Retinoblastoma, A Childhood Cancer, Takes A Guitar Legend at 41

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Jeff Healey, self taught guitaist, singer, and blues icon was stricken with Retinoblastoma at the age of 1 and lost his eyesight.  He lost his fight to this cancer over the weekend. He is already missed by his fans and friends he has made around the music industry.

The Jeff Healey Band had a huge hit back in the 80s with Angel Eyesand Jeff also appeard as Cody in the movie "Road House"with Patrick Swayze, Ben Gazzara and Sam Elliot.

What does that have to do with a post on Localism or Active Rain?

As some of you know I belong to the Mickey Jones Bikes And Blues Committe to benefit St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital, Retinoblastoma is one of the many childhood cancers the good folks at St Jude are trying to cure. Retinoblastoma represents only about 2% of the malignant childhood cancers in the US, but that percentage is higher in other parts of the world. St. Jude is making some headway in treating this rare but deadly cancer but it is years from a cure.

This is why St. Jude needs people like you and me to help them out. This is why Mickey Jones comes to Ormond Beach in April of every year to hold his Bikes and Blues With Mickey Jones which benefits St. Jude.

This is why bikers from all around Central Florida join Mickey at the Iron Horse Saloon and form a 3 mile long parade of bikes to ride around our beautiful Ormond Loop.

This is why golfers come out and join Mickey at The Pelican Bay Golf Course to play 18 holes at $100 a person.

And this is why our Bikes and Blues committee works hard to make this big April weekend happen. 

St. Jude will turn no child away regardless of ability to pay and one day, no child will die from Retinoblastoma.

This is why I do what I do....

I felt horrible last night at our Committee Meeting when I told everyone of Jeff's passing and of the cancer that began it all. I wanted them to understand how important our work is and that no one is untouchable by these childhood cancers. I didn't realize that our own Big Mike Griffin who is one of our celebrities and was at last nights meeting actually knew Jeff and performed with him. My friend lost a friend and didn't even know, this makes this fight even more personal now.

I found a tribute video last night on youtube... Please take a moment to watch..


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Lori DeLoera
Century 21 Sundance - Port Orange, FL
It's always a tragedy to see someone so talented pass at a young age.  The tribute was a very nice way to show people what his life included.
Mar 04, 2008 11:10 AM #1
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Lisa, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. ((( hugs )))
Mar 04, 2008 01:36 PM #2
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Lori, Thank you :)

Missy, I never met Jeff, but he was a friend of a friend, and from what I heard an incredibly happy person.

Mar 04, 2008 05:02 PM #3
Sarah Cooper
Real Estate Shows - Hurricane, WV
Lysa, I was just quoting Roadhouse to a friend the other day.  I loved Jeff Healey and didn't know he'd died.  What a bittersweet song now.
Mar 04, 2008 06:21 PM #4
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
How sad Lysa. His legacy will live on in his music and in all those he touched.
Mar 04, 2008 06:45 PM #5
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
I really enjoyed Jeff Healey's music. I didn't know he had died. I hope his passing does some good, by helping spread awareness and help those in need.
Mar 04, 2008 11:38 PM #6
Boomer Jack Boardman & Carl McIntyre, the Codgers
Noted Curmudgeons - Saint Paul, MN
A sad loss. He will be missed, but will live on through his music. :-(
Mar 05, 2008 03:47 AM #7
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Sarah, I found out about Jeffs passing when I was listening to XM 80s at work. I don't think I would have ever known if I wasn't. It wasn't big news here in the US :( and it should have been! Angel Eyes has always had special meaning to me, specially in the last two years.

Moni, Isn't it tho? He was so talented!


Mar 05, 2008 08:13 AM #8
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL

Lisa, I so hope your right and that our loss isn't in vain.

Boomer, Yes he sure will!


Mar 05, 2008 08:15 AM #9
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC
Lysa - Bless you for your involvement in a very worthwhile cause.  Healy's passing is tragic.  He was such a tremendous talent.  But even with his chronic illness he made his mark on the world.  We should all be so blessed.
Mar 05, 2008 07:00 PM #10
Lysa Napolitano
Daytona Beach, FL
Carol. He always looked so happy didn't he? I had no idea he had cancer until he died. Thank you my friend
Mar 07, 2008 09:50 AM #11
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