HOW TO HELP
An art auction fundraiser featuring internationally know artists is set for 6 to 9 p.m. April 6 at Grizzly Creek Custom Framing, 5545 Old Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada. Donations can also be made online at www.giveforward.com/lylelong.
BRIGHTON — A local guitar instructor is getting a lesson in love from his students.
Since he started teaching at More Music for Brighton five years ago, Lyle Long has been sharing the gift of music with his students. Now his students are returning the favor by raising funds so he can receive medical treatment for illnesses that have proven difficult to treat.
For most of the past decade, Long has been dealing with complications from long-term exposure to black mold. After seeing a number of specialists, doctors were able to narrow many of his symptoms down to two autoimmune disorders — celiac disease and mastocytic entercolitis — although the ailment has failed to respond to treatment.
Long’s students and friends have been setting up fundraisers in order to get him to the Mayo Clinic. The first fundraising event, a benefit concert, was Sunday night at the Worship Center at Brighton.
“It was well attended and a couple hundred people attended it and flowed in and out throughout the day as people performed,” student and Brighton resident Tim Tripp said.
Long said he has found being open about his illness to be a little challenging because he’s a strong willed, self-sufficient kind of a guy but that the show of love and support has been unbelievable.
“I’m completely blown away, humbled, honored, grateful to levels that I can’t even communicate,” he said.
Long said dealing with the illnesses has left him weak and has taken a lot of his physicality from him. He will be flying to the Mayo Clinic on Monday where doctors will take a team approach in treating him. He said going to the Mayo Clinic is about a fresh set of eyes and a fresh approach.
“I hope that we can get the data ... to shed an accurate light on what’s going on and then come up with a game plan and turn it around,” he said.
Despite everything that he’s been through, Long still counts his blessings, saying he’s blessed he can play the guitar and is able to function professionally.
Tripp said Long is an incredible player and that he has too much life left in him not to help.
“We just want to make sure that somebody doesn’t have to go into debt to get well and a lot of people have to do that,” he said.