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‘No One Fights Alone’ benefit to aid local musician with cancer

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Ryan Robichaud, a guitarist and singer for local band Country Camo, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last October. 'No One Fights Alone' is the name of a music-filled benefit scheduled for this Sunday, May 5, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Old Town Elks Club, 290 Fourth St. The event will feature five bands each playing a set of music, a 50/50 raffle, silent auction and Pat's Pizza. There is a suggested donation of $10 for attendees. Ryan Robichaud, a guitarist and singer for local band Country Camo, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last October. 'No One Fights Alone' is the name of a music-filled benefit scheduled for this Sunday, May 5, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Old Town Elks Club, 290 Fourth St. The event will feature five bands each playing a set of music, a 50/50 raffle, silent auction and Pat's Pizza. There is a suggested donation of $10 for attendees. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Shaw)

OLD TOWN - A music-themed fundraiser to aid a local musician stricken with a rare form of cancer has been scheduled for Sunday, May 5. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. at the Old Town Elks Lodge.

Ryan Robichaud of Kenduskeag, a member of the band Country Camo and a driver for the Loomis Armored Car company, was diagnosed last October with Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

This Sunday’s fundraiser comes just over a year after a similar fundraiser was held at the same venue to benefit Robichaud’s father, Jim, when he was diagnosed with cancer.

According to Jonathan Shaw, Robichaud’s friend and bandmate and an organizer of Sunday’s “No One Fights Alone” fundraiser, Ryan has an extraordinarily rare form of the disease.

“It’s super unusual and it requires a specific chemo injection about every three weeks,” Shaw told The Maine Edge during an interview. “Out of seven billion people in the world, only about 9,500 receive this diagnosis. The chemo seems to be attacking and doing what it’s supposed to, but it has completely depleted the ability of Ryan and his wife to take any paid time off to deal with this. Anytime he’s home sick and his wife Amanda is there to take care of him, they are both missing work with no pay.”

Shaw and his wife, Angel, approached five Maine bands to come together for an afternoon of music to raise money to alleviate some of the Robichaud’s financial burden. They include The Allison Ames Band, Midnight Rose, Whisky Bent, The Jacob Smalley Band and Crossroads.

“We shot for the moon with these bands,” Jonathan Shaw said. “They were all our top picks, and everyone agreed immediately to be part of this.”

In addition to a variety of music that is expected to include country, classic rock and oldies, the event will also feature a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. According to the Shaws, area businesses have been extremely generous in donating some valuable auction items.

“Old Town Canoe has donated a 10-foot Vapor kayak with paddles,” Shaw said. “Waterfront Concerts has donated concert tickets to attend the concert of the winning bidder’s choice. We have huge photography packages donated by Morelli Photography of Brewer and Heidi Wickett Photography of Glenburn. The Penobscot Theatre and The Grand in Ellsworth both donated tickets for the auction. We have a variety of gift baskets for children and pets, musical instruments, including a guitar and amplifier. Mainely Music has donated a ukulele. We have a beautiful quilt and multiple gift certificates to area eateries. People have been incredible.”

Throughout the afternoon, Pat’s Pizza of Orono will deliver fresh hot pizza to be sold by the slice, according to Shaw.

“Bruce Farnsworth at Pat’s also helped us out last year during the fundraiser for Ryan’s father when he was diagnosed with cancer. It was a huge hit. Pat’s has been a big part of our lives. My wife and I were even married at Pat’s Pizza.”

According to Shaw, cancer has hit his and Robichaud’s Country Camo band hard.

“Cancer has ravaged our band,” Shaw said. “One of our band members is Pat Cote. His significant other was diagnosed with two different types of cancer. Ryan’s father received a diagnosis, and now Ryan. We played a lot of these charity fundraisers for other people dealing with cancer and now it’s our turn to give Ryan a hand up to help him through this.”

The Shaws say that Robichaud is keeping an upbeat outlook and looks forward to conquering the disease.

“Ryan is just a kindhearted man,” Angel Shaw said. “He looks at the bright side of everything, including this disease that has really attacked him. He believes wholeheartedly that God’s got this. His faith is really what has gotten through this so far.”

For more information, or to make a donation to Sunday’s “No One Fights Alone” fundraiser for Ryan Robichaud, call 745-7565.

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