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T&T music fraternity chips in to assist cancer patients (with CNC3 video)

Saturday, March 9, 2013
Cancer survivor Cherise Couri, fourth from left, second row, poses with artistes, front row, Machel Montano, Freetown Collective members Muhammed Muwakil and Lou Lyons; second row, left to right, Shurwayne Winchester, CL Communications representative, Natasha Jones, TTPBA president, Kiran Maharaj, Tony Chow Lin On and Nadia Batson. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO

The local music fraternity is coming together to help cancer survivors. Inspired by 19-year-old Cherise Couri of La Puerta, Diego Martin, artistes including Machel Montano, Nadia Batson and Shurwayne Winchester will perform at a charity concert on March 17. Couri is the founder of the LIV (Life is Valuable) Movement, a non-government organisation whose mission is to support cancer patients through charity and other initiatives. 



The concert was launched at a news conference yesterday at the 51 Degrees nightclub on Cipriani Boulevard, Port-of-Spain. Couri was diagnosed with Wilms tumour—a rare type of kidney cancer that usually affects children—when she was 18-months-old. Although she was able to live a normal life after her cancer went into remission, last year doctors found three benign tumours on the liver. After the latest diagnosis, Couri and a group of friends started planning a fund-raising initiative for her surgery, which is expected to cost $250,000. 


Liv Movement launch

Their use of social media Web sites to promote the event brought it to the attention of businessman Tony Chow Lin On and Montano. After reading Couri's story in a T&T Guardian column and seeing a YouTube video about the young woman's life, Chow Lin On and Montano offered their assistance to the project.


They are helping by donating performances, finding sponsors, assisting with marketing the event and previous experience working with charities. Chow Lin On said he found the story inspiring because of all the “dark” crime news in T&T. At the news conference, Couri was brought to tears and said she couldn't express how thankful she was for the support from the music community and the public. She added that she hoped to continue working with cancer patients to help them cope with the disease. 


The LIV Movement is not about cancer awareness, she said, but cancer surviving. "We live to help. We live to share and we live to survive cancer and I really want to say thanks to everyone for the unity," said Couri. LIV the Concert takes place on March 17 at O2 Amphitheatre, Chaguaramas from 3-10pm. Performers include Machel Montano, Shurwayne Winchester, Nadia Batson and Sass, Roy Cape All Stars & Blaxx, Drupatee, Olatunji, Farmer Nappy, Patrice Roberts, Freetown Collective and 5Miles to Midnight. 


• For more information about Couri and the LIV movement you can follow her on Twitter: @LIVMOVEMENT. Tickets cost $200 and are available from Sports & Games outlets and Converse in West Mall.


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