Bethany Kokoski — CF Can’t Stop This Star on the Rise
Bethany Kokoski’s dream of being a
country music star has taken her all the
way to Nashville. She hopes to be an
inspiration to other people with CF through
When it comes to breaking into the country music biz, Bethany Kokoski has made Great Strides!
In the past year alone, the 21-year-old has moved from the little town of LaGrange, Ohio to the bustling metropolis of Nashville, found a job as a receptionist, done some part-time waitressing and babysitting, started writing songs for the first time in her life and—by the way—has taken her first steps toward becoming a country music star.
Bethany was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was four months old, but having the illness has never held her back. “My parents encouraged me to be whatever I wanted to be,” she says. “It never occurred to me that there was anything I couldn’t do.”
Always on the Go!
At age 3, she started gymnastics, and competed for nine years. In seventh grade, she fell in love with volleyball. In high school, with her can-do spirit and bubbly personality, she was a natural for cheerleading. And at 19, she tried out for—and made it—onto the NBA Cleveland Cavalier Girl dance team and in 2006, traveled to Iraq to entertain the troops.
Through it all, Bethany has had to pay close attention to her health, spending at least an hour a day using her vest and taking pancreatic enzymes. “I’ve been lucky and for the most part have stayed healthy,” she says. “I truly believe that all the exercise I’ve done my whole life has made the real difference in keeping my lungs clear.”
Soon to Be a Household Name?
Early on, Bethany made a commitment to supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, serving as the poster child for the Ohio chapter’s stair climb, raising awareness about the disease as a Cavalier Girl and acting as Great Strides team leader for Team Hopes and Dreams, first in Cleveland and this year in Nashville.
She is equally committed to making a name for herself in the country music business. “I’ve been singing practically since the first time I opened my mouth,” she says. “Martina McBride, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline have long been my heroes.”
A year ago, she decided if she was serious about singing professionally, Nashville was the place to be. Since her arrival to Music City, she launched her own music website on MySpace and plans to begin performing around town after getting a few more songs under her belt.
“When I meet someone new, I don’t usually say anything about having CF,” she says. “But if my career gives me some visibility and the chance to help people understand more about the disease, that would be great.” She adds, “One of my goals is to be an inspiration to people through my music. I would hope that by not letting CF hold me back from my dreams and pursuing what I truly love to do, other people will be inspired to do the same.”
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