Friday, June 28, 2013

@CriticalJazz - Giving Back...Don't Miss A Beat / American Liver Foundation


Reviewing music is a dream come true for me...I am still a little confused as to how this all came to pass or perhaps that is the encephalopathy talking. Most of you may be aware that I champion the Independent artists, the renegade creative spirit that drives an individual to pursue their passion no matter the cost, struggle or resulting hardships that they must endure along the way and with no reasonable guarantee of success.

I have done pieces on fund raising efforts for artists kickstarter campaigns but now I want to move a little outside the box. Drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. has a foundation www.dontmissabeat.org which provides music and art classes for young people in areas of Brooklyn that are not exactly conducive to the creative spirit. These are kids in desperate need of a chance and the opportunity to let their creative jones run free and allow these most deserving children the chance to build on life skills that can keep them away from the violence that plagues their community. If you can help them, please do...There is no better feeling than helping an innocent child that is so deserving of the same chances you and I enjoyed when we were their age.

The second part of my focus hits incredibly close to home, the American Liver Foundation provides invaluable support, guidance and even hope when none seems to exist for individuals suffering from all forms of liver disease. I suffer from an advanced liver disease and encourage you to check out www.caringbridge.org where you can find out more including how you might become a volunteer. Liver disease is a sadistic illness. Upon diagnosis an individuals entire life changes from diet to sleep to fighting off the myriad of side illnesses one encounters. The immune system is compromised and an infection that would pose the average person in reasonable health no danger can easily be fatal for someone with advanced liver disease. Salt, sugar, and fat are immediately removed from one's diet as a general rule in an effort to keep edema at a minimum. Post venous thrombosis occurs in severe cases which limits the blood flow through major organs. If you didn't have kidney disease before diagnosis then you are suddenly put on watch for what is in most cases the inevitable. Fatigue is a given and keeping any sense of normalcy in one's daily routine is left up to the progression of the disease and the determination of the individual to "keep fighting" which is often easier said than done. If you can, check out the local chapters for the Liver foundation nearest you and contribute or volunteer your services if at all possible. 

I will be spot lighting other individuals that are living their creative passion be it in or outside of music. Sharing your gifts is the greatest blessing one can give their fellow man. Monetary help during these tough times is of course tight for everyone, sometimes that personal touch means more than any dollar figure can cover. Knowing people care is perhaps the best medicine of all.