Friday, February 16, 2007

Leukemia benefit

Much as I hate Rush (and I do), they have provided me with one of the most memorable expericences I have had with CHEZ. I was forced to take a busload of people down to Montreal for a rush concert a couple of years ago, and one of our winners was a young man named Allan Miskell. He was a drummer, a huge Rush fan, and Neal Peart was his idol. He was also battling leukemia.

We managed to work out a meeting between Allan and the guys in Rush, and he got to meet Geddy Lee and his drumming hero. His girlfriend Caitlin accompanied him on the trip, and in a show of support, she had shaved her head so she would look just like he did. A wonderful young man and a terrific young couple.

A year later, Allan died. When I attended his wake, there were pictures up everywhere of his life, most of them shots of his band, and his time at the University of Ottawa. And a giant section was from the trip to Montreal to see Rush. It had obviously been a highlight in his all-too-short life.

Since then, Caitlin and the Miskell family have been very active in raising money for leukemia research, and they have put on several events around Ottawa.

The next one starts tonight and goes until tomorrow. 6:00 this evening, at the University of Ottawa, 24 Hours of Notes kicks off. It will end Saturday evening at 6, and all donations at the door go to leukemia research. Some of the best classical musicians in Ottawa will be there, and the music will go for one full day. I highly reccommend stoping by just for the music, but the cause is wonderful as well.