Published Dec 29, 2010Over the last few years, Toronto's Bruce Peninsula have caused a stir with their cinematic gospel-tinged folk anthems. However, we've now received word that the group's lead singer/guitarist Neil Haverty will be putting the band on hold while he undergoes treatment for cancer.
In an email sent out on Boxing Day (December 26), Haverty revealed that he had been admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto to undergo treatment for leukemia. He explained, "Last week I started bruising very easily and bleeding from my mouth and noise. Apparently leukemia can happen that fast. Can you believe it?"
Serious as it is, Haverty said in the email that he will most likely make a complete recovery. According to his email, he has acute promyelocytic leukemia, and has a 95 precent chance of recovery with an 80 percent chance that it will never return.
The tone of the message was positive, as he wrote, "There are lots of people here who have it a lot worse of than me. Anyways, it sucks for the moment, I'm not going to lie, but I am very sure I can muster the strength to get through it."
Although Haverty will be taking time off to undergo chemotherapy and recover, his mind is clearly still on music. He revealed, "Bruce Peninsula just finished a second record and we were planning for a March release. That will likely be held off a bit right now. We haven't had a chance to talk it all out just yet in light of all this, but we think it's a great record and can't wait to let you all hear it."
The band's debut, A Mountain Is a Mouth, was long-listed for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize.
Haverty continued, "I've been thinking of spearheading a project to give back to Princess Margaret and all the organizations that are currently helping me. I will be in touch with you over the coming months once my wheels have stopped spinning a bit."
He wrapped up the lengthy message with the promise, "I'll fight this bitch with everything I've got." Based on statements like this, it's looks like we will be hearing more from Haverty and Bruce Peninsula sooner rather than later.