Performing Helps Members Of Rock Band ‘Flame’ Overcome Disabilities
They have Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, autism and blindness, but it’s the rock music that the band Flame is creating that’s turning heads around the world.
The band, which is the only touring group of musicians in the world who all have disabilities, began humbly at a talent competition in Gloversville, N.Y. Organizers noticed a collection of uniquely talented musicians who each found solace in music despite their challenges.
Flame began as an experiment, taking their name from the Special Olympics torch. Local performances turned into a full-fledged band complete with a tour bus and appearances around the globe.
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Forming the group has been a lifesaver for the members, many of whom had been written off by others in the past. Drummer David LaGrange has intellectual disability and is blind. He grew up in an institution and says Flame is the family he never had.
For lead singer Michelle King, who has autism, being part of the band has helped her become more social and learn independent living skills like cooking and taking public transportation.
In August, Flame performed at the funeral of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, where they caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey and other guests. But that’s not enough for the group who dream of becoming famous. They want to hear their songs played on the radio everywhere so that people can see what those with disabilities are capable of, reports ABC News. To read more click here.