Grow Your Mo: Local musician carries on through colon cancer & lymphoma battle
EUGENE, Ore. - 'Movember' is prompting many men to grow out their facial mo's and beards for men's cancer awareness, including the local initiative 'Grow Your Mo.'
The campaign raises money for cancer patients in Lane County. It's spearheaded by Oregon Cancer Foundation.
On Sunday mornings, you might catch musician Paul Biondi playing at the Unity of the Valley Church in Eugene.
It's his life and livelihood after he moved to Eugene a decade ago. He's one of the only artists to play two saxophones -- at the same time!
He's played with legends like Frank Sinatra and Tina Turner, but in 2011 he says he started to notice his body changing.
"It was colon cancer and lymphoma, right together," Biondi said.
With aggressive cancer treatment it was hard to keep up the stamina.
"There's times this hurts so much and I'm so tired that, my profession you know -- my business -- is entertaining and performing. And if I can't do at least 50%, then I'm not going to get in front of an audience."
Working fewer gigs, more financial trouble piled on and Biondi eventually filed for bankruptcy.
Approached by the Oregon Cancer Foundation for help, he took them up on the offer.
"It's nice to have this in place. It made a big difference for me. It's making a big difference in other people's lives. We could certainly use some help."
Now he's spreading another message for those who may need help: "You've got to ask for assistance and help, and don't be afraid to ask."
Paul is in remission, but he has serious nerve damage in his hands still so he doesn't play as often.
But the whole goal of the Oregon Cancer Foundation is to help people like Paul in times of crisis, and all of the money raised stays in Lane County.
Watch the video above for the full story.