Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bowie's Death Shocks Rock; but This 10-Year Cancer Fight Proves Miracles Happen

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bowie's Death Shocks Rock; but This 10-Year Cancer Fight Proves Miracles Happen

Article excerpt

By BILL HOFFMAN

BLUES and rock master guitarist Kevin Borich of Maleny has shared the stage with some of the world's best musicians but has no recall of playing support to David Bowie at an Auckland concert in 1978.

It's not that Borich doesn't rate Bowie.

He considers him to have been a true artist, not stuck in one genre, an innovator who drew on a number of influences and who went with what he thought would work with perfect timing to capture the changing mood.

Borich can't remember the gig that attracted a record crowd of 41,000 to the Western Springs stadium because since then he has had his own battle with cancer, the illness that ultimately claimed Bowie on Monday night.

The countless rounds of radiation Borich went through may have "frazzled" his hard drive, he says.

Diagnosed 10 years ago with Nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, or cancer of the nose, he was given eight months to live.

Radiation burns from the intensive treatment he received left him bandaged around the face and chest and looking eerily similar to the image of a bandaged Bowie that illustrated a video clip on the star's last album, Blackstar.

"It was in my nose and going to go into my brain and then, bye bye Kev,'' Borich said of the cancer that came close to claiming his life.

"The oncologists said they would have to throw the kitchen sink at me and I would lose my teeth, hair and saliva glands and my hearing was going to suffer.

"It sounded like a disease made for guitar players.

"I said hang on, I want to be able to kiss my wife with some juice. He said if I didn't (do the treatment) I would be pushing up daisies. I've beaten it but now I need to resurrect my mouth.''

As well as the radiation and chemotherapy, Borich drew from the book Heal Cancer, Choose Your Own Survival Path by Dr Ruth Cilento, building his body's immunity with an array of juices and a naturopath's advice on supplements.

His wife Melissa also embraced Dr Cilento's philosophy on meditation and visualisation. Borich also gained an appreciation of yoga's benefits.

The bluesman may not remember that Auckland gig which saw his band replace The Angels. …

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