On the next TTBTGH

August 3, 2008

I have returned from far off lands with tales to tell. OK, so it wasn’t quite as far as it sometimes seemed, but still, my trip to Ontario for the Hillside Festival (and much more) was a big success, and a lot of fun, but I’m glad to be back home and back on the air, live this Sunday. To celebrate (and because I’m putting off all of the many, many other things that I have to do…), in addition to the usual jam-packed exciting edition of Tell the Band to Go Home, this week we present two special bonus hours of A Collector’s Guide to Jeff’s Musical Universe. Marc Giguere, who normally hosts A Connoisseur’s Guide to Jigger’s Musical Galaxy from noon-2 isn’t coming in this week, and although I’m absolutely sure it isn’t what he had in mind, I’m going to fill in for him. He normally does an hour of blues and then an hour of psychadelic/prog rock, and I’m going to do my best to suit the format (although Rheostatics are likely as psychadelic or prog as I get). Tune in to see what happens.

Then on the usual Tell the Band to Go Home, I’ll run down some of the music I’ve heard and bought over the past couple of weeks on my travels. There were some great moments at the festival and some great new CDs fell into my hands in Minneapolis, and I’m eager to share those.

Don’t forget, coming up is the Trout Forest Music Festival next weekend, so I’ll be away and pre-recorded once again next week. Congratulations to loyal listeners Oly & Laura for winning a pair of weekend passes, but thanks to all who expressed interest. Hope to see many of you out there, or out in Gimli this weekend.

I try not to be too self-serving or personal in these emails, but I do have a personal plea for support/assistance. I’ll leave that at the bottom, so you can ignore it if you see fit.

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When I was younger, I thought that cancer was about the scariest thing in the world. I’ve seen far too many people afflicted with that horrible disease, and I never want anyone to have to live through that again. But the thing about cancer is that it is treatable, it is somewhat preventable in some cases, and usually, you can see it coming and deal with it somehow. Recently, I’ve been learning a lot about a disease that I think might be even more scary. It’s called Multiple Sclerosis, and someone close to me is affected. Luckily, this person is for the most part as happy and healthy as you and I are, but that could change at any time, and in a number of different ways. MS is highly unpredictable, and it can strike at any time. The MS Society has this to say:

“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord. In its most common form, MS has well defined attacks followed by complete or partial recovery. The severity of MS, progression and specific symptoms cannot be predicted at the time of diagnosis.

MS symptoms are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. Symptoms may include: vision disturbances such as double or blurred vision; extreme fatigue; loss of balance; problems with coordination; stiffness of muscles; speech problems; bladder and bowel problems; short-term memory problems, and even partial or complete paralysis. Please keep in mind, not all people with MS will experience all symptoms and often the symptoms will improve during periods of remission.”

Basically, although there are things you can do to help your chances, and treatments you can undergo when the disease strikes, you really have very little control over how and when it strikes, or what happens after that. So basically you live knowing that someday, somehow, you will likely have to go through the fight of your life, and you don’t know what the outcome will be. Although MS doesn’t usually kill people, it does make life really, really difficult, and it’s always really frightening.

And when I see someone important to me worrying about something like that, it bothers me. Apart from being as supportive and helpful as I can, there’s not a lot that I figured I could do to help directly. Luckily there are great people working hard on prevention, treatment, support, and maybe someday a cure. But those people are, of course, under-funded and struggling for whatever support they can get. That’s where I can help.

Again this year I’ll be participating in the MS Bike Tour where I and a bunch of other folks will (try to) cycle from Stonewall to Gimli on Saturday, August 23, and then back again on the next day. Last year I took part in this great event. The ride there was certainly a challenge, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel like I was really suffering for the cause too much. Sunday was another story. I suddenly felt for all of the people who have real struggles in life, because a crippling head-wind was making it almost impossible to keep my bike up straight. I’ve never worked so hard in all my life or been so frustrated and tired. I did what people with MS can’t ever do, I said enough’s enough and got a ride home in a comfortable car and didn’t have to fight any more. This year, that wind isn’t going to get me down. I’m going to make it all the way there and back (or so I plan…).

But in order to do that, I need your support. By making a pledge to the MS Bike Tour, you’re helping me to support someone I love, and you’re helping the almost 75,000 Canadians living with the disease, as well as their countless friends, family members, and supporters. I’m asking you to give whatever you can so that someday these people can live more peacefully, not having to worry about this devastating disease. If you think you’re up for the challenge, join me on the ride. All of the cool kids are on a “team” and someday, I’d love to be a cool kid. Let me know if you want to ride along. Or, if you’re not a rider and don’t have a few bucks to spare, you can volunteer to help out. You can email candace.gower@mssociety.ca if you’d like to help out.

Please take a moment to read more about the disease if you like by visiting the following links:
http://www.mssociety.ca/en/information/faq.htm
http://www.mssociety.ca/ORS/PDF/MS-Facts.pdf

And then, take a moment to make a pledge if you can. Any size of donation is appreciated and will help me to reach my goal, and will help the MS Society to continue on with its important work.

Here is the link to sponsor me online: https://msofs.mssociety.ca:443/2008Bike/Sponsor.aspx?PID=1060132&L=2&GC=ORS
Or, let me know and I’ll collect a pledge from you in person.

Thanks for reading, caring, and your support. It’s much appreciated.


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