A doting father has organized a heavy metal concert just for his son because he has cerebral palsy but is also a huge metalhead.
Meet Richard McDeid of Maple Grove, Minnesota. His son, Mason, was born with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects balance and movement but can also branch out into other areas like speech and cognition. It’s thought to be a genetic condition that causes abnormal brain development.
Mason is wheelchair bound and is fed through a tube overnight as he’s too weak to swallow. Bedsores are a constant problem, but it gets worse than that.
“In the past 23 years I have helped him through, and nursed him back from, 132 surgeries and many more near-death illnesses,” Richard told My Good Planet in an interview.
Shortly after Mason was born he would start crying endlessly. Even being held by his parents didn’t help. But one thing did: heavy metal music. One day, his father turned on a Metallica album and Mason stopped crying. He calmed down and even started to laugh.
Thus began a lifelong love of heavy metal. Richard, a single father, started taking Mason to metal concerts way back in 2008. His first concert was Rage Against The Machine, in September, but after that, his non-stop rockfest continued with a Metallica and then a Rammstein concert.
And it never stopped. In his first year, Richard guesses they saw 450 bands. They stopped counting after reaching 1,060, but he estimates they’ve seen over 1,200 together in their lifetime.
However, getting to rock concerts isn’t exactly easy for Mason. In the beginning, Richard would have to find the one wheelchair accessible entrance at venues all over the country. Today, Mason’s so well known amongst metal bands that he’s often given front row seats and VIP guest status.
In 2017, Richard decided that while being on the road and seeing all these bands is great, what would be really awesome is if they all came to Minnesota. So he started the Mason Metalfest with the intention of giving Mason the best show of his life and also raising awareness of cerebral palsy.
The first concert took place in March 2018 and was a big hit, so Richard is hosting a second, even larger concert on March 23rd of this year. Mason will be in the front row, of course, and he’s not just there to enjoy the music: he’s also gotten a job as a music correspondent since he always has the best seat in the house.