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It is 2016 and My Peak Challenge is in full swing again. I have signed up for several "official" races - not just a walk around the block. I'll be doing the Crescent City Classic - something I've seen for years but never thought I'd be a part of. UPDATE - CCC done! Was brilliant. Defo doing again next year!
My artistic challenges this year are a carryover from last year's Old, New, Borrowed and Blue. I'm taking one of the commissioned pieces for the Scotland program and putting it up for sale on iTunes and CD Baby with all proceeds benefitting Bloodwise. $ .90 of each $ .99 sale goes to Bloodwise - neither myself, the composer nor anyone involved in this recording is making any money from this.
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kimhickey and on iTunes
I have one other project cooking - at the suggestion of John Giraud, my longtime friend, who happens to be a fantastic operatic baritone, I have asked Jorge Velazquez to expand Esteem for Chloris into a song cycle. We have selected four more Burns poems for Jorge to set to music. These will be recorded professionally, hopefully in early summer, and sold as an EP with all proceeds going to Bloodwise.
Here is a small excerpt of our rehearsal with John singing Esteem.
I would like to add that, as much as I love the show Outlander, and as much as I admire Sam (who is truly an amazing person and far more than a pretty face, I assure you, please familiarize yourself with him!), I do have a very personal connection to this cause besides simple star-struck idol-worship. You see, I was born with a lot of birth defects and health problems. I spent the first several weeks of my life at Touro Infirmary in the NICU, and the first fifteen or so years of my life I was a frequent visitor at Children's Hospital and Medical Clinic. I started school before IDEA was passed (legislation that says that students with any kind of disability must be accommodated in the school where they would normally attend, not be sent to a designated school that "handles" special cases), so I spent a lot of time with other sick children, children in head scarves with brachial shunts, children who looked and were different from most of the rest. I also spent a lot of time with doctors, nurses, needles, operating rooms, medicine, IVs. I still do spend time with doctors and medicine. In fact, I went into medicine as my vocation - I have worked in medical offices since college and am getting my MBA in healthcare management.
As to cancer itself, we have had some brushes with it in our family. My father was a radiational test subject while stationed in the South Pacific during his time in the Navy. He had skin cancers for the rest of his life after that and we suspect his exposure may have caused some, if not all, of my health issues. I have had skin cancers removed, including one that was pre-melanoma, but was fortunately found in time.
Through all of this, since I was born, I was lucky to have the amazing medical care of Touro Infirmary, Children's Hospital, Tulane Medical Center, and all the doctors associated therein; plus the doctors I have seen since as an adult. Though my health issues are numerous, chronic and will be with me my whole life, they are completely treatable. They are challenging, inconvenient, painful, bothersome - all sorts of words. What they aren't is life threatening.
Blood cancer most certainly can be life threatening. And while medical centers all over the world are working on treatments and cures, people are still sick and dying. Much is being done, but for every person who is sick, every person who loses their battle, that is one too many.
I'm hoping you will donate for both my physical and musical performances. I'm hoping you will donate to help fund research for blood cancer treatment.