After years of touring and performing, Pop Evil's bass player Matt DiRito is using his celebrity status to make a difference. Last year, DiRito launched a non-profit called Star Treatments, to help kids battling cancer feel like 'rock stars'.
"I always thought growing up, why not do something good with that?" DiRito told FOX 17 News. "You've got all the attention on you, why not use it for something good? So now, I'm finally getting the chance to do some of that myself."
The goal is to give children fighting cancer and their families VIP transportation on board a tour bus that will take them to and from their various treatments.
"We pick them up at their house, where they need the treatment, and take them from the house to the hospital, hospital and back," explained DiRito. "I can't imagine having to be strapped in the backseat of a car for hours on end after just receiving a chemo treatment."
The tour bus will come complete with various amenities, including beds, couches, games, and TVs. DiRito hopes it will help the families chosen for the program to "heal on wheels."
"For a kid to have the excitement of being able to travel that way is really cool," he said. "We just want to do our best to make them comfortable and excited if possible and look forward to it with a positive attitude, instead of the 'Oh man, I have to go back to the hospital for another treatment.'"
The idea for Star Treatments was sparked by a little girl named Jersey, who fought her battle against cancer and won. DiRito met the girl a few years ago at one of his shows in Iowa.
So far, the non-profit has been able to help families in Iowa and Indiana. DiRito hopes to sponsor a family in West Michigan as early as fall.
DiRito continues his fundraising efforts when he has time on the road.
His group, Pop Evil, will be performing at The Intersection on August 21 as part of their CD release party.
To keep up with Star Treatments on Facebook, click here.