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Mayhem, Medicine, Music, and Miracles

Marie (right) with her sister, Patricia

Marie (right) with her sister, Patricia

Three-time breast cancer survivor and Komen board member Marie M. La Fargue writes how music was an important part of her healing process.  We celebrate Marie and her journey, and will recognize survivors at the upcoming Music for the Cure on Sept. 12, and the Race for the Cure on Sept. 27.  Join us at both these wonderful events!

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By Marie M. La Fargue

As much as there has been miraculous healing and a sense of peace in my life about breast cancer after sixteen years of survivorship, it is safe to say that “a song has outlived all sermons in the memory”—to paraphrase a famous quote by Henry Gates!  Amy Grant’s beautiful holiday song, “Breath of Heaven” always comes to mind as well as the gospel song “Never Would Have Made It” that is hauntingly and powerfully sung by Marvin Sapp.  After three times battling this disease, it is very evident that there has been an ever-present divine force guiding and protecting my life—how else could I have survived such mayhem and still have a song to sing?

Good medicine was mixed with a touch of melodic music—jazz, classical, R & B, pop, rock, and only on a few occasions the blues … because they do not stay in my soul for very long!   Through each battle I received and interpreted report after report, scan after scan, consult after consult and an abundance of overwhelming information—solicited and unsolicited—to add to the ever playing symphony in the scale of “the big C” Major in the tetrachords of B—breast cancer—minor.  I became very much in tune with authentic living and my sentiments became very simpatico with the great jazz legend Miles Davis who once said, “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”  I became quite the master at improvising!

Yes, I learned to muster the courage to hear the song in my own heart that helped me make the decisions to ensure my survivorship.  As an opinion was rendered, I went into my sacred place to arrange the music that felt right in my spirit regardless of what I saw on the medical sheet music.  And even as the critics’ words seemed to shake the confidence in my sound, voice, and presence, I continued to make beautiful music with the medical wonders that happened in each medical stage performance.  After such a journey of faith and perseverance despite some critics and skeptics reviews, my Grammy Award of life is in knowing that I did it “My Way” and I can sing my song with a chorus of other beautiful women who have seen more than a few days of “Stormy Weather” before they could “Let the Sun Shine!”

Spotted Around Town

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You can’t miss it! (The signs or the concert.)

You can’t miss it! (The signs or the concert.)

“Music for the Cure” is coming . . . and going . . . all over Orange County. Very cool signs on Orange County Transportation Authority buses are “tooting the horn” about the upcoming September 12 concert.

Bravo to Farmers & Merchants Bank for sponsoring the bus signs and this new collaboration. A special thanks goes to F&M CEO Henry Walker, a longtime supporter of the arts, and a Komen Pink Tie Guy.

Pacific Symphony will close the summer season at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater with the dramatic “Tchaikovsky Spectacular” and the night will be a partnership with the Komen OC.  Imagine the sounds of the 1812 Overture, the night air, fireworks, a picnic basket and the spotlight on Komen and the upcoming Race for the Cure on September 27. What harmony!

You can get Music for the Cure tickets at http://www.pacificsymphony.org/main.taf?p=9,5,6,6&ProductionID=5453 Don’t forget to enter the Promo Code: “Komen” to receive the 20% discount on your ticket purchase.

You can register for the Race at www.komenoc.org.

The Healing Power of Music: Music for the Cure


Music for the Cure Logos

The Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is proud to partner with the Pacific Symphony and Farmers & Merchants Bank to present “Music for the Cure,” a concert taking place at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on September 12 at 8pm. The concert, “Tchaikovsky Spectacular,” will bring awareness to the Race for the Cure and to Komen’s mission to end breast cancer forever. The collaboration is a model for nonprofit partnerships everywhere, and serves as a way to break outside of the box in promoting our cause.

We are so pleased to have Farmers & Merchants Bank CEO Henry Walker playing an instrumental role in the creation and culmination of this concert by joining the two organizations to maximize outreach and exposure for a life-saving cause. Walker has been a true supporter of both Komen OC and the Symphony, serving as a Pink Tie Guy for Komen and a board member for the Pacific Symphony.

The performance will take place on a summer evening only two weeks before the September 27 Race for the Cure, serving as an ideal reminder that the fight against breast cancer continues. In addition, this is an opportunity for the general public to support two beloved causes, breast cancer awareness and the preservation of music. Each cause is different; both are important.

For more information about the September 12th “Music for the Cure” concert, please visit the Pacific Symphony’s website here. For more about the Orange County Race for the Cure, please visit Komen OC’s website here.