DrumSTRONG 2008: A Smashing Success -- Thank You Scott and Mason!

drumSTRONG 2008 052Three years ago, a friend of my family's teenage son was diagnosed with cancer, and was given fairly bleak chances of making it through the ordeal. It was a crushing blow to the family. For the full story, read the ESPN piece on Mason (he's the last story). Mason would go on to conquer the cancer inside his body, and has been cancer free for a couple of years now. Against all odds. And it was during this time that he reached out to one of my idols, Lance Armstrong...the 2 had a bit of dialogue during the ordeal, and would eventually meet in real life.

It was during one of his meetings with Lance that Mason came up with the idea for drumSTRONG, whose mission is simple: To beat the shit out of cancer, and raise awareness through drumming. Each year they've upped the ante just a little bit: The first year was 24 continuous hours of drumming, up to this year which was 26 straight hours. A secondary goal was to get into the Guinness World Record book for having the longest continuous group drumming event. I'm sure we succeeded on both fronts.

I personally committed to 10 hours of drumming over the 26 hour spread, and actually ended up doing more along the lines of 12 hours total. My hands are paying dearly this week, but that pain is outweighed by the pain that was lifted from me mentally during the event. I have posted several photos of the event in my photo gallery, and more photos/videos will be posted to the drumSTRONG site over the coming days.

I've been playing drums of some sort since I was barely walking, and have been doing formal hand percussion gatherings for almost 15 years. Unfortunately it is something I haven't made as much time for lately, but after this weekend I'm making it a personal goal to start rounding up some of the talent here in Charlotte for some formal jams. Given my background, this event was a no-brainer. In the end over 2,000 people showed up...there aren't any words that can describe what the event did for everyone who participated. It was without a doubt one of the most moving experiences of my life, and I cannot wait to do it for 27 hours next year. Thank you Mason for this amazing concept, and thank you Scott for having the tenacity to actually make it happen. You're both amazing people, and quite simply put the world needs more of you.

The image in this post is of me and my best friend 20 minutes before we hit the 26 hour mark. The skin was literally peeling off my hands at this point, but I felt no pain surprisingly. Actually in hindsight, it isn't surprising at all.

Keep. Drumming. Beat. Cancer.


# Caren said:

Hey, Jayson - I found your blog when I googled "drumSTRONG"! Many of the folks who attended drumStrong are members of the Charlotte Drum Circle -- you can join and hear about drumming events in the area, and info about drum circles. Thought if you wanted to drum more, this might be a good resource!


Hope to see you out there, drumming ~

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:08 PM