Bret puts on a show

Bret Alexander performs at an event.

Local communities are coming together to show their support for a homegrown artist as he battles a currently incurable disease.

Bret Alexander, a former Canton resident and active singer/songwriter, suffers from polycystic kidney disease. This disease, according to documentation released by the Mayo Clinic affects around 1 in 1,000 people worldwide and is a genetic disorder. Those living with the disorder are subjected to noncancerous cysts that form in their kidneys disrupting their function while enlarging them. Eventually, the only options available will be dialysis or transplant.

Thankfully Bret found a donor, his cousin Brittany Holmes Wilson also formerly of Canton. However, that’s only part of the battle. Even with a willing and matched donor, Bret will have literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs and fees.

According to the cost of an uninsured kidney transplant, if everything goes perfectly, can be as low as $260,000 or more and this includes the first six months of medicine. Then they will face costs up to $24,000 per year for medicine that will help their bodies not to reject the transplanted organ.

In response, the community has formed “Banding together for Bret” which is a benefit concert with proceeds going to the Bret Alexander medical fund as he recovers from surgery. The show will feature performances by Underground Saints, Mere Mortals, Graces Downfall, Aaron Fink, Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen, Joe Burke & Co., Tim & Rob Husty, The Boastfuls, Ed Randazzo, Tom Flannery, Joe Cigan, Tony Halchak, Ellie Rose, Jeremy Hummel, Nyke Wan Wyk and K8. There will also be an all-star musical tribute — Bret Alexander, featuring Ron Simasek and Paul Smith, formerly of The Badlees and current members of Gentleman East.

The benefit concert will be held at The Woodlands, located at 1073 Highway 315 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and advance tickets went on sale for $15 Feb. 1 through Eventbrite. Tickets at the door will be $20 and those that are interested in supporting the cause but cannot attend are encouraged to donate through

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