Your weekend: Pixton Pickin’ Party
Jen Pixton has an amazing attitude for someone who has survived what she has. Over the past four years, three members of her family –herself included – have been diagnosed with cancer. “I’m feeling pretty good, considering. I feel really blessed to be here,” said Pixton, who finished her last round of chemotherapy on April 1, just a few short months after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The youngest of her four children, 4-year-old Porter, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia just months after he was born; husband Jim was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma three months after that. Fortunately, the family is well now – Jim is cancer-free, and while Porter still has cancer in his blood, he’s doing well for now. But they have another foe to fight: Medical bills. Jim, an attorney who handles business law, estate planning and bankruptcies, is self-employed, and has not been able to work full-time since he and his wife and son got sick; the family’s health insurance alone costs $1,200 a month. Fortunately, they live here in Alameda, where people are pretty quick to lend a helping hand. Friends have helped with good wishes, meals and childcare. And on Saturday, May 17, the family’s friends have set up a benefit concert to help the family out. The Pixton Pickin’ Party is an evening of bluegrass music featuring Dark Hollow, The Backyard Party Boys, The Kentucky Twisters and The Bay Island Ramblers. There will also be a bake sale, food carts, face painting and other activities for the kids. Allen Michaan, a fellow Franklin parent, has donated his Auctions By The Bay theater for the event. “I’m almost embarrassed, it’s just so amazing,” Pixton said. “It just sounds really fun, I can’t wait to go.” Tickets are $10 for kids 5 and up, $15 for adults, and are available online at Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are also available by phone at (800) 838-3006 and at Daisy’s, Pagano’s Hardware and Crosstown Coffeehouse. Pre-concert activities start at 5 p.m. and the concert begins at 6 p.m. The theater is at 2700 Saratoga Street. If you can’t make it to the show but want to help the family, donations can be made to The Jen Pixton Cancer Fund, P.O. Box 6001, Alameda, CA 94501.