As if 2016 hasn’t been brutal enough, Anacortes legend Phil Elverum of The Microphones/Mount Eerie announced last night that after a long, expensive battle, he is seeking donations to treat his wife Geneviève Elverum (née Geneviève Castrée) in her battle against stage four inoperable pancreatic cancer. Castrée is an absolute Northwest cultural force—not only has she created a remarkable body of hauntingly beautiful music under the names Woelv and Ô Paon, she is also an incredibly talented comic artist. Her heartwrenching autobio graphic novel Susceptible, was published by Canadian comics-giant Drawn & Quarterly in 2013 to rightfully rave reviews.
Together, the couple have fostered Anacortes’ thriving DIY scene for a decade, co-organizing the Unknown Music Series and the annual What the Heck Fest. In the devestating GoFundMe post, Phil writes about the diagnosis, which they received last year, only four months after Castrée gave birth to the couple’s daughter:
“In May of 2015, four months after giving birth to an incredible and healthy daughter, Geneviève was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It was really out of the blue for this super health conscious 34 year old. Since then she has been undergoing chemotherapy and many other alternative treatments, staying focused on the positive point of light on the horizon.
Over the course of the past year+, our community and family have come together to help with baby care and food and logistics and some money. Insurance has protected us from the most devastating of the medical expenses (after a very high deductible), but the many peripheral costs that aren’t covered by insurance have totally depleted our savings, money we had slowly accumulated from so many years of grinding it out as self-employed artist/musicians, now with a baby.
Until now, for Geneviève, the mental peace of not having everyone know she was sick, and the psychic vibes that come with that, have prevented us from making any kind of announcement or request for help, but at this point our financial worry is tipping the scales.
We are asking the world to please donate money to us. Treatment is ongoing. Nobody in our household has been able to work for over a year. Geneviève has not made any new work. Phil has not made any music or been able to perform or do anything. Life is 100% occupied by this humongous medical battle (plus the already overwhelming reality of raising a baby with less than 2 fully available parents). We don’t know what the future holds and how long this uncertainty will last. In any case, the amount we’ve spent over the last year alone has left us in a precarious financial position as a family.”
If you can spare it, consider donating to a family that has brought invaluable cultural richness to this region. Phil Elverum provides more context for the diagnosis in a lengthy new blog post at his site pwelverumandsun.com.