Teen who lost arm gets harness to keep marching with band

South Carolina teen who lost arm gets harness to keep marching with band

Declan Maloney had surgery in November to remove a cyst. Originally they thought it was only a ganglion cyst, but it turned out to be epithelioid sarcoma, a form of cancer.

The cancer forced the amputation of Maloney's right arm below the elbow, WBTW reported.

Declan is left-handed but he needed his right arm to be able to continue to support his baritone horn as he marched in the St. James High School band.

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He had hoped that his musical career could continue despite losing his arm, but Declan wasn't sure since many of the moves he had to do were controlled by his right hand, WBTW reported.

But the instrument ensemble director had an idea - a harness that would hold the instrument and allow Declan to play.

Chuck Capps worked with his father and adapted a drum harness to carry Declan's baritone horn.

"We basically took a drum harness that has two bars that come off of it and then I used a concert tom mount setup that holds two concert drums," Capps told WBTW.

With the help of alumnus Ethan Bautz and Capps’ dad we were able to build a harness for Declan. Declan is a cancer survivor and amputee. He plays his baritone with his left hand.

Posted by St. James High School Bands on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Declan's mother was emotional when her son first used the new setup to make music again.

"It made me want to cry just like when I saw him ride a bike one week after his amputation, a trike bike, and when he held his first lacrosse stick," Allison Burke-Maloney told WBTW.

Declan now has his sights set on being able to play in the University of South Carolina marching band.

The family is also trying to get him a prosthetic arm and have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for that and his medical costs.

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