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New therapist at Children’s Hospital proves music is good medicine

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- He first walked these hospital hallways around Christmas time last year.

Carson Dimsdale has only been home once since then.

His life with a leukemia diagnosis includes a long list of chemo treatments, doctor visits, and, thankfully, a regular appointment with Emily Menhorn whose doctor bag contains nothing sharp or cold, just fun.

"It's still a hospital and they go through a lot," says Menhorn. "There are ups and downs. We have good days and bad days. The great thing about music therapy is I meet them where they're at."

Emily is something new on the long-term wards at Childen's Hospital.

She is a musical therapist.

Her job, to break through communications barriers, conquer fear, and make it all hurt a little less through the power of song.

Speaking of Carson, Emily says, "He loves making up songs and he does a great job, and one time he was singing a song about building a tree house. After the song was done mom goes, 'that was his tree house at home'."

Carson didn't talk much before Emily came.

Neither did Kambri Albright who arrived even before Carson last fall.

Her diagnosis, also leukemia.

Emily's cure; bells, composing her own rap songs, and singing.

Kambri really likes to sing.

So does all this help?

Carson's mom says yes.

"He'll lie in bed sick all day long and not speak to his doctors or nurses, or us," says Kori Dimsdale. "And Miss Emily comes in and he jumps out of bed and starts playing the drums."

Kambri tells us a small procedure from that morning didn't hurt while she was singing.

"When I got my pick pulled out today I didn't even know when they pulled it out," she smiled.

If you can pin Carson down long enough to stop him from banging on everything within reach he might have the best opinion of all.

In a place with so much fear and uncertainty, of pain and unhappiness, his music therapist is a light that pierces darkness.

"It is easier to be here when she's around," asks a hospital visitor?

"Yeah." says Carson.

"Like how," he presses.

Carson replies, "Because she gives us hope."