In what has become an annual tradition, Blackberry Smoke performed at a sold-out homecoming show at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga., last Friday, where they donated $15,000 to CURE Childhood Cancer and $15,000 to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The money was raised through the sale of VIP Meet & Greet packages at their 2015 shows. This latest donation brings the total given by the band to childhood cancer non-profits and research to more than $130,000 over the past three years. Blackberry Smoke’s desire to give was inspired by Lana Turner, the daughter of drummer Brit Turner, who was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma at the age of three. Thanks to the incredible care she received from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, who the band has donated money to in the past, she made a complete recovery and is now a happy and healthy eight year old. This year’s donations will be used to fund pediatric cancer research that will impact children throughout the southeast region and beyond.
“We are so moved and appreciative to receive these funds from such a fantastic rock band which understands the crisis of childhood cancer after traveling the journey with the Turner family,” said Kristin Connor, Executive Director of CURE Childhood Cancer. “It means so much that Blackberry Smoke shares our mission to eradicate pediatric cancer in our lifetime.”
“We are extremely honored that Blackberry Smoke has selected Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to receive funding for important pediatric cancer research, focusing on neuroblastoma. Support from partners like Blackberry Smoke is critically vital in our current day and age to conduct research for new and innovative therapies that help cure more children of pediatrics cancer with fewer side effects,” said Howard Katzenstein, M.D., professor of Pediatrics, medical director for Pediatric Hematology Oncology and the Scott and Tracie Hamilton Professor in Cancer Survivorship.“It was my privilege to be part of the health care team that took care of Lana Turner during her successful treatment for neuroblastoma. The Turners were such a special family to help care for, and the band (as well as all their fans) was so supportive during all of Lana’s treatment. The funds from Blackberry Smoke will be used to enhance our MIBG directed therapy at Children’s Hospital as part of the newest line of treatment for patients with neuroblastoma that is available at only a handful of pediatric cancer centers across the country.”
“Children do not deserve cancer,” said Brit Turner. “The doctors and nurses helped save my daughter’s life when she was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma. We were told there was very little chance for survival. The least we can do is to raise money for research and support for childhood cancer patients and their families. “