“It’s the honesty you apply to your playing that makes music enjoyable. The style of the music has little to do with it. It’s only honesty that makes it beautiful.”
That stark, shining, honest beauty straight from the heart is what emanated a bright light to countless people from the soul of Richard Chandler. The 60-year-old professional drummer, husband, dad, uncle and friend, who was known to never skip a beat when generously giving his love and talent, lost his years-long battle with cancer on Sunday, Oct. 4.
The following story was originally posted on Dec. 14, 2019. Much has happened since then in forever Fair Havenite Rich Chandler’s fight against a rare, aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma. Updates, including the following post by sister, Carol, tell the story of Rich’s unrelenting desire to win his fight against cancer.
He has tried and will continue to try any treatment out there. He’s got the will, his family says with fervor. He just needs the way. And a little help from friends has never been needed more. Carol’s May 7 update tells a bit of the story. Daughter Kayla’s story of her dad’s journey continues with her Chandler Strong t-shirt drive.
Read all about it and click on the link at the end of the story to donate.
Your hometown community is fighting for and with you, Rich!
Carol Chandler West’s GoFundMe update …
On May 7th, Richard started bleeding heavily again and was rushed to Riverview Hospital. The next day he was transferred to RWJ for surgery to stop the bleeding.
At this time, Richard was told there was nothing more they can do for him.
He is now in a rehabilitation center. Upon release, we pray that Sloan Kettering, after reviewing Rich’s medical file, will take him on as a new patient and come up with something that RWJ team could not.
He does not want to give up – he is ready to fight!!!
Miracles do happen – please take the time and pray for Rich and send some encouraging words to lift his spirits.
With much gratitude … The Chandler Family
Rich’s daughter, Kayla’s t-shirt campaign …
He’s a dad. He’s a brother. He’s a friend. He’s a drummer who’s got the beat and fighting to keep it going strong. He’s a cherisher of life and love. He’s a native Fair Havenite. He’s Richard Chandler. He’s in a fight for his life and he needs a few fists full of strength, love, compassion and funds to help him knock out a cancer ogre and stand tall through it all.
Chandler Strong is what his family has dubbed his fight. And they, along with many friends of Richard’s, are in it to win it. It’s not the lottery, but it sometimes feels like a villainous game of chance to Richard’s loved ones. With funds depleted, they decided to reach out and ask for some help via a GoFundMe page to ease some of the heavy burden borne by the family as illness weighs down, but they’re determined, won’t crush Richard.
“I know I can say, and I hope one day MANY others too, that I am strong, Chandler Strong!” Richard’s daughter Kayla said in a post on a Facebook page started to summon more strength for her dad in the community.
“My name is Kayla Chandler, and I am the daughter of a (now) two time cancer survivor and hopefully after treatments this time around, a third. Surviving is not just beating something, but completely conquering it and all it has brought and may continue to bring. To see the fight is empowering and inspiring, but to be the fighter must be so much more than that … “Through strength and hope, I can only wish that over time it will help heal my father along with the medication and love/support he’s been receiving from the many beautiful people in our lives.”
Kayla Chandler, Richard Chandler’s daughter
“For the last four years, I have watched my brother, Rich, go through extensive surgeries and different forms of chemotherapy and radiation treatments,” sister Carol said on the GoFundMe page. “Unfortunately, this monster has returned for a third time.
“In December 2016, he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma, originally located in his lymph nodes. It was then found in the groin region, and over time has spread to his urethra, upper thigh and hip region. To watch Rich struggle physically is breaking my heart because of the good, happy soul I have always known him to be. As if his medical issues are not enough, he worries how he will support his family and himself since he is unable to work due to his medical condition. The bills are mounting up!”
It is the sincere hope of Richard’s friends and family that he will soon, once again, “be able to do what he was born to do — bring his gift of music to the ears and souls of people again,” Carol continued.
Richard was back in his Fair Haven hometown, the place many generations of Chandlers called home, staying with his sister Liz.
The family, Carol said, is more than grateful for any bit of help offered to Rich.
So far, the GoFundMe fundraiser has raised $17,366 of a $25,000 goal.