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Singing Her Way to the Top

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Luna Whiting, against all odds, still finds a way to bring the music to our ears and to our hearts

Luna+Whiting+sings+on+the+Big+Sky+stage%2C+to+an+empty+room.
Luna Whiting sings on the Big Sky stage, to an empty room.

Luna Whiting sings on the Big Sky stage, to an empty room.

Maddison Crandall

Maddison Crandall

Luna Whiting sings on the Big Sky stage, to an empty room.

 She begins by looking at the lyrics on her phone, immediately picking up exactly the tune she needs. As she continues, she’s able to lower her phone, having remembered the lyrics. You can see the focus and passion on her face as she belts out the beautiful words to a song sung many times before.

Senior Luna Whiting sings with such determination to the empty room, the words echoing off the stage that holds only her. When the time comes that she has to perform the song, she will be absolutely perfect— despite the struggles she’s been going through since her diagnosis.

Whiting suffers from a chronic illness known as Ulcerative Colitis, or UC, a common disease that causes inflammation in one’s digestive system. This condition can be treated but not cured.

Her disease hospitalized her last summer, right before her senior year, and nearly caused her to lose her life. “If I hadn’t gotten treatment this summer, I would’ve just passed away,” she says. But she hopes to be able to continue doing what she loves as she moves toward her future. “With me being sick, I just keep trying to stay healthy and doing the treatments.”

She questioned things at the beginning, when she was first diagnosed. “Basically all I could think was why me? Why do I have to live this life? A normal 17 year old wouldn’t have to go through any of the stuff I go through,” she describes. “It was pain, constantly, every hour on the hour.”

But Whiting doesn’t let her condition get in her way. She sings whenever possible. “I’ve taken every opportunity I can to go to open mics, competitions, and performances,” she says.

Although she has an aptitude for music, Whiting wants to go on to become a tattoo artist after graduation. She plans to take an apprenticeship in order to work her way up to becoming an artist. She also has synthetic skin and a tattoo gun that she practices with, bought for her by her boyfriend, Andy Finney, who she plans on moving in with once she graduates.

But her musical talent will not go to waste. She still plans on working on her music whenever she can find the time.

Whiting’s mother has been there for her throughout everything she’s gone through, which is why she looks up to her like she does. “My greatest inspiration would have to be my mom. I went through a lot being sick this past year, and almost died this summer because of it.” She says, “I saw the toll it took on her and the whole time she’s helped me with everything. Every treatment she’s there, she’s next to me.”

She includes her mom as one of the people who has most helped her to get to where she is today. “My mom has given up a lot for me to be where I am,” says Whiting.

This list also includes Finney, who proved there was good in a time where it would be difficult to find any. “My boyfriend has shown me the brighter side of things when I thought things were getting really dark and sad, and there was basically no hope,” Whiting says. “He gives me a lot of strength.”

Whiting’s list of challenges includes more than just her illness, but is mostly made up of issues caused by it. It also includes having to move and switch schools multiple times, meeting new people, losing her job and being unable to work due to her condition.

But her biggest obstacle was trying to stay optimistic through everything. She says, “my greatest challenge would be just trying to see the brighter side of things when I was first diagnosed.”

In spite of these trials Whiting has accomplished great things. Including having music managers contacting her because they are interested in working with her.

Whiting became more well known for her talent last year at the Cabaret performance, when her mom took a video of her and put it on the internet, thinking it would be funny. It ended up getting more attention than they anticipated, including some from a Radio Disney singer, who told her that he would be interested in working with her on something.

But she’s not one to brag about her accomplishments, which is one of the reasons that she inspires her Aerie teacher Becca Carson. “I like that Luna is really talented but she doesn’t always advertise that or ask for attention about it right away,” she says. Carson also praises Whiting’s work ethic saying, “Luna doesn’t feel good most of the time, but she shows up when she can and gets the work done.”

Carson describes Whiting as dry, sarcastic, and witty. “It makes her seem like she’s cool or removed at first, but I think that she cares very deeply for the people who are closest to her.”

Luna has made an impact here at Big Sky on lives like Carson’s, who said, “She adds something, everyone in here adds something that isn’t replaceable, but I think there’s a difference when Luna’s here or not here.”

 

About the Contributor
Maddison Crandall, Intro to Journalism

I’m a freshman at Big Sky High School. I go by Maddie. I like to take walks with my dog, read, listen to music, dance, hang out with friends and play sports. In the past I played football, basketball, soccer, and track and field. I’m in Intro to Journalism because I enjoy writing and am interested in writing and publishing works for the Sun Journal. After high school I would like to travel the world as an archaeologist.

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