Portland’s music community comes together for cancer fundraiser
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland music community and friends from across the area came together Thursday night for an evening of great local music and a fundraiser for their friend currently battling cancer.
It was a packed night at the Lollipop Shoppe in SE Portland. The Spoon Benders, Silver Triplets of the Rio Hondo, and the Black Doors with DJ Mamõn performed. All to help Tony Hilsmeier as he battles Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
“There’s people in your life that you make a choice to be the people you really show up for,” Zia McCabe said. “Tony has been that guy for me and a ton of other people. He’s hilarious, endearing, a good musician. He’s the kind of person you want to help when they need you.”
“Tony is amazing,” Johann Peters added. “He’s a person that helps others. So now is the time for him to get the help.”
Jaymee Cuti, also a friend of Hilsmeier, says he’s a 15-year employee at Serratto in Northeast Portland and customers’ children know him as “Uncle Tony”. As he was moving into his new home in the Cully neighborhood, he noticed a swelling in his feet that didn’t seem right.
What was first an emergency room visit turned into an extended stay at OSHU’s Knight Cancer Institute. Following several rounds of chemo, he received a bone marrow transplant in June and continues to receive infusions multiple times a week.
Hilsmeier could not be at Thursday’s fundraiser, but uploaded a video thanking everyone for all the support.
”Hey everyone, I just wanted to say hello, wish everyone a good day and hope everyone is doing well,” Hilsmeier said in a video. “Keeping up post-transplant. I’m about a third of the way into my 100 days of curing. It’s a long process, a lot going on in my body, but we are inching along well. We’re all looking at everything and so far, so good.”
Friends also livestreamed the event for him to watch from home.
“This cancer fight for my life has taken me to some dark places, but I believe in miracles,” said Hilsmeier. “I keep myself positive with the help of my incredible medical team at OHSU and the love and support of my friends, loved ones and community.”
As Hilsmeier continues on the road to recovery, his friends say they will be with him every step of the way.
“Tony we love you so much and we are so proud of how hard you’ve been fighting,” said McCabe. “You are so unbelievably strong it’s mind blowing and breathtaking.”
Friends have also started a GoFundMe for Hilsmeier, which you can donate to here.
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