Local man’s band helps raise $30 million for St. Jude | music

(WSIL) — For parents, the thought of their child being diagnosed with cancer is a nightmare. Unfortunately, it’s a reality for some.

In the United States, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease past infantry for children. But a local musician is using his skills to support families with a child diagnosed.

Steve Hornbeak and his wife Kathy Bryan own Kiki’s coffee shop in Anna. When Hornbeak’s not making lattes, he’s performing on the stage. In the past, he’s toured with celebrities who are household names.

“Lee Greenwood, Faith Hill, Richard Marks,” he recalls. “I’ve played with Eddie Rabbitt.”

Now his band SixWire performs at large-scale events where there’s multiple singers, so each act doesn’t have to bring their own band as well as corporate events. We’re talking Academy of County Music events, the NFL draft, and pre-game entertainment at multiple Super Bowls.

It might seem like wouldn’t have much in common with Da’Mauni Jackson. She’s two; lives in Murray, Kentucky; and is a cancer warrior.

Her mom DaLesia can recall the events leading up to her diagnosis. At just 11 months, local doctors found a small knot on her right side. They recommended she be taken to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis immediately.

“They told us within two or three days, she had neuroblastoma which goes through the nerves,” she remembers. “Hers was on the right kidney and spread up a little bit.”

Going forward Da’Mauni would see doctors at the hospital on a near daily basis.

“When we got there, there was no leaving,” she says. “We stayed there for her whole treatment plan, which was a year.”

Meaning DeLesia had to quit her job, lose medical benefits, and have her two older children stay with their grandparents. All to stay by DeMauni’s side.

She says St. Jude helps parents in her situation as much as possible.

“They provide housing for you, they provide groceries while you’re there,” DaLesia explains. “St. Jude covers all medical costs. You will not see a bill. Everything medically is free.

St. Jude relies on donations for its operations. Something Hornbeak and his band have been doing over 10 years, giving $30 million to the hospital.

Each year, they help organize and perform at the The Warburton Celebrity Golf Tournament. It takes place in Palm Springs, California and is hosted by actor Patrick Warburton.

“He invites a lot of his tv star friends out,” Hornbeak says. “We invite all of our rock star friends. We play three days of golf, there’s concerts, song writers nights.”

The fundraiser ends with a dinner where St. Jude officials and families are invited to share their stories.

“Our wives are always laughing at us like okay this is the part where the band cries,” he adds. “But it’s just a special moment to be a part of something you know you’re helping to raise so much money that’s going to do so much good.”

SixWire now helps with The Kevin Rahm Celebrity Golf Tournament in Florida with plans to hold more fundraisers like this across the country.

More donations is something St. Jude and their families need just like Da’Mauni. After being cleared to go home, her cancer returned.

For the past year, she’s been living back at the hospital undergoing treatment.

DaLesia says when her daughter beats this disease, she’ll still need to do check-ups at St. Jude to monitor her health.

“Truthfully, you will never be back to normal because this is lifelong.”


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