Maggie O'Mara: Behind the Scenes

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Ray Johnston Band is coming to Boise

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on April 6, 2011 at 7:04 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 8:00 PM

This Thursday, Ray Johnston Band is coming to Tom Grainey's in downtown Boise. A band coming to town isn't that big of a deal. It happens all the time. But, the back story of Ray Johnston is pretty incredible and inspirational - so I wanted to share it with you.

Growing up, Ray always knew he wanted to play in the NBA.While playing in a 3-on-3 tournament in 2004, scouts from the Dallas Mavericks spotted him - he was one of 20 guys picked to go to an open tryout for the team. He made the team!

Then something terrible happened. He was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was hit hard with medical complications. He was put in a drug-induced coma for months, lost seven toes to amputation, had kidney failure, lung disease, seizures.

Suddenly, life was about a lot more than basketball. It was about a daily struggle to beat the disease. With his NBA career cut short, he decided to pursue another love of his - music. Ray Johnston Band was formed.

In 2009, Ray relapsed again. His doctors told him he may not live past the age of 33. Ray got in touch with his band, and told them he wanted to tour. He's raising money for Leukemia research along the way, playing benefits and other stops. The band's story was also featured on HDNet's RAY JOHNSTON BAND: ROAD DIARIES - and was nominated for the 2010 "DocuSeries of the Year".

You can support Ray, his band and his cause - this Thursday night at Tom Grainey's! Check out the band's website: