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Carol Perrine (far left) watches as two of her friends dance at the Carolpalooza benefit concert.

 

Carol Perrine said she isn’t going to let cervical cancer get her down. She means this figuratively, and, as she proved by twirling under a disco ball to a Beatles cover on Saturday, literally. 

The idea for Carolpalooza came from Mike Boulware, 67, the owner of B-Side Vintage and Perrine’s friend of around 40 years. Boulware said he’s hosted benefit concerts for a long time. 

“Years ago we started realizing that the one power we had was to raise awareness through music,” he said. “It’s all about just getting the word out.”

Since Perrine, 64, was diagnosed in 2018, she has struggled to afford the treatment.

“Insurance is inadequate on many levels and only covers certain types of treatment,” Perrine, a self-described “empowerment coach,” said. “My energy level isn’t what it used to be so my client load is greatly reduced.”

The event included performances by local bands The Impostors, Mark Miale & Kimberly LeCouteur, Ned and the Dim Lights, The Threetles and Nancy Luca.

Besides the suggested $10 donation for entry to the event, money was raised through a raffle. The prizes included gift certificates to local businesses as well as art by local artist Elaine Shoaf. According to Boulware, the event made a total of $7,000.

Boulware said around 150 people attended the event.

Despite the dance moves displayed at the concert, Perrine said the illness negatively affects her daily life.

“I am not able to be physically active or lift much weight or the symptoms worsen,” reads Perrine’s GoFundMe page. “The price I pay for playing with my grandson or even light bouncing on an exercise ball could be grounds for a blood transfusion.”   

As of Tuesday night, Perrine’s GoFundMe page has made $1,175 out of its $17,500 goal.

Perrine considers the concert a huge success. 

“The room was so full of love for each other and for me,” Perrine said. “The Gainesville community is amazing. I have the most incredible friends ever.”