Author and musician John Tesh gets candid about his battle with cancer in his new book, ‘Relentless’.
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The former “Entertainment Tonight” co-host is leading a 6-hour live fundraiser on Facebook Friday alongside his wife Connie Sellecca and Gib Gerard to benefit the nation’s health care workers currently battling the novel coronavirus.
One hundred percent of the proceeds raised from the event will be used to build care packages that will be distributed to health care providers working on the front lines in hospitals across the country.
“We’re calling hospitals and asking them what they need,” Tesh, 67, told Fox News. “First, we’re sending food delivery cards because these guys, they don’t want the food to come to them. They want to feed their families. They don’t have time to cook. They want snacks, like really good protein bars. They’re also asking for lavender face cream because the shields and masks are just wreaking havoc on their faces. And the one request I would have never expected are iPads.”
John Tesh at Web Central during Grammy Week 2001 at The Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA., Feb. 20, 2001.
(Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
“In many cases, iPads are the only way on FaceTime that patients can have an end of life conversation with their families,” Tesh continued. “It’s a horrible ritual that the poor nurses and doctors have to go through. And these tools are being used sometimes for the last rites. Using your personal phone can cause cross-contamination, so we’re shipping these off to hospitals.”
For Tesh, his relationship with health care workers hit close to home. He was previously diagnosed with prostate cancer and only given 18 months to live. Today, Tesh is healthy and credits the doctors and nurses by his side who tirelessly fought for him.
“In 2015, I was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of cancer,” he reflected. “So I spent on and off three and a half years in five different hospitals with very serious complications and a couple of surgeries. The compassion that the nurses showed me at a time when I was suffering so badly that I just wanted to take my life was truly amazing.”
“I went through a great deal of suffering during chemo and also during my first surgery,” shared Tesh. “There was a good chance that I wasn’t going to make it. But these nurses were so incredible… I remember them just holding my hand. It was a simple act of compassion, but one that has stayed with me even after my recovery. It’s a truly remarkable job they have.”
John Tesh was only given 18 months to live during his cancer battle.
(Photo courtesy of John Tesh)
The live Facebook event will also be simulcast and promoted by many of the 300 radio stations that broadcast the “Intelligence for Your Life” radio show, which is hosted by Tesh, Gerard, and Sellecca.
Each hour of the program will also highlight interviews with hospital personnel, personal stories from health care workers, as well as tips to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tesh said his faith has been essential during such tough times.
“I trained for this – I beat cancer,” he chuckled. “[During my recovery], I read the scriptures and promises that God has for us to be well. One of those is one that we shout all the time when we are around the house. Psalm 91 – ‘No plague shall come near your dwelling.’ You’ll hear me screaming that in the driveway. And then there’s Isiah 54 – ‘No weapon formed against me shall prosper.’ I have the sword of the spirit.”
John Tesh played the piano and sang during the two services at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch.
(Photo By Lyn Alweis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Tesh said he hopes his fundraiser will not only help those in need during the pandemic but also inspire audiences to give back in any way they can.
“We’re talking about nurses, doctors and administrators,” he said. “But what about the janitorial staff? What about the caregivers in senior homes? We must find a way to show compassion back. There are plenty of places to plug in. I know a lot of people are scared to death about being infected and rightfully so. But there are ways we can help. We just have to look right in front of us.”