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.
I call the cushions ‘comfort cushions’ as I hope they give some emotional comfort as well as the usual physical comfort a cushion gives. The first couple of cushions I paid for myself, I have since received donations from a friend in the US which has enabled me to do more cushions, and the gig in September is to (hopefully) raise some more funds for more gifts. Photos of the cushions I have already done are on the Facebook page and website. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is why the gig is in September, and I have called it ‘Gigging 4 Gold’ because gold is the colour of the awareness ribbon, and the bands are in fact gigging for gold as in gigging for money. It also sounds like ‘digging for gold’. So that was my reasoning for the ‘Gigging 4 Gold’ title. The gig is just £3 for 3 bands … so a bargain! There will also be Solving Kids’ Cancer wristbands on sale at the gig, the proceeds of which will go to the fund for Mia Chambers in Merthyr Tydfil, another little girl with neuroblastoma. Although they have raised substantial funds for Mia already, I have supported Solving Kids’ Cancer since starting Guitars 4 Good and so I know that any funds for Mia will be kept for her for a few years (three, I think) and then (hopefully) she won’t need them, in which case they will go towards paying for treatment for another child. The gig is in memory of Eva Bevan, a little girl from Ebbw Vale who lost her fight against neuroblastoma in May this year. Eva’s story can be found here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/strong-beautiful-funny-schoolgirl-died-13285536 If you can support Guitars 4 Good in any way then please contact me (Jayne), there is a Paypal account for the project using the website email of firstname.lastname@example.org and any donations/support in any way is acknowledged on the website and social media pages. If you are in a band who would like to help in some way, whatever ideas you may have, please do email me. I am very appreciative of any help with this project. You can find the Events page for the gig on the Guitars 4 Good Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Guitars4Good/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Guitars4Good Website: www.guitars4good.co.uk I hope to see you at the gig. Jayne JD Music Promotion / Guitars 4 Good