Kenny v. Cancer
Friends of Kenny Capps are rallying around to support him in a difficult time. Capps, who was raised in Black Mountain, is the owner of the local Kudzu Printing Company, and the father of three. He is preparing for a bone marrow transplant in August, part of an effort to treat multiple myeloma, the aggressive form of bone marrow cancer with which he was diagnosed earlier this year.
This site was started by David LaMotte, a singer, songwriter and author who is also lives in Black Mountain, NC. LaMotte and Capps have known each other for 25 years, first meeting while they were working summer jobs in Montreat during their college years. “Kenny is a good friend and good man,” said LaMotte. “When someone I love comes up against something as difficult as this, I want to help, but it’s often hard to know what to do. We are so grateful to have a chance to do something that will be both tangibly helpful and fun, and to give the community an avenue to support Kenny as well.”
The money raised from the event will go to help pay medical bills and to help with expenses while Capps is being treated at Emory, in Atlanta, and his wife, Murphy Capps, owner of Kudzu Branding Co. and founder of the local Front Porch Theatre, remains in Black Mountain to care for the couple's young children and their two businesses. "We have been blown away by all the love and support heaped on us since Kenny's diagnosis in February," says Murphy Capps. "This has definitely been a very scary time for our family". Multiple Myeloma is an incurable type of cancer with an average 3-5 year survival rate. "But, because of advancements in medicine and amazing friends and family, we know we've got this thing beat. Kenny and I look forward to many, many happy years together, raising our family, running our businesses, and loving our friends, right here in Black Mountain. This is what life's all about. Loving and supporting each other. We are all in this together."
We are continuing to work on our August 13th benefit show at White Horse in Black Mountain, NC. Not only is it designed to raise funds for the Capps family, but also to give Kenny as much music, poetry and love as we can before he enters the next phase of his treatment.
We would like to thank all of you who have given so generously of yourselves, your time and your resources. I struggled to find the best words for that, but Kenny said everything so beautifully himself in a Facebook post to his friends and family after returning from a procedure in Georgia...
I just crawled into bed, after putting on my pajamas, washing my face and kissing my amazing family and friends goodnight. I closed my eyes, counted backwards from 100, slowly trying to relax, thinking about mostly nothing (that never actually happens, but it's been a goal for years), and attempted to do a little hardcore meditating.
Almost immediately it hit me - how stinking amazing this experience has been. Seriously! It's not the meds talking (I don't think), and I'm pretty sure the cancer hasn't spread to my brain. I have gained more from this than I could have anticipated.
I don't need to dwell on the negatives, right now. Those are in our face everyday. It's hard to get away from them, actually.
Oddly, the positives are right there too, almost so obvious to be ridiculous.
This week, I made a poor decision to drive myself to Emory and attempted to handle this stem cell collection process myself. I've certainly done dumber things (ask Murphy), but this was pretty stupid. I just assumed I needed to get to and from the hospital with Robbie's help, and I could sit down with a stack full of work and a computer, and nobody would be bothered. Really dumb.
This process took a toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally. I thought I would be done by Tuesday, and I wasn't released until Thursday. Although it wasn't the toughest thing in the world, 16 hours of stem cell collection wasn't easy and I quickly felt really overloaded and exhausted. Handling it alone was not something I should have done.
Monday night, I told Murphy that I couldn't do this by myself, and - after being rightfully chastised - everyone sprang into action.
Super Dad (Criss Capps) immediately jumped into his Batmobile, drove to Atlanta, and stayed with me through the rest of the procedure. Since I also need additional company and a way to get my car home (since I couldn't drive back to Asheville after three straight days of collection), David LaMotte, booked a plane ticket to Atlanta, and secured a ride from the airport to the hospital. I called him Wednesday morning as walked into Asheville's airport to let him know they weren't releasing me until Thursday, so he changed his flight to Thursday and Dad stayed one more night.
Rachel Cannon Groves and her daughter Sarah picked David up at the airport and drove him up to the hospital right as my catheter was being drawn out of my neck. After a few more minutes of making certain that I was okay, David and I were in the car and heading back to the Old North State. On the way, we talked to Barbie Angell and then pulled over in the middle of a rainstorm for David and BJ Leiderman to have a radio interview with Jeff Messer about the upcoming benefit at the White Horse Black Mountain next week and how this entire community has rallied around our family to lift us up when we need it most.
I don't think I'm narcissistic enough to think this is about me. It's about our community. It's about what you want it to be and how you want to live and love. I didn't realize that you have as much love and affection for this community as I do. Maybe more. You're willing to give your all for me, for my family, and for what this all means. Dang that makes me more than thankful - it makes me proud. It motivates me to be even kinder and more loving. I want to one-up you all and give back more than what you've given me.
Every chance I get, I will. I promise. Thanks for the lesson.