Leukemia survivor to 'Play It Forward'


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  • Lee Raden and Daniel Ehart of They Know.



MILFORD — Leukemia survivor Lee Raden and his lifelong friend and high school classmate Daniel Ehart will perform two sets starting 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, at The Waterwheel Cafe, Bakery and Bar in Milford.

The duo has played music together for many years as They Know. Now they're playing for a cause.

In July 2010 Raden’s world turned upside down. The 50-year-old from Dingmans Ferry needed a lifesaving bone marrow/stem cell transplant to have a chance at knocking down two different leukemias, one of them extremely aggressive and difficult to treat.

Raden, a nurse and musician, started a long journey that began with the need to find a suitable donor. The search began through Be the Match, where people who join the National Marrow Registry are registered.

"Without a match, there was no way I would even have a shot a surviving, “ Raden said.

After a few months, one suitable donor was found, and he agreed to donate stem cells. In most cases now, donors donate stems cells, a process more akin to donating blood or platelets than the more invasive harvesting of actual bone marrow.

"The transplant process was difficult for me," said Raden. "I had a lot of complications along the way, but now three and a half years later I am disease-free.”

They Know write, perform and record original music. Raden credits the healing power of music for much of his recovery. He wrote and listened to music and during long isolating hospitalizations. The music therapists gave him a small keyboard to keep his musical energy alive. On March 17, The band released a CD of a live show recorded in Milford, and that they will perform as part of their Waterwheel appearance.

All physical CD sales will be donated to Be the Match Foundation as a way to “play it forward," Lee said. They raised $920 at the first release event in April in the Philadelphia area.

You can find out more about They Know and Be the Match at their website: theyknowmusic.com.

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