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posted: Tue, Jun 6th, 2017

Collin Berg plays during a concert at Goryeb Children's Hospital

The better side

Collin Berg never wants to be on the other side of the band again.

In the spring of 2016, a half dozen students in the seventh grade band traveled to Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown and performed for Collin, who was undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatments. 

When eighth-graders performed in an outdoor concert for Goryeb staff and patients this spring, Collin wasn't listening to the music, he was playing it. The French horn player was part of the 13-student ensemble conducted by music teacher Melany McQueeny. The students played a variety of tunes during the 45-minute performance in the hospital's garden, including the theme to “Beauty and the Beast.” 

“It was strange,” said Collin on the bus ride back to MOMS when asked what it was like to be at Goryeb for something other than treatment. He vividly recalled the outdoor concert by his bandmates last year at a time when his chemo had him drained. “That was the first time out of the hospital in a week so it was great seeing everybody.”

Collin has been in and out of school during the year as his condition allowed and has worked with Joann Spera, Goryeb’s educational liaison, to keep up with his studies. In March, when he began the transition to clinical maintenance treatments, he marked his official MOMS return. 

He’ll continue monthly IV chemo at Goryeb until July 2018, and hopefully never have an extended medical stay there or anywhere else ever again.

Mount Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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