Working under the names the Microphones and Mount Eerie, Phil Elverum has spent years making heavy, expressive, deeply personal music that has helped shape the sound of indie rock. He’s married to Geneviève Elverum (formerly Geneviève Castrée), an acclaimed artist who has recorded under the names Woelv and Ô Paon. The two have a baby, and they’ve also maintained a very private life. But that privacy has to end now, since Geneviève has cancer and the two of them need help paying for her treatments.
On the GoFundMe page that they’ve just started, Phil Elverum writes that the 34-year-old Geneviève was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year, just four months after giving birth to her daughter. Even with insurance, the cost of treatment has been devastating to the family. Here’s what Phil Elverum has written about it:
In May of 2015, four months after giving birth to an incredible and healthy daughter, Geneviève was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It was really out of the blue for this super health conscious 34 year old. Since then she has been undergoing chemotherapy and many other alternative treatments, staying focused on the positive point of light on the horizon.
Over the course of the past year+, our community and family have come together to help with baby care and food and logistics and some money. Insurance has protected us from the most devastating of the medical expenses (after a very high deductible), but the many peripheral costs that aren’t covered by insurance have totally depleted our savings, money we had slowly accumulated from so many years of grinding it out as self-employed artist/musicians, now with a baby.
Geneviève has been a celebrated cartoonist since she was a teenager, publishing many books under the name Geneviève Castrée with l’Oie de Cravan, Drawn & Quarterly, l’Apocalypse, and more, plus exhibiting in art galleries all over the planet. She has also made music and toured the world as Woelv and Ô Paon, releasing many amazing albums.
I, writing this, am her husband Phil Elverum. I have been making music and touring everywhere for almost 20 years as the Microphones and Mount Eerie.
As a couple we have been living in Anacortes, Washington for 12 years, working to maintain its special place in a rich global community of independent art and music. During that time, among other projects, we organized 10 years of What The Heck Fest and later the Anacortes Unknown Music Series.
We have never been super public about our couple-hood and have always drawn the focus instead to the projects at hand, and through all the touring and festivals and public-ness we have maintained a very precious private bubble at home. The difficult times we find ourselves in challenge that bubble.
Until now, for Geneviève, the mental peace of not having everyone know she was sick, and the psychic vibes that come with that, have prevented us from making any kind of announcement or request for help, but at this point our financial worry is tipping the scales.
We are asking the world to please donate money to us. Treatment is ongoing. Nobody in our household has been able to work for over a year. Geneviève has not made any new work. Phil has not made any music or been able to perform or do anything. Life is 100% occupied by this humongous medical battle (plus the already overwhelming reality of raising a baby with less than 2 fully available parents). We don’t know what the future holds and how long this uncertainty will last. In any case, the amount we’ve spent over the last year alone has left us in a precarious financial position as a family.
Please help us by donating what you can and sharing this information far and wide. Thank you.
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