Bret Michaels hosts Knock Out Cancer event

Published Nov 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm (Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm)

The fight against cancer was given a big push this past weekend at the third annual Knock Out Cancer event, held at the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon. On the evening of Nov. 10, hundreds of men and women from all over the region gathered at the mall to support four cancer-fighting charities: the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, the Obediah Cole Foundation for Prostate Cancer, The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Joining the fight was guest host Bret Michaels, who is originally from Butler. The Poison frontman was the winner of “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2010 and competed again in 2013, both times playing for charities that benefit diabetes research.

Getting to the venue proved to be a more difficult task than Michaels had thought.

“We got re-routed somewhere on the Orange Belt,” Michaels said. His manager and guitar player Pete Evick said their tour bus had to take a detour in the Mt. Lebanon area and it turned out that the bus was too large for the detour and they ended up getting pulled over by police.

Evick said the police officer ended up being a huge fan of Michaels and when he found out it was his tour bus, the officer provided them a police escort to the Galleria.

“We didn’t get a ticket,” Michaels laughed.

Once at the venue, Michaels was glad to be there. Joe Seaman of Clear Channel, which put on the event, said when Michaels was first asked to host Knock Out Cancer this summer, he wanted to do it right away.

“I love the ’Burgh,” Michaels said. “I’m a yinzer rocker and I love this city and the fans here. It’s good to be back.”

“This is an amazing cause,” Michaels said of Knock Out Cancer, adding that he liked being there to see the faces of the cancer survivors. “We were excited to do this.”

While in Pittsburgh, Michaels said one of his favorite things to do besides eat the great Pittsburgh food, is to go Downtown. He added a lot of his family and friends live in the area, so he enjoys catching up with them.

Michaels, who has his own health problems in the past, has always been charitable. He started his own foundation, Life Rocks, which benefits childhood cancer organizations, diabetes research, military support and pet charities. Michaels has been a diabetic since the age of 6, and in 2010 suffered a brain hemorrhage. Around that time it was discovered that he also had a hole in his heart.

While going through all of his health scares, Michaels said he never gave up. “I’m a guy who fights hard to keep positive. I just wanted to live.”

“We are here for Bret Michaels and for charity, too,” said Sue Williams of Scott Township, who attended the event with her daughter Lexi Bott and sister Cathi Hopkins. Bott said her Aunt Cathi is a huge fan and even dressed up as Michaels for Halloween this year.

“We came last year,” said Beth Salak of Bethel Park, who attended with her husband C.J. “It’s a nice event for a good cause.”

Tina Johnston and Kathy King drove to Mt. Lebanon from Greensburg to get a glimpse of Michaels and to support the cause. Both of the ladies had VIP passes to meet him.

“It was awesome. I got a kiss,” Johnston said.

Shelly Hoyt of Shadyside attended the event with a few of her friends and said, “We are all local women between the age of 35 and 40 and are aware that breast cancer is a growing issue.”

Michaels will be appearing at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrandale on Nov. 13.

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