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Musical dose of medicine

When Chris Erickson's friend, Rachel Lunde, was diagnosed with cancer, he knew he wanted to find a way to help. Then, just weeks later, Lunde's sister, Elizabeth Lunde, was diagnosed with another form of cancer. So, he expanded his plans to give ...

When Chris Erickson's friend, Rachel Lunde, was diagnosed with cancer, he knew he wanted to find a way to help.

Then, just weeks later, Lunde's sister, Elizabeth Lunde, was diagnosed with another form of cancer. So, he expanded his plans to give both sisters a fun night with friends and supporters while also raising money that will help them in their cancer fights.

"It's something that I can help with," he said. "I don't make enough money to give to her, so this way I could kind of do it with everyone's help."

Erickson organized Music Cures Cancer, a benefit that will bring many Grand Forks bands together for one night at the Muddy Rivers Ballroom.

A silent auction starts at 7 p.m., which will include signed hockey sticks from the Sioux men's team, a brand-new guitar and guitar lessons and other items. Live music from eight local bands starts at 8 p.m. There is no cover charge with a donation, and attendees must be older than 21.

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'All friends'

Rachel Lunde, a 28-year-old who grew up in Grand Forks, was diagnosed with an oligioastrocytoma stage II brain tumor on Sept. 19. She had surgery before the diagnosis to remove as much of the tumor as possible and is being treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

That was a big enough shock for her family, but then her sister, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with an advanced-stage tissue sarcoma on Nov. 1. She moved back to Grand Forks to be with family and friends, but must commute several times a month to Minneapolis to receive strong doses of chemotherapy from a specialist.

Erickson said he knows both sisters and has been Rachel's friend for a while. "They've been big supporters of music in our area," he said.

Erickson runs The Hub Bar's open mic night on Tuesdays, and he said the Lunde sisters are regular visitors and also enjoy live local music. So, when he started putting together a benefit, he wanted to get some of their favorite bands and musicians together to show some support.

"These are all friends," he said. "Every musician in here knows them personally."

The musical lineup is packed for the night: June Panic, Mischief, The Noblemen, The Hasty Ladies, The House Guitars, Angela Thompson, June Panic's Wife and The North River Ramblers all are scheduled to perform.

Erickson said there also will be a second stage at the benefit that will feature performances by other unannounced local musicians. The music is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and bands will be performing throughout the night until the 2 a.m. bar close.

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'Just a small thing'

The benefit will be hosted by Bob Cheetah and M.C. Drizzle, and the main doors will be open between the bar and the ballroom during the night. There also will be food and T-shirts for sale.

Erickson said he's hoping the benefit will give the Lundes support, and all the money raised at the event will be donated to them to help offset medical costs. "I want to let them concentrate on their health instead of those other things," he said.

He also wants to give the sisters a night to remember with friends and bands they have known for years. Erickson said it's important "to have people around them that know them and love them" as they continue their medical treatment.

"It's just a small thing to help them out," he said.

People interested in making a donation can do so at the benefit or by direct donation to Alerus Financial. An account has been created under the name "Music Cures Cancer" for the bank donations.

Erickson said anyone with questions about making a donation can also contact him via e-mail at sonoferickk@yahoo.com .

Johnson covers local music events and runs a music blog at www.areavoices.com/valleysound . Reach him at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

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