Music without limitations: Legacy Lodge welcomes Gaelynn Lea

JACKSON, WY— Gaelynn Lea has never walked. But she’s played the violin her entire life, and now travels around the world playing for various audiences.

Her most recent captive crowd? Residents at Legacy Lodge right here in Jackson.

Lea was born with a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bone Disease. Many of her bones were fractured in-utero, and she was born with bent arms and legs which heavily impacted her growth. She’s only a few feet tall, and has used an electric wheelchair most her life. She’s been playing violin almost as long.

“I hold my violin upright in my wheelchair like a tiny cello instead of on my shoulder,” Lea wrote on her blog. She wrote her first original song in 2011, and won NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert in 2016.

Lea is a long-time friend of Legacy Lodge star Andy Gabel, who performs regularly for Legacy Lodge residents. Her performance was a special treat to Legacy Lodge residents, said Legacy Lodge Director of Admissions Lynnze Martinsen. For one, they love music. It’s something they can all participate in and enjoy.

And perhaps more importantly, Lea served as an inspiration to many aging residents. “Our population deals daily with limitations that affect their level of independence, and I think having Gaelynn here really reminded us that whatever they may be wrestling with, it’s about perspective and how you choose to see your limitations,” Martinsen said. “Gaelynn shows us that anything is possible. Even with certain limitations, you still hold value and can make a difference in humanity.”

“We have a lot to be thankful for here at Legacy Lodge,” Martinsen continued. “Numerous residents came up after they got done playing with huge smiles on their faces wanting to thank her.”

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Legacy Lodge at Jackson Hole

We provide a wide range of health services that maximize the health and well-being among older adults

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