Local resident hosting benefit event
A group of residents is putting on a fundraising event for a local man at BabyTooth Bambino'’s on Dec. 1, starting at 6:30 p.m.
The benefit, Rock For Lee, which will include free entertainment, will help raise funds for Lee Chuckry, an Airdrie resident who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1996.
Organizer Travis Richardson is hoping to help raise the $30,000 Chuckry needs to travel to India for treatment.
“He is in a pretty serious state of MS, he is having difficulty walking,” said Richardson. “When he is at home he uses (objects) to help him walk, but if he goes out he has to use his scooter. There is a really good treatment centre in India… we are trying to make the trip a little easier for the family. They have kids they are supporting and we want to help them out.”
Chuckry, 44, said he will be receiving Liberation Therapy, during which angioplasty techniques will be used in the veins of his neck. But his treatment won’t stop there. Doctors will inject stem cells into both his neck veins and spinal column, in hopes of maintaining the results of the treatment for longer than others who have received the Liberation treatment alone.
“They are having phenomenal results,” said Chuckry, adding his greatest hope is that the treatment will stop the disease in its tracks.
Chuckry, a father of two, said his treatment is scheduled for January, adding he doesn’t have enough money for a deposit.
“I definitely need the money,” he said. “Every day makes a difference, so come January, I want to be there.”
Chuckry, who has difficulty walking and uses his scooter to go further than 50 feet, said there has been a noticeable difference in his symptoms over the past year.
“It’s progressing… slowly but surely it’s getting worse all the time,” he said.
Chuckry said he was surprised members of the community stepped up for someone they hadn’t even met.
“It was unexpected and something that I was getting ready to tackle on my own… but they stepped up to bat and took control,” he said. “It is phenomenal. I don’t know these other people and it is just really cool to see the community step up.”
Local classic rock group, Blakkstone Hexx, will headline the benefit, for which there is no cover charge or tickets required. Attendees are asked to bring a monetary donation for Chuckry.
Craig Squires, the four-member band’s guitar player and backup singer said the band is volunteering their time, sound system and lighting for the event.
“We are all family men and we do appreciate the community we are in and anything we can do to give back to the community is something we want to do every time,” said Squires.
Blakkstone Hexx was formed in February and includes musicians from around the region.
All men with children, Squires and drummer Kevin Toovey hail from Airdrie, singer Alx Campbell from Beiseker and Art Dowell, who plays the bass, is from Crossfield. The musicians all work full time and pursue music on the side.
According to Squires, Blakkstone Hexx’s music would appeal to anyone between the ages of 25 and 50.
Squires, a hard-rock blues musician, said he was influenced by many bands growing up including Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath and Lynch Mob.
Squires encourages members of the community to attend the event.
“It’s a very good cause,” he said. “It is also a very good opportunity to bring our community together. There is going to be some great music, some great food and some good times.”
The show will start at around 8 p.m. with two other local bands performing before Blakkstone Hexx.
According to Richardson, the event will also feature a silent auction with a number of items such as an iPad, a Wii console and a beer fridge filled with beer, courtesy of Big Rock Brewery.
Richardson said he has received a lot of positive feedback on the event, adding donation items are welcome and all proceeds will go to the family.
Richardson encourages people to attend the benefit.
“BabyTooth is a great bar, I always have a great time when I go there,” he said. “Three great live musician groups, a Saturday night with live music, no cover, no charge, just doing donations is a pretty good sell.”
Richardson added Chuckry’s attitude is inspiring.
“He is super positive about everything and super grateful for everything as well,” he said. “For him to keep that positivity is definitely something everyone can learn from.”
To donate a silent auction item, contact Richardson at travis.88richardson.com
For more information about Chuckry’s battle, visit www.hopeforlee.ca