INDIANAPOLIS — Ben Davis High School graduate Macklin Swinney is on his way to the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., today for a new treatment in his battle with stage four melanoma.
The trip was made possible, in part, because of a benefit concert that raised more than $12,000 for him and his family.
Swinney’s long-time barber, Chris Martin at Clippers Barber Shop on the westside of Indianapolis, spent the last two months putting together the benefit. It was held this past Friday at the Indy West Conference Center after Martin was able to sell all of the available tickets.
Martin said he was overwhelmed by the support for Swinney, 26.
“The night of the show, people kept coming in and buying tickets and donating, and the guys working the door said to me ‘people want a $20 ticket and they’re giving a $100 bill and saying keep the change,’” Martin said. “My mind was blown. The family is so thankful. They were overwhelmed.
“I’m really proud of all my guys at the barber shop and the community for the way they’ve just given and given and given. I said I needed help and they just jumped up and asked ‘what do you need?’ I also want to thank Alex Henderson and Ashlee Byrd, especially. They were a big help.”
Between 450 to 500 people attended the event.
Macklin’s father, Scott Swinney, said his son is keeping a positive attitude as he enters what is a clinical trial to see if he’s fit to try a drug that has had extremely positive results in treating melanoma. The drug vemurafenib has been shown to affect the BRAF gene, which helps the cancer cells grow. It has shown to shrink many of these tumors and is often used in melanomas that test positive for this gene change.