The barber and his loyal customer embarked on friendship that has only grown stronger over the years.
Just over a month ago, Swinney came in to tell Martin that his cancer had not only returned but had spread to his bones, liver, and lymph nodes. Martin said he knew he had to do something to help, especially since he’s seen first-hand the war cancer can wage, having gone through his wife beating stage four breast cancer seven years ago.
“We had a rough time,” he said. “I just about lost her. A bunch of our friends came together to help us. The main thing they did was make meals for us. You don’t have to go to the grocery store and you don’t have to cook. You don’t know what a big deal that is. It might seem like it’s not a lot, but it’s a huge thing.”
Martin said he was heartbroken when he learned Swinney’s cancer had returned.
“He said ‘oh, I’ll be fine,’” Martin said. “If a can-do attitude has anything to do with it, you know, he’ll be fine. And my heart got running faster than my mouth and I said, ‘hey, how about we do a benefit show for you?’”
Martin discovered his love of singing one night in a karaoke bar and now owns a disc jockey business that he runs on the side.
Tickets to the benefit concert for Swinney are $20 each.
“I figure going to a movie costs $14, and by the time you buy popcorn you’re going to spend over $20,” Martin said. “The show’s either going to be really great or I’m going to crash and burn. Either way, there’s entertainment value. Mack and his family are really appreciative.”