A Juno-nominated musician is hoping to ease the pressure on a family dealing with a heartbreaking situation.
James “Buddy” Rogers said he called in some favours from his music industry friends and is organizing a concert, set for Sunday, Feb. 21 at Langley’s Cascades Casino, to support Kira Short and her family.
A bubbly five-year-old, Kira has a malignant tumour on her spine which is inoperable.
After three months of treatment, the family will check to see if Kira’s cancer is responding to chemotherapy in Vancouver.
If it is, treatment will continue for another three months, up to 42 weeks total.
If it’s not, Kira and her family will fly to Boston for two-and-a-half months of proton radiation therapy.
Kira’s family includes her mom Rayanne, a nursing student, and her dad Peter, an apprentice plumber.
She’s also big sister to two-year-old Jayden.
The young family is going through a painful time, both mentally and financially, as they battle for Kira’s life.
Donations are being collected and this concert is another chance to help support this family.
Kira loves life, her dad shared.
She plays soccer, took swimming lessons at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre, and is always looking out for her little brother.
“She has oodles and oodles of friends, she likes arts and crafts, and she’s finally had enough of Frozen, believe it or not,” Peter said.
Watching his daughter suffer, and not able to be with her kindergarten classmates at Maple Ridge Elementary or playing with her friends, breaks Peter’s heart.
“This is not her,” he said. “She’s not doing the things a typical five-year-old should be doing.”
As for how the family is coping, Peter said, “this is new for us. We’ve never been down this road before and we’ve had a lot support from our family and friends in the community. Everyone from my employer, to family, to people who know Kira and have been a part of her life have either directly or indirectly stepped up to make her life and her journey that much easier.”
He said, without that support, “we’d be in a place I don’t want to go.”
Peter described Kira as a “tough little girl.”
“I couldn’t imagine myself as an adult going through this kind of thing,” Peter said. “She’s a fighter.”
With the “Blues Aide” concert, Cascades Casino and LabTest Certification Inc. in Delta have supported Rogers’ efforts and sponsored the event.
The lineup includes Rogers, Tom Lavin and the Legendary Powder Blues, and Arsen Shomakhov.
Tickets are $37.71 each and all proceeds go to the Short family.
Rogers has four daughters ages 10, eight, four, and two, and has done a lot of work supporting autistic children and their families in the past.
Kira’s situation strikes a chord with him.
“People have asked me if I ever wanted to be dad to a boy and I’ve told them, ‘I don’t care, boy or girl, as long as the kid’s healthy,’ so I can’t even imagine the thought of me going through something like this,” Rogers said.
“I can’t even imagine.”
It’s hard enough nowadays with the rising cost of living, Rogers said, adding that the days of one person being the bread winner and the other staying home are “pretty much gone.”
This makes the family’s life all the more difficult as they travel back and forth to BC Children’s Hospital to be by Kira’s side.
The musicians are performing for free, and the production crew is being supplied for by Cascades Casino. The concert is from 6 to 9 p.m.
Tickets are available at Cascades Casino or by emailing Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he can arrange for those interested to pick up tickets from him, or at the door under their names.
Online tickets are available by clicking here.
Anyone who would like to help the family directly can email Peter at email@example.com.
On Jan. 22 at Maple Ridge Elementary, a Zumba party was held in support of Kira and her family .
Organized by the Maple Ridge Elementary PAC and Zumba with Adela, the fundraiser drew 150 attendees and raised $3,400.