Maria’s daughter

Monica Reed

Photo By kat kerlin

Monica Reed began the Biggest Little MusicFest Cancer Benefit Concert Series to raise money for her parents’ medical treatments. She hopes to hold one each month. The first show was March 19, and the next will be Friday, April 8, at Urban Beets (formerly Spread Peace Café), 50 N. Sierra St. (actually on Truckee River Lane between Sierra and Virginia). Reed is trying to raise $3,000 at this event. The musicians go on at 8 p.m., and the party is expected to last until 2 a.m. or so. Learn more about Reed, her parents and the music series at, or emailing <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,104,101,108,112,52,109,97,114,105,97,64,121,97,104,111,111,46,99,111,109,34,62,104,101,108,112,52,109,97,114,105,97,64,121,97,104,111,111,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script>.

Tell me about the show.

This is the Biggest Little MusicFest, Stage 2. It’s a benefit concert series, and it originally was planned for fundraising for my mom’s stage 4 ovarian cancer medical treatment regimen. Since then, it’s turned into a medical bill benefit for both of my parents. My dad was just in the last month diagnosed with a life-threatening infection around his knee replacement. My mom was said to be in remission and was enjoying relishing that moment for about a month and a half, and now my dad’s infection is consuming their life. The caregiver roles have been reversed. So my parents moved to Reno when my mom was diagnosed to seek treatment through a program called Access to Healthcare Network. It’s a discounted medical care program, not insurance.

Neither of your parents are insured?

They’re not insurable for cancer. My mom already battled breast cancer in 2008, and my dad has undergone knee replacement in 2006, and that knee replacement turned into staph infections and other infections, three surgeries and a two-year ordeal of living on the La-Z-Boy chair in our living room in pain. So that was really hard for my mom. She took over everything because my dad was on narcotics for this. She was feeding him, doing all the bills, doing everything. She went through nine rounds of the strongest chemo that the infusion nurse had ever seen anybody experience, and she was strong the whole time. She went into the hospital once, and that was after the ninth treatment and had to get three units of blood. Her immune system is very compromised, so we’re working on building that back up with homeopathic remedies, which aren’t cheap, and they’re not covered. … All of this is just really devastating to her levels of stress and anxiety because my dad’s surgery is coming up two months from now. We need $18,000 for that surgery, otherwise, he’ll be billed the full amount. Even if they reduce the amount, it’s a couple of hundred thousand for the surgery. Access to Healthcare Network has decided if a patient can pay upfront for services, they can honor a discounted amount. … They don’t want to lose everything they own at age 58. This monetary stress is really—I mean it can kill you in this situation. If her stress levels do not go down, it will be back. …

Where do the event proceeds go?

We’ve created the Help4Maria trust fund, and all of the money goes to that, those medical bills and treatment regimen. The suggested donation is $10-$15. At the first event, we had so many people throwing in $20 or more to get in, and that was so humbling to see how giving our community is when you reach out.

Who are the musicians involved?

At Urban Beets they will see Big Remote, Bag o Cats, Milton Merlos of Sol Jibe, Tyler Stafford, and more. I’ve got some other bands on the line who haven’t yet confirmed, and one or two DJs.

Anything you want to add?

The main thing I’m hoping people see is the Help4Maria on Facebook, the blog and the Biggest Little MusicFest concert series. I’m hoping by June, the Biggest Little MusicFest won’t be some unknown term. It’s a little music fest that means a big, big thing.