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On a High Note

José, age 16


Since age 3, José’s (stage name Jose Andre) passion has been music. He plays by ear, and he’s performed in Washington, D.C., at the Kennedy Center, the Blues Alley Club and the Library of Congress. At just 16, José has shared the stage with notable artists and captivated listeners around the world.

José’s success is all the more impressive because he is challenged by both blindness and cerebral palsy. When his parents were seeking treatments to help him walk, his mother, Giovanna, saw a Shriners Children’s TV commercial, encouraging her to reach out to the hospital. Now a patient of Shriners Children’s Philadelphia, José has had surgeries to align his legs and rehabilitative therapies to gain strength, mobility and independence. 

“José is an incredible young man with a huge heart. It’s always a pleasure working with him to walk with his walker, so he can be more independent when not in his wheelchair,” said Mallory Meyer, DPT, senior physical therapist at Shriners Children’s Philadelphia. “Regardless of what he is going through, he always ensures that people around him are doing well. He can bring a smile to anyone’s face by simply saying hello and using his incredible talent of playing the piano so beautifully.” 

José’s walking has improved significantly. At times, he experiences pain, and he uses his wheelchair for long distances. He also has a customized wheelchair to use at school. 

“The care he has received at Shriners made a huge difference in his life,” Giovanna said. “José has a special journey, and he has been fortunate to meet people that care for him and have helped him achieve his goals. His goal is to have a life that is not defined by his disabilities but modeled by his abilities.” 

Watch José perform here: instagram.com/p/CSMgG3LD__C/.