Carman Licciardello met with the The 700 Club on June 3 and discussed his journey with cancer, as well as the Kickstarter program that ultimately came out of his tragic diagnosis.
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Carman was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last Valentines day and, at the time, it was estimated that he had about 3-4 years left to live. He had decided to go to the doctor because he kept getting sick and didn't know why. "I'm used to going out, working out, running, weight training and doing all sorts of stuff, that's always been that way. So, when something's amiss I notice it right away," he told The 700 Club.
When the doctor couldn't figure out the root of his problems, Carman was sent to a specialist that just-so-happened to be located at a cancer treatment center, and this got him a bit nervous. "I guess it was a little strange for me because I have a little different perspective, you know, being in the ministry and being Christian for all these years you try to have an eternal perspective. And I realized that our lives are just not how much time we spend here, but the quality of our time, because some of the people that have affected our lives the most have spent the least amount of time here on earth," he said.
"It didn't hit me like others might think it would, because I thought, 'well, if I've done my part, if I've fulfilled my purpose, if I've run my course and this is how I exit then so be it,' and, I started to actually make plans for wrapping up my affairs," Carman said, trusting in his faith and the plan that God has for him.
He posted the news on Facebook in order to keep rumors from spreading and so that members of his immediate family and those close to him wouldn't get the wrong message. "Usually, I might get a hundred posts if I say something, maybe a couple hundred. I thought, well I'll probably get about 300-400 posts, and when I posted it on there, the next day there was like 3,000 posts and 3,000 turned into 5,000 into 10,000 into 15,000 into 18,000. I was like, what is going on?" Carman said. He said that he was surprised because he hadn't recorded anything in about 13 years and hadn't toured since 2000.
Shortly after that, Carman got a call from an attorney he had worked with, Sam Chappell, who encouraged him to put some new music out there. He said that he was nervous about doing so because no record company would sign him because he's "over 40." Chappell suggested that he see if his fans wanted him to put some new music out there. "And then I saw that there was a lot of love out there. I did not expect it. I still don't know what to do with it or how to handle it," Carman said.
The problem remained, however, that producing a new album is very costly. It was from there that the Kickstarter project came into being. "The thing about it is, if you don't raise the amount of money you need you lose everything. So, we put it out there and before we knew it people started to give. And that alone sent a message to me, and to my spirit as well, because I look at things as what does God want," Carman said. "When the funds started coming in through kickstarted I started to say, well if He wants me to do this then he wants music out there, which means he's gonna have to start giving me melodies. And within days melodies started to come to me, I mean out of the blue."
Carman explained that the amazing thing about the program is that it allows fans to be a part of this journey with him. "That meant the most to me, because I'm thinking, 'you know what, I owe them, because of all the things they could do, this is the one that means the most to them.' And so I wanted to be a part of that and now we're back at it " he said. The Kickstarter program allows fans to be involved in the funding of the new album and also gives them the opportunity to get tickets to Carman's upcoming performances as well as other mementos of the project. He has raised over $342,000 for the project, well over his goal of $200,000, and there are still 12 days remaining.
Despite all of the progress that Carman has made, the struggle is not completely over for him. He also spoke to The 700 Club about a recent relapse that had landed him in the ER last week. He explained that multiple myeloma is a disease of the blood that starts in the bones. "So, your immune system drops, that's how we discovered what was going on because I kept getting colds and viruses and, whatever comes your way you catch. And so, you're still vulnerable to just getting a virus out of nowhere and it totally just wipes you out," he said. "Actually a few days ago I caught something, I don't know where or when, you just don't know, and it wiped me out and it depleted my body of most of its fluids."
He explained that the relapse made him feel a little weak and he kept falling asleep when he didn't want to be sleeping. "So I had to go to the ER and they put me on an IV for about four hours and then got me back up to normal, so it happens every once in a while" Carman explained.
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