Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Website launched to help Dallasite Ben Curtis of School of Seven Bells pay for cancer treatment
Check out SupportBenjaminCurtis.com.
Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the first release from UFOFU, the beloved local band featuring Joe Butcher and brothers Ben and Brandon Curtis whose ’97 eponymous full-lengther and singles servings have aged better than most six-month-old releases. All these years later, after the threesome went their separate ways to play in other bands long since dissolved themselves, I still think of Ben Curtis as the kiddo behind the drum kit, Brandon’s little brother plucked at age 16 to hit the road when he should have been in school.
After UFOFU’s bust-up Ben played with Tripping Daisy (starting in ’97), joined Brandon and other beloved local expats in The Secret Machines, then left to go his own way with School of Seven Bells. Look at the photo at above — he’s a kid no more.
And now, he needs help: In February Ben was hospitalized and diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma, a cancer in the lymphatic system. It hit him hard. Bandmate Alley Deheza wrote on the band’s Facebook page that the cancer “developed pretty aggressively, and the chemotherapy to treat it will be pretty aggressive.” It’s treatable, she wrote, but it won’t be easy. Still, she wrote: Ben “is the toughest person I know (even while here, he was trying to figure out a way to sample the MRI).”
But tough doesn’t pay the bills, which is why a site’s just been launched to help Curtis cover the cost of survival and recovery: Support Benjamin Curtis. Perhaps you’ve come across it in the past day: The Spree tweeted a link to it last night, and from the looks of Facebook today anyone who’s attended a local concert since the start of Bill Clinton’s first term is passing it around like it’s at the end of a roach clip.
The site’s been up for a few days, and on Friday Deheza explained its genesis.
“Some amazing friends of ours have put together a website for Benjamin to help with the considerable mounting costs that he and his family are facing at present and in the coming months,” she writes. “He is responding really well to treatment, and rough as it has been, it’s your messages and posts that have inspired us and keep us focused on the path ahead. Thank you so much to all of you who have been continuously sending love.”
Below, a look way back: UFOFU at the Bronco Bowl, when the band shared a bill with Funland and Tripping Daisy.