In each issue of HemAware, we spotlight someone in the bleeding disorders community. This issue, we speak with LaRon Carroll, a musician from Wheeling, West Virginia, whose son, Omari, has severe hemophilia A.
Talk about the origin of your song “He’s Working.”
When my son, Omari, was born, they told us he had hemophilia, but we didn’t know what that was. We didn’t have any family history. The doctors told us that he had severe hemophilia A and that it was rare. So in my mind all I heard was, “rare blood disease.” For about two weeks, every time I was somewhere by myself, like in my car, I would just start bawling my eyes out. I thought he was going to die.
I was working on material, trying to get a record deal at the time. So one day I went into the studio and told my engineer to put this beat on that I had, turn the mic on, turn the lights off and don’t ask questions. And that’s how “He’s Working” came to be.
What does the song mean to you?
The song means a lot to me because it not only tells my story and my son’s story, but it’s reaching people within the bleeding disorders community. It’s raising awareness among my fans and within the music industry. It gives people hope and it’s a theme song for those who might feel ashamed to have hemophilia. Now we have something to be proud of. I just hope the song gets heard worldwide so people without hemophilia know that we’re still strong and living life to the fullest.
How did the West Virginia Chapter of NHF get involved?
When Omari was a baby and still going to the hospital a lot, I played the song for some of the doctors and nurses in the hospital. They told someone at the chapter about the song. Heather Britton from the chapter (the president’s wife) got in touch with me, so I sent it to her. Then she sent it to Amber Tichnell, the executive director of the chapter. She called me up and told me how thrilled she was to hear it. She had never heard a song about hemophilia from that perspective before. I performed it at their Walk. A lot of people came up to me and told me how much they loved hearing it because they felt like it gave the bleeding disorders community a voice, which I’m truly humbled by.
How did you get into music?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t into music. My mom told me I would hum before I would talk. When I started talking I sang everything I said. I wrote my first song when I was 10 years old. I didn’t really start taking it seriously until I was about 16 years old, though. Since then I’ve written about 3,000 songs.
How has the birth of your son affected your music?
The music I was doing I was having fun with, but I really felt like it wasn’t truly me. So when my son was born, I was like, I’m a father before I’m an artist and I have to set an example. I’m going to be true to myself. In my heart, I’ve always loved God and the church. I went back to church and rededicated my life to God, and really dug in knowing that I needed to be a better person for my son. Now, I’m doing Christian rap, but I’m getting a much better response from people. People are liking my Christian music more than my secular music. And even a song like “He’s Working,” the way it’s touched people—I think I’m on the path I’m supposed to be on now.