Grieving Stevenage DJ plans European charity tour in memory of dad who lost brave cancer battle
PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 June 2020
A grieving man mourning the death of his dad, who died just before lockdown began, is using his talent as a DJ to raise money for charity in his father’s memory.
Michael Steward - who lives in Stevenage and is co-ordinator of horticulture at Oaklands College in St Albans - felt helpless watching his dad, Cecil, slowly lose his brave battle with cancer. “He was my best friend,” Michael said. “We were always close.”
Cecil was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 and last year was also diagnosed with a brain tumour. Michael said: “As time progressed, I had to watch him deteriorate every day, unable to do anything. I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t save him.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did. I want to do something to try and help others, and to help the sufferers of this terrible disease.” So Michael, who has been a DJ and producer for 27 years, set up not-for-profit organisation Stomp4Cancer and came up with the idea of a DJ tour around the UK and Europe, with all profits - and Michael’s usual fees - donated to local cancer charities. The tour should have launched in Norwich on June 29, but has had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, Michael embarked on a 36-hour solo DJ marathon, playing more than 800 dance single tracks between 12.30pm on June 13 and 12.30am on June 15.
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Michael said: “It’s the biggest and hardest thing I’ve had to do in my career. We live streamed through various sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.
“To help gain donations I dressed up in different outfits as the donations reached certain targets, including a French maid, Ginger Spice and a pink fairy.
“It was a very hot night, which made it hard, but I was determined to complete my journey for my dad and to make him proud.
“I raised a fantastic £1,065 and I couldn’t be happier. I’m planning my next event for Stomp4Cancer, which will be a 40-hour online event.
“Once the lockdown is over and clubs are back at full capacity I will be putting on events up and down the country, with all profits donated to local cancer charities.
“We can unite as one and, through our love of music, we can make a difference.”
To support Stomp4Cancer, visit gofundme.com/f/stomp-4-cancer to donate.
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