To Our New And Returning Visitors,
Johnny, acknowledges that he is in the fight of his life, but continues to prevail as he takes on each new battle with his signature enthusiasm and determination, pushing through daily, rigorous treatment schedules, tests, scans, setbacks, scares and successes.
(Latest details at end of this update.)
So now, in spite of the continuous daily struggles, Johnny is determined to get back to work on the unfinished project closest to his heart. It's the album of original music he's been working on for a few years, at the invitation of Robby Krieger. And as I’ve already mentioned, all of the proceeds from this album will go to ST. JUDE'S CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL.
Here he is in session, just before diagnosis, working on a new classical jazz pieces with the string trio :
This is perhaps Johnny’s final project. It’s very important to him. And he's very close to completing it. We’ve already come this far, and have won so many hard battles. And though we are surely the worse for wear, there’s No turning back now.
I have left my work in order to care for my Husband 24/7. The loss of both of our incomes together with shocking medical costs has put us in a frightening financial free fall, with time running out. And so, here I am, once again in this humbled position, asking for your continued support to help him stay safe in our modest home while he see's this fight through, battle by battle.
As I said in the original submission, "No amount is too small. And with any monetary amount, you are giving my Johnny this very great gift; the gift of time. Time to finish his life’s work, and indeed his Life."
The thing is, Johnny LOVES his work. And even though this work, brings very modest compensation these days, he still maintains his lifelong philosophy that we must "do what we love and love what we do, every day".
Now, against the odds, he pushes through with a positive and relentless energy that continues to impress his doctor's and re-energize Me every day. If you ask Johnny why he continues to keep this fight going, he'll tell you it's because he still has work to do. And he intends to get it done.
Those of you who have already donated to our very personal cause, THANK YOU and BLESS YOU. And please continue to share our story. We know there is tremendous need all around us at every turn. We are witness to a small yet profound sampling of it every day as we move through the hospital and clinic. And so, in light of this knowledge, we are more grateful for your outpouring of love than words can express.
Thank you again,
Laura Harris and The Harris Family
LATEST DETAILS: Beginning in September, endless weeks of daily radiation treatments to the brain and then the lymph nodes, extreme loss of muscle mass caused by weeks of steroids, a life threatening attack of multiple pulmonary blood clots, months of unpleasant immunotherapy treatments, most recently giving way to chemotherapy, when, after weeks of extreme appetite loss and consequently, dramatic weight loss, new cancer activity in the abdomen was detected. Then, in mid-March, just as Johnny was regaining some strength and mobility, he suffered a stroke. Albeit mild, it has been a tremendous setback, leading to a three week stay in hospital as he undergoes intense physical therapy.
Original submission, August, 2018 -
For many years, my Husband, Johnny Harris, has been in the music business as an arranger, music director and composer, working with dozens of musicians and performers in both the UK and the U.S. He is still active here in L.A. And while his resume and reputation are staggeringly impressive, and he considers himself successful by his own terms, he has never garnered anything resembling any kind of wealth.
Now, a more or less itinerate composer, Johnny maintains his lifelong philosophy that we must do what we love and love what we do, every day. And to this day, he lives by this philosophy and would tell you it is the simple secret to living a truly happy, healthy and totally fulfilled life. Obviously, for Johnny, it’s the music. He makes music, Thinks music, Feels music and “Lives in the music” every hour of every day.
For some time now, he’s been working on an album of his own, at the invitation of Robby Krieger. Though, once again, there will be no income from this project, as all of the proceeds will be donated to St Jude's Charity. You see, even though his long and illustrious career has never been a source of great financial reward, Johnny is still happy to give back however and whenever he can.
And so, his currency is music.
However, in light of what we’re facing, it’s clear that we’re going to need a more practical and more readily accepted form of currency - and lots of it, in order to take on this fearsome fight.
Just last month, on our anniversary in fact, Johnny and I were completely blind sided when, quite out of the blue, he received a shocking diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer.
Then, we learned that the blood pressure drug that he has taken faithfully for a decade, has been removed from the market due to a toxic chemical therein that can cause tumors and…lung cancer.
There is NO cancer in his family's long history or genetic makeup. And he hasn’t smoked for 45 years.
Regarding his attitude, throughout his life, my Johnny has beat most odds and pushed through numerous major surgeries, difficult procedures and now, years with progressive post polio syndrome, which has been robbing him of his mobility, day by day. And still, he is a broad chested powerhouse of positive energy, enthusiasm for life and a constant source of love and strength for all of us.
We have finally received the pathology results which suggest that Johnny is a candidate for Immunotherapy. This is the positive result we’ve been holding our breath, hoping for. The thing is, Immunotherapy treatment is also shockingly, and in our case, prohibitively expensive. Because, though our financial situation has always been modest, our current financial circumstances are no less than dire.
In spite of this, I’m sure you will all understand and agree when I say, unequivocally, that I CANNOT and WILL NOT allow my Husband’s options and in fact, survival, to be inadvertently dictated by inadequate insurance and/or lack of funds!
So you see, I am compelled to submit this heartfelt appeal to all of you to please donate whatever amount you can, in order that this extraordinarily talented, passionate and endlessly generous man, Johnny Harris, can continue to give back - through his talent, through his music, and ultimately, through you. Please know, no amount is too small. And that, with any monetary amount, you are giving my Johnny this very great gift; the gift of time. Time to finish his life’s work, and indeed his Life.
I can promise you with all sincerity and certainty, your return on investment will be great, in the form of loving gratitude and of course, brilliant music, to be paid forward… Make no mistake. My Johnny will make you proud.
Thank you in advance, from the bottom of my heart, for your caring assistance. We promise to return the favor, over and over again.
Laura Harris, aka, The Maestro's Mrs.
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