WAMU: How A Blind Maryland Boy Defines His Life With His Music, Not His Disability

If you ask anyone who attended the 22nd annual Fiddler’s Convention in Berlin, Maryland, this past September, the moment they likely remember the most is when singer/songwriter Frankie Moran was strumming his guitar as his 12 year-old son Cole played the harmonica.

Their performance brought hundreds of people to their feet and many others to tears. And it wowed the judges enough to earn a 2nd place prize.

Cole waved to the crowd as he left the stage, but he couldn’t see the joy his music had brought the audience. That’s because Cole Moran was born blind, and was soon diagnosed with Charge syndrome. It’s a rare pattern of birth defects that can cause heart and breathing problems, along with a range of other medical conditions.

“He has cognitive delays”, says his dad Frankie, “So he’s on a much slower learning level. He’s got apraxia, so he didn’t start speaking until he was about 5. He has one kidney, and he has early on-set scoliosis.”

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