Friday, April 19, 2002

Some Good News

Benefit for St. X student

        Tim “Jigga McSweet” Geeslin said getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to him. But still having it is the worst thing, he said as he battles for his life.

        The 18-year-old senior at St. Xavier High School suffers from stage IV melanoma. He recently had his spleen removed. Mr. Geeslin was told he wasn't cured, but that he was a little better.

        “Getting cancer completely changed my outlook on life,” he said from his Delhi Township home. “Friends and family mean more to me now. While the cancer complicated my life, it cleared up my mind. I feel much closer to God, now.”

        Friends are planning a benefit for him, called “Jigga Fest,” from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday at Burnet Woods in Clifton.

        Steve Shockley, a classmate and friend, said the benefit is free, but donations are welcome.

        “We want to raise enough money to help him record an album, which is his life's dream,” Mr. Shockley said. “This will be his testament to the world.”

        Mr. Geeslin said the nickname “Jigga McSweet” came from a rap song, but he can't remember the name.

        “I just remember it had the word jigga in it and I started making fun of it. Then all my friends started calling me Jigga,” he said.

        While he completes an independent course in theology to finish high school requirements for graduation, Mr. Geeslin is preparing for recording an album of music he has written. He plays piano and said most of the album will be instrumental. “I am labeling it progressive rock,” he said.

        Mr. Geeslin said he has to go to the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., next week for treatment.

        “The money from the benefit will be used for the album and to fly back and forth to Santa Monica,” he said.

        He plans to attend Loyola University in Chicago next year, where he probably will pursue a degree in psychology with a minor in music.

        “I consider myself religious, but I don't care for organized religion. I was a Catholic, but I guess I am sort of an independent. I do my own thing,” he said.

        You may help by contributing to the Tim Geeslin Fund at any Firstar Bank.

        While the U.S. Department of Justice considers the nomination of Katie Luchsinger for the prestigious Young American Medal of Bravery, her family was preparing to observe the third anniversary of her death Thursday.

        The young Miami Township, Hamilton County, girl saved her brother and sister while she became trapped and died in a burning house April 18, 1999.

        Ohio Gov. Bob Taft nominated the 11-year-old for the award last week.

        “We are proud of the nomination,” said her mother, Terri Luchsinger. “It is going to be tough during the anniversary of her death, but the other children are getting along fine and living through it.”

        Allen Howard's column runs Sunday-Friday. E-mail


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