Music Fights Back is a non-profit cancer foundation with a mission of raising money to provide children battling cancer with Amazon Tablets through our fundraising events, music concerts and donations from our amazing supports. Music gives us all comfort, it becomes part of our souls & gives us strength in our times of need. We are using Music to Fight Back against cancer!
We're bringing Power Ballads with a Powerful Message. Let’s face it, cancer is a battle for everyone who has to experience it and is even worse for a child fighting for their life. But as wide spread as cancer is, so too is music. These sound-waves permeate the world around you and creep right into your soul to turn everything up to eleven—and who deserves to feel that way more than a child who’s fending off cancer?
Our MFB Music Festival, held every summer in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, is our most powerful Fundraising Event and raises the lions share of our funds. Throughout the year we also have fundraising events like a bowling tournament, Meat Raffles and this year we will be having our first annual MFB Golf Outting. Another major source of funds comes from donations from friends and amazing people like you. For every investment you make, you’re not only providing a child with an Amazon Tablet but you're also giving these awesome kids hours of stress relieving tunes and inspiring videos when they need it the most. These fun and exciting events give us a voice and the power to supply Amazon Tablets for children fighting cancer. Hence our slogan Turn it Up, and Fight Back!
Back in 2015, the very first Music Fights Back event in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin kicked off with the intent of raising enough money for 10 iPods. Thanks to the overwhelming support we recieved, we doubled our goal of 10 and raised enough for 20 iPods and our foundation has been growing in leaps and bounds ever since. Check out our upcoming events now on our Facebook Page, because as long as you keep rocking with us, we’ll keep on playing for you!
Over the previous 3 years we had given away iPods to these everyday heroes Fighting Back against cancer. But this year we have decided to step it up and give Amazon Tablets to children fighting cancer and their families. Even though we are based out of Southwest Wisconsin and Northeast Iowa, we strive to give an Amazon tablet to every little warrior fighting this terrible illness no matter how far away.
This years Music Fights Back Music Festival was held on June 22nd and 23rd and ended up to be a our biggest year yet. The weekend after fathers day every year is when we invite everybody to help us have fun, create amazing memories and Fight Back against these evil diseases. Our festival consists of two days of live music, camping and fun with friends and family. Again next summer MFB Festival will be rocking out on St. Feriole Island Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. And you're all invited.
My name is Jeremy Cuff. I am the president and founder of the Music Fights Back Cancer Foundation. I have always had a love for music and concerts. I am also an active musician. I have played drums in several different bands and I have even done some touring. Music is such an important part of my life; it is everything I am. Without music I would not be here today.
I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin and lived there until I was 8 years old. My father became a police officer, and we moved to Prairie du Chien, WI where I have lived pretty much my whole life. I got into music at a very young age. My parents listened to a lot of awesome classic rock music like Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, Edgar Winter, Kiss, Billy Idol, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Who and the list could go on. I remember watching KISS play live on TV and I said to myself, “that is what I want to do.” I loved the drums so much that I would use wooden spoons as drumsticks, and I would make a drum kit out of cardboard boxes. I would bang on cardboard boxes for hours. When I was about 10 years old my father got me my first drum kit from a garage sale. This changed me as a person for the rest of my life because I have not put the drumsticks down, and I am still playing drums to this day 33 years later.
In February of 1988, I went to my first rock concert in Dubuque, IA. It was KISS and Ted Nugent; little did I know that this would be the first of 100’s and 100’s of live shows that I would eventually see. It became an addiction for me, and the more bands I watched the more I wanted to played drums. As time went on I joined band in school and I was in Marching Band, Jazz Band and Pep Band. A year after I graduated High School in 1994, I joined a heavy metal band out of Beaver Dam, WI. It was the first time that I was in a band that wrote original music. We recorded a demo in a big studio, and it was an amazing experience. We all had huge dreams of becoming rock stars and created life time friendships together. My friend Jason from Beaver Dam and I have played in numerous bands together and let me tell you we had a music chemistry that was like no other. We could play anything together. As time passed and we all got older the Rockstar dreams began to fade. We all have priorities that come first in life: relationships, family, children and careers. In 1996, my daughter Haelee was born and in 2005, my son Westbrook was born. You can’t make up for lost time with your children so becoming a Rockstar is no longer a reality. I still loved music, concerts and I loved playing in bands but after realizing my priorities, my focus needed to be on my career goals to take care of my kids.
