Rock to Cure Cancer comes to Albuquerque!

I wanted to tell a story about the personification of creating beauty from storm: Mad Marc Hendrix of Rock to Cure Cancer.

It was Friday, the glorious last night of my workweek, and I was looking forward to taking a weekend off.* One of my guests came to the front desk and asked if she could use our breakfast room for rehearsal space. I offered to let her use our conference room.

She was Mad Marc Hendrix and 24 hours later, she was going to be my interviewee.

I asked what kind of music they were going to be playing, partly because I wanted to make sure my guests upstairs wouldn’t be bothered, but mostly because I’m eternally curious.

Her face lit up. She told me about her upcoming show at Burt’s Tiki Lounge: Rock to Cure Cancer. It was a chance to see five bands for a $5 cover. Not bad!

A weekend off isn’t possible for a nightlife blogger, but let’s pretend for art’s sake that I was going to spend a quiet, relaxing weekend at home.

Rock to Cure Cancer

Here’s a rundown:

Rock to Cure Cancer is an organization of musicians that get together to perform in cities across the southwest (and spreading) to raise money and awareness to combat lymphoma. Since the organization was started in 2009, they have raised and donated more than $9,000 to the Lymphoma Research Foundation. They also register people for the bone marrow registry. Go give them a Like on Facebook because what they’re doing is incredible.

Mad Marc Hendrix drumming for her band at the Rock to Cure Cancer show on April 9, 2016.

Mad Marc Hendrix drumming away at center stage.

Mad Marc Hendrix

Hendrix is a promoter for Rock to Cure Cancer. She joined the organization in the summer of 2009. April 9, the night of the show in Albuquerque and the 2016 tour debut, was the 7th anniversary of her brother’s diagnosis with cancer.

It turns out that the debut show was also the Albuquerque debut.

“It was our first year here, and we’re going to come back every year. And we get a lot of offers. We got some offers in Minneapolis. There’s heavy metal bands in Georgia that want to do a show. I’ve got friends in Florida, and in Austin, Texas. I’m already getting ready to implement on in 2017 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.”

Hendrix’s dedication comes from her experience with her brother.

When he was diagnosed, it was 6 to 12 months he’s got. So your life is on hold for these next twelve months because you don’t know if you’re gonna have him next year. And then it was a few weeks to a few months. So now everything is about this person.

It’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever watched – was somebody who’s so physically strong and of a good nature and who had friends and never cheated anybody, never lied to anybody, a very proud person, very reliable, and this was the end of that life. Never asked for much in this world, never took.

So when you see that…

To me, I see success in people if they have a support system in their recovery. And to me, this was what I had to do to heal. This was my support system. This was my recovery. That’s what keeps me going. These shows and these guys. And I always make it clear why this is important to us as a foundation and why it’s important to me as a person. They’re playing here because they’re part of a life saved.

So my inspiration was because of loss, but it’s a productive thing that I do. It’s like it was given to me as a gift. It’s all about what we choose to do with our lives. Trauma is either going to make you or break you and that’s the reality of it.

My middle daughter, who was very close to my brother, is now going to college in the medical field, and she has got an offer to work with patients who have blood cancer. It’s amazing. This is how things are. We can’t choose these things that happen to us, but we can choose what we’re going to do about it. We all get bad breaks, we all get things that will be beyond our control, but we are in control of this. We have choices. 

Hendrix’s story inspired me and reminded me of why I started my YouTube channel and my blog in the first place: as a platform to share the stories of incredible people that are doing amazing things, as a platform to inspire you all to take action and create something beautiful, and as a platform to show that there is still wonder in the world.

This entire organization is a great reminder of what you can create even in the stormiest times of your life.

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