I met musician Andy Mac when I was 22. It was at my wedding to my ex-husband, of all places; my friend Jennie brought her date Andy along, who proceeded to marvel at the Rolls Royce that had been rented (to be fair, he was a huge Beatles fan, and the Rolls belonged to George Harrison). Within the year, we had grown to love the guy we referred to as looking like Scott Weiland’s little brother. In 2005 – whilst pregnant with my oldest – I was present for part of the recording of his album Music For a Bright Moon Sky; to this day, I still remember the frustrating process of laying the guitar tracks for “Rather Be Alone.” Point is, Andy is a dear friend that goes back a ways. He’s been a part of my life for quite some time.
A few years ago, Andy’s beautiful niece Fiona got sick with leukemia. There are points where you rally around your friends; some of those points, you wouldn’t wish on anyone. I would never, ever wish cancer on a child. Asking a little girl to shoulder chemo treatments and the burdens of mortality is sick and unfair. There’s a world of pain involved that goes well beyond the treatments: there’s the lack of immunizations, the fear of relapse, the daily routine impacts to accomodate someone who just wants to be normal. It’s horrifying and it’s easy to want to run away. However, it gave me a chance to appreciate little Fi, who stepped up to the plate twice and knocked it out of the park. It made me look at her mother in complete awe, a woman who held her child’s hand and sought to educate us on the best places to donate when most people would have curled up in a corner and cried. It broke my heart to see good people going through that.
No one should have to go through that, least of all a little kid. And yet childhood cancers don’t receive the type of funding for research and treatment the way that adult cancers do. So let’s change that.
For the past few years, Andy has been staging a fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. It takes place in NYC on December 17th this year. Even if you’re not in NYC for this, you can still make a difference. There’s a page set up for donations. Normally, I don’t go preaching about charities, but this one is legit. The kids could use some help this year. As it’s the time of year when we should start thinking about giving back (which we should do more often as a general rule). So what are you waiting for? Do something.