GWAR might not be your typical music fan’s cup of tea, (or in their case, a pool of blood and other weird bodily fluids), but they can take claim to having a fanbase that’s allowed them to keep rocking in their own wild way for over three decades. Those dedicated supporters have stepped up for their monstrous heroes once again, as a reported 3,000 fans have signed up for Love Hope Strength’s bone registry in support of GWAR’s Michael Derks, who was recently diagnosed with a form of bone marrow leukemia.
Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the shock-rock group had partnered with Love Hope Strength, a foundation that raises both money and awareness against cancer. The organization also works with musicians in hopes of building the national bone marrow donor registry.
“I am not someone who enjoys putting my life out for others to see on social media, and I do it now only because I know many people are concerned about me,” Derks aka BälSäc the Jaws 'o Death shared on his donor registration page. “Since the only thing I can do while the doctors try to find a matching donor is to get myself physically fit, I've decided to not let the impending hospitalization keep me from doing what I enjoy most, performing with GWAR.”
The band had announced their 2017 North American headlining tour back over the summer, which sees them playing 46 shows starting back in September, and running until Dec. 10. According to Derks, he’s been using labs across the country to monitor his blood while on the road, a move that’s probably been as emotionally draining on the guitarist as it is physically. The tour is in promotion of the band’s 14th studio album, The Blood of Gods, which was their first since 2013’s Battle Maximus. It was also their first studio release since the death of singer Dave Brockie back in 2014.
To learn more about how you can register to be an eligible blood and/or bone marrow donor, click here.