Trevor Adey doesn't seem like a troubled man. There's nothing on the outside that suggests anything is going wrong on the inside. But things are not going very well indeed.
Adey, 37, suffers from low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that in his case has invaded his lungs and chest cavity. First diagnosed at age 13, he's had five lung and chest cavity surgeries since then. It's been a valiant battle, but the cancer keeps coming back, most recently, for the first time, in his right lung.
Now the doctors say they can no longer operate without putting Adey's quality of life at risk. Too much lung tissue would have to be removed. He's fine today, he gets up at 5 every morning and goes to work at Tractor Supply Co., where he's been employed for more than a decade. Seeing him in person, you'd never suspect he's ill.
So far, he has no physical limitations, aside from infrequently being short of breath. But he knows the battle isn't over, the tumors in his chest are still growing, and will eventually crowd out his existing lung space and his heart if their growth is not halted.
Since surgery isn't an option—a heart-lung transplant might do the trick but is considered way too risky—Adey, supported by his family, is raising money to pay for alternative immunotherapy treatments not covered by his medical insurance that may slow or even reverse the growth of the tumors.
Full disclosure: I'm a friend of the Adey family, I've known Trevor's brother Chris Adey for 33 years. So naturally I'm biased when I say you should donate to the Trevor Adey Medical Fund's GoFundMe page. However, there is another option for those who wish to donate, and in exchange be thoroughly entertained.
You see, the Adeys are quite willing to sing for their supper. You might say it's in their blood.
A Family That Plays Together
Back in 1984, I moved from San Francisco to Redding to attend Shasta Community College. I was heavily into punk rock back in those days, and soon hooked up with a like-minded student who was also a guitarist. He knew a Shasta High School girl who was a bass player and she knew a 14-year-old kid from Anderson High School who was purported to be a punk rock drummer. His name was Chris Adey and thus The Deadbeats, possibly Redding's first punk band, was born.
One of the totally cool things about Chris was his parents were professional musicians who actually gigged all over the north state, Nevada, etc. His dad Colin was from the United Kingdom; his brother Stephen, who sported a bowl haircut a la Brian Jones at the time, was the drummer. They were like a mini British invasion.
Chris's stepmom Debbie Adey sang and played keyboards. She and Colin had a son, Trevor, who was 4-years-old at the time. The picture of Trevor above really took me back in time, I think he was always running around with a little cape on or something. A true little terror!
A far cry from the grown man I met last week at his mom and step-dad's spacious home near Happy Valley, but then it has been more than 30 years since I've seen him.
“I didn't have a choice,” he says about the fact that he's grown up to be a musician, a guitarist and singer. That's what happens when you're raised in a musical family.
Debbie and Colin separated in the late 1980s, she subsequently married Jon Morgan. Jon and music have remained a constant in Debbie Adey-Morgan's life. Nowadays she sings and plays keyboards for Fire Mountain Rock Band, Jon plays the drums and every once in a while, Trevor serves as substitute guitarist.
Trevor also has his own band, Three Mile Road. Both groups will be on hand for the Trevor Adey Medical Fundraiser at the Cottonwood Community Center on Saturday June 3rd, 1 pm to 8 pm. Admission is $10. Food on hand includes BBQ pulled pork sandwiches prepared by Wings of Angels. Activities include chair massages, face painting, a raffle and a cornhole tournament. Yes, that's right. A cornhole tournament.
The Goal Of The Trevor Adey Medical Fund
The goal of the Trevor Adey Medical Fund is to raise enough money to send Adey to the Reno Integrative Medical Center's three-week bootcamp. According to the center, headed by Dr. Robert Eslinger, the bootcamp features treatment protocols “that combine highly effective, non-toxic, alternative cancer treatment options integrated with selective conventional therapies.” The total estimated cost for the bootcamp is $36,000.
How's it supposed to work? According to the center, “cancer has figured out ways to turn off mechanisms, built into our cells, that will detect foreign invaders. Our goal is to de-cloak the cancer in order to expose it to the immune system.”
As the cancer cells are de-cloaked, additional alternative and conventional therapies boost the immune system's response to them, creating a “synergistic and powerful attack on cancer while promoting the body’s innate and wise immune system to regain its natural vitality and balance.”
But does it work? According to testimonials, some patients who've been treated at the center have gone into remission and/or extended their lifespan. Adey has the benefit of having previously gone through similar treatment, back in 2002, when the cost was considerably more affordable. The treatment appeared to be effective. For a period of two years or so afterward, there was no new growth.
Eventually, the cancer did return, but Adey attributes that in part to the fact he was unable to continue following the treatment regime.
At any rate, short of gaining admittance to a clinical trial for experimental cancer drugs—which his mother is working fervently on—Adey's best and perhaps only shot for extending his life is attending the Reno Integrative Medical Center's bootcamp.
When I first moved back to Shasta County three years ago, Chris Adey had informed me about Trevor's history of health problems, and I was somewhat awestruck by the fact that Trevor didn't fold up his cards and become an invalid—what any reasonable person might have done—but instead has been working at Tractor Supply Co., playing in bands and living the dream.
What's his secret I wondered, how does he carry on?
Sitting with him at the kitchen table last week, with his mom and step-dad, discussing the logistics of the upcoming fundraising event, an event he's starring in and his near-term future literally depends upon, the answer dawned on me.
Grace and love.
The grace of a man who's woken up every day knowing it might be his last since the age of 13. The love of a mother who will take out a second mortgage on the house if necessary to pay for the therapy that will give her a few more years with her youngest son.
Let's not let it come to that, the second mortgage thing. Go to the Trevor Adey Medical Fundraiser this coming Saturday in Cottonwood. The bands, food, beverages and activities will be first-rate. If you've already got plans this weekend, be a sport and donate to Trevor's GoFundMe page. Good karma guaranteed.
The Trevor Adey Medical Fundraiser takes place Saturday, June 3, 1pm-8pm, at the Cottonwood Community Center, 20595 Gas Point Rd., Cottonwood. Admission is $10. For more information contact Jon Morgan or Debbie Adey-Morgan at 530-365-1513.