow up chemotherapy. It was at NYPH that Peter received a surprise visit from Henrik Lundqvist himself. A picture taken of the two became a Christmas ornament as a memory of that visit. He, of course, is forever a Ranger fan!

One of the greatest joys Peter experienced in the hospitals was the music therapy programs and performances. Music distracted Peter from the pain and suffering he was experiencing. Thus, Peter chose to do his service project representing HLF in the form of music. Although his project didn’t raise a great deal of money, he felt that some things are priceless, such as a laugh, a cry of joy and happiness. And that is exactly what resulted from the Trumbull Trio performances. Countless smiles were brought to the faces of staff and residents. To see people happily singing along to their music was an awesome sight!

Peter’s independent service project is one that doesn’t end with his ambassadorship. He hopes to continue performing and raising funds to donate to HLF.

Written by Peter Monks