The walls inside Vincenzo’s Pizza Newhall thundered on Sunday as two bands performed during a celebration and fundraiser for Avery Faeth, a teenager with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The two bands, Tangent and Rough Around the Edges, performed various rock songs as families, supporters and friends sat to eat pizza and salads. Members of the bands grew up with Faeth but now attend separate high schools across the San Fernando Valley. So with the help of Brian Shneider, Tangent’s manager and coach, they decided to appear for their friend.
Faeth sat beside the stage, surrounded by his parents, sister and grandmother. The Granada Hills family frequently visit Santa Clarita, and the bands both previously performed at Vincenzo’s, according to Shneider.
Toward the end of their performance, the members of Tangent dedicated their rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” to Faeth.
“These boys have spent countless nights at sleepovers at my house and they’ve grown up with him,” said Lee Ann, Faeth’s mother. “They started playing instruments when they were in kindergarten school orchestra, and they progressed and stuck with (playing music).”
Since he was diagnosed in 2007, the family has worked on getting durable medical equipment while experiencing insurance denials and paying out of pocket for Faeth, who uses a wheelchair, to move around.
“Duchenne – there is no cure, it’s progressive, it’s life-limiting,” Lee Ann said. “Life expectancy is late teens, early 20s. So this is really special for all of us because having the love and the support from friends in the community for so many years – I couldn’t ask for more.”
Shneider said a portion of the proceeds made through Vincenzo’s, as well as through selling shirts emblazoned with an Aerosmith-esqe logo with the message “Avery Rocks,” would go toward helping the family. He praised the family, telling those in attendance that Lee Ann “fights like hell.”
Peyton Marquez and his mother, Bonnie, came to lend their support for the Faeth family. The Saugus family runs Peyton’s Project, a program that helps other young people coping with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“We’re better together,” Bonnie Marquez said about her son and Faeth. “It’s good for Peyton to see kids with this, to show that they’re not alone with this disease.”