From Mom ‘N Poppy’s Log….
Over the past month the Parker family, with the help of a wonderful Community of friends, has held two fundraising events.
I sent these two gals along for the ride…to help all that they could!
They are my handmade….Honky Tonk Gals!
Allow me to introduce….
Miss Ruby and Miss Polly Darton!
They are Country Gals,one of a kind…with a love for all things of the ‘Wild West’!…and have traveled to the Midwest to help a worthy cause!
The reason for the fundraising events….
We have two family members with some very serious medical conditions. Teri has been battling cancer and the effects of treatment for several years now…exhausting all finances available. She is waiting for the opportunity of surgery but it has been too soon since her last series of treatments. Teri and her husband, Chris, have limited finances for her care and treatment and no longer have insurance coverage.
Darren’s story (printed below) is similar. He has been diagnosed with a tumor that, although malignant, has created many challenges for his daily life.
The love and friendship of the towns of Glasgow, Bluffs, Illinois…and surrounding areas …truly amazing! Family and friends all rallied for both Teri and Darren with a fundraiser for Teri on May 19th and last weekend, June 23rd, for Darren. There were many items donated for the auctions…and they were both a great success. What great support!
There are some generous and kind-hearted celebrities out there too….and one of Darrens’ idols stepped up to the plate for him! Nuno…of the band Extreme donated a guitar for the auction! Read this great story…
(copied from the story published in My Journal Courier in Jacksonville, Illinois, written by Greg Olson…the link to the original story is provided below).
Former Bluffs man with tumor meets idol
Parker, a former Bluffs and Jacksonville resident who in the past two years has been diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumor and Type II diabetes, was the guest of his favorite band Extreme at Boston’s Fenway Park on May 26.
“The whole Boston experience started with a simple email to Extreme’s manager, Rob Hoffman,” Parker recalled. “I half-jokingly asked if [guitarist] Nuno [Bettencourt] would come perform at my benefit in Bluffs. I knew there was a one in one million shot of this happening, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask.”
The sympathetic manager tried to get Bettencourt involved, but the guitarist will be starting a new world tour with pop musician Rhianna that day.
“So Rob and Nuno hatched a plan to fly me out to Boston and be a part of the Fenway Park experience. I was on the road driving from Jacksonville to Bluffs when I received a personal call from Nuno himself, inviting me out to Boston. I literally had to pull off to the side of the road. I was in such disbelief,” Parker said.
For the past year and a half, Parker has been battling a number of medical issues.
“I began to experience extreme fatigue and headaches in late 2010,” he said. “In March 2011, after a series of blood tests and MRIs, I was diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumor, located near my pituitary gland on the left side of my brain. I was put on a series of medications in order to try to shrink the tumor.”
After a year of tests to monitor the tumor, he was told it was growing in spite of the treatments.
He started going to a specialist in Springfield, who doubled the medication and said radiation treatments would be the next step.
Parker managed to keep working until December, when his medical condition forced him to stop.
A connection with music
Parker said he became a fan of Extreme in the late 1990s.
“I randomly picked up Nuno’s album ‘Schizophonic’ in 1997 out of curiosity and by the fourth track, I had a new favorite musician,” he said. “Ever since that day he has remained my favorite singer/guitarist, and I went back and had a newfound respect and love for Extreme’s music.”
Parker called the Boston trip an amazing and surreal experience.
“From the initial phone call from Nuno Bettencourt to flying out of Boston, I was just shaking my head in disbelief that it was all happening to me. My friend Shane Moon and I met Gary [Cherone] and Nuno outside the hotel in Boston and then we went to Fenway Park, where the band was doing sound check prior to the game. We watched the Red Sox take batting practice. We were then taken on a private tour of Fenway Park by a local Boston police officer. I’ll never forget standing on top of the Green Monster in left field and looking out over the stadium. We then met up with the band again, and their manager, Rob Hoffman. We went back to a private area where Gary and Nuno rehearsed their version of the Star-Spangled Banner. Nuno motioned us closer, so we were literally two feet away as they played through the song and bounced ideas off each other. A UFO could have landed in the room and I wouldn’t have noticed.”
Parker said he felt some tension before Extreme performed the national anthem.
“I know the band, who hail from Boston, were nervous performing that song in that stadium in front those hometown fans,” he said. “Add in the fact that Nuno’s self-proclaimed biggest fan is just a few feet away on the field, I’m sure he was on pins and needles, eager to impress me. They did a very unique and fantastic version of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and the end was drowned out by deafening applause from the fans.”
After playing the national anthem, Parker walked to home plate and waved to the crowd, posed for pictures and was then presented a gift from Bettencourt — the acoustic guitar he had just played on the field, which will be auctioned off at a weekend benefit fundraiser in Bluffs.
“He then surprised me by also giving me one of his signature Washburn N4 guitars, that being mine to keep,” Parker said. “He autographed both guitars, we took more pictures and then we got escorted to our seats behind home plate.”
After the game, Parker and Moon hung out in a Boston hotel lobby with Bettencourt and Cherone.
“I don’t think they realized what they were getting into, as two über fans were sitting with them and about to unleash a mind-numbing amount of music nerd questions,” Parker said. “We ended up sitting there with our musical idols for nearly three hours, cracking jokes, talking music, sports and about our personal lives. There we were, just sitting around like four old friends. To say I felt like I was in some type of bizarro alternate universe would be an understatement.”
Parker, a 1998 graduate of Bluffs High School, is the son of Danny and Linda Parker of Bluffs.
He lived in Jacksonville from 2004 to 2010 and worked at the Walgreens at 1802 W. Morton Ave. and managed The Rock Stop in Chapin during that time.
Parker and his wife, Lindsey, were married in April 2010 and live in Mattoon.
In this crazy world of ours…it is pretty wonderful to see the outpouring of love and care from these two small communities…for our Family!
We are forever thankful!
Miss Ruby …
…Happy in their new homes!
Wishing you all the blessings that you and your family may be in need of…
and Happy Trails….
’til we meet again!