Singer/songwriter Ali McManus shares her inspiring story of how she persevered through a difficult journey to solve a debilitating medical mystery and explains how her music inspires her to live her best life.
Ali's health hurdles began when she was just 4 years old when she started experiencing pain throughout her body and suffered frequent broken bones, but doctors could not figure out why. When she was 8, she broke her hip and it healed incorrectly. At 13, she needed surgery on her spine, as her life was in danger as it was curving and damaging her lungs and stomach. During her spine surgery, her other hip was accidentally broken and she has been in a wheelchair since, while also enduring chronic pain.
Just last year, Ali was finally diagnosed with a rare form of osteogenesis imperfecta, a group of inherited disorders characterized by fragile bones that break easily, often referred to as brittle bone disease. Ali says tapping into her creativity has helped her endure this struggle.
"Music has literally saved my life," the singer shares. "There's no stopping me."
She says she is so relieved to finally have a formal diagnosis and so glad to now understand what she is facing. A typical day for Ali starts with taking a slew of medications, that she says are vital for her to manage her pain and allow her to function. She credits her parents for not treating her any differently than her siblings while growing up, which helped her gain confidence and courage and also pursue her love of music.
Additionally, she says performing a song is her "3-minutes of no pain" and she tells The Doctors she's able to put into music the things that are hard to deal with in her day-to-day life. She also says that making music has also had a positive effect on her body, especially her lungs, and helps her stay active -- both physically and mentally.
To help Ali continue to shine at what she does best, the Permobil Foundation is gifting her with a custom wheelchair to help her stay mobile and continue to pursue her passion for music. See Ali perform for The Doctors, in the video below!