Slacktivism on Facebook is usually the bane of any legitimately good cause, but for once clicking "like" on a link may actually help save a person's life.
If there is a more beloved figure in all of Houston music than Hates front man Christian Arnheiter, then there can't be many. For longer than your narrator has been alive the man has brought punk rock to Houston in an open, honest, and unashamed way that simply baffles the mind. And as many will attest to, his dedication to punk and his musical talent are matched only by the size of his heart. The band may be the Hates, but the man is the Loves.
The good news for our mohawked elder statesman is that in addition to being nearly finished with his autobiography, he is currently engaged to a charming woman named Alexis Kidd. The two plan to tie the knot in November of this year. Rocks Off plans to attend the ceremony.
The bad news is that Alexis has cancer. Specifically, she has mesothelioma, a rare cancer that attacks the protective lining of many of the body's internal organs. The survival rate of mesothelioma victims is very poor, with a life expectancy of 8 to 14 months after diagnosis being quite common.
Arnheiter is a retired City of Houston employee with a small, health-insurance pension. The struggle he and other local musicians have when it comes to providing health insurance to themselves and their loved ones is something we have already tackled in a previous article.
In that article, Arnheiter talked about how he and Alexis avidly watched the debate leading up to last year's passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Currently, they are waiting for many of the law's policies to take effect in hopes of securing better care for Alexis.
One shining light in the couple's struggle has been the work done by Wish Upon a Wedding. The nonprofit group selects couples facing life-threatening illnesses or other extraordinary circumstances to receive financial aiding and planning for their weddings. Arnheiter and Alexis were chosen by the group for benefits that would help the couple celebrate their nuptials with a small ceremony.
While the help from Wish Upon a Wedding was a godsend for the couple, Alexis's looming medical bills still present a large obstacle. That is where Jesse Valdez and Dream Rooms Furniture come in. Valdez's store has been providing charitable contributions to different organizations and families in need around the Houston area for quite some time and they have issued this challenge to the world of Facebook.
If the Dream Rooms Furniture Facebook page receives 5,000 "likes" by midnight tonight, they will donate $1,500 to Alexis' medical fund. Literally ten seconds can help make a dent in the struggles faced by one of our most giving and productive artists and his fiancé through the generosity of Dream Rooms Furniture.
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Rocks Off would personally like to request our readers to please take the time to visit the Facebook page, click like, and spread the message as far as possible.
Christian Arnheiter has had many opportunities to move the Hates to other cities over the years in the quest for more recognition and money. He has always chosen to remain here. He has always said this is his home, and for 30 years we have not wanted for quality punk because of him. It would be a sad default of H-town not to reimburse him, not when all that is asked is a few clicks of the mouse.