NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville songwriter has created tracks for living icons. Her latest work is what she calls the hardest song she ever had to write. It's her story. Her hope is that her words will inspire.
"My parents are Polish immigrants," said Tina Parol. "They came to the U.S. in 1983, so, five years before I was born. They were just huge music fans."
Tina was brought up on classic Patsy Cline country, arena rock like Queen, and '70s Bee Gees disco.
"In ballet class, I would warm up to The Power of Love by Celine Dion," she said. "I loved her, growing up."
All that musical influence came to a record deal and a single for Tina.
"I got to tour the whole country," she said. "I got to play big arenas and stadiums. One of the songs I'd written ended up on Britney Spears' Circus album."
She also wrote songs for Lady A and Celine Dion.
"I'd describe Celine recording a song I wrote as otherwordly," Tina smiled. "That was pretty wild."
Throughout all of this, Tina was living with something.
"Around age 11, I was diagnosed with scoliosis," she said. "I had struggles with eating disorders and made fun of because I had a back brace as a child. The mental health toll was pretty taxing. Your lungs can start becoming compromised. If your spine curves too much, it can impact the lungs."
By the time she came to Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown for surgery, the pain was bad.
"I remember thinking, 'what am I going to be like if I don't address this?'" Tina said. "I gained four inches in height [after surgery]. My spine is now 23 degrees instead of 88."
On Tuesday, Tina performed at an opening for the Surgery and Critical Care Tower and Spine Institute at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown.
She's just released an EP called Fighter, with a portion of the proceeds going to Music Health Alliance and World Spine Outreach.
"Now that I'm on the other side of recovery, I honestly feel better than I have in a decade," Tina said.