A songwriter who found her voice during a personal health crisis

CHICAGO — Olivia Ports is a songwriter who found her voice during a personal health crisis, and now she’s sharing it with others. She was inspired by her own experiences and a little encouragement from someone who knows what it’s like to fight a life-threatening disease as a young adult.

“The last line of the chorus is, ‘Maybe love can grow from our heart,’” she said. “I thought it was really fitting for this time when we’re all kind of hurting. It had the message maybe we can all learn to love a little bit more during this time of hurt.”

WGN first met Ports about a year ago at Lurie Children’s Hospital, where she was undergoing her routine treatment for primary immune deficiency.

But there was much more to her story. The 19-year-old shared her songwriting skills and talked about what inspired her to record an album. Turns out, the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo had something to do with it.

 “Anthony Rizzo really inspired me because he talks so openly about his health,” she said. “Which was something I was very cared to do. I didn’t want people to just like my music because I was the sick girl.”

She said Rizzo inspired her to speak her truth and tell her health story.

“I’ve been in a very creative space during this stay at home time,” she said. “I’m just thankful to have music during this time. I hope everyone is safe and healthy.”

For more on Ports, visit her website oliviaportsmusic.com.