Michael Franti, frontman of the band Spearhead and an avid yoga practitioner, has always felt that music, like yoga, can be a powerful healer.
So when he was contacted via Twitter by Hope Denzember, whose husband Steve is living with advanced-stage Lou Gerhig's disease, Franti offered to meet the couple before an upcoming festival. He then asked Steve and Hope to join him on stage during the band's set.
Steve, who is confined to a wheelchair, was so moved by the experience that he asked Hope to lift him up and they danced together on stage. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” Franti said.
The experience also moved Franti, who realized that he could help facilitate something for people like Steve: the chance to see a favorite band. Do It For the Love Foundation, which Franti founded with his partner, and former emergency room nurse, Sarah Agah, arranges live concert experiences for people suffering from life-threatening illnesses, and when possible, face-to-face meetings with the artists.
“Our hope is to bring thousands of people in need to experience the healing power of music,” said Agah, in a promo video for the foundation.
This isn't the first time that Franti, whose band is known for its social activism, has put his star power to use for the public good. In 2001 he founded what became a wildly popular free music-art-and yoga festival in San Francisco. Power to the People, which at its peak drew 80,000 attendees, folded in 2011 when the city and organization couldn't come to an agreement on turning the free event into a paid-ticket show.
Do It For The Love will consider requests from residents of North America whose illnesses have been verified by a treating physician. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with requests.