11-year-old violinist, cancer survivor plays national anthem for Hurricanes

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Saturday, December 1, 2018
Young violinist and cancer survivor plays at Canes game
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Tyler Butler-Figueroa, 11, is a violinist and cancer survivor who will play the national anthem at the Canes' Hiockey Fights Cancer night.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tyler Butler-Figueroa didn't have to pull any strings to perform the national anthem at the Carolina Hurricanes game Friday night.

The 11-year-old solo violinist is performing at PNC Arena as a part of the Hockey Fights Cancer night.

"It is very exciting and I'm not really nervous," Tyler said. "I just block out everyone else, and I just think of the song."

WATCH: Tyler performs the national anthem at Friday's Hurricanes game

Butler-Figueroa was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4. He went through three years of chemotherapy and is almost four years in remission.

The cancer survivor didn't get to play sports like most kids growing up so he turned to the violin to express himself.

"I think music changed my life," he said, "because I was going through a lot of changes. My hair was coming out. I was able to release myself and express how I was feeling by music."

He has big plans for himself as a violinist. Next month he will try out for "America's Got Talent" in hopes of furthering his career.

In the meantime, Tyler still visits his oncologist every six months and while there, he actually plays in the waiting room as therapy for other patients and their families.