Music impacts the life of Abby Hill


Darby Herridge, Writer

From singing the song Part of Your World when she was four years old to singing in the Camerata Choir at the University of Iowa, music has impacted Abby Hill’s life in so many ways.

On Feb. 19, 2001, at the age of four, Hill was diagnosed with Leukemia.

“I was pretty little and didn’t know all of the technical terms, I just knew I was sick,” Hill said.

Hill remembers music therapists and nurses coming into her room and singing and playing instruments and games with her to make her feel better.

After many prayers and support, Hill finished her treatment on May 11, 2003 at the age of six. She goes back once a year for an annual checkup.

“The biggest effect cancer has on me today is how I think about life now and how I appreciate every day,” Hill said.

Hill is a 2015 Kennedy alum. She participated in show choir all four years of high school. Her two sisters Mackenzie, jr., and Halle, fr., are also in show choir.

Hill decided to do show choir because she “wanted to be able to do what I loved with people who had the same passion.”

She was in Chanteurs her freshman year, Protégé her sophomore year, and Happiness her junior and senior year.

“My favorite memory was participating at show choir nationals in Nashville my junior year,” Hill said.

Her advice for a high school student is, “Don’t get caught up in the little things and remember that high school is not the end of the world, once it’s over you’ll be able to start a new chapter in your life.”

After graduating high school Hill decided to become an Iowa Hawkeye and pursue her childhood dream job of becoming a singer, so she is majoring in Music Therapy.

Music therapy is a way to help people rehabilitate through music, just like music therapists helped Hill through her battle with cancer.

“I want to be a music therapist because music is my passion and if I can use it to help people then I wouldn’t be able to think of a better job,” Hill said.

On Feb. 5 and 6, Hill participated in her first dance marathon at the Iowa Memorial Union on campus. This year they raised $2.4 million for the kids.

“Being a childhood cancer survivor, the whole foundation is really important to me and I want to be able to help the kids win the battle like I did,” Hill said.

Dance marathon is a 24-hour event that is full of non-stop movement celebrating children survivors, remembering the children who have passed away, and to fight to defeat pediatric cancer. During the event, dancers may not sit, sleep, or drink caffeine in order to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.

“Incredibly impacting, amazing to see what I had been fundraising for so long finally happen, there were definitely some harder hours of the twenty four but it was worth it,” was how Hill described her experience.

Hill is enjoying college and said it was an easy transition from high school; she also likes having more freedom and being independent.

For her future plans Hill wants to have a job as a professional music therapist, live somewhere warmer, and get married and start a family.

“The biggest effect cancer has on me today is how I think about life now and how I appreciate every day,” Hill said.