A local singer/songwriter is giving back with a concert to aid not one, but three men fighting cancer. After a successful music career based out of Nashville, Shane Willis took time off to raise two children with his wife, Heather. When he learned that his neighbor and best friend, Nathan Setzer was diagnosed with stage four lung and liver cancer, he decided to get back into performing concerts. This time the concert would be for a cause – to help Setzer and his family.
“Anything I can do to help raise money for people who are struggling,” he said. “That’s my ambition, not to get rich or anything like that.”
As he was preparing for the concert by spreading the word on Facebook. He learned through a mutual friend of Jesse “BJ” Truesdale who was fighting stomach cancer.
“Then I saw Bobby (Turner) at a little event we played at and got to talking to him and found out he had cancer too,” Willis said. “I said to him, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me. I thought you got rid of all that mess.’ In my mind, I was going to do a big benefit for Nathan, but I realized there wasn’t anything else to do but get them all (Nathan, BJ and Bobbie) together and do the concert for them. There’s a lot of people around here with big hearts and who listen to my music so I thought it would do well.”
Willis went to school with Bobby Turner who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was a child, beat that and then was diagnosed with breast cancer which has since spread to his lymph nodes, liver and bones.
“It was heaven sent because I’ve not been able to work,” Truesdale said. “I went from making $2 or $3 thousand a week to nothing. I tell everyone I joined a weight watcher’s program and it went terribly wrong.”
Turner is still able to work, against his doctor’s orders. While they’d like to be able to return to work, neither Truesdale nor Setzer are able to due to their illness.
“That’s the one pride thing a man has, to be able to provide for his family,” Willis said.
Willis recently released a new single, “That’s What Country Boys Do.”
“That kind of fits in here with what we’re doing because that’s what country boys do for people with cancer,” he said. “Cancer’s everywhere. All three of those guys, they aren’t worrying about themselves, they’re worried about everyone else and the bills. It’s hard to understand the mindset they get in, assuming they haven’t got long here. There are certain things they think they’ve got to get done while they can or to tell someone else to do if they can’t. It’s in God’s hands at this point.”
In addition to Shane Willis and his band, “Deeper Shade of Blue,” “Vinny D,” and Darrell Evans will perform.
The Cancer Benefit for BJ Truesdale, Bobby Turner, Nathan Setzer will be held on Friday, March 6 from 6:30 - 11:00 p.m. at the James W. Warren Citizens Center in Lincolnton. General admission tickets are $10 and available online at https://www.shanewillismusic.com. Tickets can also be obtained at Guitar Wishes in Lincolnton or at the door.