In 2006, I went to college to become a Respiratory Therapist. I graduated and moved to Baraboo, WI where I worked in homecare. I set people up with oxygen, nebulizers and sleep apnea equipment. This was my real first look at the effects that cancer has on people and their families. I had seen it daily with my patients but it never really touched home until the day I found out that my cousin Kevin Miller was diagnosed with cancer. Kevin and I were very close. We would go hunting, fishing, go to concerts, and listen to music together. We weren’t only cousins; we were more like brothers. He went through all of his treatments and after surgery, the cancer was gone and everything was good.
After a few months, while I was working one day, I reached back to rub my neck and noticed that I had a bump on the back of my head. I went to the doctor and they said that it was a cyst and it is very common but it will go away. I decided to go get a 2nd opinion and the results were the same “it’s just a cyst.” I went for a 3rd opinion and guess what - they said the same it was a cyst so it must be a cyst. So I thought nothing about it and just kind of forgot about it. As time passed I moved back to my hometown in Prairie du Chien, WI. My girlfriend Crystal would always tell me that I need to get that bump off the back of my head or at least get it checked out again. I told her it was no big deal but she would remind me over and over to get it looked at. I kind of just blew it off like it was no big thing and I had nothing to worry about.
I received the call from my mother while I was driving to LaCrosse, WI. Mom gave me the news that no one ever wants to hear. She said that my cousin Kevin had been back to see the doctor. The cancer came back and there weren’t any more options. They gave him 6 months to live. Feb. 20, 2014 was the day that Kevin passed away. On that day, I lost my Best Friend and Brother. Until we meet again, I love you, Kevin.
A few weeks later I decided that I would take the advice and go see about getting this “Cyst” off the back of my head. I set up an appointment to have the cyst removed. They started surgery but there were some complications; they couldn’t find the cyst. It was recommended that I go to LaCrosse where I could see an actual surgeon. They stitched me back up, and we headed to the hospital the next day to get this taken care of. They had to knock me out and put me under to perform this surgery. After the surgery, I woke up and the doctor told me that we have an issue. He told me that there wasn’t a cyst but a mass of some sort that they needed a tissue sample of and that it needed to be looked at. This wasn’t really exciting news for me - it was actually terrifying news. He said that under the microscope, the tissue looked aggressive but that he would call me to come in when the results came. I went home, and had to wait for which seemed like forever for the test results. Then I got the call and I was asked to come back to LaCrosse so they could tell me the test results.
When I got to LaCrosse, the doctor told me that he received the results back and that they didn’t come back in my favor. He told us that I had a very aggressive tumor and that it was cancerous. It was a Small Spindle Cell Cancerous Tumor and it was very, very rare. When you get news like this, something happens; it’s almost like emptiness that fills your body or a dark cloud that instantly appears. I was thinking that this is impossible and cannot be real but in all reality it was very real. They said I would need to start treatments immediately and that I would require what seemed like a massive surgery. I remember when we were riding home and there was this awkward silence. I wasn’t sure if it was because we were both in shock at the moment or what, but it was there. After we got home, we waited several days to find out when my treatments were going to be and then when surgery would be.
When you find out that you have cancer, you go through many emotional stages. The thing is, it’s not only you, it’s also your loved ones and your friends that go through it as well. I remember the ups and downs, the sleepless nights and the many tears. One minute you are fine and 2 seconds later you are down on your knees asking why this is happening. I had amazing support from family, friends and people within our community. My friends had a benefit for me and raised enough money for me to pay my bills, and so I could afford to drive back and forth to treatments.
