Twisted Pink’s Popular Music Festival Returns September 28 Benefitting Metastatic Breast Cancer Research

Photography Provided

After Paula Miller was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in January 2017, she and her husband, Roger, began to brainstorm ways to raise funds to help researchers find the cause of the devastating disease.

“Very few dollars donated to breast cancer research goes toward metastatic patients,” Miller says. “And there is no cure at this point for metastatic breast cancer.”

Within months, Miller adopted the slogan, “If they can treat it I can beat it!” and designed t-shirts sporting the phrase. In just a little over two years, she’s distributed more than 1,000 of the shirts, providing hope and encouragement for others in similar situations.

Then, in February 2018, Miller met Caroline Johnson at the annual Twisted Pink Masquerade ball. Johnson founded Twisted Pink, a local nonprofit with a mission of extending the lives and improving the quality of life for late-stage breast cancer patients by funding metastatic breast cancer research, after her own stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis. Twisted Pink has partnered with esteemed national programs like Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as well as the James Graham Brown Cancer Center locally.

The masquerade ball inspired Miller to create a fundraising event of her own, with the aim of designing a low-cost experience that would be accessible to more members of the community than a pricier, ticketed event may be.

With that, Beat It Music Festival was born.

“I wanted to do something totally different, that would still make money,” Miller says. “We decided to do a free concert day, and all of the music, the location and the food are donated.”

The inaugural event had a great turnout last fall, with more than $6,000 raised to donate toward metastatic breast cancer research. The 2019 Beat It Music Festival is poised to be even bigger and better.

“We’re anticipating even more people this year, and I’m really excited,” Miller says.

The festival takes place Saturday, September 28, from 3 pm – 8 pm at Highlands Latin School in Middletown (10901 Shelbyville Road). The free, family-friendly event features kid-friendly games and entertainment, including performances by five musical acts.

Dusty Bo (country) kicks things off with a 3 pm performance, followed by Andy Burch (American, folk, indie) at 4 pm. Clair Morgan’s Little Big Band, an eight-piece band that plays favorites from vintage rock, jazz, dixieland, dance and listening music genres, takes the stage at 5 pm.

“Last year Clair Morgan’s Little Big Band appealed to a wide range of people, and we’re excited to have them back,” Miller adds.

Douglas Hills’ own Kinsey Rose, who is now a singer and songwriter in Nashville, takes the stage at 6 pm, followed by local dance band No Expectations to round out the evening with a 7 pm performance.

Throughout the evening there will be opportunities to donate to Twisted Pink. The organization’s collaborations and advocacy for matching dollars has resulted in more than $1.8M to metastatic breast cancer research since 2014.

For Miller, the opportunity to make an impact in the research of a disease that has made such an impact on her life is truly meaningful.

“The fact that I can be a part of an organization right here in my hometown is a lot different than writing a check, putting it in the mail and hoping the funds end up going toward what you want them to,” she says.

Until a cure is found, Miller is stuck in a constant cycle of three-month intervals where she gets tested for cancer, never knowing what the results will show. One clean PET scan will move the patient into remission. Then, three months later at their next scan, a new spot may be present.

Taking a proactive approach has allowed Miller and her husband to feel like they’re taking back some of the sense of control that cancer often steals from a patient.

“If you met me, you’d never think I have cancer,” Miller says. “I’m very fortunate to have the energy to go out and raise funds and to be a part of something wonderful like Twisted Pink.”

For more information about the event, visit the Twisted Pink Facebook page, or search Beat It Music Festival on Facebook.

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