On Tuesday, March 23rd, Greg was rushed to the ER by his wife Cherie Johnson with abdominal pain. Upon examination and tests, it was determined that Greg had a potentially dangerous obstruction and had to undergo emergency surgery the following day. During that surgery, the doctors discovered a mass and performed a biopsy. That mass was later confirmed as cancer.
While Greg’s doctors were able to successfully treat his obstruction, the news of the cancer was an unexpected and devastating blow to both Greg and Cherie. Aside from the challenges Greg faces in recovering from the invasive surgery he’s just endured (which in itself will involve special care and rehabilitation in the weeks ahead), he is now faced with many months of radiation treatment, chemo, and additional surgeries. As you can imagine, this has been a life changing event for both Greg and Cherie; Greg was forced into taking an immediate leave of absence from his job and Cherie has had to dramatically cut her hours at work to help with her husband’s treatment and recovery.
Both Greg and Cherie have been extremely active in the Blues/ Music community for many years, supporting hundreds of musicians as well as innumerable music industry events and workers. In particular, they’ve always stepped up in a big way when others have been stricken with cancer or other serious illness. Now, it’s Greg and Cherie who need our help. Please, show your support for this amazing, loving couple as they cope with the medical crisis they’re facing. The upcoming weeks ahead will be critical as Greg undergoes more testing to see how far his cancer has advanced. We will be posting updates as they come in.
For those who may be unfamiliar with Greg’s enormous contributions to the blues community, below is some more detail:
--President of one of the country’s strongest blues associations since 2002, keeping the organization stable and financially sound through turbulent times;
--BluesNotes contributor, writing the majority of every issue and serving as official photographer;
--Chair and co-founder of Journey to Memphis competition 2000 to present;
--Muddy Awards committee/chair, 1998 to present;
--Scheduling monthly CBA General Membership Meetings;
--Liaison with The Blues Foundation, other Blues Societies, multiple festivals and media contact;
--Emcee at the Waterfront Blues Festival and other blues events;
--Past stage manager in Memphis for the International Blues Challenge at Orpheum Theater and running Club 152 during IBC for 13 years;
--Stage manager for the Blues Music Awards for seven years;
--In recognition of these and many other contributions, Greg has been the recipient of MANY industry honors, including the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” award and more!
Team Slim Lively
Organizer and beneficiary
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