January 4, 2012 5:45 AM
Melanie N. Cross
When he isn’t treating patients, Dr. William “Rusty” Robinson is playing his guitar, creating music with a mission — to bring hope to those facing a diagnosis of gynecologic cancer. Robinson, chief of the Section of Gynecologic Oncology at the Tulane University School of Medicine, belongs to a band of six gynecologic surgeons from across the United States.
It’s called N.E.D., the medical abbreviation for “No Evidence of Disease,” a phrase that is music to the ears of every cancer patient.
In 2008 the band played for the first time at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology annual meeting, Robinson says. “With no pre-meeting group rehearsals, we performed a series of cover songs before a wild crowd there. It went over so well that we started getting requests from other professional groups to play.”
Motema Records approached the band and with an award-winning producer, N.E.D. cut a CD of original music, with proceeds to benefit the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. In 2011, the band produced a second CD entitled Six Degrees.
“It’s therapeutic — not only for us, but also for our patients,” Robinson says. “It is amazing how excited our patients get over the band. They are by far our most devoted and energetic fans.”
The band’s mission is to raise awareness of gynecologic cancers. “Breast cancer awareness is everywhere, but women also suffer and die from gynecologic cancers, for which vastly less media attention has been directed and vastly lower amounts of research dollars have been spent … While breast cancer has a pink ribbon, gynecologic cancers have a rock band, and we can make a lot more noise!”
During Cervical Cancer Awareness Month on Jan. 14, N.E.D. plays in New Orleans for the first time at Southport Music Hall, 200 Monticello Ave., in a concert benefiting the Tulane Cancer Center Gynecologic Cancer Research Fund HPV Vaccine Program and the foundation.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org