We are fortunate to live in an age when cancer is not quite as scary a word as it once was. Those beyond and approaching retirement age surely recall when the word was whispered in hushed tones, as if saying it aloud could unleash its devastating power over health and happiness.
Medical professionals are now discovering cancerous growths earlier, and individualized treatments are allowing for what seem like miraculous cures for those of us who remember the old regime.
Still, there is something especially distressing when we learn about young people diagnosed with cancer, both because they seem so strong and vital, and for the fact that they are generally least able to withstand the time away from work that is required for intensive therapy.
Which brings us to the case of Mitchell Cannon, mandolinist with Kentucky’s NewTown, who has just completed a course of treatment for testicular cancer. Mitchell is only 23, and has been married to his wife Lacey for less than a year. He was diagnosed in January and has been unable to work since therapy began. He had to undergo surgery, followed by daily chemo treatments every day one week, and then once a week, and then back to daily.
At this point his doctors believe that he won’t need any additional chemo, and Cannon is hopeful of regaining his strength and returning to work soon. But in the meantime, NewTown has set up a CrowdRise fundraising page to help Mitchell and Lacey with the many bills that have accumulated since he has been out of work.
Cannon was able to record some with NewTown before treatment knocked him down.
Mitchell had attended the bluegrass program at ETSU, where he studied with Adam Steffey, who shared an encouraging word for his former charge.
“I became acquainted with Mitchell while he was a mandolin student of mine when he was at ETSU. We became friends and he is one of the finest players I’ve ever had the chance to work with. I feel as though I learned as much from him as I may have taught. Although what he faces may seem a trial, as a fine Christian young man he knows who holds tomorrow. I pray for his speedy and full recovery and look forward to many more opportunities to play music with my good friend! May God uphold and strengthen Mitchell throughout!!”