Hearsay: Wednesday, March 31, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Cancer Fundraiser

The bad news is that Cory Helms, bass player for The Chemistry Set, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of cancer. The silver lining, if we could call it that, is that not only is Hodgkin’s eminently treatable but that the Fort Worth-Dallas music scene has been effusive in its support. “People in this industry are generally nice,” said Chem Set frontman Steve Duncan, “but they always have this element of ‘cool’ about them. But once they hear about Cory, all of that ‘cool’ goes out the window.”
In Fort Worth, a few local musos have put their non-coolness where their mouths are, agreeing to play a benefit show with the Chem Set next Friday, April 8, at the Wreck Room. On the bill will be Moonshot Radio, I Love Math, Calhoun, Collin Herring, and, yes, The Chemistry Set — with Helms on bass. “First thing we asked him was, ‘What do you want us to do?’” said Duncan. “And he said, ‘I want to keep playing if I at all can; don’t cancel anything.’ That’s his attitude.”
The band will make life a little easier on Helms, specifically by not touring and being prepared to slow down if needed. “If it gets to a point where he can’t do it anymore or the doctor tells him not to,” said Duncan, “then we’ll put it aside until he’s ready.”
Duncan says the process leading up to the diagnosis was arduous. Doctors had a hard time putting their fingers on what was exactly wrong with the 23-year-old. It wasn’t until three weeks ago that the bass player got the news. He began the first of 12 treatments last week and is, says Duncan, doing well. “It’s a good indication that he’ll react well to the treatment.”
Treatment ain’t cheap, which is why Duncan, his band, and others are doing what they can to pitch in. Helms, who works at Starbucks, does get some financial help through his company’s health insurance plan, but the cost of meds and other supplemental expenses is where the bassist is going to feel the biggest money crunch. Proceeds from the April 8 Wreck Room show will be split between Helms and the American Cancer Association.
“He’s a sweet guy, and everybody loves him,” said Duncan. “And he’s a great musician, too.”

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