NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Friends of Henry Butler have started an online fundraising effort to help pay for the musician’s cancer treatment.
Butler, a New Orleans piano prodigy who was blinded in childhood by glaucoma, was recently diagnosed with stage IV cancer.
Fellow musician Richard Julian set up the GoFundMe account to help pay for specialized treatment for Butler, who now lives mostly in New York.
“We are trying to raise a minimum 35K as quickly as possible to send him to Germany for special care where he can receive hyperthermia treatment from a renown doctor and have the around-the-clock supervised medical care he needs,” Julian wrote. “The money will also be used to get him the extra help he will need for the duration of treatment and recovery.”
The treatment will involve heating Butler’s cancer cells to damage them and limit their destructive capabilities, according to the GoFundMe page.
“Henry is not only a national musical treasure, but a wise and spiritual human being to boot. We are hoping that between Henry’s fan base and his stature in the music community, we can reach our target of 35K and get him treated by February,” Julian wrote. “He has many concerts coming up this spring and summer in the US and Europe and he is committed and hoping to continue performing for his fans old and new.”
Along with support from fans across the globe, fellow musician, Simpsons voice actor, and part-time New Orleans resident Harry Shearer implored his Twitter fans to contribute to the effort.
If you've ever heard/enjoyed this NO piano colossus, please consider helping him. https://t.co/QfzyRHy8AM
— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) January 13, 2017