Teen Suffering from cancer brings profound meaning to Katy Perry’s 
“Roar”

Teen Suffering from cancer brings profound meaning to Katy Perry’s 
“Roar”

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

Alex Grayson ('14)/ Eastside Opinions Editor

I never thought Katy Perry’s formulaic hit, “Roar” could move me in the slightest–or any hit for that matter. But, I can no longer listen to that song without thinking of Olivia Wise and her remarkable display of courage.

Olivia Wise, 16, covered Katy Perry’s hit song after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The teen, facing a progressively impending death, took to the recording studio to leave her family and loved ones with a final snippet of her passion for singing.

Olivia’s friends said that she used to stand in front of her locker and sing between classes at her high school in Canada. Recently, Olivia’s rapid physiological deterioration has rendered her nearly incapable of singing. She just doesn’t have the energy.

Despite her worsening condition, however, Olivia mustered the strength to go into the recording studio to immortalize her passion. A YouTube video, uploaded by Olivia’s cousin, captures the recording session.

The video begins with the meek teen seated stiffly in a wheelchair facing a microphone. Even with her hair arranged angelically and her face illuminated with subtle hues of color, Olivia’s pain could not be masked. Her haggard eyes and withered countenance revealed the severity of her diagnosis.

Her cousin wrote in the video description, “She couldn’t walk or stand, she didn’t have her full breath or the energy she used to, and she was managing her new pains and new limitations.”

As the background instrumentals fade in, Olivia utters the first lyric, “I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath.”

The tone is there, but Olivia sings with an audible resistance and her words hang painfully in the air. But this struggle is quickly eradicated and a new voice is heard-a voice of resonating strength and courage.

As Olivia approaches the chorus, all her pain seems to subside and her condition is ephemerally forgotten. The girl belting out the words of “Roar” is a far-cry from the cancer-stricken girl who soon faces an inevitable death.

Olivia’s newfound strength is contagious; her family, packed in the recording studio, cannot help but to dance. The similes on their faces reinforce the notion that Olivia is not just singing for herself. She is fighting through the pain to create a legacy for her family to indelibly cherish.

With consistent lyrical mastery and a voice projecting pure emotion, Olivia reaches the chorus. With terrific poise and domination Olivia belts out, “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter/Dancing through the fire/Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar.”

Olivia is indeed a champion and a growing 440,000 viewers have collectively heard her roar.

Katy Perry, currently promoting her new album overseas, has reached out to Olivia through a video. Katy Perry told Olivia, “’I love you and a lot of people love you, and that’s why your video got to me and moved everybody that saw it… keep roaring.”

Olivia is currently at home and her family is doing everything they can to make her comfortable. Her family said that she is only conscious for a few moments at a time.

“Her health is really bad, she’s at the end,” her cousin Jeff Kassel said. “She is still conscious at times and taking it all in.”

Olivia is an inspiration to anyone facing adversity or a challenge of any magnitude. In her last weeks, Olivia has managed to keep a positive mindset and live in-spite of the cancer.

Please, watch the video for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_An8xNwupo