Battling E.B. With A Song

Tim Skeval and AJ Ortega

Staff Writer and Assistant Editor of Production

       In December 2014, the Jamesville-Dewitt School District and community lost a fellow student and friend to many when Molly Gibbons passed away in her sleep. Gibbons was born with a rare case of Epidermolysis Bullosa or EB, which causes part of the skin to be fragile and tear easily. It is also called the Butterfly Disease because the skin of the person affected resembles the fragile wings of a butterfly. EB is an incurable disease that affects only every 20 out of a million newborns.    

        J-DHS sophomore Nancy O'Connor was a friend of Gibbons when she passed. “I had never experienced this kind of loss before. When I found about her passing I was slammed with emotion,” said O’Connor. Throughout the next week, while O’Connor was mourning, she wrote a song about Gibbons to help with her grieving. O’Connor performed the song at Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School’s eighth grade graduation in 2014, the year Gibbons passed away. The song is called “In Your Arms Again” and is available on ITunes for 99 cents and can be found on the music streaming app Spotify, on Apple Music, and on Google Play. “I will definitely buy the song once I get an ITunes gift card,” said sophomore Ellie Salvo. “I didn't get to know Molly well but I wish I did,” said Salvo.

“The message of the song is to try to make the world a better place, even in just little ways,” said O’Connor, “The message is also to be persistent, and to show those you love that you love them throughout your life.” O’Connor recorded the song over the this summer at a local studio in Syracuse. O’Connor went there four or five recording sessions, each three hours long. This was the first time O’Connor had ever written a full song and recorded it, so it was “exciting” and a “great experience.” After recording the song, O’Connor published the song through the website, which then sent the song out to the streaming sources ITunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, and more.

     O’Connor is promoting her song herself out of school by word of mouth but has gotten some help in school from many who support her and her cause. “I'm helping her by making announcements but I’m also here for anything else Nancy needs,” said student assistant counselor Will Hartley. The proceeds from the song will go towards EB research through Debra of America, an organization that supports EB research and supports the families of those affected.

     Many other students listened to the song and had the same opinion as O’Connor. “I was touched by the song,” said sophomore Tarky Lombardi. Sophomore Andie Ellis remembers listening to the song during her eighth grade graduation where she was “brought to tears” by the song. Sophomore Sayaka LaClair agrees with Ellis and thought the song was “very emotional” and “a perfect way to pay tribute to Molly.”