An innovative, music-based movement was launched across the Web, social media, radio, print and television in conjunction with CURE Childhood Cancer, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Atlanta and working internationally through a network of affiliates to cure childhood cancer.
The campaign centers around a song called Sometimes You Gotta Fight, a collaborative effort between Ryan Burton, stepfather to a daughter with leukemia, and Canadian songwriter/producer VANN. With crossover hit potential, the radio-ready song is available for download on iTunes and other digital distributors worldwide. All proceeds from downloads go directly to childhood cancer research and saving the lives of children. Launched in the US, Canada and Europe, this movement truly has the potential to circle the globe. It funds internationally shared research, focuses on a universally common cause and rallies support through means unrestricted by borders.
This story has already been covered by CBS and NBC in Atlanta. Will Turpin of multi-platinum album selling Collective Soul participated to raise awareness and offer support. Real2Reel Studios in Jonesboro, Georgia donated thousands of dollars worth of studio time and essentially shut down their business for a week to help. World-famous Sterling Sound Studios in New York and their Senior Mastering Engineer Ryan Smith (Bon Jovi, Beyoncé, Creed) contributed song mastering services. Just for starters, CURE Childhood Cancer launched this movement through 60,000+ Facebook followers. PR professionals in the US and Canada have volunteered their time. The movement is growing.
THE LIFE-CHANGING EVENT
Ryan Burton’s 3-year old stepdaughter was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in September of 2011. “My wife and I never saw this coming,” recalls Burton. “The only signs were bruises that seemed normal for an energetic, outgoing little girl. One day we were all enjoying a beach vacation. A few days later she was diagnosed and admitted. Life changed in a heartbeat. We spent the next six months in the hospital, living every parent’s nightmare and hoping to beat the odds.”
So far, Ryan’s stepdaughter is one of the lucky ones. Intensive chemotherapy returned her to a life altered only by monthly checkups and memories of pain and sadness that no child should ever know. She is very proud that her hair is slowly growing back. “All we could do was keep saying she’d be alright and praying that it would be true,” adds Burton. “Like most people, we thought this was something that happened to others until we suddenly became that family.”
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
“It was an intensely scary and emotional time,” reflects Burton, “Your first reaction is to shut the world out and focus on your family. But a beautiful little girl is alive today because of all the research, funding and support that existed before she got sick. Progress from today can make the difference between tragedy and happy endings for other families. My wife and I felt like we had to pay it forward – even if it meant sharing a very private story.”
“Throughout our ordeal, we were never alone,” continues Burton. “The charity befriended us, the hospital staff was amazing and we connected with others who had been down the same path. Many individuals came together to make a huge difference in our lives. I wanted to create more synergy by uniting a larger community.”
Two decades ago, Ryan Burton was a full-time musician in Canada performing in popular Montreal rock band I.C. RED. Now a US citizen living in Georgia, he felt music could be the ideal messenger and reached out to his old band mate. “Rob van Blokland (aka VANN) is a great talent who has written and produced hit songs in Canada and in Europe,” explains Burton. “I knew he could blend these themes, emotions and influences into inspiring lyrics and a radio-ready song that would stand on its own.” The two reunited to write and record music together for the first time in 20 years.
ABOUT THE SONG
VANN’s Sometimes You Gotta Fight is an upbeat, radio-ready “anthem of encouragement” for anyone going through a dark time. Written by VANN and Burton, the song was produced in Reel2Reel Studios in Jonesboro, Georgia by VANN and features Georgia musicians, Burton on bass and VANN vocals and guitars for a distinct “north meets south” sound.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER (CALL TO ACTION)
“Everything about this project is geared to make it as easy as possible for everyone to take up the fight,” explains VANN. “This movement is about doing a little bit for a big collective result. We all have busy lives and limitations on what we are able to contribute to a worthy cause. In this case, downloading a song for 99¢ and inviting friends to do the same is all it takes to make a difference, save lives and be proud.” All proceeds from downloads go directly to the charity.
WHY YOU SHOULD HELP
Cancer will inevitably touch most of us at some point in our lives be it through our families, friends, loved ones or co-workers. If it already has, you would gladly give far more than a dollar and a few minutes of your time towards a cure. If you have yet to cross paths with the disease, trust this: you really do not want to wait until cancer comes into your life to start making a difference.
Though every cancer battle is significant, the tragedy is amplified when it hijacks the life of children. They cannot understand their illness, treatment or mortality. They are unable to rationalize or recognize odds. It comes down to little girls and boys in tears asking their moms why their hair is falling out. Why they cannot play with their friends anymore. Why their parents can’t make the hurt go away. Why the friendly smiles they thrived on have been replaced by piteous and averted gazes triggered by an inability to see beyond the sickness to any sort of future.
It is unfair and heart-wrenchingly sad when cancer steals a life that had only just begun. Yet every day it takes from the arms of parents children whose only ambition was to play and feel secure and loved.
What are you willing to give to save a child’s life?
99¢? A few minutes to forward an email? A post on your Facebook page?
A link on your website? An article? A segment? A donation? Radio play?
ANYTHING THAT YOU DO WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA FIGHT.
Readers, viewers and listeners can help through downloads, forwarding official emails and using personal social media. The reach of this movement is exponential and the combined impact can be substantial. By helping us to spread this message, organizations can promote their social responsibility, compassion and heart while actually saving lives.
There are aspects to this story and song to engage any audience. Any details, interviews or content you need will be made available. This project is PURE. There is no record company involvement. No conflicting interests. No hidden agendas. Just good people contributing the skills and resources in their immediate wheelhouse towards a great, global cause. As all cancer research is shared internationally, results will transcend geography and demographics.
QUICK REFERENCE FACT SHEET
President of Scholz Communications
T. (678) 984-4045
Sometimes You Gotta Fight
Written by VANN & Ryan Burton
Produced by VANN
Engineered by Will McPhaul
Recorded & mixed at Real2Reel Studios in Jonesboro, Georgia (April 2012)
Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound Mastering, New York
The recording features:
VANN: vocals, guitars, backup vocals and programming
Ryan Burton: bass
Wendy Scheffield: backup vocals
Sloan Hayes: piano and organ
David Buice: drums
Download only (international) via iTunes, Amazon, Zune, Rhapsody, Google Play and other online distributors
All proceeds from downloads of the song go to CURE Childhood Cancer and research to help children fight cancer. All research is shared internationally.
Main project website:
Primary source of information about the motivation, movement, artist, song, lyrics, artist and contributors as well as photographs, videos and links to related social media pages with latest updates.
Information about VANN:
VANN at a glance: Hit singles (Cherish Your Youth, Buzz Killer, Obvious, Breathing Room…) | Writer on platinum-selling Canadian Idol album | Gold Sales Award EMI Belgium | Breakthrough Single of the Year (TMF Video Awards in Europe) | Nominations for Best New Solo Rock Artist & Best Solo Artist Adult Contemporary Song at the Canadian Radio Music Awards | Wrote foundation for a national Chrysler campaign
Information on the charity & its research:
Kristin Connor, Executive Director
T. (770) 986-0035 ext. 24