Emotional reunion: award-winning singer and cancer survivor thanks doctors at Fred Hutch

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singer1SEATTLE — Sweet sounds of music were coming from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, from a former patient who came back for an emotional reunion.

Award-winning singer and songwriter Mike Brookshire has toured with big name country stars like Travis Tritt and Gary Morris.  He’s performed with greats, like Kenny Chesney, Brooks and Dunn, Reba McEntire.  But today, he sang for kids at the “Hutch School”.

“I’ve been waiting 12 years to come back,”  Brookshire said.  “They’ve done a lot since I’ve been here.   They’ve built a lot and it’s changed quite a bit, because I got lost last night.”

Over the years 2000 and 2001, doctors at Fred Hutch helped Brookshire beat cancer, with chemo and a stem cell transplant.

Today, he came back to say thanks.singer4

“He looks great, actually,” said one of his doctors who hasn’t seen him for more than a decade.  “Much better than when I saw him last time.  He was in a wheelchair.”

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Brookshire learned to play guitar on an old flat-top put together by his father from pieces salvaged from several old instruments.

At age eight, he was already playing with house bands in several clubs in and around the Atlanta area. Club owners convinced his dad to give him a chance.  But they never knew he’d one day be playing alongside of some of country music’s top artists.singer3

“It’s just an amazing thing to come back,”  Brookshire said, ‘because they saved my life here.”

On Friday evening, he’ll speak and perform at the opening celebration of “Obliteride”, a three-day bike ride and fundraiser for cancer research.  It starts at 6 pm at Seattle’s Gas Works Park.

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