The Blackberry Smoke Fund

The purpose of the Blackberry Smoke Fund is to provide funding for CURE’s research initiatives and patient and family support.

Blackberry Smoke is an iconic Southern rock band from Atlanta, formed in 2001 by Charlie Starr, Paul Jackson, and Smyrna natives Brit and Richard Turner. In December 2009, Brit and Shannon Turner’s only child, Lana, was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that develops from nerve tissue. Only 3 at the time, tumors had taken over 97 percent of her body. On tour in Europe when Shannon called with the terrible news, Brit immediately left the tour and came home to be by Lana and Shannon’s side, where he stayed while Lana bravely fought the disease.

Lana's Story

“My daughter was very sick,” says Brit. “While staying at the hospital, my wife and I watched families come and go. We watched many children die, and those unforgettable moments shattered us both deeply. No matter what horrible situation is thrown at you, someone always has it worse. As a band, we have always performed at charity shows and try to lend a hand anytime we were able to. But it wasn’t until Lana was diagnosed that I felt it from the other side. This was the first time I felt like I was completely helpless and that I couldn’t provide – I didn’t know what to do.”

Thankfully, Lana survived and, today at age 13 is doing great.

“My daughter was very sick,” says Brit. “While staying at the hospital, my wife and I watched families come and go. We watched many children die, and those unforgettable moments shattered us both deeply. No matter what horrible situation is thrown at you, someone always has it worse. As a band, we have always performed at charity shows and try to lend a hand anytime we were able to. But it wasn’t until Lana was diagnosed that I felt it from the other side. This was the first time I felt like I was completely helpless and that I couldn’t provide – I didn’t know what to do.”

Thankfully, Lana survived and, today at age 13 is doing great.

“I learned a lot from this experience,” Brit shares. “Life is 10 percent what is thrown at you and 90 percent how you are able to react. A lot of people are responsible for helping us react. They continue to help by purchasing Blackberry Smoke meet and greet packages. We use that money to donate to research because all children deserve the chance to grow up and live life like Lana is doing.”

Since 2011, Blackberry Smoke has donated more than $400,000 to childhood cancer organizations. The money raised is largely a result of meet and greet packages purchased by fans. The band also hosted the  Blackberry Smoke Ride for CURE in 2019 and plan to make it an annual event.

The Blackberry Smoke Fund in Action

The Blackberry Smoke Ride for CURE hosted by Tom Glavine provided two days of motorcycle fun. The weekend started with a family day at Falcons Fury Harley Davidson on Saturday followed by Sunday’s ride from Conyers to The Battery Atlanta for live music, barbecue, mechanical bull-riding, raffles, and a drawing for a Harley Sportster 1200 customized by Zac Brown Customs. The 2019 Blackberry Smoke Ride for CURE raised $40,000 in support of CURE’s precision medicine initiative.

** Check back for information on the 2020 Ride for CURE!

The Blackberry Smoke Ride for CURE hosted by Tom Glavine provided two days of motorcycle fun. The weekend started with a family day at Falcons Fury Harley Davidson on Saturday followed by Sunday’s ride from Conyers to The Battery Atlanta for live music, barbecue, mechanical bull-riding, raffles, and a drawing for a Harley Sportster 1200 customized by Zac Brown Customs. The 2019 Blackberry Smoke Ride for CURE raised $40,000 in support of CURE’s precision medicine initiative.

** Check back for information on the 2020 Ride for CURE!

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