Guitars 4 Good

September’s blog is a little different, in that it’s spotlighting an event rather than a particular band. The event does however feature 3 awesome Welsh rock bands all of whom I have already featured (in May, July and August): The Starling Radicals, Nuclear Lullaby and Beyond the Break.

These 3 excellent bands will be playing together at Jac’s in Aberdare on Saturday, September 23rd on behalf of my children’s cancer project Guitars 4 Good. Jac’s is a venue doing its best for live music and have gigs every week, and I am very grateful to them for giving us the venue to hold the Guitars 4 Good gig. The bands are each being interviewed on the RT Rock Show, Radio Tircoed, on every Monday leading up to the gig (starting September 4th with The Starling Radicals). I started Guitars 4 Good a year ago in August 2016 after the mother of a child with neuroblastoma followed me on Twitter. I’d not heard of neuroblastoma and so Googled it. It’s the worst of the childhood cancers, and the treatment is horrendous. The more stories I read, of children fighting the disease and those who had lost their fight, the more I wanted to do something. I was shocked and horrified to see how many parents have had to set up pages on Facebook in order to raise awareness and funds for treatment to try and save the lives of their children! A lot have to go to America for treatment as the UK’s children were not allowed the drug they needed for immunotherapy as it was deemed to be not “cost effective”! It seems shameful in this day and age that a parent has to basically beg for money from other people to help get their sick child treatment. I can’t do much in the scheme of things, but I help to spread awareness via my website and social media pages, and help to get the children’s stories ‘out there’ so that they are not forgotten and their battles are not in vain. I feel touched and honoured to have been embraced by the community, and they support me as much as I support them. I also do what I call ‘comfort cushions’ for children with cancer and mothers who have lost a child to the disease. Jessica and Hayley are sisters. When Jessica was a baby she was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, she is now 7 years old and in remission. Her sister Hayley was also diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in the summer of 2015 when she was 4 years old. Can you imagine having 2 young daughters, both of whom are stricken with cancer? I had seen a photo of the 2 young sisters when they hadn't seen each other for 3 weeks due to Hayley being in hospital, with their hands pressed together against the glass on a hospital door. So I designed personalised cushions which include a photo of them together, as I thought that with their sister cushions they'll always be able to hug each other even if not in person.