Cancer concert personal for artist

Torika Tokalau
Wednesday, August 01, 2012

PACIFIC pop princess Vanessa Quai knows only too well the pain one feels watching a family member fight for their life against cancer.

Quai, who will perform at the Vodafone Arena in a special concert to help raise money for cancer victims and their families with the Walk On Walk Strong (WOWS) campaign on Friday night, has lost two close women in her life to the disease.

“I watched both my grandmothers die from cancer,” the 24-year-old said of both her paternal and maternal grandmothers.

Her father’s mother, Mary Quai, had liver cancer and lost her life in 2006 while her step-mum’s mother Asphine Tari had breast cancer, dying two years later in 2008.

“It was so painful. To see them pulling through some days, with all the strength they could manage but see them succumb to the disease. It’s not easy watching your family members die a painful death to cancer,” she said.

Quai was delighted to support WOWS campaign when she was approached to hold a concert.

“Because you have experienced it yourself, you know how hard it is. I had two strong women in my life die from cancer, I cannot imagine the pain and battle my grandmothers and victims around the Pacific and the world go through.

“This concert is personal. I want to do all I can to help with this cause and I am using my influence as a musician to support cancer victims and their families,” she said.

On Monday, she performed in front of over 20 children with cancer at the Children’s Ward at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

“Just to bring a smile to their faces is worth it. Just to see them smile, this is why I do what I do,” she said.

Quai and her band, New Breeds, from Vanuatu arrived into Fiji on Sunday and will perform with other local musicians on Friday night at the Vodafone Arena.

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