In 2021, Steve Neville was diagnosed with leukemia, forcing him to be hospitalized. He has fought for his life in ICU, undergone chemotherapy and received a stem cell transplant. He is a founding member of The Balconies and is now preparing to release a song collection about his experiences with cancer and the emotional challenges of recovery as a young father during the pandemic.
#songs4cancer Busking Tour
This project aims to raise funds and awareness for cancer research in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society. As part of the project, Neville will undertake a socially distant busking tour to accommodate his immunocompromised state. All proceeds from the tour and $2 from every album sale will be donated to charity.
A Personal Note from Steve:
After going through chemotherapy and receiving a stem cell transplant in May 2021, I intimately understand some of the challenges faced within the cancer community. The popular messaging about treatment and recovery emphasizes the trope of the “cancer warrior”, a persistently strong, resilient, and emotionally positive cancer patient who lives to inspire others. However, the reality of the journey cannot be ignored because with cancer, one encounters tremendous pain and must learn to live with the difficult emotions that come with diagnosis, therapy, recovery, and the threat to life. This suffering also extends to the community’s loved ones, many of whom have taken on roles as caregivers or have tragically lost a family member or friend.
The songwriting process for my music helped me to survive my time in hospital and to work through my emotions – my acoustic guitar was my constant companion in the cancer ward, especially when others couldn’t visit me due to the pandemic. I hope that with my music, I can act as a friend for others in need as they confront these deeply human issues. My songs are dedicated to everyone who has been touched by cancer, be it patients, survivors, friends, family, and healthcare providers. Cancer demands bravery of us as we face our fears and upend our lives, but it also demands honesty and self-compassion. These songs hold that sentiment to heart.
raised by #songs4cancer
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