When Archer Nelson’s parents told he and his brother that their mum’s cancer was back, the nine-year-old had a few words to say about it.
He said, “I think cancer is stupid. You know why? Because Mom kicked its butt once, and it came back to get beat up again.”
Archer’s mum Christi had had chemotherapy and then a mastectomy to beat breast cancer, but after six months, her cancer had reappeared.
Later, Archer’s dad found him trying to play a paper cut-out of a CD on the player and asked what he was doing. When he took the crumpled piece of paper out of the CD player, he saw it had the words “Boob spelled backwards is boob”.
Archer confessed that he had made up a song for his mum and he wanted to know how to get it from his head onto the CD. His dad, a veteran radio DJ, said he would help him.
Archer’s dad, Mike, told his colleagues at the radio station why his son had been trying to play a paper CD. His producer was so moved he asked the next rockstar to walk through the door to help. That star was Michael Franti from a hugely popular band called Spearhead, and he agreed to set Archer’s chorus and verses to music.
After that, Mike asked every musician to come to the station to contribute. “The idea was to make it like a We Are the World for breast cancer,” Mike told Upworthy.
Within eight months, they had complied recordings from a hugely diverse bunch of musicians, including Florence from Florence and the Machine, Vence Joy, Steve Earle and members of Spandau Ballet and Grateful Dead.
They edited the song together and created this star-studded music clip to raise money for breast caner research.
“It’s so exciting to see it grow from innocent, tender beginnings,” Mike says of the song.”It’s just a kid trying to make sense of something that even most adults find pretty hard to comprehend.”
Christi says, “It’s made me hyper-aware of the relationship I have with my kid, and that I don’t want to let him go. There are feelings of mortality, like I have to cherish this moment. I just love him so much.”
The best part of this whole story is that so far, after her second round of chemo, Archer’s mum seems to have beaten cancer again.
Has your life been touched by breast cancer?