Last week, the Marching Mizzou band dressed in pink in honor of band member Matthew North’s mother, who is battling breast cancer.
North said he was expecting his section of the band to be in pink, but not the whole band.
“Marching Mizzou does different activities during the week to have fun and Wednesday was supposed to be a section color day,” North said. “I knew my section would be in pink, but was amazed when the whole band was.”
When North arrived to practice, he said he was pleasantly surprised to see how many people were supporting him.
“When I showed up that morning and the entire band was wearing pink I started crying, and I was really emotional,” North said. “They weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of joy that everyone was there to support me.”
Band member Laura Deutschmann described Matt’s reaction as both emotional and overwhelmed. Deutschmann said most of the band, which comprises around 280 members, were wearing pink.
“Matt is just such a good guy and he is always looking out for other people,” Deutschmann said. “I think he really felt like he got that back this week.”
Trombone player Sean Kraus said he had a soft spot for what was going on with North, because he has gone through a lot of it himself.
“It is a tough time for a family whenever someone has cancer,” Kraus said. “My mother also had breast cancer and leukemia, and I know that if 300 people were behind me, that’s really helpful. It was really cool to see that everyone could be a unified source, and for a good cause.”
Deutschmann said this is not the first time Marching Mizzou has done something like this in support of a band member, but is the first time this year. A few years back, a band member’s mother passed away and the band collaborated to send him flowers and other gifts.
“Our band is really like a family, but we haven’t really had the chance to show any unity yet this year,” Deutschmann said. “But this was a really good example for all the newcomers to our band.”
North said the experience was very comforting for him, helping him through a hard time he was facing, knowing his mother was going to have surgery soon.
“I barely even knew half the people giving support and coming up to me asking if I was OK and giving me hugs,” North said. “It made my day go a lot better.”
North’s mom recently had a double mastectomy and is on her way to a successful recovery.