During the time of my treatments, I drove back and forth to Lacrosse every day for 30 days. This was when Music Fights Back was born, but I didn’t even know it yet. I remember driving, and it was during the moments of silence that my mind would wander and I would start to have negative thoughts. At those exact moments, I would turn on the stereo and jam out to either hard rock or heavy metal music. After driving some time and doing this routine daily, I noticed that the music was keeping me afloat and giving me drive to stay positive. I felt that the music I was listening to was sending me a message to stand up fight and never back down. I also noticed after I would get to the hospital I would spend much of my time in the waiting room. That is when I noticed I would spend much of that time on my smart phone looking at Facebook, playing with apps and watching YouTube videos. I also used YouTube to look up remedies for cancer patients. I looked for cures, how to treat radiation burn, what to eat and how to cope with all of this.
After my treatments were done, I had surgery in November of 2014. I went to Rochester where I was put under and they were going to remove all of the cancer from the back of my head. It was supposed to be a very extensive surgery that could affect the way I move my neck and head. I was very nervous at the time but I had the best people in the world there with me: my mom and dad, Haelee, Westbrook and Crystal. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be with! I will never for the rest of my life forget one moment. It was when I started to wake after my surgery. I remember opening my eyes and seeing the 5 people in my life that I love the most. They all had big smiles upon their faces so I knew something was up. It was then that the doctor had came in and told me that they had removed all of the tumor and had tested it and there was no cancer in the tumor or in my body. The doctor had asked what I did leading up to this surgery because he said it was impossible. I told him I used a cancer home remedy I had heard about from YouTube. Believe it or not it was Baking Soda and Maple Syrup. He could not believe what I told him, but that’s all that I did.
After my successful surgery and recovery, I realized that I had been blessed and was very fortunate. I had the greatest friends, family and fiancé anyone in the world could ask for. They all came together for me when I was having the biggest struggle in my life. They worked so hard to make sure I could pay my bills and keep a roof over my head. It made me realize that I want to do the same and make a difference in other people’s lives.
I thought back to when I was driving in my car and music helped me deal with anxiety and stress. I also thought about the moments that I sat in the waiting room on my phone and how it kept my mind at ease. I began working on my foundation that I would call, “Music Fights Back”. I always knew that I could somehow use music to touch people’s lives; I just never imagined that it would have been this way. Music Fights Back had its first music festival in 2015 and raised enough money to buy 20 iPod touches to give to cancer patients. Music Fights Back provides iPods to children with cancer, to help them deal with stress and anxiety. When you see the smile it puts on the faces of these children, it is priceless. In that moment, they are not thinking about cancer or being sick. They can use the iPods for Music Therapy, communicating with friends and family through various Apps, can play games on the iPods, and it keeps their mind less stressed.
Music Fights Back has provided over 40 children with iPods over the past year and a half. Music Fights Back has become very well established within our community and has many supporters. Many people have volunteered for us and many have donated to us to keep us going. “Music Fights Back” is here to stay, and we will keep Fighting Back Against Cancer!
I want to take time to say thank you to the following people:
Larry and Gail Cuff- Thanks Mom and Dad for supporting me and standing by me during everything.
My kids Haelee and Westbrook- You 2 kids give me the drive to do anything in this life.
Julie Simon and Family- Music Fights Back would be nothing without you and your family. You are my best friend in this whole world and I am glad to have you as my partner. Here is to many more years Fighting Back!
Friends and Family-Thank you for all the support and all the shares on Facebook. You are helping “Music Fights Back” in more ways than you can imagine.
All the people that have volunteered. You all helped make Music Fights Back a success. You are the reason for our success and without your help, we couldn’t do this.
Jeremy Cuff-President and Founder Music Fights Back