When Order of the Owl guitarist Casey Yarbrough’s dog was bitten by a snake, the treatment was expensive, but fairly routine. A veterinarian performed surgery to treat the wound, which was followed by a steady dose of various medications and antibiotics. But while Emmet showed initial signs of improvement, his health soon began to deteriorate. He underwent a second surgery for another perceived snake bite, followed by a seemingly endless cycle of pills that only seemed to mask Emmet’s symptoms. Despite spending most of his and his wife’s savings on treatment, Yarbrough watched his dog’s condition rapidly decline until the prospects seemed grim. “The morning after Thanksgiving, Emmet was very swollen and looked really bad,” says Yarbrough. “We took him again to the vet where they basically dismissed us and told us we needed to see a specialist.”
Eventually, Yarbrough brought Emmet to Briarcliff Animal Clinic for a second opinion. After being been stabilized, treated, and undergoing blood work and a cytology test, Emmet was diagnosed with lymphoma — a worst case scenario. After receiving the news, Yarbrough immediately burst into tears.
“Anyone who knows me, and my love for my pets, knows my immediate reaction after was ‘What can we do? Is it treatable? Is his quality of life going to be ok? I’ll find the money,'” says Yarbrough. That day, Emmet started chemo to combat the cancer attacking his body. Soon after, the bills started to pile up drastically.
If there has been a silver lining to the gray, dismal shit cloud of 2016, it’s that the local music community has continually proven it will rally around its own. This year, Immersive Atlanta has published story after story of people falling into dire straits only to learn that scene had their back when it counted most. In the case of Emmet, a GoFundMe was started by Yarbrough’s close friend and photographer Jamie Hopper, which has already raised well over $5,000 of its stated $6,000 goal. That was followed by an offer from Kyle Withrow (Dude City Productions) and Damon Hare of the EARL to host a benefit show, which eventually turned into an event called Emmet Otter’s Doom-Band Christmas at the EARL.
Taking place on Wednesday, December 21, the show will feature performances by Order of the Owl, the Dirty Magazines (whose frontman Pat Stone was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma this summer), Spore Lord, and Day Old Man. But in addition to an evening of righteous rock and doom metal, the night will also double as a silent auction to help offset Emmet’s medical costs as well as to support #humpcancer, a foundation Yarbrough recently started to help provide financial aid for dogs and cats in need of help fighting cancer. So far, a wide variety of local artists and businesses have chipped in items for the cause, including Orange Amplifiers, Black Arts Toneworks, A. Rippin’ Productions, Blink Media, The EA, Gr8 Scott Graphics, Atlanta Backline Company, and S.A.F. Additionally, Mindzai Creative has offered to print hats and stickers of the logo shown at the top of the post, which was designed by Jason Scott from Gr8 Scott Graphics and Black Arts Toneworks.
“Once I’ve fully funded Emmet’s chemo treatment, I want to start using the donations for the campaign,” says Yarbrough. “I’ll need help locally to work out the charity’s details. Similar to what fuckcancer.org is doing for people. That’s kinda how I got the idea… We want to take the #humpcancer campaign to another level. It might be the way to immortalize Emmet and help raise awareness of canine cancer!”
Emmet Otter’s Doom-Band Christmas at the EARL takes place on Wednesday, December 21 at the Earl. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. 21+ to enter. All proceeds go to Emmet’s medical costs and to support the #humpcancer foundation.
Facebook: Event page