Joanne "J-Bird" Phillips: As a Brain Tumor Survivor

Founder and Executive Director, J-Bird Music for the Arts

Photo Credit: Shefik

In 2012, Joanne "J-Bird" Phillips founded J-Bird Music for the Arts, with the vision of reviving arts programs by providing much needed equipment, instruments, and resources in order to enrich the lives of youths through arts education.

Hi, my name is Joanne "J-Bird" Phillips. I'm a HARKY endorsed rock based musician, I'm a journalist with the US Press Association, and a sports journalist with New York's sport scene, and I'm the founder and executive director of a 501 nonprofit J-Bird Music For the Arts, which supports performing arts and music in New York education. I wanted to speak a little bit about the concept of resilience which means our ability to adapt pretty much under, I would say extreme or harsh or difficult circumstances. Resilience is different in everyone. Everyone bounces back in a different way at a different rate, I can tell you from personal experience that sometimes you never fully bounce back. As a brain tumor survivor and someone who's lost everything to superstorm Sandy in a day I can tell you it is no easy feat to come back and be resilient. I have had people come to say to me, how can you be, and they'd use the word resilient. It comes down to the fact about support base. It's about what kind of a support base you have. Personally I have a very very small support base. At a time when you're looking at a major natural disaster, of course everyone is in the same boat, you can't start calling your friends and saying you know, what's going on. But what happens is it comes down to being, survival. I think either some people will just maybe break under pressure, and that depends how their wired, they may be wired that way, or some people sort of, you know, sink or swim. To me it comes down to survival moments and you just do what you have to do. Can I say that coming back after something as finding out that, you know, surprising about having a brain tumor, or losing literally everything I own to a major natural disaster, what can I say, I know people who've had it worse. I've had friends, family, die of cancer. And I say I'm glad to be alive to complain is my little motto there. Everyone is different but I think as far as trying to, if you want something you want to reinforce in yourself is to just try to put your head down and bear through it. You're gonna have emotional moments, that's just human nature, but always try to stay focused on the goal at hand. Myself, to impart to you is I always see the end product of basically any project or anything I want to do. And work backwards. It's sort of like holding that proverbial carrot in front of your face. You know, as the tease, and if you see it you can almost grasp it, and that's what keeps you going. So as far as resilience or bouncing back, again, we all get knocked down in life but at least you can always get back up again if you just keep at it and try to keep a positive frame of mind. I know it's easy for me to say but it can be done, I know it's all within everyone. We all have the power to do this within us so just keep that thought in mind that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Last Updated: September 10, 2021

About "Shefik presents Invocation"

Aptly titled "Shefik presents Invocation", the nationally syndicated radio show is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking journey through musical discovery and appreciation that spans the decades. The show is currently broadcast on over 20 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States. Each one-hour episode, executive-produced and hosted by media personality Shefik, highlights one relatable focal point (chosen by Shefik), along with an accompanying playlist of songs (curated by Shefik), encompassing a unique thematic concept that invigorates the audience with creative impact. Top recording artists, actors, business executives, politicians, community leaders, and other special guests are invited to offer their own commentary on the weekly topic, as a supplement to Shefik's engaging mindset. The radio show's online hub at serves as a conduit for discussion of the show, while featuring related videos and auxiliary content. The journey continues right here and everywhere.