Richard Thompson, Happy Traum to be among performers at Rock the Night fundraiser

rock the night colitis

The Rock the Night virtual fundraiser takes place on Nov. 21.

“The Music Continues” is the subtitle of the 10th Rock the Night to Cure Crohn’s and Colitis event, a virtual fundraiser scheduled for Nov. 21 at 9 p.m. ET.

“We are forging ahead with our founding idea, which is to offer a different kind of fundraising event that is not your traditional gala or luncheon,” said Stacy Dylan, co-founder of the Connecting to Cure Crohn’s and Colitis organization. “Our event is fun, inclusive, inspirational and we have had some damn good music over the years.”

The widely acclaimed singer-songwriter Richard Thompson will perform, as will folk scene veteran Happy Traum, and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, who suffers from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, will speak. The event will also include a silent auction, an interactive cocktail-making segment, speeches from patients and a presentation by Dr. Dermot McGovern, who will discuss research updates.

The organization will also present a video with highlights from its prior nine events, which have featured appearances by Jakob Dylan (Stacy’s brother-in-law), Stephen Stills, Jesse Malin, Brian Fallon, Ryan Bingham, Cat Power and comedian Bill Burr.

IBD is a group of intestinal disorders that cause inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the principal types of inflammatory bowel disease.

Traum’s grandson has Crohn’s disease, as does Thompson’s son Jack.

RICHARD THOMPSON

“When he has an episode it’s very debilitating,” Thompson said. “He’s 28, had it maybe 5 years.”

Proceeds will benefit research to find new treatments and a cure for Crohn’s and colitis. The beneficiaries are The Feinstein IBD Clinical Center at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital; The Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Dylan and C to C co-founder Dana Zatulove also hope to create awareness about these debilitating and chronic gastrointestinal diseases.

The all-volunteer C to C organization was founded in 2012. Its goals include bringing together the IBD community to promote awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, funding research, and supporting patients and their families enduring these illnesses. The organization also sponsors campers at The Painted Turtle Camp for children with IBD in California, and supports families struggling with costs related to their children’s IBD at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Stacy Dylan with her husband Sam and sons Jonah, left, and Lowell.

Both C to C co-founders have sons who were diagnosed with IBD as young children. The disease impacts more than 3 million Americans, and about 25 percent of patients are diagnosed as children.

“Living with a chronic illness is difficult for anyone, but for children in the process of growth and development on every level — physical, emotional, cognitive, and social — it is a tremendous burden,” said the co-founders in their event letter.

While there are other groups raising funds for IBD research, C to C engages a diverse community with unique events and programs, including yoga classes for people with IBD, camp sponsorships for children with IBD, and monthly support groups in Los Angeles.

Chronic illnesses take an immense toll on caregivers. I have met with Stacy Dylan several times and been impressed by her fierce advocacy for her son Lowell, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 2 and has faced multiple surgeries and procedures. She demonstrates an inspiring strength and commitment to caring for her son’s needs, including the daily grind of finding effective medications and a nutritious and healing diet.

HAPPY TRAUM

She was trained as a clinical psychologist, and her background has been put to good use both as Lowell’s caregiver and as one of the forces behind C to C.

When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, many years ago, I was on my own to figure out a path to health. While everyone cannot have the extraordinary care of someone like Stacy Dylan, she has created an organization that reaches out to those of us who suffer in silence.

C to C’s website features a video (watch below) which describes the demands on caretakers through conversations with Stacy Dylan, her husband Sam, Jakob Dylan and others.

C to C’s virtual fundraiser will attempt to enlighten viewers about these chronic illnesses, which are often dismissed as being no more serious than a stomach ache and nausea (about 70 percent of people with Crohn’s disease eventually will require some kind of surgery to remove a particularly diseased area of the intestines).

And the music should provide a moment of peace and relief from the stresses of the pandemic and the presidential election.

“Music is very spiritual stuff, powerful — it can heal the sick and raise the dead,” said Thompson in a prior NJArts.net interview.

For more about Connecting to Cure Crohn’s and Colitis and to purchase tickets to the virtual fundraiser, visit connectingtocure.org.

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