His love for music is about to be returned to him tenfold.
For guitarist Charlie Russello, music has always been something that he has carried with him, performing in local bands such as the Russello Project and Bare Knuckle, as well as teaching at Endless Mountain Music in Tunkhannock.
Russello has neither performed nor taught since he was diagnosed with stage 4B of diffuse large B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma last November but this coming Saturday, March 16, he will pick up his guitar once again during the "Rockin' for Russello" benefit at the Backyard Ale House, 523 Linden St., Scranton. The benefit will be held from 1-5 p.m. and a $10 ticket will give people the chance to hear local bands and sample foods from local restaurants. All proceeds from the event will help offset Russello's medical expenses.
Russello's wife, Sarah, whose grandparents owned Chef Schiavone's restaurant in Glenburn for more than 40 years, explained that her husband's spirits have remained high, despite his diagnosis.
"He has been so positive throughout this whole thing," she said. "The crazy thing is that he never drank or smoked a day in his life. He always lived a very healthy lifestyle and practiced meditation and exercised regularly. He also holds a fourth degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. It just goes to show that even the healthiest people living clean lives are not safe from this disease."
Charlie and Sarah are expecting their first child, a baby girl, this July. According to recent testing, Russello's tumors are shrinking in size.
"Charlie is truly my rock and my hero," Sarah said. "He is going through a lot but manages to stay positive and strong for me. He would selflessly help anyone in need, and never feels sorry for himself through everything he is going through. He believes that positive energy can help to heal him. He is truly an inspiration."
For more information on the Rockin' for Russello" benefit, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/100227080165511/