An 18-year-old guitarist had to improvise to make the instrument work for him.
Dillon Gazandlare was born missing his left hand below the elbow, but that didn’t stop him from trying to hit the right notes.
“It came off while I was in the womb,” he told CTV News. “The umbilical cord wrapped around where my hand was.”
He was bullied as a kid, but now he hopes that he can inspire people with his music.
“I hope to take it as far as I can. I want to bring a message of mental health, and all that, with it as well because I did deal with a lot of mental health issues when I was younger,” he said.
Gazandlare grew up in a musical family, and he wasn’t about to be left out, so he created what he calls an “apparatus” to help him play.
“I just covered the entire end of my stump with just tape and worked around it,” he said.
The self-taught musician makes regular adjustments to his apparatus to make it function how he needs it to, adding parts to hold it in place, a tiny pic on the end.
And he hasn’t just stopped at the guitar — Gazandlare has pushed himself to learn the piano, drums and ukulele.
“I’d say push back against your anxiety,” he said. “It’s meant to take care of you as well, don’t push it back all the time, but push it back when you want to, when you need to.”