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New Year’s Eve bash to benefit 10-year-old with cancer

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at 12:42 p.m.

An ’80s hair band will join forces with country and ’60s rock and roll to fight cancer in a New Year’s Eve Rockin’ Benefit Bash.

All proceeds from donations and the $5 admission fee will go toward a medical fund for 10-year-old Charlie Futhey. Five years ago, he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Four tumors and two enlarged lymph nodes were found in his body.

After chemotherapy, Charlie’s cancer returned. Now he will go through another round of chemo along with 30 days of radiation.

While insurance covers most of the medical expenses, unexpected costs sometimes put the Futheys in a bind.

“There’s always something that’s not covered by insurance, like a co-pay or a deductible,” said Daryl Futhey, Charlie’s dad.

The Benefit Bash will feature Gary Chadic and his band, Joe Durt – which plays ’80s hair-band music – along with the Cartunes, which will perform at 7 p.m. Monday. The doors open at 6 p.m. at Back Alley Sports Grill, 11413 E. 13th St.

Taking a few weeks off school for chemo and going through blood work and CT scans has become the family’s new normal, said Sandy Futhey, Charlie’s mother. Charlie is in his 12th month of the 18-month chemotherapy regimen.

“He’s a trouper, and he gets through it,” she said. “And it could be a lot worse. We’re just thankful that it’s not.”

Charlie’s dad, Daryl Futhey, has remained friends with fellow high school graduates Chadic and Shannon Johnson of Nashville, Tenn. The three graduated from Rose Hill High School in 1987.

Also performing is Shannon’s daughter, 18-year-old Nicole Johnson. She performed for Team Blake on season three of NBC’s singing competition, “The Voice.”

Although the Johnsons have never met Charlie, a YouTube video of Charlie’s “I’m bald and I know it!” reveals his true character. The video has gained more than 55,000 hits.

“What I know is that he’s full of life,” Shannon Johnson said. “He’s got this great spirit. You can definitely tell he’s dealing with it differently than most kids.”

“During the holiday season it’s always nice to give back,” Nicole Johnson said. “Especially whenever you’re around family and you’ve got all these presents under the tree.

“So it really puts things into perspective. It’s cool to do the little bit that I can.”

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