MMRF President and CEO Walter Capone with Lead Trumpeter for the Dallas Symphony Ryan Anthony
The call came on a day leading up to his stem cell transplant
. Ryan Anthony had just been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and his friend and fellow musician, Doc Severinsen, wanted to know what he could do to help.
“When I get through this,” Ryan told Doc. “I want to stand on stage with you one more time.”
Then others called to offer their help and Ryan started imagining a concert that he’d call Cancer Blows – a declaration of defiance against the disease, and a way to recognize the incredible lineup of jazz and classical trumpet players that would join the event.
“It gave me something to look forward to,” he says.
Now a year later, Ryan is in remission and the concert he envisioned is a reality. It’ll take place on March 4 in Dallas (www.cancerblows.com
) – with all profits going to benefit Baylor Health Care System Foundation and the MMRF.
“It’s a celebration of where we’ve come and a reminder of what still needs to be done,” he says. “We’re nearly tripling the lifespan of multiple myeloma patients. But that doesn’t mean that this is the time to relax.”
Though Ryan has responded well to his medication and is in remission, he is comforted in knowing that – as a result of the MMRF’s work – there are new medications and treatment approaches being developed at an unprecedented pace. That’s why, shortly after his diagnosis, when he learned that Baylor was part of the MMRF research consortium (MMRC), he knew he was in the right place.
“It’s [the MMRF’s] forward thinking … their ability to be one step ahead,” that he so admires. “They’re the ones that are going to be bringing a cure
home. It gives you a lot of hope … knowing that we can do this.”
That’s the message of Cancer Blows
. “I want people to realize that having this cancer doesn’t stop you from being who you are,” Ryan says. Judging by his dedication to supporting the MMRF, and the incredible participation of musicians like Doc, Lee Loughnane, and Arturo Sandoval, it’s clear that what Ryan is, is a very special person.