"It's heartbreaking," he said softly as he spoke about the tragic disease that has plagued his family.
The longtime country singer/songwriter known for his own hits as well as writing iconic songs for other artists, Steve Wariner recently opened up to The Tennessean about the devastating moment he found out another of his cherished family members had been diagnosed with cancer.
Wariner, who lost his beloved mother to the disease has sadly also experienced cancer claiming the life of other friends and family, too. In this new interview, he reveals how his young 28-year-old niece has been diagnosed and how that's affected him.
Wariner's niece, Jessi, has been finding her way toward a music career, rocking out with band Those Darlins up until 2015, and has had her uncle's guidance and help throughout it all.
It was just at the time when Jessi's career was beginning to take flight that Wariner saw cancer take his mother after a two-year fight, and then a close friend's daughter passed away not too long after that.
Diagnosed with cervical cancer last year, Jessi along with Wariner and his wife sought out multiple opinions to ensure that the initial diagnosis was not an error - and prying that it was not cancer.
“Sure this can’t be right. It’s a misdiagnosis,” Wariner recalled when they were going to the various doctors seeking additional opinions. “This definitely is not fair. Such a sweet kid. You always think it happens to everyone else, and here it is in my family.”
Not long after, they began treatment for Jessi and she sought help from the Music Health Alliance that allowed her to focus on getting better and helped her manage the insurance and financial burden of it all.
She still is writing songs and doing some recording, and sometimes gets out of the house to spend time with her aunt and uncle. She and Wariner often stay in touch through a game on their smartphones that's kind of like Pictionary.
“I’m happy right now because we’ve been boom-boom-boom [playing] back and forth,” Wariner said as his voice broke with emotion.“I love getting drawings in the morning because I know she’s okay.”
We are deeply saddened to hear that his young, talented, niece has been diagnosed with this horrible disease and we are keeping her in our thoughts and prayers as she fights this.
To help contribute to programs that help musicians going through something as tough as cancer, you can visit the Music Health Alliance's website.
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