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You may not know her name or recognize her face, but just one listen to that God-given voice will make you remember her. Kate Bowen was once known professionally as Ella Mae Bowen, and received critical acclaim with her slowed-down recording of “Holding Out For A Hero” from the soundtrack of the 2011 “Footloose” remake. In fact, back when she was just 15 years old, she was signed to the same label as vocal powerhouses such as Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Jennifer Nettles.

But that was then, and this is now.

And right now, Kate finds herself going through some serious medical challenges.

“This is simultaneously one of the hardest and yet most joyful things I’ll ever post,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Dec. 20. “I’ve been struggling for years with a chronic autonomic dysfunction called POTS, and it almost stole my career and life from me. I’ve kept it very private, at least on my ‘artist’ pages, but in this few weeks of downtime around Christmas, I’m actively engaging in brain therapy and I truly believe for once that something will work for me.” POTS is an acronym for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which, according to WebMD, is a fast heart rate that starts after the person stands up. Symptoms can include dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, blurred vision and fatigue.

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As any creative person knows, sometimes the only way to make the pain go away is to write about it, so in the same post, Kate can be found singing a song about her health struggles.

“This is a love song I wrote to myself and [a] fight song to my illness and fear,” she wrote. “If you’ve ever had an ‘invisible’ illness, or struggled with other things like depression and anxiety, this one’s for you. And yes, I wrote this song in the middle of therapy at my house, and I’m in jammies and haven’t even filled in my eyebrows!”

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Kate has undoubtedly been through much in her years chasing a country music career. Yet, that has never deterred her. A native of South Carolina, Kate was always determined to live a life within the music business. In fact, while growing up, her parents sang to her often, which led to her love for music at an early age. Her hobby turned into a passion by age 7, when she began performing in front of an audience at local talent shows.

Just last week, Kate came to fans with a selfie from the hospital after landing there during a recent trip to Wyoming.

“This was the weekend from hell, but family got us through, and even though I was extremely/scarily unwell, I’m getting so much better already and I’m so thankful,” she wrote. “I’ve never loved the altitude, but it’s never been this bad before … I think it was a triple threat with my condition, altitude and what was probably a flu bug.”

Now, with her admission of these health struggles, we hope that the spotlight comes back on Kate and that amazing voice of hers. She’s a treasure, no matter what.

Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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