Summer has not been gentle to longtime musician Michael Elmore.
In July, the 65-year-old lost his right leg to amputation after being hit by a suspected drunken driver. He was unloading equipment for a gig outside Benny’s Restaurant and Lounge near downtown Colorado Springs.
In August, doctors discovered colon cancer lurking in the sound engineer and bass player’s body.
Despite the one-two punch, Elmore described his spirits as “good.”
“I apparently heal amazingly fast,” said Elmore from home. He was discharged last week after spending the last eight weeks in the hospital and rehabilitation.
“The doctors and nurses say they can’t believe where I’m at. I’m blessed to be not even two full months on the backside of this, and to be in as good a shape as I’m in. All things considered, I’m pretty blessed.”
His fellow musicians have rallied to help him maintain that upward spiral. Guitarist Wayne Hammerstadt organized three benefit concerts for Elmore on the North Plaza of University Village Colorado, next to Hacienda Colorado. A concert by pop and rock band Martini Shot on Aug. 23 helped raise $3,300, all of which was donated to Elmore. The upcoming two shows will feature contemporary jazz band Dotsero from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and Americana, pop and rock group Inman Brothers from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 20. All donations will go to Elmore.
“Michael is a great guy and a beloved friend,” said Hammerstadt. “It’s a situation where you’ve got to step up to the plate as a community and help out. We don’t have to, but I think we should. A lot of people fall between the cracks in life. It’s the right thing to do. He needs help.”
Elmore is being measured for a prosthetic leg this week, which will make navigating his second-floor apartment easier. As for the cancer, he’s forgoing chemotherapy and radiation for now and hopes to enter Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Fla.
“I’ve witnessed the best in people,” said Elmore about his post-accident life. “It’s been an amazing process to witness and experience the heart that’s shown up. It has been pretty incredible.”
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