“If I can’t sing a certain note or hold it for a long time, I know I might have gotten weaker,” she told CNN.
“When I was young, I could turn the doorknobs, and over time, I couldn’t even raise my hand to even turn a knob.
An outlet through the song
Haly was three years old when her father introduced her to music. Since then, singing and songwriting has served as a healthy outlet for her.
“I let all of these emotions go out and I feel so much better.”
Singing is not the only way for Haly to manage her neurological condition. She regularly sees occupational therapists and physiotherapists. She works through daily range of motion exercises. And she employs home health aides who help her around the clock. At night, she sleeps on a ventilator. It is a physical and mental ordeal. But the music keeps it going.
A message in every song
Haly released her debut album, “I Wrote Life,” in 2019. Through her lyrics, she shares stories of triumphs and challenges.
“Whenever I feel really down, like I can’t do something, I just start writing and then sing about it.”
“It’s not the first advocacy-related song I’ve written, but it touches me because it’s parallel to that feeling, where I’ve been used to people looking at me on the street or people keep telling me that there is something that I cannot do.
“This song in particular is a reminder that I am capable. I can help someone. I can be someone. I can be generous to someone. And most importantly, I can be loved like anyone else. ‘other.”
Haly advocates for the rights of people with disabilities during her live performances by enlightening her audience on things people with physical challenges face beyond mere mobility issues.
“It can even just be accommodations where people know they have an assistant with them at all times.”
Its main message is about empowerment. She hopes her songs about life, struggles, and inspiration motivate others to pursue what they want in life.
“If you don’t give up, you’ll find that you get there, whatever your goal,” Haly said. “Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t.”