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Concert Benefits Romeoville Dad Battling Cancer

Justin Nelson's favorite tribute band is flying in from California to perform at Tailgaters in Bolingbrook.

An April 25 benefit concert will help Justin Nelson (right, pictured with his family) focus on fighting cancer. Credit: Submitted photo
An April 25 benefit concert will help Justin Nelson (right, pictured with his family) focus on fighting cancer. Credit: Submitted photo
A Los Angeles-based band will perform at a benefit concert for Justin "Nelly" Nelson and his family, starting at 7 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Tailgaters, 431 W. Boughton Road on Bolingbrook.

The "Red Not Night for Nelly" benefit will feature the music of the Red NOT Chili Peppers, along with Green Day tribute band St. Jimmy.

Nelson, 35, has had a tough year. After he was laid off from his job in August 2013, he and wife Tara were expecting their second child in November. 

Just two weeks after baby Sophie was born, Nelson got a shocking diagnosis: A CT scan revealed a very large mass in his head. The young dad was diagnosed with stage 4 astrocytoma brain cancer.

For the past four months, the community has rallied around the Nelson family.

In January, Nelson's brother-in-law Jasen Mussatto reached out to the Red NOT Chili Peppers to see if they'd consider doing a Chicago-based benefit concert. Mussatto and Nelson had seen the band perform during a trip to Las Vegas in 2012.

Bassist and band manager Jonathan Savage, who had just lost his mother to lung cancer four months earlier, readily agreed to put a music-based fundraising event together for the family.  

“It just felt like a sign – to get a request like this to help out at a time I was mourning the loss of my mom,” Savage said in a press release. “My hope is we can put on a great night to raise money and bring back memories of health and happiness during a time when chemo and surgeries have taken so much out of Justin.”

Tailgaters owner Bob Zalewski will donate 100 percent of door proceeds and a generous portion of bar sales to the Nelson family.

The event will include a live auction and 50/50 cash raffle.

The cost of the benefit is $30 at the door. Organizers say the event could raise up to $20,000 to alleviate some of the financial burdens faced by the family and help Nelson focus on fighting the battle of his life.

Those who can't attend the event, but would like to help can make a donation at www.rally.org/Justin_Nelson.


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