In late 2009, Brit Turner, Drummer of Rock Band Blackberry Smoke was on tour in Europe when he was given devastating news. His daughter Lana had been diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that develops from nerve tissue. Only 3 at the time, tumors had taken over 97 percent of her body. Brit and his wife Shannon were devastated but resolved to fight the disease. And in 2011, after years of treatment, The Turner family finally received some good news. Lana’s cancer had gone into remission. It was at that point that Brits commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of children was born. Initially Brit and his band Blackberry Smoke leveraged their building fame, to generate donations from their growing fanbase to contribute to children’s cancer research.
Over the years, the Members of Blackberry Smoke have not only become hometown heroes but also international music stars and have lived up to their promise to do everything they can to fight children’s cancer. Since 2011, Blackberry Smoke has donated more than $400,000 to childhood cancer organizations. The money raised is largely a result of meet and greet packages purchased by fans. The band have also hosted the Blackberry Smoke Ride for CURE in 2019 and plan to make it an annual event. These initiatives have all contributed to the goal and reinforced the idea that music and goodwill have the power to turn the tide of a terrible disease and music has the power to heal. But throughout this time Brit and the team have always felt that more could be done.
The Lana Turner Foundation is the result of that realization and is a natural continuation of the work that Brit and the band started to fight children’s cancer. The Foundation will continue its ongoing commitment to work with multiple cancer charities to provide funding for research initiatives and patient family support. The Foundation will also actively offer structured art, music and storytelling programs to children’s oncology wards across the US.