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Music society rocks out for local boy battling leukemia
Dylan Givargiznia, 10, has been battling leukemia almost half his life. A concert to benefit him and his family will be held Saturday night. - photo by Photo Contributed
The music promises to be lively, the food delicious and the atmosphere an all out party at a benefit concert Saturday for a Turlock boy battling leukemia.
The Turlock Acoustic Rock Society is putting on the Mad Hatter Event to benefit Dylan Givargiznia and his family this Saturday night at the Stanislaus County Fair Grounds Arts and Crafts Hall.
Dylan, 10, has been battling a rare form of cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia for about half his young life. The disease had gone into remission once, but returned in a more aggressive form in 2009. In June 2009, a bone marrow drive was held for Dylan that brought in 131 new bone marrow registrants. None of those registrants were a match for Dylan, but in early September 2009, a donor was found and Dylan underwent a bone marrow transplant. Since that time he has been under the constant care of the transplant unit at the UC San Francisco hospital, waiting to see if the disease will go into remission.
The ongoing struggles of fighting the cancer have put a strain on the Givargiznia family — both emotionally and financially.
“They are good people and it only took me about 10 minutes after meeting them to know that I was going to throw myself fully into this and help them the best way I knew how,” said Matty Comer, who was instrumental in forming the acoustic society and the benefit show.
A bevy of performers have lined up for the show. Rachel Renae, the 2009 Modesto Area Music Awards winner for unplugged artist, will start the show and will be followed by pianist Tim Allen and band Matty Comer and the Experience. Headlining the night’s concert is the band Livin’ fronted by Wakefield Elementary School principal Aaron Mello, himself a childhood survivor of leukemia.
“When Matty first approached me about the concert, I knew that we definitely wanted to be a part of it,” Mello said.
“A lot of people in this community are rallying around to help his family out and I hope we can make it an annual event that will benefit other children and families going through this same situation,” Mello said.
Comer said the response from businesses and individuals wanting to help has been inspirational.
“The whole community has gotten behind this and are excited to be helping,” Comer said. “It’s going to be a heck of an event jam packed with music.”
Dinner tickets have sold out, with nearly 500 sold, but tickets for the concert will be available at the door for $10. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first performer — Renae — will take the stage at 5:15 p.m. The show is open to all ages.
“We want as many people as possible to come out,” Comer said.
The night will also feature a raffle with numerous prizes, including guitars signed by Y & T and Three Dog Night.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.