"This is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to write. My best friend of 17 years and I have had the great fortune of sharing our passion for music through every high and low you could imagine. From being broke and sneaking into shows only to pass out flyers, to touring the world together and watching in disbelief as Japanese crowds go crazy for the music we have made. Truly a dream to be able to do these things with someone I love so much. My man Johnny Venus is the kind of person who would give you anything you need, and he has been there for me in every way during these years. I’d like to call on everyone who has battled cancer or has had a loved one go through anything like this to send their good energy his way and spread the love to all those in your life. There is no handbook, no protocol for this but something we can always do is stay positive and love what we have been given. Johnny is hanging in there and ready to kick this thing in the teeth with his usual sarcastic wit and I love him for that."
A couple of words from RYAN (guitar player for GREEK FIRE)
"It’s an interesting thing being in two bands. Especially two bands that sound, look, or function nothing alike. But one thing that makes the situation incredibly unique is this amazing sense of family and brotherhood that exists between the members of my two bands (Greek Fire and Story of the Year) There is such a deep and long history there. I mean, Johnny and Mark toured with SOTY for years before we started Greek Fire. Phil (Moon) was in a band with Johnny and Mark before he was in SOTY. We’ve seen the world together. Me, Phil, Dan, Adam, Josh, Mark, and Johnny; we really are a family. Actually, we are more like a gang: Loyal, supportive, united.
I say all of this for a reason: because I’m positive that I can speak for all of the guys in both bands that when it was confirmed that John was diagnosed with Leukemia it was unexplainably heart wrenching. There are no words to describe how hard this was to hear and accept. All words fail. For a week I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t look at my guitar, i couldn’t even send a fucking tweet. I mean, one day we are all drinking beers in Japan, playing some of the most unbelievable shows, and then 9 seconds later I hear that my drummer and one of my favorite humans in the world has fucking Leukemia. I was on the phone with Johnny while he was first being admitted into the hospital and I will never forget the feeling I had in my stomach. It was the exact same feeling I had when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. All of those emotions re-emerged I guess. So yeah, to say that these are difficult times would be just a little bit of an understatement. This always seems to happen to the best people, you know?
BUT, I do have hope. Tons of hope! Tons and tons and tons of hope because I believe that Johnny is going to beat this. I can feel it. He’s going to beat it and we are going to continue creating this magical music and continue this crazy journey. He’s just going to need ALOT of our help. Everyone’s help. To you reading this, I humbly beg of you to donate whatever you can to Johnny’s donation site. Please. Every bit will help. Johnny is the kind of person that would be first in line to help any of us without hesitation or second thought. He deserves the world. My deepest, heartfelt, thanks for anything you might be able give to help Johnny beat this thing.
We have some heavy news and urge you to read this in its entirety and help spread the word.
A week or so ago Greek Fire and Story of the Year returned from our tour in Japan. Johnny wasn’t feeling normal. Hesitant to see a doctor due to having no insurance he attributed what he was experiencing to jetlag. After a few days with no change and some loving encouragement he went for a blood test. Within hours he was admitted to the hospital with alarming results. After multiple agonizing days and dozens of tests the doctors informed him that he had Leukemia.
This has jarred perspective in a way we couldn’t have imagined otherwise. This is truly a man that deserves the world. He’s dealt with a lot of ups and downs this week as you can imagine. Johnny is in for one hell of a battle, perhaps the battle of his life, but he is a fighter. He is going to face this thing head on, one day at a time, with every ounce of strength he has. He is going to make it through this.
This is a terrible disease where the minds of the patient and everyone that loves them feels helpless. He is staying strong and fighting it with brilliant positive energy. All of us around him are doing everything we can to help out with day to day things and keeping family, friends and fans updated on how he’s doing.
Johnny is at a fantastic hospital under great care and surrounded by people that love him. All things considered, Johnny is supremely lucky to have access to the proper care and treatment this country has to offer. However, like millions of americans, (and like most aspiring artists and musicians) he does not currently have health insurance. Needless to say, this is a major issue. We are in communication with different organizations that can really make a difference with Johnny’s situation. We are also in the process of setting up an outlet for donations as well as discussing viable fundraising options. As soon as we have concrete plans, it goes without saying that we will let everyone know how they can help Johnny fight this battle.
Anyone that knows Johnny can tell you that he is a top notch human being. He would do anything for any one of his friends and family without hesitation or thought of himself. He is our brother. He is our band-mate. We are going to do everything possible to help him through this. He has so much to look forward to and so much to live for.
We want to keep everyone in the loop through blogs and things and give people a chance any way they can to help him whether its through his charity site, fundraisers or just posting your love and support on his twitter and Facebook Fan page. He will read everything there. If you have his email or phone # please DO NOT contact him though those channels. Pour your love and support for him on his or the band’s pages. Please feel free to comment, tweet and leave messages on his fan page.
For the time being, we will continue to write, to plan, and to work relentlessly on Greek Fire. Nothing has changed as far as the future of Greek Fire is concerned. We are going to get Johnny better and then become the biggest band in the world.
Stay tuned for more details about how you personally can help Johnny fight his battle against Leukemia. Our deepest, heartfelt appreciation for your thoughts and prayers.
At this time we have a fundraising site being set up for everyone to donate any amount to help him.
until its up we have a paypal link that goes directly to him