Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’

Athena Orchard

The Orchard family have been struggling to deal with the loss of their 12 year old daughter Athena who on May 28th, tragically lost her battle with bone cancer osteosarcoma.  After her passing, the family were left to deal with the heartbreaking task of going through her things. During that time is when they discovered a secret note left behind for them from Athena. Her father Dean found a long 3000 word message written in a black sharpie on the back of her mirror.

In addition to the message on the mirror, he found a box of self penned songs. On the mirror, it is like a list of words of wisdom for all of us to listen to and live. It is truly touching to see that that this young girl who was struggling in a courageous battle for her life, took to sharing her innermost feelings. It is amazing and touching in so many ways.   Here is the mirror:


Some of the messages that are truly words of wisdom were:

“Happiness is a direction not a destination.”

“Every day is special, so make the most of it.”

“You could get a life-ending illness tomorrow so make the most of every day… Life is only bad if you make it bad.”

“Love is not about who you can see spending your future with it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without.”

“Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story.”

“You know my name, not my story.”

“You have heard what I’ve done, but not what I’ve been through.”

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

“Thank you for existing. Be happy, be free, believe, forever young.”

“If someone loves you then they wouldn’t let you slip away no matter how hard the situation is.”

“Remember that life is full of ups and downs, without the downs the ups don’t mean anything.”


“I’m waiting to fall in love with someone I can open my heart to.”

“Love is like glass, looks so lovely, but it’s easy to shatter.”

“Love is rare, life is strange, nothing lasts and people change.”

“Every day is special, so make the most of it. You could get a life-ending illness tomorrow so make the most of every day.”

“Life is only bad if you make it bad.”

You have heard what I’ve done, but not what I’ve been through. Love is like glass, looks so lovely but it’s easy to shatter. 

Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about. I want to be that girl who makes the bad days better and the one that makes you say my life has changed since I met her! 

Love is not about how much you say I love you – it’s about how much you can prove it’s true. Love is like the wind, you can feel it but you can’t see it. I’m waiting to fall in love with someone I can open my heart to. 

Love is not about who you can see spending your future with, it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without… Life is a game for everyone but love is the prize. Only I can judge me. 

Sometimes love hurts. Now I’m fighting myself. Baby I can feel your pain. Dreams are my reality. It hurts but it’s okay, I’m used to it. 

Don’t be quick to judge me, you only see what I choose to show you… you don’t know the truth. I just want to have fun and be happy without being judged. 

This is my life, not yours, don’t worry about what I do. People gonna hate you, rate you, break you, but how strong you stand, that’s what makes you… you! 

There’s no need to cry because I know you’ll be by my side.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

So maybe you can take the time to sit back and reread those great words and thank Athena for being such an empowering person through such a trying time. She should know that she has definitely made an impact on a lot of people and through these words so many more people will know her and appreciate her wisdom.

~ Marisol


Stephen Sutton, the inspirational young teenager who battled cancer has died.  Stephen was diagnosed with cancer at age 15 and through his Stephen’s Story site, he touched the hearts of many. What began as a bucket list for him, turned into an amazing fund raising effort that his hard to believe.  Stephen has raised over $5.4 MILLION dollars in donations for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Just a few days ago, Stephen posted on his Facebook page that he was returning to the hospital due to breathing difficulties and recently Stephen’s mother made the following post:

My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son who passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning, Wednesday 14th May. The ongoing support and outpouring of love for Stephen will help greatly at this difficult time, in the same way as it helped Stephen throughout his journey. We all know he will never be forgotten, his spirit will live on, in all that he achieved and shared with so many.

His mom x


Stephen was so inspirational to everyone who knew him or even heard his story. He was not going to let cancer take over his life. As he said, 19 year old teenager with incurable cancer just trying to enjoy life as much as possible, while raising funds for charity to help others!!

We send our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Sutton family.  I hope we can all honor Stephen by continuing to make donations to the Teenage Cancer Trust in his honor. You can visit his donation page here:

~ Marisol

Information & Links:






Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals did something very special last night at their Tulsa, Oklahoma performance. They worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and brought up young Peyton Arens who is battling a rare form of  Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer to play with them onstage. They hooked him up with a guitar and they played the infamous PANTERA track, “WALK”.  You can check out the video for it here:


Phil posted on his Instagram a couple photos of the band playing with Peyton as well as a quick video. Here is one:


You can check out more on Peyton and donate to help fund childhood cancer research here. 

