MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (June 21, 2013) – Recently published Winnebago, Minnesota author, Cara Marie Thompson-Weir, is bringing to Blue Earth, MN the famous lead singing Merrill Osmond of the OsmondBrothers. He will do a special benefit concert in memory of her mother, Darlene Marie Thompson of Winnebago, MN. Darlene died in August of 2008 from Pulmonary Arterial Hypertensive Scleroderma, after a four-year battle with this brutally challenging, painful, and progressively deforming disease.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder with oftentimes devastating effects upon its sufferers. Literally meaning “hard skin,” Scleroderma can cause a thickening and tightening of the skin, and in some cases eventually causes serious damage to internal organs—including to the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. As scarring or sclerosis of these organs and organ systems progresses, they work less effectively and can lead to organ failure and finally death. Currently, there are limited symptomatic treatments, but there is no cure.
Funds from both concert and Cara Marie’s recent book titled “A Butterfly’s Song: Watching Mama Fly Away” will be donated to the Minnesota Chapter for Scleroderma and will be used for research, education and raising awareness about this life-altering, life-threatening autoimmune disease which affects 300,000 Americans—all of whom battle with the illness on a daily basis, which means the rare disease affects approximately 1 in 1,000,000.
Osmond will share music and video footage capturing his family’s fifty-five year history in show business— a ride that has taken him and brothers to the heights of worldwide fame and that has cast them into the role of ‘household name’ on every continent and in nearly every country. “They even found our albums in the home of Saddam Hussein when he was taken custody,” muses Osmond curiously about his larger-than-life past.
Interestingly, this particular concert will highlight personal stories of Osmond’s family friendship with the late Elvis Presley, and will feature onstage Osmond’s recently recorded tribute of music--honoring Presley—for the very first time. Guests of the event will also hear Tom Paschke, the Minnesota Yodeler and Kerry Summers, ventriloquist/magic/variety entertainer who has traveled the world over entertaining troops on USO Tours.
The concert will be held at the Faribault County Fair Grandstand in Blue Earth, MN on July 20th starting at 8:30 pm. Tickets for the concert are $15.00, all general seating. Overflow seating will be on the lawns, so bring blankets, lawn chairs and umbrellas, in case of what Osmond and Cara Marie pray is ‘slight chance of rain.’
Obtain tickets at any Wells Fargo Bank location by donating ‘ticket price’ to The Darlene Marie Thompson Scleroderma Benefit Fund and then bring your receipt to the concert to be exchanged for admitted seating. Tickets will also be available at the door. Tickets and info have also become available on Cara’s Marie’s website: www.bycaramarie.com. Photo I.D. will be required.
“Cara has brought this wonderful concert gift to our chapter to honor the memory of her mother, who walked this difficult road,” adds Bonnie Handmacher, MN Scleroderma Chapter President. “We’re so grateful for her interest in us and her support, and we certainly hope many will come out to learn more about this very rare, virtually unknown disease. The medical community needs our help to improve circumstances for these patients.”
“Expect a two to two-and-one-half hour event filled with inspiration, fun, great music and good entertainment,” add Osmond and the concert’s main sponsor, Ms. Thompson-Weir.
More information is available about scleroderma through The Minnesota Chapter supported development of a 30-second PSA, http://tinyurl.com/sclerodermapsa, and a 10-minute informational video http://tinyurl.com/scleroderma-info, which features narration from actor, Jason Alexander, comments from NFL Hall of Fame Running Back, Barry Sanders, and interviews from current patients. # # #