Even though it was a humid 100-degree day in Portland, audience members at Crystal Ballroom had goosebumps from the excitement and energy in the air.
They were there to celebrate Nathan. According to the doctors, 19-year-old Nathan was not supposed to be alive. In fact, he was not expected to survive past his first few days as a newborn. But there he was on this particular Sunday, making his way down a red carpet surrounded by friends, family and fans - living his dream.
His wish was to perform a live concert with his childhood friend Daniel Seavey. Daniel,18, finished ninth on “American Idol” in 2015, and is now part of a 5-guy up-and-coming band called Why Don’t We. The group, along with “American Idol” contestant Lovey James, performed alongside Nathan in front of 600 adoring fans.
It was a day no one will forget. “This made my heart happy,” posted a fan on Twitter.
People arrived more than three hours early just to greet Nathan as he emerged from the limo. “His smile literally brightens up the world – it’s so contagious,” said one fan.
Why Don’t We wrote to Nathan in an Instagram post, “You are an inspiration to us all. We are humbled and honored to be a part of your magical Make-A-Wish event.”
Instead of seeing his medical condition as a disability, Nathan chooses to see the endless abilities that he has. He’s a talented musician and producer, playing the piano and cajón in his free time, but also mixing EDM and hip-hop music.
Music, he says, has driven him to persevere through some of the most difficult times in his life.
Last year, Nathan had a dangerous reaction to a drug treatment he was undergoing. During his two months at the hospital, he was in such bad shape that he was not responding to the people around him.
“And then this song came on,” Nathan said on stage, while introducing the next set. “It’s called ‘See You Again’ [by Wiz Khalifa],” he said. And when he heard it in the hospital bed, he started to cry. According to his friends and family, that was the moment they knew Nathan would be okay.
At the heart of Nathan’s concert was one word: overcome.
When it comes to facing adversity, Nathan has advice for his fans. “Just keep believing in yourself,” he said. To “keep pushing,” and to spread love through music.
Follow Nathan and his musical journey on Instagram at nathan.ehline.