As quoted on the Prey For Peyton page: “On a personal note, we are very proud of Peyton. He has maintained a great attitude since he was diagnosed. He is a fighter and we are so proud of how brave he has been. Not once has Peyton complained nor has he asked “why me”. Keep up the fight Peyton. We love you!”  Peyton definitely is a bad ass and we will all Pray for Peyton to beat CANCER!!

Phil and his band  are touring in support of his solo album, “Walk Through Exits Only” which was recorded over the past couple years. His band consists of  Marzi Montazeri on guitar, and drummer Jose Manuel ‘Blue’ Gonzales.  This album is definitely 100% Anselmo as he tears it up with his aggressive no limits sound that has you begging for more! Check it and make sure to see if you are lucky enough to catch one of their shows!


  Information & Links:

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    Upcoming Tour Dates:

  • FRI – Aug 02, 2013           Des Moines, IA    Wooly’s
  • SAT – Aug 03, 2013          Minneapolis, MN    First Avenue
  • SUN – Aug 04, 2013         Chicago, IL      House of Blues
  • TUE – Aug 06, 2013          Cleveland, OH      House of Blues
  • WED – Aug 07, 2013        Grand Rapids, MI     The Intersection
  • FRI – Aug 09, 2013           Royal Oak, MI   Royal Oak Music
  • SAT – Aug 10, 2013          Toronto, ON       Danforth Music Hall
  • SUN – Aug 11, 2013          Montreal, QC     Heavy MTL Festival
  • TUE – Aug 13, 2013          Worcester, MA   The Palladium
  • WED – Aug 14, 2013        Clifton Park, NY   Upstate Concert Hall
  • FRI – Aug 16, 2013           New York, NY        Gramercy Theatre
  • SAT – Aug 17, 2013           Philadelphia, PA  Union Transfer
  • TUE – Aug 20, 2013           Atlanta, GA
  • THU – Aug 22, 2013         New Orleans, LA Tipitina’s

313531_2468145498039_1779716387_nGlenn Symmonds

I recently got the news that a long time musician/friend has been diagnosed with cancer and is to start undergoing treatment.  If that isn’t bad enough, he is without insurance during this ordeal and will have to personally take care of all of his medical expenses which can be quite costly. Please join me in helping this great musician who you know as Glenn Symmonds – long time drummer for Eddie Money and has an extensive catalog of his solo work.  Here is the information from Glenn’s page:


Tami Landrum and Glenn Symmonds

Glenn was diagnosed with bladder cancer on April 23rd.

 He had surgery to remove a tumor from his bladder on April 29th.

He is scheduled to begin a 12-week round of chemotherapy on June 3rd.

He will have another surgery after the chemo treatment.

Like many professional musicians, Glenn is uninsured.

Cancer is expensive…. please help in anyway you can.

Big Love from Team Symmonds!

Glenn has been a musician most of his life, recording and touring with artists like Coke Escovedo, Dave Mason, Juice Newton, Duncan Sheik and The Untouchables and the list can go on and on. In addition to playing with Eddie Money during their 100+ shows a year, he often will open for them as well, playing songs from his two solo CDs: 2011’s “Southern Poets, Trains and Troubadours” and his newest release “Early California”.    His CDs are currently available direct from his webstore or you can download them on Itunes.   He really has a knack for storytelling and his music creates an emotional attachment that you will continue to enjoy time after time.  He reminds me of some of my favorite storyteller/folk singers like Bruce Coburn, Tom Petty, and Bb Dylan. His music has everything from blues, reggae, pop to folk, a great blend that gives out a great vibe.

Glenn is embarking on this journey with the support of many and right by his side is his girlfriend Tami Landrum. Sandy Espinoza has created a Glenn Symmonds Assistance Fund through the site  where you can show your support by making a donation. You can also join the event page on their Facebook  where you can read more about Glenn and invite your friends to help as well.  You can also head over to Itunes or his store and buy a T-shirt or his CDS.  Even sending positive vibes and support through messages on their page is appreciated through these times.

