The Story behind the "Last STory"
When Alex Ebert, lead singer for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, wandered out into the crowd during his performance of the song "Home" at Bonnaroo this year, even he couldn't have imagined that the story he would get...the one that he knew someone was "burning" to tell, that one last story, would be about him! And even he couldn't have known that the story would be from someone he had met before...Haden.
Haden had been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in October, 2011. After 8 fairly excruciating months of hospital stays, chemo treatments and a failed stem cell transplant, the leukemia had returned for a third time. But, he had one last shot. An anonymous bone marrow donor had been identified and on May 30th he sat waiting patiently for those cells to arrive and for the infusion to begin.
What he didn't know was that his friend and roommate, Jamie, had reached out to the management team for Edward Sharpe as he knew they were playing in town that night. And just like that, in the blink of an eye, they asked to come surprise Haden. All 12 member arrived in style! They came with accordions and guitars and trumpets and tambourines. But more than that, they came with a tremendous amount of love and caring! They hung out as friends do and passed the time with us as we awaited the arrival of the cells. And let us just go somewhere else, somewhere away from cancer, in that moment by sharing a few songs. The following video was taken during that visit...
There were so many of them it was impossible to get everyone in one picture! And there are no words to adequately articulate the profound effect their visit had on Haden that day. A few short hours after they left, the cells arrived and the transplant took place. Haden had been encouraged to listen to meditation tapes as the process occurred. Instead he listened to their new cd they had brought that day.
One year later...
And so we fast forward on year. Although the year didn't seem fast at all. Happily the transplant was a success and there is no leukemia presently in his blood stream. But the process is not without its difficult-to-navigate pitfalls. Not being one to take life for granted, though, Haden has been determined to live every day FULLY. And so he planned a trip he had wanted to take for years...a trip to Bonnaroo Music Festival. And on that Sunday afternoon of the festival, as the group he was with all dispersed to see the shows that they wanted to see, Haden headed for the Edward Sharpe stage. What happened next was nothing short of the universe aligning in order that these two meet again. In a sea of thousands, Haden was found. The serendipitous moment was captured by a complete stranger and posted on youtube. We could not be more grateful that it was shared. It is truly watching love and beauty in action. As one poster of the video said, "hold out for the last story". You'll see why at about the 5 minute mark. Enjoy!
And so Haden's story was told and a little bit of kismet happened that day. It was told in what is obviously an environment of love and wonder. He has relayed that there were so many other stories to be heard. The true gift of sharing your story, it seems, is that you may just get an awesome one in return! We are thrilled that his story has provided inspiration for others. And we just can't thank Alex and Jade and the entire crew of Edward Sharpe for teaching us what the world should really look like!