Tomstock: 5 Years of “Rockin’ for a Cure”

Last Saturday, Cancer Commons joined nearly 2,000 guests in Independence, MO, for a day full of music and celebration. Called Tomstock, this private, annual music festival raised more than $100,000 for the H8 Cancer Foundation, which in turn generously supports Cancer Commons.

Tomstock began five years ago when longtime friends Tom and Carman Duvall, and Kiers and Steve Rowley decided to host an event to support patients dealing with cancer. Since then, the festival has grown in both size and impact; since its first year, it has raised more than $500K.

In May of this year, the Cancer Commons staff was deeply saddened to learn that Kiers, who had used our ASK Cancer Commons service for her own disease, had passed away from cancer. Last year at Tomstock 2017, Kiers had joined one of the performing bands in a duet of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” This year, her daughter Chandler sang the same song in a touching tribute.

In the spirit of “Don’t Stop Believin’,” we at Cancer Commons are extremely grateful to the H8 Cancer Foundation for its support, to the Rowley and Duvall families, and to every rocker who attended Tomstock 2018. We hope the Tomstock story inspires you to join the Cancer Commons family in contributing to better treatment options for all cancer patients.

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For more photos of Tomstock 2018, see H8Cancer.org’s Facebook page.


Thank You to the H8 Cancer Foundation

We at Cancer Commons express our deep gratitude to the H8 Cancer Foundation, which has generously made our organization a major beneficiary of its gifts since 2015. Founded by oncologist Dr. Simeon Jaggernauth, H8 Cancer is “dedicated to raising funds for research and to promote awareness of better treatment options to save lives.”

Recently, we had the honor of attending Tomstock, an annual summer music festival to benefit H8 Cancer, which in turn benefits Cancer Commons (see video above). It was a powerful event that gave guests the opportunity to share how cancer had affected them and contribute to a hopeful future of better cancer treatment for all.

We thank Dr. Jaggernauth and everyone at H8 Cancer for your shared belief in our mission. With your support, we are changing the way the world treats cancer.


“Rockin’ for a Cure” at Tomstock 2017


Marty Tenenbaum, Simeon Jaggernauth

A little more than four years ago, longtime friends Tom and Carman Duvall, and Kiers and Steve Rowley reminisced at dinner about their lives in the 1980s, long before their schedules had grown complicated and filled with endless trips driving children to various activities.

Tom, a child of 1980s rock and roll, wondered aloud whether Def Leppard might perform for them on his next birthday. Conversation meandered during the evening, and when the check arrived, Tom and Steve advised Kiers and Carman that a date had been set for a rock concert on the Duvall property in Independence, Missouri, and that it would be a fundraising event to support patients suffering with cancer. Kiers, who’d struggled with lung cancer for the past five years, and Carman announced “We’re in.” So began an all-day-long summer music festival and tradition resembling Woodstock, that the four friends named Tomstock. Continue reading…