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Massachusetts teen with health challenges gifted new piano for composing music

Massachusetts piano moving company gifts teen with health challenges new piano
Massachusetts piano moving company gifts teen with health challenges new piano 02:49

REVERE - A 17-year-old composer from Massachusetts now has a new piano to create music thanks to a gift from a generous piano moving company.

Turning to music as an escape

Cynthia Bergstrom has been through 25 surgeries since she was a child and her music has become her escape from the frequent hospital visits. She was in the hospital 90 times last year and has had open heart surgery three times. Her mother, Alison Bergstrom, said her daughter was born with a long list of birth defects.

Despite the challenges, she has found herself behind the keys of a piano. The problem is, her current set up is a Baldwin Fun Machine. The relic is a piano and synthesizer from 1974. It's nearly three times older than Cynthia, and it's breaking down.

"Basically, there's not enough keys on the keyboard for me to be able to play a lot," Cynthia said.

"Just last week they put in a new pulmonary valve, which was really incredible because Boston Children's Hospital was able to do that," Alison Bergstrom said. "Probably 12 hours out of heart surgery, and she already had her computer up, opened and was composing new music."

Album inspired by trains

Cynthia recently put out an album called "The Rails That Were." It is available on Apple Music and Spotify. 

She takes her piano music from the Fun Machine and infuses it with train sounds and announcements. Using computer programs, she is able to combine the two into a beat. 

Cynthia is fascinated with trains. She rode Amtrak 70 times last year, and just released a song using noises from the MBTA. Her latest song, "Above the Clouds," just came out on July 4.

"She really uses music as a coping mechanism to get through hard times," said Alison Bergstrom.

A generous gift

New pianos are expensive. Cynthia's mother has been searching for years for a free one through social media. 

Recently, she found one on Facebook Marketplace in their hometown of Revere, but she didn't have a way to transport it. 

Alison Bergstrom posted her story on a website where piano movers can bid on jobs. Quickly, she got a response from Omar Soffan, owner of All Pro Piano Movers.    

"He said please give me a call. I would like to gift your daughter a piano, a much better piano, actually, than the one you had found. And I would love to deliver it for free. And I thought, who is this angel?" Alison Bergstrom said.

"It hit home with me because I have three beautiful kids myself, so I can relate," Soffan said. "This piano came to us from a family in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. They were moving, and donated it, saying if you know anyone in the future who may want it? As soon as I read Alison's message I said, 'This is the perfect piano.'"

Soffan and his son delivered the piano to an awestruck Cynthia. The teenager could barely speak as the piano entered her living room. The shock was overwhelming. After a flurry of hugs and thanks, Cynthia finally sat down to play for Soffan and his son. The melody put smiles on everyone in the room.

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