Former Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital patient headlines Riff Rockit fundraising performance
Arockin’ crowd of young music fans will dance and sing along during a special benefit performance when Riff Rockit comes to town.
Riff Rockit, popular performers in the growing musical genre called “kindie rock,” is coming to South Florida for a special concert to benefit the Love Jen Cancer Fund of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation. The high-energy performance will take place at Revolution LIVE in Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 29 at 3 p.m.
Evan Michael, AKA Riff Rockit, headlines the band that entertains kids and their parents with inspiring songs and positive messages. Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale to musical parents, the singer-songwriter’s love of music began at an early age. Michael was clapping to the beat on his first birthday, and by age 10 he was jamming on a six-string guitar. At 15, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and underwent intensive chemo treatments at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. His cancer went into remission. Two years later it relapsed and required a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Music was Michael’s way of coping during the difficult time.
“When I was in the hospital the second time, music was virtually part of my treatment because I had to be isolated from people until my immune system got stronger,” Michael said.
Thanks to the care and treatment Michael received at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, he’s been cancer free since 2001. After this life altering experience, he made a conscious decision to follow his dream. He studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2007. He now lives his passion and tours the country entertaining, inspiring, educating and uplifting children under the alter ego of Riff Rockit.
“My songs are educational rhymes for rocking good times. I just want to make music that makes kids happy and also teaches them a thing or two in the process,” Michael said. “I get to sneak in a few good ideas with songs that carry positive messages about being kind, making the right choices and staying healthy.”
Each year, the Love Jen Cancer Fund helps hundreds of families cope with the financial and emotional stresses of living with cancer. A gift made directly to the Love Jen Fund will be used to provide emergency family grants, educational programs and activities for patients and families treated at the Pediatric Oncology Specialty Center of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
Support is especially needed for the current difficult times that many families are experiencing. Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital sees more than 60 newly diagnosed children with cancer each year. These families need assistance to help them face the new challenge with courage and dignity.
Revolution LIVE donated the space to host the performance. Funds raised from the concert will benefit the Love Jen Fund of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation. Admission is $10, and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact the foundation office at 954-265-3454 or email jjohn[email protected]
Aaron Pinsky, a patient at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
Riff Rockit, left, and Nikki Medrano
Kate Kabili, left, Lynnea Brown and Riff Rockit
Kate Kabili, left, and Kelli Shimada