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Concert, fundraiser launched to assist County man’s road to recovery

Alec Lunn

Back Forty Productions will host a four-part virtual benefit concert series for PEC native Alec Lunn, in conjunction with a crowd funding campaign, to cover years of lost wages due to a rare illness.

“It is no secret that Alec Lunn has been a pillar in Prince Edward County. He’s a community man, with a great sense of humour who never asks for much,” said Megan Hutton, organizer of the fundraiser and co-owner of Back Forty with her brother Caleb.

Best known as the front man and writer with The Frere Brothers, he is also known as a man who never hesitates to help Prince Edward County, its residents and charitable organizations.

Lunn has also served as a councillor of Hillier, a manager at the Regent Theatre and volunteer with its former Quinte Summer Music program.

Megan and Caleb Hutton, Instant Rilvary and Back Forty Productions. – Sean Ferguson photo

“As an entertainer he has lent his talents to countless fundraisers and county events. He even volunteered for a decade as the entertainment director on the Prince Edward County Fair Board. He is a beloved husband, a loyal friend, teacher, father and grandfather who now he needs the community’s help,” said Hutton.

On the Go Fund Me page, she describes Lunn’s battle:

Two years ago, Alec Lunn was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer called Myeloid Neoplasm with Eosinophilia. So rare that only 36 people have been diagnosed or received treatment North America wide.

Soon after his diagnosis, he found himself so weak and exhausted he was unable to work and perform music. He was left seeking treatment for this rare disease, that if left untreated, would turn into Leukemia.

He began treatment with an experimental trial medication. The hope was that he would be able to take this medication and live a fairly normal life. But the medication only worked for a short period of time. His white blood cell count began to climb rapidly, and he had to make the switch to a more direct course of action of chemotherapy and stem cell transplants in Ottawa.

It took almost a year for him to commence this treatment. The treatments were brutal and have taken their toll on him. First, there were the stem cell infusion transplants and chemotherapy, followed by a medication to supress the immune system and other medications to handle side effects and precautionary illnesses like shingles, that would have been detrimental to his treatment if contracted.

The physical and mental stress have taken their toll on his body. When asked about his struggles through this treatment he said, “The physical reality is astonishing to say the least. It doesn’t bear description and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

Every aspect of his diagnosis, testing and treatments have been monitored and documented for research to help others battling this same rare cancer. When asked about what the community’s support would mean to him after two years of battling this disease without any financial security, Alec said, “Community support would be a lifeline.”

Hutton notes COVID 19, has made Lunn’s process even more difficult with long waits, mental stress and isolation.

“Alec’s road has been long. He has quietly battled this cancer with rigorous treatment and is now on the road to recovery. He is finally home in his beloved Prince Edward County after his most recent three and a half month stint of treatment in Ottawa. Sharing his story and accepting the support of the community.

In its first few days, the campaign has raised nearly half of its $20,000 to help cover some of the costs of lost work due to illness and recovery time.

To raise awareness and support, many of Lunn’s musical friends will be pulling together for a special benefit concert series led by good friend and fellow Frere Brother Mark Despault, Caleb Hutton and Megan Hutton.
The concerts are set for Feb. 28, March 7, 14 and 21 at 3pm through YouTube. Click this link

Included in the musical line up are: former and current Frere Brothers, Mark Despault, Fraser Hardman, Rick Bauer and Jamie Snider, Instant Rivalry’s Megan and Caleb Hutton, Lenni Stewart, Bill McBurney, Suzanne Pasternak, The Kitchen Family and Seventh Town.

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