Kickin' cancer's ***

Amee BellWanzo's punk & roll band Black Eyed Betty has played the Columbus Race for the Cure every year since the band formed in 2007 except one - the year BellWanzo was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In 2008, the band started Columbus Rocks the Cure, an evening of rock n' roll music aimed to raise awareness (and money) and dispel some myths about cancer, most specifically breast cancer.

"The survival rate is actually pretty high," Bellwanzo said. "It's not a death sentence. Which make it even more imperative to catch early. But young people know they need to look out for it."

BellWanzo was 31 when she was diagnosed - she is now three-plus years along and is "OK now."

Bell Wanzo said the show is meant to be fun - her band wears pink along with their traditional black stage garb, and last year did a KISS-style makeup with white and pink makeup..

This year the event moves to Skully's Music Diner - "It's a bigger venue and we really hope to grow the event." The lineup of local acts - The Spruce Campbells, Black Eyed Betty and Dirty Girls - is complemented this year by the addition of national act Vanity Theft.

"We've met them but this will be the first time to play with them. We're excited to share the stage with them," BallWanzo said.

Half of the proceeds will be given to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, while half will be reserved to purchase wigs for local women diagnosed with breast cancer who can't afford them.

"It's great to help fund the research but we thought this was a way to to something more tangible and more local. We're working on a patient navigator and straight through the wig shops."

The event will be held this Saturday, July 23.

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By: Jim Fischer

7 / 18 / 11

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