Below is his story if you need more information about our lovely friend.
When the ACA was enacted in January of 2014, I had not had insurance for over ten years. The men in my family have all had prostate cancer, and I had been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate roughly four years before that. So when those first blood tests came back indicating an elevated presence of cancer cells in my system, I wasn’t surprised. But, boy, was I ever grateful that it hadn’t started developing sooner.
Strangely enough, cancer has given me the greatest gift: music. I had never written a song until cancer came into my life. But for whatever reason, just a few moments after my doctor had diagnosed me with a very aggressive form of prostate cancer, I wrote my first song. And then I wrote another and another and before I knew it, I had enough songs to play a show.
On a lark, some friends whose band had broken up offered to play in my band. And some other friends decided to organize a fundraiser to help cover my expenses. The show was a success. Luckily, so was my surgery and I found myself—a few months after the initial tests—cancer free.
And what a wonderful 3 years it has been. My alter ego—the man who performs these songs I write—has developed into a full personae, complete with customized wardrobe, guitar, and amplifiers, AND a nine-piece band. We play out regularly and The full set list consists of over 20 original songs, and we’re planning a recording of Earl “Pottymouth” Arbuckle’s first album. And I’ve cultivated an incredible circle of caring and talented friends in this Austin music scene. But not everything runs perfectly and I lost my insurance coverage twice over the course of my remission.
So when I was finally able to reinstate my insurance, with the generous help of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, I was anxious to get in for a follow-up visit. Unfortunately, the news is not good. My cancer has returned and radiation therapy is being planned to address this new stage in my journey with cancer. And yet, once again, I’m grateful that I was fortunate enough to catch the disease before it advanced too far to address successfully.
And now, once again, my friends have stepped up to help. My life is so very charmed. I welcome the next challenge. Thank you for standing here beside me.
- Craig Arnold
- Lorene Rowland
Organizer and beneficiary
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