For­mer Joe DiMag­gio Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal pa­tient head­lines Riff Rockit fundrais­ing per­for­mance

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Society Scene - Broward - - In The Know -

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

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