Last month, Poison drummer Rikki Rockett marked the one year anniversary of beginning immunotherapy to combat oral cancer which he had been diagnosed with in 2015. The experimental treatment resulted in him being cancer free as of last July, and now he's asking for fans to join him in giving back in supporting the therapy.

Those in attendance at the band's shows this spring will see the video below, encouraging them to donate $10 by texting “RIKKI” to 50555. The monies will go to the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health where Rockett underwent the treatment.

“Without the doctors and staff at Moores Cancer Center, I can honestly say I don’t think I’d be here today, to say nothing about playing drums and going on tour again,” Rockett says. “I am incredibly grateful that I’ve got my life back and I’ll get to see my two children grow up.”

According to the UC San Diego Health, the “text2give” donations, which anyone can do from their phone at anytime, will directly support cancer immunotherapy at Moores Cancer Center, including research, clinical trials and patient care. Rather than directly targeting tumors as in traditional cancer therapies, immunotherapy boosts the body's immune system, better enabling it to attack cancer cells itself. The treatment is only available at a few specific medical centers around the country.

“We can’t thank Rikki and all his fans enough for supporting our work,” says Ezra Cohen, MD, one of Rockett’s oncologists at Moores Cancer Center. “We are delighted that Rikki responded so well to immunotherapy. He had already been through a lot with chemotherapy and radiation treatment before he came to us, but his cancer recurred. While this approach is still in the early stages and isn’t right for everyone, with Rikki’s support we hope to make immunotherapy available to more patients before they have to go through everything he did.”

In addition to raising money to support research and patient care, Rockett is also hoping to spread the word about immunotherapy. “My hope is that by talking to other cancer patients, I might be able to lessen their pain and suffering,” he says. “I know from experience that chemotherapy and radiation are not fun. If I can help anyone else, it would help give reason to what I went through.”

Text2give charges will appear on your wireless bill or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. You must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and data rates may apply. For a list of upcoming Poison tour dates, click here.

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