Gloria Gaynor: “I Survived This And It Will Not Stop Me.”
Legendary Disco Queen Gloria Gaynor sings her signature hit, “I Will Survive” a little stronger nowadays because she’s literally lived through a battle for her life, but survived it.
“‘I Will Survive’ is a divine appointment,” admits Gaynor. “Initially, I was supposed to record another song, but the producers asked me, ‘what are you about?’ and ‘what do you like to sing?’. And then when I spoke to them, they looked at me and said ‘you were sent here for this song we wrote two years before.'”
But the story of how she recorded, “I Will Survive” is nothing short than amazing.
“I had a show at the Beacon Theater in New York, I fell down and woke up the next morning paralyzed from the waist down. So I had surgery of my spine and was literally recording this song in a back brace, reading these lyrics and the fact that my mother had recently passed away. I related this song to that pain and thought others might do the same.”
Then after decades of touring in the early 2000’s, Gaynor was touring in the U.S. and Europe performing her hit songs including “Never Can Say Goodbye” and the iconic “I Will Survive” when she was nearly sidelined with pain in both of her knees. “It was tough to dance and move around the stage,” she says.
At first, Gloria’s knees started feeling achy, especially when she was active. “I felt stiff when I woke up in the morning and twinges of pain climbing stairs.” The pain steadily increased and lingered. “I started feeling uncomfortable all the time,” she says.
However, like many of us, Gloria didn’t seek medical attention at first. The show must go on right? So, instead, she hoped it would go away on its own.
But after months in denial, debilitating pain set in and Gloria, then 46, went to the doctor. “I was experiencing stiffness, pain and lack of mobility in both knees, although the left one was much worse,” she says. She was shocked when the doctor told Gloria she had osteoarthritis, an inflammation in the joints that causes the cartilage in joints to breakdown. This form of arthritis can occur in almost any joint, but most commonly occurs in the weight bearing hips, knees, and spine. “My mother and grandmother both had osteoarthritis so my diagnosis shouldn’t have been surprise, yet it was. I thought I was invincible, that I’d never have what my family had.”
Gloria’s pain took her on a journey that included several different pain medicines and therapies like…