MERRICK, NY — Sanford H. Calhoun High School junior Samantha Horowitz and her mother, Tara Notrica, have worked tirelessly the last three years to share Notrica’s journey as a two-time stem cell and bone marrow transplant recipient.

“Our goal is to provide messages of hope, courage, strength, perseverance and fortitude to others who may be going through their own personal struggles,” explained Notrica.

As a result, they had the opportunity to turn their story — along with a production team — into a documentary, “Second Chance.” The documentary has been entered into the film festival circuit and won multiple awards. It has been selected to screen in festivals worldwide.

“We won for ‘Best Family Original Song and Composition’ in the Garden State Film Festival for ‘Second Chance’ Original Song co-written and recorded by me,” explained Horowitz.

Sanford H. Calhoun High School junior Samantha Horowitz (Matthew White/4th Coast Productions, Director, “Second Chance” documentary)

A remote learner this school year, Horowitz has been singing since age four, eventually taking formal lessons and collaborating with songwriters and producers. Her mother assisted with songwriting and now the duo has created 11 songs.

“Neither one of us had any songwriting experience until we decided to write an original song with her vocal coach, Calhoun alum Robbie Rosen from ‘American Idol,’ based upon a mother and a daughter switching roles whereby a daughter helps to care for her sick mom,” Notrica said.

Their first song, “Brave The Storm” is featured in the documentary.

“We say, ‘music has healing powers,'” explained Horowitz.

Notrica is nearly three years post bone marrow transplant now and after facing various complications, she is recuperating at home under medical care.

Information about the documentary can be viewed here.

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