When Doctor Tony Ghanem is not busy changing people’s lives in his medical clinic, he is doing so on stage, under the spotlight, in front of a huge chanting crowd.
In fact, when a Lebanese organization first approached him many years ago with the challenge of juggling both stethoscope and keyboard guitar, he said yes…in a heartbeat!
Heartbeat, “La chaîne de l’espoir”, is a humanitarian organization with a mission to provide the highest level of advanced surgical technology and expertise available to treat children with heart disease so that none of them would lose their life due to lack of funds.
Through annual music events, and with hundreds of members split between a Medical Team performing state-of-the-art medical procedures in the well-equipped premises of the Hotel-Dieu de France Hospital and a Musical Team responsible of the annual concerts and gala dinner which fund all these treatments, Heartbeat has succeeded in healing more than 300 children every year, totaling up to 2,200 inspiring success stories.
We had the chance to sit for a one on one with Dr Tony and get the chance to learn more about this cause from one of its inspiring Lebanese Doctors/Rockstars:
Tell us more about your role in Heartbeat and how it all started!
If you were to dedicate one song to all children suffering from congenital heart disease, which song would it be?
I would probably pick “Heal the world” by Michael Jackson, thinking about the children and all, but i would rather write my own song about the subject. It’ll come one day.
Among the hundreds of children that heartbeat has helped heal, is there one specific story that has particularly marked you?
I, myself don’t meet with the children treated by Heartbeat, it’s another group of the organization that does that. However, it often happens that i receive a patient in my clinic, as a dermatologist, who has been treated by heartbeat and it makes me so happy and satisfied to see him “Alive”.
One thing that might be as famous as the Heartbeat cause is the amazing spirit among its performers and crew. Can you tell us more about that?
I met my fiancée there, so no need to say more about the amazing spirit of the group, some of us know each other since faculty years. To be brief, it’s a family, a real big family, an amazing one.
In addition to its fund raising role, do you believe Music has any healing power from a health perspective?
Definitely, apart from all the known studies proving that music has a key role in developing the mind, brain and way of living, anything that changes positively the mood of the patient is 3/4 of his treatment. In dermatology, positive thinking is a way of treating some, if not all, of the diseases and music is a key factor in bringing positive energy to the patient. So it’s a definitive YES for this answer.
If you could grab a mic that reaches every single home in Lebanon, what would you say to the Lebanese audience to push them to contribute to this upcoming concert?
I think each one of us is a Rock Star in his own way, it’s a way of life, you just need to feel it or get in touch with it.
Watching the concert is being a part of the heartbeat family, enjoying the show is treating a child with music, so don’t miss out on it as every one of you will be the rock star treating a sick child!
Every year 600 children are born with heart disease in Lebanon, without treatment most would die before the age of one. These numbers can easily be reversed as 95% of cases can be cured with proper treatment. After reading these numbers, another member of Heartbeat, talented dancer Lea Ghorayeb, has decided years ago to dedicate time and hard work for this cause.
We asked Lea what were the factors that motivate her the most to put so much time, practice and heart into this.
“One of the main reasons that motivates me to be a part of Heartbeat every year is the cause itself.
What can be greater than participating in this event by doing what I love the most and helping raise awareness and funds to save lives? Apart from that, I get to work with one of the greatest choreographers I’ve met in Lebanon – Lea Chahine, who has been doing choreography for Heartbeat for the past 8 years. Lea is a true inspiration and motivation herself. I truly believe that music and dancing can save lives and I hope this year we will heal even more children!”
Just like Dr Ghanem and Lea, YOU can be a rockstar too!
Contribute to Heartbeat’s story, through ticket purchase for the next upcoming event “Around the World…in a Heartbeat” happening on April 23-24 in BIEL, or by direct bank donation on: Heartbeat – Bank Audi (Sofil Branch) – Account No. 325179/02 | IBAN: LB49 0056 0003 2517 9462 0020 0902.
Tickets are available online through Virgin Ticketing!
Book yours today, and follow Hearbeat on Facebook for all the details.
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