We often talk about the emotional and physical toll cancer takes on a family. We talk less about money. But a cancer diagnosis can empty a family's bank account. That's why Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie and The Microphones is asking for help.
Elverum's wife — Canadian artist, cartoonist, and musician Geneviève Castrée who performs as Woelv and Ô Paon (and sings occasionally with Mount Eerie) — was diagnosed with inoperable stage four pancreatic cancer in May 2015, four months after giving birth to their daughter.
The couple have kept their hardships private, and though family and friends have been a tremendous support, "we can’t take it anymore," he writes in an uncharacteristically personal post on his website. "The savings have been depleted and financial worry creeps in as the inability to do anything resembling 'work' continues indefinitely." Consider all of the peripheral treatment costs that insurance won't cover plus covering the basics and raising a baby, while nothing is coming in.
The family has set up a GoFundMe campaign called "Help Geneviève Elverum" to accept donations and they ask that fans share the information. The response has been heartening. As of this writing, they've raised just over $69,000 in one day.
These are two hard-working artists, both fiercely independent and wildly respected in their Anacortes, WA community as well as their broader creative fields. They've hustled and grinded together a modest living. Unfortunately, for many — our favourite artists included — there's very little in the way of accessible financial support when medical emergencies happen.
You can hear both Elverum and Castrée in the song below: