SALISBURY, N.C. -- Dustin Chapman is a senior at Catawba College. He's a triple major with a GPA above most people.

However, his passion is behind the piano.

  • Dustin Chapman suffers from Achalasia which causes his esophagus muscles to not work.
  • He doesn't let the disease stop him from his dream of singing.
  • Chapman is a senior at Catawba College.

Chapman's professors admit his style of music is hard to pinpoint, somewhere between country and contemporary Christian, with always a solid backbone.

Chapman was well on his way of achieving his dream of performing under the bright lights for thousands of people but three years ago his goal of doing that got a lot harder.

"One doctor told me I would have an extremely difficult life," said Chapman.

Chapman has a rare disease called Achalasia which means his esophagus muscles don't work.

"Anytime I try to eat anything...I have intense pain in my neck and chest," Chapman said. "They say it's the fourth most painful death without a cure."

This summer the pain forced him into the hospital but during his stay he found a moment to escape. With an IV at his side, Chapman sang not for himself but for those going through similar pain around him.

The video has attracted nearly 200,000 viewers.

"I had so many people come up to me, crying, it was such a blessing for them and they really needed it," Chapman said.

Chapman is unsure out what the future has in store but those around him have figured out something.

"I think Dustin Chapman's music is Dustin Chapman's music," said Catawba College Music Dept. Associate Chair Phillip Burgess. "It comes from his heart."

A heart that will continue to give no matter what obstacles this Everyday Hero is forced to fight.

Chapman has received offers to audition for America's Got Talent and American Idol and he continues to perform.

His doctors continue to search for a cure for the illness but he continues to be in pain.

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