To many passing by, Donald Gould was just another discheveled man playing for some change onthe street. Then, one afternoon he sat down and began to play "Come Sail Away" By STYX. A woman recognized how expertly he played the difficult piece and began filming. Later, she posted the video online and within 24 hours, Donald's performance was a viral sensation with over 1 million views!
Isn't it beautiful? The story gets even better.
Word spread quickly about Donald's skills and soon his story was revealed. He was a former marine with a promising future. He traveled the world playing the clarinet in the United States Marine Corp Band and he nearly completed his degree in music theory at Spring Arbor University in Michigan.
Then his life took a turn for the worse. After struggling with addiction, losing his wife to cancer and losing custody of his son, Donald's found himself struggling to make ends meet, living on the streets, homeless and hopeless. Dispite this tragic turn, he continued to find small moments of joy playing beautiful music.
The Donald inspired a "GoFundMe" campaign that raised over $40,000 and almost immediately he entered rehab. Inside Edition gave him a makeover and covered his debut playing the US National Anthem at an NFL game. Triple Pop, an Indie Record Lable based out of Austin Texas has also given him a record deal.
Now, life is drastically different for Donald. He has a house, he's in contact with his son and his single of "Come Sail Away" was released this year in May. His full album is scheduled for release in the fall of 2016. He knew that this second chance might be his last, so he gives back in the best way he can - with music. Donald plays for his local Senior Friendship Center and benefits for local organizations such as Turning Points and Meals on Wheels. He also plays at Viktorjia Bulava's art openings - the local artist who painted the piano he was discovered on.
One year later, Donald is still inspiring millions. Maybe it was fate that crossed his path with Aurore's, maybe it was something more. Her video of him now has over 22 million views.
Do you remember when his story was first told a year ago? Do you believe in second chances? Let us know in the comments below! Don't forget to Like and Share!