Legendary drummer Neil Peart's family raising money to support RVH cancer centre
BARRIE, ONT. -- The legendary drummer for the Canadian band Rush, Neil Peart, had been fighting brain cancer for more than three years when he died in January.
Peart's sister, Nancy Burkholder, wanted to shine some light on a dark time.
"His favourite saying was 'what's the most excellent thing I can do today,' and I thought 'hmm, I think we should raise money in his honour," said the Muskoka woman.
Burkholder immediately though of the Regional Cancer Centre at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie.
The family had planned on a memorial concert, but it was put on hold because of COVID-19.
Burkholder has instead asked her brother's admirers and collaborators to donate items for an auction.
While staff at RVH don't know how much money the auction will raise, they have big plans to improve and expand radiation treatments.
For Burkholder, the last few months without her brother have been rough, but she's found comfort in hearing stories from his fans and seeing their adoration in donations.
"I have to say this is one thing that is keeping us going, and the support is just phenomenal," she admitted. "It surprises us every day."
The auction to benefit the RVH cancer centre will continue for at least the rest of the summer, possibly longer if fans continue to dig up Neil Peart keepsakes.