Most teenagers today never have to worry about something like an auto immune disease.
But now passionately in love with music but Mia Hernandez doesn't know if any amount of pain can keep her away.
Now seven years into her music career, fourteen year old Mia Hernandez doesn't know what it's like to live without aches and pains.
When she was only a year old doctors diagnosed her with a disease known as rheumatoid arthritis.
And while this disease isn't usually life threatening , it does make playing an instrument very difficult.
“There are those times that I do get like aches and sometimes it does get hard, but I just... I can't,” said Hernandez.
But she continues to play and fulfil her love for music -- something she still has trouble explaining.
“I can't really explain it...like umm...I just always thought that it was...it...it's me,” said Hernandez.
An eighth grader at Compton Junior High, Mia has impressed those around her like her academic program leader Theresa Louie and music director Marcos Rodriguez with her extreme amount courage and determination.
“You know she goes after whatever she wants. She just is the kind of student who decides what she wants and she just doesn't let anything hold her back,” said Louie.
“Mia is probably the most dedicated and hardest working student I have. And she's definitely the most self-motivated,” said Rodriguez.
In this performance, Mia is playing cello, which isn't her primary instrument, yet she's looked at as a leader.
“She really taught herself how to play the cello in a very short amount of time and she's worked her way into the orchestra really well,” said Rodriguez.
Later this spring when Mr. Rodriguez gives the final release, both faculty and friends say they will miss her as she begins a new journey in Fresno.
Where she will attend a private school and continue her musical studies.
“I did get an evaluation form for her and I sent it back in a sealed envelope and I gave her very high marks because she deserves it and I'm really proud to see her go,” said Rodriquez.
“When a student like Mia comes along it's pretty special. She's probably taking it very seriously and will do her best there and make us proud,” said Louie.
Mia also says she wants to try the saxophone and the piano next because she loves the way they sound, but also because music to her is just a way of life.