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Piano Donated in Honor of Former Riley Patient

Blog Piano Donated in Honor of Former Riley Patient

Earlier this week, the Cheer Guild Music Therapy Program at Riley at IU Health received a special gift. Residing in the Cancer Center on the hospital’s fifth floor is now a brand new digital piano. This instrument signifies the gratitude of Parker and Ellen Terry of Rochester, Ind., parents of Charlotte, a former Riley patient who passed away in July after battling a rare form of brain cancer. Charlotte Terry would have been one year old on September 20.

In addition to providing a lasting legacy for Charlotte, Parker and Ellen hope to raise awareness for her condition, which was classified as an embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR). ETANTR is a rare form of brain cancer, with roughly 300 cases diagnosed to date.

While receiving care during her 10-week stay at Riley at IU Health, Ellen and Charlotte played a keyboard used by the Music Therapy Program almost daily. As a music teacher and talented pianist, Ellen found solace in the daily ritual, learning new music while providing what seemed to be an enjoyable escape for Charlotte.

Upon Charlotte’s diagnosis, family, friends, colleagues and students in Rochester also began organizing in support of the Terry family. “Once folks became aware, they began a campaign to raise financial support for her medical care,” said Ellen. “Everyone was so generous. After Charlotte’s battle ended, there was still a good amount of money, and Parker and I felt Charlotte’s light could continue to leave a legacy for others at Riley at IU Health.”

After Charlotte’s passing, Parker, who is also a music teacher, and Ellen decided they would give the money to Riley’s Music Therapy Program. They approached Marial Biard, one of the program’s therapists, and asked her about their most pressing need.

The keyboard played by Ellen and Charlotte traveled throughout the hospital, so Parker and Ellen decided to give the Cancer Center its own new piano. Riley at IU Health’s Music Therapy Program staff worked with Piano Solutions to make the purchase, receiving a generous discount from the company.

Since then, the piano has gotten considerable use. “It’s a wonderful contribution to the program,” said Biard. “We couldn’t be more thankful to Parker, Ellen and Charlotte for such a generous gift.”

Riley at IU Health is extremely grateful for Parker and Ellen’s generosity and the joy it will bring to thousands of patients in the future. 

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