Health Insurance costs has always been an on-going problem for musicians, artists, etc.  My family is still personally trying to recover from the cost of my first stroke in 2003 and subsuquently in 2005/2007.  Here we are 10 years later and still paying down the $100,000+ bill.  So, please join me in helping Glenn and showing support to let him know we are all in this together and together we will get through it! We want Glenn to not worry about anything else except getting stronger each day.

~ Marisol

UPDATE 6/3/2013 – Today Glenn began his first chemotherapy treatment. There is a benefit concert planned for June 23rd at The Roadhouse in Spokane, Washington. You can check out details on their Facebook page here.  There will be a patio concert from 12-5 featuring Sammy Eubanks and other special guests, these tickets are $10. Eddie Money will be playing two shows, one at 6pm and one at 9pm. These tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased at the Roadhouse, CASH ONLY! Hope to see you all there! There may also be information on t-shirts to benefit the Glenn Symmonds fund and I will update you on those as well.  Please join us in wishing Glenn strength and courage through these hard times.

Information & Links:

Glenn Symmonds Website:

We Pay Donation Site:

Facebook Event:


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I am back in the Bay Area after a long week at my favorite convention, NAMM.  Now that I am back I wanted to let you all know about an upcoming local event featuring two incredible bands that are helping in the fight against cancer. has organized a special event featuring two amazing local bands, Luce and Tender Mercies for a benefit concert being held at the historic Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette, California.  Save the date of Thursday, February 21st with doors opening at 6:30 pm and concert starting at 7:30.  There are a limited number of tickets available and I encourage you to get your tickets early. You can head over to website and purchase them online today since space is limited.  is a non-profit organization that is bringing live music to benefit breast cancer treatment and prevention. Proceeds from this concert will support the International Center for Integrative Medicine (ICIM – in its effort to treat and prevent breast cancer.  Now that you know about the cause, let’s talk about the bands!



This event will be the pre-CD release for LUCE and you will be treated to many of your favorite songs by them as well as debuting songs from their new album, Fall to Fly. LUCE was created by a house painter, Tom Luce. After he wrote and recorded his first CD and watched his music take on a life of it’s own, he put down the paint brush and has been dedicated to his music. Since 2002, LUCE has been on thirty-three national tours, won a BAMMY for best debut album and you can hear his music featured in motion pictures and television shows. You can listen to one of their songs “Good Day” on the website. What is exciting about LUCE is their on stage performance that just captivates you with your creativity and energetic fun music. In addition to Tom Luce on Vocals, Guitar you have  Adam Rossi on Kkeyboards, Brian Zalewski on Drums, Alex Cordrey on Bass & Guitar, Dylan Brock on Lead Guitar and Dustin Hengel on Brass. Combined, they bring you the great Alternative Rock/Funk/Pop sound of LUCE. I am looking forward to the new music of LUCE and will keep you updated on the release date of their new CD. One of my favorite songs by them is “My Life Alone”  from their album “Corner of the World” and you can watch the video for it here.



Tender Mercies

Another band for the evening will be Tender Mercies . The music of Tender Mercies is some of the best in the Americana/Roots Rock genre  with touches of Alternative Rock that delivers soul touching tunes that put a smile on your face. Two of the members; Dan Vickrey on Vocals, Guitar and Jim Bogios on Vocals & Drums are from the highly successful and one of my favorite bands, Counting Crows. Then you have Patrick Winningham on Vocals & Guitar, and  Kurt Stevenson on Vocals & Bass and together you have the spectacular lineup of Tender Mercies. You can take a listen to them and watch their performance at Armandos in Martinez.

These bands are coming together to raise money for a great cause. What is even better, is that not only are you helping to fight cancer by raising money, but at the same time you are treated to two outstanding bands that are going to make this night unforgettable.

~Enjoy! Marisol

Information and Links

Notes4Notes Website:

Notes4Notes Facebook:

Luce Facebook:

Luce Website:

Luce on Twitter:

Tender Mercies Facebook:

Tender Mercies on Itunes: