NY1 interview – Jaclyn and Michael discuss process and debut release “JACLYN”
Staten Islander Looks to Music for Strength in Her Fight Against Cancer
By Victoria Manna and Amanda Farinacci Staten Island
PUBLISHED 10:36 PM ET May. 25, 2020
Music has always been a passion for Jaclyn Epstein. From the time she was a young girl growing up on Staten Island, she’s drawn on events in her life in her songwriting.
“I just graduated college ready to start the real world and was going on job interviews when I found a lump on my shoulder, and I didn’t think anything of it. I went to a doctor,” says Epstein.
She was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s usually treatable, but hers fell into the 15% considered difficult to cure.HER’S FELL INTO THE FIFTEEN PERCENT CONSIDERED DIFFICULT TO CURE.
“Being hospitalized was the first time I was like, ‘Oh, wait. This could really be it for me. This could be the end,” she says
She endured three rounds of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, more chemo and a month in the hospital. Writing music, she says, helped her to press on, and her battle gave her music even more meaning.
“Music did everything for me,” she says. “It gave me a sense of purpose.”
She shared her journey and her songs on social media, connecting with other cancer patients.
“People come to me saying my story helped them,” she says. “Giving people hope and giving people strength, I think that’s why I’m here, and I think that’s why we are all here.”
Producer Mike Mazzotta heard her music, and says he was inspired.
“It takes a heart that’s gone through change and insight to be able to say the things that she was saying,” says Mazzotta.
They paired up and wrote the song “Alive.”
“It’s easy for someone going through something Jaclyn was going through to say, ‘Why me?'” Mazzotta says. :Not only do I not see Jaclyn embracing that level of victimization, instead, I feel like what she’s done is say, ‘This is what’s happening right now. What am I gonna do about it?'”
Epstein is 26 now, engaged, and doing gigs around the city while working on her music. She believes remission is just a word to use when there’s no definitive end, and that has a huge impact on her music and how she lives life.
“Whether it’s cancer, depression, or you just lost somebody, whatever the pain in your life is, you listen to this song and we’re here, we’re alive, we’re surviving,” says Epstein.
Epstein’s album is available for presale. A percentage of the profits will go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.