Monday afternoon, Stubhy Pandav, frontman of Chicago rock band Lucky Boys Confusion, made public his struggles with the debilitating autoimmune disorder multiple sclerosis and announced a benefit show to raise funds for the Accelerated Cure Project.
MS, a disorder in which one’s body attacks the fatty myelin sheathing over nerve cells interfering with communication between the brain and the body’s muscles, has left the Downers Grove native struggling with intense fatigue and sometimes severe mobility issues, manifesting after just walking a few blocks and making navigating flights of stairs daunting.
Pandav first noticed something was wrong in 2016 when his right leg stopped functioning properly.
“I figured I needed to stretch it out, but that didn’t help,” he said. “It just stopped working completely that night.”
There are different types of MS, and the symptoms can showcase in various ways, making it hard to diagnose — dizziness, tingling and pain, loss of vision, slurred speech or memory problems, according to the Mayo Clinic’s web site.
Two years of testing, treatments, therapy and an eventual MRI last fall showed lesions developing on his cervical spinal column.
“I’ll never be able to run or jump again. Not normally,” he said. “My nerves are firing milliseconds late, which makes things uncoordinated.”
Pandav has been able to get infusions that are slowing the degeneration some, but work toward a cure for the nearly 1 million people living with MS in the United States, according to a recent study funded by the National MS Society, is slow, leaving many sufferers with chronic pain, depression and in some cases temporary paralysis.
“I’m lucky that I’m living life the way I am right now,” he said. “In the MS community, they call me an invisible. If I’m walking down the street nobody would ever look at me and say, ‘Oh, he’s really sick.’ So that’s why I think it’s so important to tell people what’s going on.”
“I’m fortunate I have this platform I can use to help people,” he said.
The benefit show, “MS Sucks: Singing for a Cure, hosted by Stubhy and ACP,” is set for Dec. 21 at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge.
The day starts off with matinee performances by Lucky Boys Confusion, The Cold Mourning and another special guest from noon to 4 p.m. for $20.
The charity show, to follow at 6 p.m., will feature acoustic performances by LBC, AM Taxi, Plain White T’s, Scissors and Ike Reilly, as well as other Chicago-area acts for $25. The evening fundraiser will also feature raffles for prizes such as Riot Fest passes, dinners around Chicago, and House of Blues and Bottom Lounge tickets.
Guests who purchase limited tickets to both events will get $5 off and access to the upstairs VIP lounge, with a performance by DJ Greg Corner (of Kill Hannah), food provided by Bottom Lounge and refreshments courtesy of 350 Brewing Company.
All the money raised from the evening charity show will benefit ACP, which Pandav selected because it’s “a patient-founded organization fully focused on raising funds for a cure.”
“It makes getting through this a little bit better knowing that you’re doing something that does some good for people,” he said.
Anyone wishing to donate time, goods or services for the raffle or wanting to perform at the evening event, should contact Pandav at firstname.lastname@example.org or his personal Facebook page.
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MS Sucks: Singing for a Cure, hosted by Stubhy and Accelerated Cure Project
When: Noon and 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21
Where: Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago; (312) 666-6775 or bottomlounge.com