At 17 years of age, most teenagers are enjoying their last few years of being a teenager.
But not Robbie Rosen. At 17 years of age, Rosen, a Merrick native, has experienced something that many can only dream about. Rosen set out to become a contestant on American Idol this past summer and he did so well, he made it all the way to the final 16 contestants.
|Rosen perfoming the song he wrote, 'Make it Through' for Sophia Gaynor at the New York Islanders game on March 26, 2011. |
Now, back on Long Island, the New York Islanders invited him to sing a song that he wrote specifically for a two-year old with a terminal illness. On Saturday, March 26, 2011 during the second intermission of the Islanders-Philadelphia Flyers game, Rosen sang his new song “Make it Through” for his new inspiration, Sophia Gaynor. He also signed autographs for Islanders fans on the concourse.
Gaynor, who turned two years old on February 27, suffers from the most aggressive form (Type 1) of SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
According to SophiasCure.com, “SMA is the leading genetic killer of children under the age of two. It is a terminal, degenerative disease that takes away a child’s ability to walk, stand, sit, eat, breathe and even swallow. It is usually inherited as an autosomal recessive trait (a person must get the defective gene from both parents to be affected).”
Rosen was excited to sing his new song tonight for his new inspiration.
“I had the most fun of my life on American Idol; it was an amazing experience and atmosphere. I was asked to do something for Sophia and I was happy to offer my music. Her story really touched my heart and I wrote this song for her in two days. I [couldn’t] wait to sing it tonight,” Rosen said.
Performing for this cause is something Rosen said he was proud to do.
“This [was] a very special night for me because being a part of a competition is so different than something like this. I’m really supporting something so special. I’m trying to save this girl’s life and it is really different than singing in a competition with other singers. This is a totally different feel, I love those emotional songs and this is one of them,” Rosen said.
Nerves were not an issue for Rosen, and he didn’t believe it was any more difficult to put on his performance as it was to perform on stage in front of millions of Americans. “The stage is like my home, I [wasn’t] nervous at all. I love this and I love influencing people with my music,” Rosen said.
Rosen isn’t just a singer though; he is also an AP Honors student with an A+ average at Calhoun High School. He was selected to All-State vocal jazz and he has been “playing baseball my whole life.” He was voted All-County as a third baseman and switch hitter for Calhoun. “Sports and music are my two biggest things,” Rosen said.
Sophia Gaynor might be fighting for her life at the young, ripe age of two, but Rosen’s song lets her know she isn’t in it by herself. “I wrote this song to say ‘together we will be behind Sophia and we will make it through no matter what it takes to do it. She will make it through,’” Rosen said.