Olivia Shawish’s Benefit Concert

After being hit with a ball in the head in her 8th grade gym class and passing out, junior Olivia Shawish was diagnosed with what she puts in simple terms as a “long-term concussion” or “chronic headaches.”

Shawish’s family’s insurance won’t cover her surgeries because they consider her surgeries “experimental.” With the insurance not covering her surgery, her family does not have the funds to pay for these surgeries as it may cost up to $20,000. With the money, Shawish would be able to get botox injections that would almost eliminate her frequent headaches.

The surgery is also supposed to reduce the time it takes her to do her schoolwork; it takes her about three times longer than the average student. With Shawish already having had a surgery in may of last year, her parents had to take out loans to pay for it, putting a major strain on her family.

Because Olivia Shawish plays the cello in The Annandale Orchestra, they plan on hosting a benefit concert to help her family pay for the costs of the surgery. They will be having the concert on Sunday, October 18 at Mason District Park. The concert will be six hours long, and free for anyone to attend. The Annandale Orchestra will be performing, as well as the Fairfax County Orchestra and many other orchestras from all over the district.

The orchestra will be asking for donations in hope of raising the money. They will also be putting on a “Teacher Talent Show” where participants in the show will have the opportunity to win the AHS talent king or queen crown.

A GoFundMe campaign was started by the orchestra and has already raised a $1,000 in just one day.

The idea to raise money for Shawish’s surgeries came from her orchestra teacher Ms. Ammerman. She thought of the idea after Shawish’s parents had told her about how much of a strain paying for these surgeries was on the family.

To ensure that no money goes to waste Ammerman said, “If there is money left over, all of the money will be going to a proceed of Olivia’s choice.” Ammerman also tells us about the type of person Shawish is and she says, “If you don’t already know her, Olivia is one of the most selfless people I know.”

When asked about how Olivia feels about the orchestra doing this concert to raise money for her surgeries, she says, “Ms. Ammerman is my guardian angel. It’s just so kind. It’s crazy to think about how many people are actually there for you. I love them all so much.”