Singer inspires millions with powerful message of hope

Singer inspires millions with powerful message of hope

July 6, 2021 by Cathy Stack

Jane Marczewski, known to her fans as Nightbirde passed away after a courageous four-year battle with cancer, on February 19th. During her most trying time, she offered the gift of hope through her beautiful, soulful music, poignant lyrics and positive outlook. She will be remembered as a bright light and inspiration for millions. “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy,” was her message. It is a simple yet powerful reminder to us all to live more fully in the present. PassItOn celebrates Jane's inspiring life and enduring message of hope.

Columbus, Ohio - 30-year-old vocalist and songwriter Jane Marczewski, professionally known as Nightbirde, became an overnight sensation after her touching performance on the 16th season of America’s Got Talent. She sang her original song, “It’s OK.”  
She explained to the judges that her personal struggles inspired the song. A little over a year earlier, doctors had informed her that she had only months to live and a 2% chance of survival. Jane has learned many life lessons throughout her battle with cancer and now wants to share her wisdom with the world. 

Jane’s ethereal voice captivated the AGT audience. “It’s OK” resonated with millions of people worldwide. Fans connected instantly with her authenticity, and many people could relate to the song’s lyrics, which expressed feelings of being disconnected, lost and alone, especially during the pandemic. Jane beatifically sang her own story straight from her heart, drawing from her own transformative life experiences.  

Jane was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. It would be the first of three cancer diagnoses as the disease recurred. In 2019, her doctors gave her only months to live after discovering innumerable tumors throughout her lungs, liver, lymph nodes, ribs and spine. Not long after that dire diagnosis, her husband of five years left her. She found herself sick and alone, facing an uncertain future. But however bleak things appeared, her fighting spirit refused to abandon hope. 

“When you come that close to the end of your life, you come to realize what is important. You don’t care about impressing people. You don’t care so much about money or being famous, but you connect with what life is really all about,” Jane said. She added that she has learned that the true meaning of life was more about love, seeing and being seen, and enjoying every single day for what it is.  

Jane decided to move to California in the summer of 2019 to seek out new treatment and make a fresh start. She continued to write songs and record her music while undergoing cancer treatments. Making music was a way for her to transform something tragic into something beautiful. It was during this dark and lonely time that she was inspired to write “It’s OK.”

“‘It’s OK’ is something I’ve been saying to myself through the whole situation,” Jane recalled, explaining the song’s title.

Despite being sick and weak from her chemotherapy treatments, the singer never lost sight of her dreams of making music. Weighing only 85 pounds and with her hair lost due to her treatments, she still had the bold confidence to submit an audition tape to AGT. She knew it was a risk. She was worried that she might not be well enough by taping time to perform at her best, but she took the chance regardless.

“I can’t tell people what will happen, but I can show people what is possible,” the singer said. 

When Jane advised the AGT audience, “you can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy,” her words struck a chord with millions. It was a simple yet powerful reminder to live more fully in the present. When AGT judge Howie Mandel expressed shock over the dire diagnosis she was given, she optimistically responded, “2% is not zero.” Jane refused pity. “It’s important that everyone knows that I’m so much more than the bad things that happen to me,” she defiantly told the audience.  

Jane reminds us that you can go down dark roads, but it is important not to stay stuck there. “If something so impossibly catastrophic, unimaginably awful can happen, then doesn’t it mean that something unimaginably beautiful and impossibly redemptive can happen?” she insists.

When asked how she came up with her stage name Nightbirde, Jane revealed that the name originated from an epiphany she had after having the same dream three nights in a row. In her dream, birds were singing outside her bedroom window in the dark. On the third night, she was astonished to awaken to the beautiful melodic sound of birds chirping at 3 a.m. outside her window in complete darkness, mirroring her dreams.  

“The birds were singing as if it was morning, but there was really no sign of the light yet,” she noted. “And I wanted to embody that. Being somebody that could sing through a dark time because I was so full of hope and assurance that there would be a morning,” she said of her revelation. 

On a similar note, Jane fully embraces life, finding value in both the good and bad times. That night, she chose again to sing in the middle of darkness and have faith that the light would appear soon enough. She would sing in anticipation of the good things she trusts are coming. From that moment on, she called herself Nightbirde. 

Jane shared a positive update about her health in a recent interview. She has completed more treatment, and doctors are more optimistic. “Physically, I’m doing really well,” she said. While she isn’t yet in the clear healthwise, she feels stronger with each passing day. Jane is grateful for each day, believing it is a miracle that she is still alive and able to pursue her dream of singing. “Again, for me, it’s just like miracle after miracle after miracle.”  

The road to getting to AGT’s center stage was not an easy one for Jane, but she persevered. She endured six rounds of chemotherapy and three surgeries in a short time span. The moment she triumphantly received the golden buzzer, the judges and audience erupted into a standing ovation. 

“I’m completely blown away, overwhelmed, speechless,” Jane said while reflecting on her AGT audition. She is excited to see where the show and her life take her.

PassItOn and The Foundation for a Better Life believe that Jane Marczewski (Nightbirde) is a true hero. No matter what happens on her upcoming season on AGT, she is already a winner. She embodies the triumph of the human spirit.  Jane has inspired millions with her defiant spirit, incredible voice, and powerful message which personifies the value of hope.  She is a woman who dares to live and sing amidst the darkness while awaiting the light to come. 

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Your Comments
Sheila from Cormier Village, NB , Canada MARCH 2, 2022
Wish i could have known on Earth..You were beautiful inside and out...Fly with the angels.

John from McCall FEBRUARY 25, 2022
“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be Happy”

Kenneth from Calgary, Canada FEBRUARY 25, 2022
Astonish inspiring and powerful testimony about life. Jane Marczewski , Your heartfelt song "It's OK" has captured millions of our hearts. you will never be alone !

Cherie from MI FEBRUARY 25, 2022
I cried when I saw Nightbird on AGT. The peace she so gracefully was as she faced the world, shared her piercing story and sang from her soul. She lived her truth with a shining resilience. It was a gift to experience her courage and strength as I hope it brought her peace to be heard and supported. An inspiration she will always be in our hearts. Drawing from her courage I will hear her singing in my mind, it's okay. My condolences to her family and loved ones. May God rest her soul. <3

Lorraine from Michigan FEBRUARY 25, 2022
"She is a woman who dares to live and sing amidst the darkness while awaiting the light to come." ~Nightbirde

Kris from West Palm Beach, Fl JULY 18, 2021
Just Amazing! What an inspiring story, you give hope to those who struggle with life challenges on a daily basis. Thank you and God Bless You.

Lea from Aurora, IL JULY 8, 2021
Wow wow wow - beautiful voice, beautiful song, and a magnificent heart!

Sharon from New Jersey JULY 6, 2021
I watched this episode on AGT and was so inspired! I salute Nightbirde for her compassion and strength! Embracing Love is the key to living a meaningful life!

Janet Anderson from Hidden Springs, id. JULY 6, 2021
She is Amazing! I have had 8 cancers in the last 15 years. God, my family and friends have loved me through all the treatments, testing, etc. I will have a 3rd major surgery in August @ Seattle Cancer Care in hopes of killing all the cancers remaining. I am so thankful for my family and friends and church! Thanks for this beautiful article about this Cancer Survivor! You are in my prayers 🙏

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