Cancer survivor, 25, pays it forward with music therapy for needy kids

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Luke Putney refuses to let cancer stop him from his life mission to be a blessing to other people.

The 25-year-old aspiring musician founded Instrumental Horizons, a Nashville-based nonprofit that raises money to provide music therapy and instruments to children in hospitals and in underserved communities, Religion News Service reported.

In 2017, Putney was plagued with what he thought was a bad headache. It turned out to be brain cancer.

“It was a brain tumor, the size of the surgeon’s fist, inside of my head,” he said.

This Nov. 6, 2019 photo provided by Sam Simpkins, Luke Putney, right, walks with Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher at the university in Nashville, Tenn., after finishing Putney's mile-a-day marathon.  (Sam Simpkins/Belmont University via AP)

This Nov. 6, 2019 photo provided by Sam Simpkins, Luke Putney, right, walks with Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher at the university in Nashville, Tenn., after finishing Putney's mile-a-day marathon.  (Sam Simpkins/Belmont University via AP)

A decade earlier, Putney also got that news that he had brain cancer, which left him blind.

That didn’t stop him, however, as he went on to become a successful high school wrestler, a star student, a nonprofit volunteer and a member of Skittle Biscuit, a band he started with friends in his home state of Georgia.

Now, Putney prays for his left hand to heal so he can play guitar and bass again.

And he is thankful to God for being able to use the bathroom, he says.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” said Putney from the living room of the East Nashville home he shares with his mom and his dog, Jacob.

CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF FOX NATION -- FOR A LIMITED TIME, SIGN UP AND GET 35% OFF WITH PROMO CODE: CELEBRATE

This 2017 photo provided by Nancy Hoddinott shows Luke Putney, who spent more than 100 days in the hospital undergoing nine surgeries. Putney came home from a mission trip with what he thought was a bad headache. Instead, doctors found a brain tumor.  (Nancy Hoddinott via AP) 

This 2017 photo provided by Nancy Hoddinott shows Luke Putney, who spent more than 100 days in the hospital undergoing nine surgeries. Putney came home from a mission trip with what he thought was a bad headache. Instead, doctors found a brain tumor.  (Nancy Hoddinott via AP) 

He has many reasons for his gratitude.

After surgery for the second brain tumor, Putney suffered a stroke that left him in a coma for almost a week.

When he woke up, he could not feel his arms or legs, and he had lost his sense of balance.

Putney had nine surgeries and spent 100 days in the hospital.

His love of music and his faith got him through, he said.

This 2016 photo provided by Nancy Hoddinott shows Luke Putney playing the bass guitar. Putney came home from a mission trip with what he thought was a bad headache. Instead, doctors found a brain tumor.   (Nancy Hoddinott via AP)

This 2016 photo provided by Nancy Hoddinott shows Luke Putney playing the bass guitar. Putney came home from a mission trip with what he thought was a bad headache. Instead, doctors found a brain tumor.   (Nancy Hoddinott via AP)

He was most sustained by the words of the New Testament, especially the letter to the Philippians and the words the Apostle Paul wrote while he was suffering in prison.

“I like the part that says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’” Putney said. “But I really like the part which precedes that, which is to be content no matter what my circumstances. That speaks to me.”

“When I was in the hospital for over a hundred days, I was questioning: ‘God, why is this happening to me? Why do I keep having to go back for more surgery?’ I was in so much pain,” he said. “Then I remembered Paul in the prison and thought, ‘Oh yeah, oh yeah, I’ve got to be content, no matter my circumstances.’ And I thought about his words and they brought joy to me.”

This 2017 photo provided by Nancy Hoddinott, Luke Putney, right, delivers donated instruments during a trip for the non-profit he started, Instrumental Horizons, in Colombia Putney came home from a mission trip with what he thought was a bad headache.Instead, doctors found a brain tumor.  (Nancy Hoddinott via AP) .

This 2017 photo provided by Nancy Hoddinott, Luke Putney, right, delivers donated instruments during a trip for the non-profit he started, Instrumental Horizons, in Colombia Putney came home from a mission trip with what he thought was a bad headache.Instead, doctors found a brain tumor.  (Nancy Hoddinott via AP) .

During his recovery, he decided to make his future goals about others, not just himself.

He decided to walk a marathon to raise funds for Instrumental Horizons.

Putney asked everyone he met to chip in a dollar for every mile he finished, RNS said.

He gathered $17,000 -- all of which he said will go to fund a music therapy program in Cape Town, South Africa.

He hopes to collect at least another $5,000 by the end of the year.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In March, he will travel to Cape Town -- on donated plane tickets from Delta -- to present a check to a nonprofit music program in that city.

“I wanted to use every step of my recovery to make the world a better place,” he said.