Canadian hard-rock outfit Nickelback has helped a band from Chilliwack, B.C. raise more than $110,000 in honour of a young girl fighting cancer.
That’s about $105,000 more than members of the band Pardon My Striptease set out to raise, when they released the song, Pray (for LJ), in support of their frontman’s one-year-old daughter, Lilee-Jean Putt, who is suffering from brain cancer.
The band decided to donate all the funds raised by the single to the BC Children’s Hospital, where Lilee-Jean has been getting treatment since she was diagnosed a few months ago with a form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.
Earlier in December, Pardon My Striptease challenged local rock stars Nickelback to match their donation if Pray passed Nickelback’s latest hit, When We Stand Together, on iTunes’ rock chart.
Sales of Pray skyrocketed after it was released on Dec. 5, passing not only Nickelback, but climbing to the top of the iTunes chart, where it stayed for several days.
Nickelback accepted the challenge and donated $50,000 to the hospital, which was matched immediately by their record company, Warner Music.
The donation wasn’t the only good news for the band and Lilee-Jean’s parents, Andrew Putt and Chelsey Whittle.
Lilee-Jean had an MRI on Dec. 9 to see if chemotherapy for her cancer was working. The results left her doctors in awe, Andrew Putt told The Sun last week.
“The tumour had shrunk by about 50 per cent,” he said. The hope was that the treatment would at least halt the tumour, but doctors were all amazed by what they saw.
The progress so far has taken “a huge weight of our shoulders,” Putt said, adding that Lilee-Jean is slated for more chemotherapy and may have to have additional surgery on the tumour.
For now, she’ll take a break from treatment while she recovers from the latest round of chemotherapy, Putt said, mentioning how nice it is to have a quiet Christmas at home in Chilliwack with Lilee-Jean.
More than 20,000 singles have sold since Pray went up, said Brendan Woodroff, a guitarist in Pardon My Striptease. “In our first week we sold just under 10,000 singles on iTunes,” he said, explaining that another online retailer reported an additional 10,000 in sales for the first week. Subsequent weeks have yet to be reported from 33 other online music sellers the song was listed with, so the numbers could be much higher, Woodroff said.
Those numbers would suggest that the band’s portion of the sales could total more than $10,000 — all of which will be going to the hospital, he said.
“We’ve broken the $10,000 mark, which was our revised goal,” he said. The band originally hoped to raise $5,000 for the hospital.
The money raised from Pray, combined with the contributions from Nickelback and Warner means “we’re looking at more than $110,000 now,” Woodroff said.
The band booked studio time in March and plans to release another album, but for now “we want to make sure that Lilee-Jean is taken care of first,” he added.