Music for a Cure by Guest Blogger Corri Peck
Whenever someone asks me about why I continue to work on the Music for a Cure benefit concert year after year, I can't help but think back to those last few days that Papa (my grandfather) was alive. It was during those last few days that I felt so helpless. Seeing the man I idolized, lying in his bed just trying to stay alive was the toughest thing I've ever had to experience. Everyone else around seemed like they had something that they were able to offer that could help the family. Neighbors came over and offered to help with yard work, my grandparent's pastor's family came over every night just to offer emotional support, and extended family members showed up to help cook and clean so that way we were all able to stay fed and focused on making Papa as comfortable as possible. My task was to keep my little brother, who was five at the time, on as much of a normal routine as possible. Although this was a huge help to my parents, I still felt at a loss and wanted to do something to help.
The only thing I've known and have had a constant connection to besides my family is music. I've been crazy about all types of music my entire life, which is why I essentially moved to Nashville 5 1/2 years ago. It was because of this connection, as well as my family's connection with the Tennessee Oncology Group and The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation that I got the idea for Music for a Cure. It is with the full support of my family and the Nashville songwriting community that I am able to make that dream a reality.
Every year during the first weekend of November, my family makes the trip from Florida to join in on what I like to call, \one of the great musical events of the year.\ Each of the artists that play help to keep my dream alive by donating their time to help me keep Papa's memory alive, as well as the memory of people close to them that have battled cancer. We've had such performances as Jamey Johnson (who won CMA's Song of the Year for George Strait's \Give It Away\), Angie Aparo (who wrote \Cry\ by Faith Hill), Cory Batten (who wrote Chris Young's \Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)\ and Blake Shelton's \She Wouldn't Be Gone\), as well as Gloriana, Halfway to Hazard, and many other talented artists with huge songwriting credits too numerous to list. Each artist shows up with just their guitar, and they all sit together in-the-round, and have a blast playing their own songs and joining in on others. The event keeps a pretty laid-back atmosphere, although no one is quick to forget why they're there.
Being able to plan this event every year for such a great organization as The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation, is such an honor! Their continued work to help benefit the lives of cancer patients and their families is such a blessing, and being able to join in on helping them with their mission has not only been a way for me to grieve, but to see the memory of a great man like my Papa stay alive.
It is my hope that these shows will be an annual event that will exist for many years to come, and that they will provide not only a great time to those that attend, but a solace to those that are going through the difficult experience of dealing with cancer. One day, maybe even music will help find a cure.