Wendy Davee Shining Star of Peace Award Honoree
The Wendy Davee
Shining Star of Peace Award Honoree
Given to honor those whose life and work bring light, hope and peace to others in a unique and inspiring way.
Read Gracie’s Story:
Grace Fisher was born on November 20, 1997.
As a youth, Gracie had a keen interest in music. She started with piano lessons at the age of six and developed an interest in cello, guitar, and voice as she continued through her high school years. She has played with numerous organizations in the community, including the Santa Barbara Strings, Santa Barbara Youth Orchestra, and Santa Barbara High School Jazz Band and Madrigals. Her dream was to enroll at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and pursue a Guitar Performance and Music Business Degree. She and her family were overjoyed when she was accepted to Berklee College of Music during her senior year.
In December of 2014, during a party to celebrate her 17th birthday, Gracie was suddenly overcome by pain in her neck and tingling in her hands. Upon arrival at the hospital a short time later, she had lost the use of her legs. The weakness progressed over the next several hours, and by nightfall Gracie was intubated and required mechanical ventilator support to breathe. She had lost all of her ability to move and was later diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis, a disease of unclear origin, but possibly related to certain types of respiratory and enteric viruses.
After five weeks in the ICU, she was transferred to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver, Colorado, accompanied by her mother, father, and younger sister. Her prognosis was grim, and her future uncertain.
She spent the first several weeks in Rehab mourning the loss of her ability to play music. “If I could only get the use of my hands back. I don’t care if I ever walk again,” she would say.
The rehab process by necessity focused Grace on the now. The team at Craig included physicians, nurses, therapists, and specialists of all kinds, who put a plan together day by day and minute by minute.
From the Grace Fisher Foundation website: