Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West impresses in the recording studio just as much as he does on the football field, using all of his talents to raise awareness about the disease that has afflicted him since he was a teenager.
Charcandrick West has overcome many obstacles to become a professional football player, one of which is arthritis. West recently used his vocal talents to educate people about the disease.
In a recent collaboration with the charity Singing for Superheroes, West has made his first music video and introduced fans to his singing talents with the song, “Body of Steel.”
West performed the song in conjunction with 10-year-old Jillian Reed, who also has arthritis. The running back says that it was his own experiences growing up with the disease that motivated him to participate in the song’s production.
“My agent got me hooked up with them [Singing for Superheroes],” West explained. “It was just something that clicked in my heart. I wanted to raise awareness about what I had gone through and it made sense to work with Jillian. We both know what it’s like to deal with arthritis. The best thing about song is that it allows you to put what you feel to words.”
West says that he was diagnosed with arthritis when he was 14. His treatment regimen for the disease has enabled him to perform at his highest level despite the disease, which affects the afflicted person’s joints and mobility. Other than his personal struggle with the disease, West says that misconceptions about arthritis motivate him to educate people about the disease.
“Arthritis is a very misunderstood disease,” West commented. “The first thing most people think of when they think of arthritis is an older person. Most people don’t think of kids like Jillian having to deal with it. I want to make parents aware that it can happen to their children at any time.”
While West is committed to prolonging a successful NFL career for as long as he can, he hasn’t ruled out the pursuit of a musical career either during or after his football days are spent.
“I will consider it when that time comes,” West stated. “I just couldn’t have turned the opportunity down to make this song considering what Jillian was doing. Most people don’t understand how brave Jillian is. It’s hard to do what she did with so much confidence, as far as recording the song and everything went. It takes a lot to get up there and do what she did about a sensitive situation.”
West says that he has remained in contact with Reed’s family and plans to continue to do all he can to raise awareness about arthritis in the hopes of finding a cure. Whether it be on the gridiron or behind a microphone, it’s going to take much more than arthritis to keep West from accomplishing his goals.