While many music promoters get in the business for fame or money, one local man has a much more altruistic aim with his shows: to promote awareness about Huntington's Disease.
"I'm not looking to get rich, meet a bunch of musicians and hot girl types," says Greg Forward, founder and owner of Forward Thinking Productions, a concert promotion company. "I got into this to create awareness of an extremely rare, deadly disease that runs in my family."
Forward tells the story of his mother, a hard-working woman who, after getting her nursing degree at the age of 40 with a 4.0, began to show signs of the rare illness in 2004. Symptoms she showed included feeling depressed and having unstable moods. They've since developed into slurred speech, short-term memory loss and impaired balance, all which have caused her to quit her job as a nurse. Huntington's Disease can be seen as a combination of Alzheimer's Disease, Schizophrenia, and Parkinson's Disease, Forward says, and his aunt and uncle have also tested positive for the genetic disease.
"I've worked close with HD patients here in Arizona for a few years and gotten a chance to see what my Mom will be able to expect in the years to come, and it is not pretty," Forward says.
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As a way to spread the word about this ailment few people are aware of, Forward created Forward Thinking Productions this May to produce shows to raise money, create awareness and help families affected by Huntington's Disease. Tonight is the fourth show since the company formed, and Forward hopes to start annual festival fundraisers in other markets, as well.
Alternative rock musician and Hotel Cafe regular Joe Firstman headlines the show tonight at 910 Live with singer-songwriter Trey Lockerbie, with local support from Delcoa and Nameless Prophets singer Jay Allan. The show is 21-and-older and costs $10. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the show starting at 7 p.m. Learn more about Forward Thinking Productions at www.forwardthinkingaz.com, and check out a video of Firstman below.