As some of you know, I’m a big fan of fictional bands. More specifically, I have a thing for bands that are simultaneously real and imaginary–like Level3, the band in my book, REUNITED.
So, when I learned that my young friend Gus was also the manager of a real-yet-not-real band, I just had to write about it. Behold the Stuft Clappers–the most adorable, fluffy-haired boy band since One Direction! But don’t let their soft exterior fool you. These dudes know how to rock!
I’ve known Gus since the day he came home from the hospital. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an incurable degenerative muscle disorder. At that time, I happened to be writing the manuscript for REUNITED. If you haven’t read the book, the whole impetus for the girls’ cross-country road-trip is centered on the band Level3 getting back together for a one-night-only reunion show. The cause? A benefit concert for an incurable disease that effected lead singer Travis’s brother. At this stage in my writing, I’d considered a few different diseases to use for this purpose, but had yet to settle on one.
Then, one day, I was taking a walk with Gus’s mother, Tonya, who mentioned how important it was to raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, because awareness helped raise money for research, which, in turn, could help help lead to a cure. So, I asked Tonya if she’d mind if I made the concert in my book a fundraiser for DMD. She said yes.
It’s probably barely noticeable to most reader’s, but it made me happy to know that I’d helped Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy have a more public profile, if only in this one small way.
To find out more about DMD, click here. Or, visit the Hope for Gus Foundation (a non-profit dedicated to raising money for DMD research) where you can learn more about Gus and even make a donation. Let’s help the Stuft Clappers rock on forever!