Ruby Tuesdays and many others in the Illawarra music community are joining forces in the fight against brain cancer and help a South Coast music fan get the treatment he needs.
The band – along with 16 other musicians – are donating their time for the Still Trucken music festival at the Illawarra Brewing Company in North Wollongong on Saturday February 16.
Laurie “Truck-Ken” Thompson, formerly of Bellambi, was easily recognisable at live music gigs across the Illawarra with his thick head of dreadlocks. Sadly they’ve gone due to cancer treatment.
Last September the 34-year-old carpenter was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive type of brain cancer. It was a grade four tumour with the outlook terminal.
“The doctors here said there was no cure but they could offer chemotherapy and radiotherapy,” girlfriend Rhianna Dillon said.
However, immunotherapy treatments offered in Germany offer some form of hope for Mr Thompson, though are quite costly.
Around $200,000 is needed for the treatments which are currently unavailable in Australia, with the aim to begin in April or May.
“We started a GoFundMe page ... then his friends came up with idea of organising this music festival because Laurie is really into music and always going to see live bands along the coast,” Ms Dillon said.
“They thought it would be something he’d like and a lot of the bands would know him and be happy to help out.”
Mikaela Ackerman was the main instigator and contacted everyone she could think of to help her get the Still Trucken festival together.
“I couldn’t afford to give him any money towards his GoFundMe page so I rallied up [people] – I know heaps of musicians and people who work in events and that kind of thing locally who all know Laurie as well,” she said.
The response was better than Ms Ackerman had anticipated with many people putting their hands up to help. She wanted to thank Shaun Snide and Tay Plain who have been instrumental in getting the festival off the ground.
Still Trucken will run from 11am to 11pm at the brewery on Montague Street, with raffles, silent auctions, live art and food.
The full line-up includes: Chase The Sun; Claude Hay; Ruby Tuesdays; GOSH; Chuparosa; Mac Tango; Enter The Jaguar; The Groove; Billy Demos; Essem; Loki Hines; Blessie Pica; Shelley May; Tay Plain; Eve Schroder; and India Sweeney.