Band member returns to hospital over 25 years after brother was treated for cancer
LOMA LINDA, CA – July 27, 2016 – Patients at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital (LLUCH) got a private performance from current contestants of America’s Got Talent (AGT), Edgar, on Tuesday, July 26.
Nikki Leonti-Edgar, her husband, Ryan, and daughter Jaslyn, who make up the group, stopped by the hospital to sing and visit with patients.
Edgar performed five songs for an intimate crowd of roughly 50 patients and staff, during which one young patient took it upon himself to join in. Franco Gonzalez Bucio, 2, from San Bernardino, a lover of all things music according to his mom, joined the trio with his pint-sized guitar.
“He likes to pretend he can play any instrument,” Maria Gonzalez Bucio said of her son, who has been in and out of the hospital since May battling leukemia. “He even likes to serenade the girls on the unit.”
This visit was Nikki’s first time at LLUCH in over 25 years since her brother lost his battle with cancer. Nikki wanted to give back to the hospital and staff who compassionately cared for her brother by sharing her family’s music with patients, like Franco, who are undergoing treatment at the hospital.
“Seeing these kids struggling definitely makes it hard to keep it together,” Nikki stated, “but knowing we’re bringing joy and a moment away from their individual situations makes it a little easier.”
Nikki, a Corona native, now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children. Her oldest, Jaslyn, is the only one singing on the show.
Before they departed the hospital, Edgar got input from the patients on what song they should sing for their next performance on AGT. They also visited with patients on the units who were unable to attend the performance.
The family trio made their debut performance on AGT in June this year and will begin live shows this August on NBC. They hope to return to Loma Linda in the near future to sing for the kids again.
The Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the vast geographic region of San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties. With 348 beds dedicated just for kids, one of the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the country and more than 100,000 children who come each year, LLUCH is a major pediatric teaching facility, known worldwide as the pioneer of neonatal heart transplantation. LLUCH is part of Loma Linda University Health – the umbrella organization encompassing Loma Linda University’s eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s six hospitals and more than 900 faculty physicians located across the Inland Empire in Southern California. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, Loma Linda University Health is a faith-based health system with a mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”