TULSA, Okla. — The legacy of a talented musician lives on this holiday season. The parents of Darryn Benjamin are keeping his memory alive and inspiring others to follow his musical notes.
John and Sharon Benjamin began the Darryn J. Benjamin Foundation in 2019.
The Benjamins gift musical instruments through "An Instrument of Hope" as a part of the foundation.
"It's something that Darryn would always want to do," John Benjamin, Darryn Benjamin's father, said.
The Benjamins say Darryn displayed a knack for the drums as soon as he could walk.
“He started hitting on the pots and pans, my wife said, ‘oh he’s beating on all my pots and pans and on the furniture with two pencils,'" John Benjamin said.
They bought him a drum kit at the age of five. A year later, he led Sunday service under the high hat.
“People used to wonder who was playing the drums, because he played an adult kit and people could not see because he was so small and people would go up to see who this person was," John Benjamin said.
It wasn't much later that Darryn was forced to step away from the sticks and focus on beating something else.
"He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in high school," John Benjamin said.
Darryn underwent surgery to remove the tumor. But, last year, he suffered a seizure.
He never made it back to his drum stool.
His parents are keeping Darryn's memory alive through their son's first love.
"Giving away instruments in Darryn’s name through this foundation, we have so much joy and I know Darryn is up there cheering as we do this," Sharon Benjamin, Darryn's mother, said.
"Although he is gone he is leaving an impactful legacy," Sarah Joseph, a "An Instrument of Hope" recipient, said.
Joseph was gifted a guitar from the foundation this holiday season.
Four other young musicians were surprised with keyboards and drum kits Thursday night. So far, the foundation has awarded nine musicians with brand new instruments.
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