Now in the second year of a grueling fight with cancer, blues guitar stalwart Kid Ramos spends much of his time in bed these days.
“There are still days when I feel good,” he says. “I go outside and try to do a little work in my garage. But otherwise I’m in bed.”
Which is difficult for a man who has always been highly active, racking up energetic, inspired stage and studio performances with the James Harman Band, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Mannish Boys and Los Fabulocos, producing albums for the 44s and making ends meet financially with day jobs as a landscaper around his home base in Anaheim, California.
But all of that began to change, and not for the better, in September 2012 when Ramos was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare and devastating form of pelvic cancer.
“It’s a stubborn cancer too,” Ramos adds. “It requires a lot of chemotherapy. I’ve been in chemotherapy for a year, basically. There was a little break where they did radiation and surgery. But right after the surgery, they want me back on chemo.”
So far, Ramos has undergone 10 rounds of chemotherapy and still has two to four more to go. The treatment cycle requires hospitalization as well. And with high insurance deductibles to meet and disability benefits expiring, Ramos faces financial challenges that are as daunting as his health issues.
Fellow musicians in the US and elsewhere have been proactive in organizing benefit concerts to assist the bluesman in his time of need. Donations, letters, prayers and good wishes have been pouring in. But still more help is needed.
Donations to help Kid Ramos meet his medical expenses can be made via PayPal at deltagrooveproductions.com, or you can donate directly through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks made out to David Ramos can be sent directly to Delta Groove Music, 16501 Sherman Way, Suite 100, Van Nuys, CA 91406 USA. Cards and letters of support also would be appreciated.
“First off, I never thought I would have something like this,” Ramos says. “Secondly, to actually see the kindness of people has been overwhelming. People I don’t know, people from other countries will send me something. I’m very grateful.”