The heavy metal community is uniting to help save one of its own.
Death metal forefather Chuck Schuldiner, of the band Death, has been battling a malignant brain tumor for two years, and is currently undergoing expensive experimental treatments in an effort to save his life. So, various artists including Korn, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kid Rock and Slipknot are auctioning off memorabilia on Allbeat.com to help Schuldiner's family pay his medical bills (see "Benefit Auction To Aid Death Frontman Battling Tumor").
Since the auction began on June 1, Allbeat.com has received total bids of over $1,000. Among the items for which bids have been placed are a Fear Factory Obsolete gold record, which is currently bidding at $600, and various items from Chimaira, including a package of signed merchandise and a working laminate pass, which is going for over $300. On their upcoming tour with Spineshank, Chimaira will encourage fans to place contributions to Schuldiner in a metal box by the band's merchandise booth.
Other items being auctioned to benefit Schuldiner include a Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) CD autographed by Marilyn Manson; autographed photos and rare vinyl LPs from Pantera; autographed photos and CDs from Spineshank and Godhead; hockey jerseys from Godsmack, Kid Rock and Disturbed; baseball jerseys from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Korn; and the microphone Rob Halford used to record Resurrection. Allbeat.com has also received commitments for yet-unnamed contributions from Papa Roach, Crazy Town and Slipknot.
"I'm gonna try to find something from my personal collection that maybe nobody can find," Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor said. "When I found out Chuck had cancer I was freaking. Chuck's music was really important to me growing up. It was really intricate and interesting. So I wanna auction something that's really cool that can hopefully bring in top dollar."
The money couldn't come at a better time. Schuldiner's tumor continues to grow and it's pressing against his cerebellum, a condition which is
frequently fatal. Last week, surgeons in New York decided it was too risky to operate. Instead, they're treating the tumor with an experimental drug called Zin Cristine, which will hopefully attack the cancer without killing healthy brain cells, Schuldiner's publicist said. If the drug shrinks the tumor enough so that it's no longer pressing against his cerebellum, doctors will later attempt laser surgery.
The brain scans Schuldiner had to undergo before doctors would even begin the treatment cost $11,000, and the Zin Cristine sessions are $10,000 each month. Having already paid over $200,000 in the past two years, his family has run out of cash, and since his condition is pre-existing, his medical insurance company refuses to cover him.
"There is something terribly wrong when a country as great as America will let their citizens die for lack of insurance or money," Schuldiner's family said in a statement. "[We are] aware every time [he needs treatment] that if we do not get the money, he will die."
For now, it looks like Allbeat.com is helping to give Schuldiner a fighting chance. "It's amazing to watch people go beyond the call of duty to help out a fellow musician," co-founder Thom Hazaert said. "I've really put everything else in my life on hold to focus on this, and it's great to see that it's starting to really make an impact."