Riverside teenager with cerebral palsy spreading positive message with his music

Rob McMillan Image
Thursday, July 6, 2023
Riverside teenager with cerebral palsy inspires others with his music
The sky is the limit for a 17-year-old Riverside with cerebral palsy. Isaiah Ochoa and his nurse have produced several songs that are available on streaming platforms.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A 17-year-old Riverside boy who has cerebral palsy may not be able to walk or talk, but is nevertheless spreading a positive message - not just through his words, but through music he's making with his licensed vocational care nurse.

"I'm a guy trying to make the world into a better place," said Isaiah Ochoa, who communicates verbally by using a computer attached to his wheelchair to translate his eye movements into words.

Ochoa is known on SoundCloud as "Lil' Ice Bear," and has already produced several songs with his nurse, Kacee Cross.

"You know the feeling when you know you can do something and you want to but just aren't sure what it is," said Cross. "So he asked me if we could do music, and I said yeah, let's do one just for fun."

At first, Ochoa said they didn't take it that seriously.

"It was a dumb idea," said Ochoa. "We were being dumb."

But Cross said it wasn't dumb. They now have three songs together available on Spotify and Apple Music.

"We're getting there, we're getting there. It's a big journey and he's loving every second of it."

Ochoa's mother said being able to make music has not only changed his life, but also given him a close friend.

"Sometimes we're here and they're just in there working, I come in and say do you need anything, and it's like 'no, we're working'," said Daisy Espinoza, who said her son also recently performed at his high school prom.

"It's been beautiful to watch it and to see how in almost two years now, it's grown beautifully -- their connection and relationship."

Cross said Ochoa wants to be an inspiration to others with cerebral palsy.

"I think the music is great... very powerful, uplifting, motivational. He wants to be a motivational speaker as well as a musician to show people that anyone can do anything, as well as advocate for cerebal palsy."