PHOENIX - Isaiah Acosta is a 17-year-old from Phoenix who was born without pathways for oxygen to enter his body.
He also was born without a jaw, has never tasted food and is mute, but communicates through sign language, gestures and primarily texting on his phone.
"He's not scared to be rejected," his mother, Tarah, says, in a video featuring her son. He has been offered a cosmetic jaw and turned it down, she said.
Isaiah also loves hip-hop, writes raps and dreams of being a rapper.
A Phoenix rapper helped make that dream come true as part of a short documentary on Acosta that started going viral immediately after it was released Thursday morning.
Giving Isaiah a voice
"We were talking a little earlier and I definitely agree with you that you should always rise to be able to do what you want and, you know, never let the opinions of others hold you back from achieving your goals," rapper Trap House tells Acosta in the video.
He rapped the lyrics Acosta wrote, serving as his voice:
"I don’t care what people think of me / proud and honored that they carry me / jaw gone but I love myself / like a lion to my family / heart beat through a tragedy."
They also recorded a music video for his song and will be appearing at the South by Southwest Music Festival on March 11 with the video's director, Torben Bernhard.
Upworthy's post featuring the video was viewed more nearly half a million times and liked more than 9,000 times in nine hours.
How to support Isaiah
The video and Isaiah's song, "Oxygen to Fly," are part of a special project from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
You can download the song, which makes a donation to CMN Hospitals, on iTunes, Spotify or at oxygentofly.org.
Acosta posted on Instagram that the song "is helping thousands and thousands of kids and teens around the world at CMNH" and that if he can help one voiceless person, he'll feel like he did what he had to do.
Last August, CMN Hospitals named Acosta the 2016-17 Arizona Champion, which means he's serving as an ambassador for children treated by the network's hospitals. In Phoenix, donations to CMN Hospitals go to the Phoenix Children's Hospital and the Hope Fund.
USA TODAY NETWORK