“In April, 2013 Michael Franti was scheduled to perform at the Wanee festival in Florida. Before the festival, Michael was contacted by Hope Dezember via Twitter. She explained that her husband Steve is living with advanced stages of ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, a life threatening illness which rapidly attacks the nervous system, paralyzing each body part and eventually leading to death. The Wanee Festival might be Steve’s last concert, and he wished to meet Michael. Michael granted his wish.
Before the show, Michael and his partner Sara Agah ended up spending three hours backstage with Hope and Steve. Steve was confined to an electric wheelchair and had very little movement in his limbs and face. Through concerted whispers, he shared the story of how he asked Hope to marry him after being diagnosed with ALS. Knowing his condition would lead to death within a few years, Hope immediately responded yes to his proposal. The two were married and have journeyed together through Steve’s deteriorating condition.
Sara and Michael were moved to tears by the love they share and inspired by the depth of courage and grace apparent in their smiles and passion to fight ALS. Michael invited Steve and Hope to join him on stage during his show. Although Steve was barely able to move his body, he asked Hope to lift him out of his chair. Wrapped in each other’s arms, they danced on stage in front of 20,000 fellow music fans gathered at the event. There was not a dry eye in the house.”
Franti Concert in Bend and the World Muse Foundation
While here in Bend, OR we found on Michael Franti’s fan page the Do it for Love Foundation
would be joining the World MUSE Foundation
for yoga and a bike stroll around the river to support these beautiful charities. So, we made sure we got there early to register and be part of this awesome day…
The funny thing is, Brian thought the site said a “Cruise” ON the river…not AROUND the river!! He thought that we would be on a boat cruise on the water, so we show up ready to jump on a boat….and then noticed there were bikes everywhere…uh oh. We didn’t have bikes.
So one of the girls said “maybe you can rent a bike”? So, we headed into town “on foot” to see if we could find a bike…and this is what Swano comes rolling up with an hour later. Everyone was cracking up when we arrived, and we almost took out Michael on his bike…
Hanalei Got On Stage with Michael Franti
After practicing yoga, taking the bike stroll, we headed to the concert. Hanalei was really excited, and told me that she would love to dance on stage with him, because she heard me talking about how Michael always has kids join him on stage for the last song “I Love You. So, I said to her…let’s do it!
As the show was coming to an end, I knew it was time to get to the front…so being the “concert stage crasher” for many years I knew exactly what to do. We started along the outside of the crowd of 20k people up to the front right of the stage where the security guards were and posted up.
Michaels assistant walked by and remembered Hanalei from earlier and said “Your First”. She was so excited!! After about 15 minutes of standing first in line…they brought them up and Hanalei rocked it!! She dances and spun around singing to her favorite song. ( she is in the blue bow)
Hanalei on Stage