Cleveland, July 18 – The first night of the Republican National Convention opened with a moving performance of the Star Spangled Banner by Marlana VanHoose, a young woman who has been blind from birth and diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two.
“I love this country. It is a complete honor to be chosen to honor my country on this platform at the Convention,” said VanHoose.
VanHoose was born with Cytomeglovirus and her optic nerve never formed. Her parents were told she would not live past the age of one. But she proved doctors wrong and by the age of two, she was singing and playing the piano.
The Republican National Convention invited VanHoose on Sunday to perform. The Kentucky native sang the anthem with much gusto and confidence and had neither a walking aide nor anyone accompany her on and/or off stage.
VanHoose is no stranger to the national stage. She has sung the national anthem at several University of Kentucky basketball games and at Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals.
As reported on Kentucky.com, the Artists Music Guild said VanHoose is negotiating to sing the national anthem at other political conventions.
Read more about VanHoose’s story on her website.