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Benefit show puts a dent in medical bills

Update: Concert for Curtis

It takes a remarkable person to assemble the kind of big-name talent that came together to play at the Rose Garden on June 13: Steve Miller, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray, Everclear, the Phantom Blues Band and Little Charlie and the Nightcats.

Anyone who attended the six-hour-plus concert is aware that Curtis Salgado is exactly that - a talented musician, a top-notch human being and, unfortunately, a friend very much in need.

The Concert for Curtis was an effort to raise funds for a liver transplant. The musician, who doesn't have health insurance, was diagnosed with liver cancer in March and his medical costs could end up near the $1 million mark.

Salgado's remarkably positive attitude toward his circumstances seems to be working miracles itself. Assembling a lineup like this would be incredible in any case - but in this one all of the performers volunteered their services out of friendship and respect. The show, silent auction, raffle and donations raised approximately $150,000, with another $23,600 raised from other benefits in Seattle; Eugene; Sandpoint, Idaho; Fremont, Calif.; and Omaha, Neb.

Healthwise, things are looking brighter as well. Initial treatments have reduced Salgado's tumor by 0.4 centimeters, almost doubled his life expectancy without a transplant (initially just five to 10 months) and put him closer to getting on additional transplant lists. Salgado also is feeling healthy enough to go ahead with his band's annual summer tour.

Additional funds obviously are still needed, and more fundraising is being planned. Donations can be made to the 'Curtis Salgado Fund' at any U.S. Bank, or can be mailed to U.S. Bancorp, 2550 N.W. 188th Ave., Hillsboro, OR 97124. Updated information will be posted at www.curtissalgado.com.

- Barbara Mitchell