Wanting to show their support and to help with the financial burden that has come as the result of a seven-and-a-half-year battle against cancer, friends and family of long-time Gilbert resident Gary West have organized a benefit concert featuring several well-known local musicians. Called “Hope on. Journey on,” the concert theme is a reflection of how West himself has dealt with the disease.
In fact, according to his son and concert organizer, Jared West, of Phoenix, “He is always smiling. Always, when people ask him, he says that he is doing ‘Great.’”
This positive, upbeat attitude comes in spite of the fact that in 2005, West was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a cancer affecting the blood and bone marrow. West is a business owner and he and his wife, Carol, are the parents of five grown children.
In the more than seven years since his diagnosis, he has dealt with the realities of the ups and downsof cancer treatments and, most recently, has endured the challenges of a bone marrow transplant.
According to a website designed to chart his progress: “His treatments have included multiple rounds of chemotherapy and many, many blood transfusions. He has endured nine bone marrow biopsies and multiple treatments. But, his body and faith have been strong.”
In early June, West had a bone marrow transplant. His son, Jared, said, “He is doing good, really good. He was in the hospital three weeks, but is now home and is already a little ‘antsy;’ because, while he is feeling okay he can’t leave the house for four months because his immune system is so depleted.”
With the costs associated with the transplant and other medical expenses, coupled with the fact that doctors say West will be unable to work for four months to a year, “The financial strains have been significant,” Jared said.
Proceeds from the fundraiser concert, as well as all donations, will go directly to help West with his recovery, Jared said.
“We have some wonderful performers lined up, and it will be a fantastic evening. There will also be a silent auction taking place during the concert,” said West’s daughter, Brooke Gordon.
Featured talent will include Debbie West Coon, Michele Baer, Heather Fallon, Ken and Brenda Goodenberger, Maya Haughton, Ken Kuzdas, Justin Moyer, Michelle Moyer and Lincoln Wright. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 10at Mesquite High School in Gilbert. Tickets are $12 and are available to purchase at hopeonjourneyon-efbevent.eventbrite.com/.
The family also invites member of the community to “Visit www.marrow.org. You could Be The Match® and help save a life of someone in need.”