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I'm at the cutting Edge of fight to beat cancer

Brush with disease changed U2 star's life

Daily Mail, March 03, 2009
By: By Catherine Fegan

 

You'd expect him to know all about guitars, amps, tours and everything about being a rock star.

But as U2 launch their 12th album, No Line on the Horizon, guitarist Edge has revealed a new string to his bow -- he's at the forefront of the battle to end the hell of cancer.

And the Edge, real name David Evans, has said that "a brush with cancer" in his own family -- he refused to elaborate -- led him to join the fight against the disease.

In a candid interview, The Edge has opened up about his involvement with the Angiogenesis Foundation, an organisation using new scientific techniques to treat cancer, blinding diseases, wounds, and other serious illnesses.

The rock legend, whose father is a scientist, has served on the Angiogenesis Foundation's board of directors since 2007.

Speaking about the foundation's work he said: "Angiogenesis is a study of a process which is common to over 40 human diseases, which is the development of new blood vessels.

"It was discovered in the late 1970s that cancer tumours will actually give out growth factors that will trigger blood supply to be grown to feed them. How sinister is that? It's one of the reasons why those mutated cells are dangerous to us; that's how they become a tumour.

"So this is about studying how to stop that process when it's causing you problems. Or how to trigger it when the opposite is happening, when you have a wound that won't heal.

"I discovered this as a result of my own family's brush with cancer a couple of years ago.

"I could go on for hours about this. But what I wanna try to do is what I can to get the word out." And in an insight of the pressure of touring on family life, The Edge revealed how, in autumn 2006, he wanted to stay home with his daughter while she battled a serious illness. The star said he initially wanted to stop working, cancel the mammoth Vertigo world tour, and sit with her at home. But his daughter told him it would be "weird" having him around the house,telling him: "Go for it."

The Edge said then: "It was a difficult decision and it was not taken lightly, and really it boiled down to everybody in my own family feeling that we as a family could take it on, and that it could work for us.

"That was one of the turning points for me, her reaction, which was go for it, a kind of an unexpected reaction, and I was kind of blown away, as you might imagine." The band did insist, however, on postponing the last leg of the tour taking in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Hawaii.

Asked then how his daughter was coping, he replied: "She's doing well, she's doing very well, no cause for concern at the moment and we are just keeping our fingers crossed that continues." The Edge has five children, including daughters, Hollie, Arran and Blue Angel from his first marriage to childhood sweetheart Aislinn O'Sullivan.

His daughter, Sian, and son, Levi, were born before his second marriage in 2002 to bellydancer and choreographer Morleigh Steinberg.

Although all the band members have long been individual supporters of organisations such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International, it wasn't until 2005 that he became involved in public philanthropy.

In response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster which devastated New Orleans, The Edge co-founded the charity, Music Rising, in 2005 along with Bob Ezrin and Henry Juszkiewicz.

Since then, he has also publicly supported the New York Food Bank and Mencap Northern Ireland.



© Daily Mail, 2009.

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