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  • Writer's pictureNicole

Honk For a Cure: Goose (the Band) FOXG1 Fundraiser at the Capitol Theater

The Power of "Yes"

During the thick of the pandemic in January of 2021, my then 13 year-old son Tanner had a Zoom guitar lesson with Rick Mitarotonda! I couldn’t believe this was really an option when I bought it for him during the holidays.

They played for an hour and after the lesson Rick and I talked for a while. We talked about the pandemic, about the music biz, and Tanner’s guitar knowledge (I’m bragging). I told him about Tanner’s sister, Josie, and how she was born with this awful rare disease called FOXG1 syndrome and that I started a research foundation to find a cure for it. With the coolest sincerity, Rick said, “Whatever I can do to help, please let me know.” My eyes lit up. “Really?” “Yes,” he said. And he meant it.

When Rick put me in touch with his manager Ben, I knew I better hurry up and follow through because these guys were about to take off! You know how they say, you know a truly good person within the first few seconds of meeting them…Ben is one of those people. I told Ben about our work, that we have exciting gene therapy underway, and that we’re going to cure this disease. Ben said, “Yes. We’d love to try to make something happen to help.” And he meant it, too.

I knew to be patient and grateful if we could do anything together. These guys are so busy and more in demand by the minute. They’re constantly on the road touring, recording, not to mention their side projects, and, oh, they have lives, too! Still, they all said yes to helping.

The power of yes. One word that could set off the dominos to help improve lives.

Another yes that will move mountains came from Peter Shapiro.

In between magically making rainbows, naming stars in the sky, putting on 100+ shows a year, and creating new projects, he said, “Let’s do something to help your work for FOXG1,” and then joined my business advisory board! The power of yes.

So when Ben and Peter told me that we could do an event during the five-night run at the Capitol Theater, I won’t lie, I turned up Butter Rum and did a dance in front of my computer that I think even embarrassed Josie.

On March 11, before the Saturday night show, Goose is going to play a private intimate performance just for Team Josie: the friends and community members who have said yes to supporting the FOXG1 Research Foundation along the way. In the midst of five consecutive shows, they’re setting aside the time to “help in any way they can.”

Here’s where it gets really exciting. This is about so much more than saying yes to helping me find a cure for FOXG1 syndrome. When Josie was diagnosed with this ultra rare disease, I thought, shit, who the hell is going to care about this? But, I guess we got lucky when we spun the wheel of gene mutations. There is a VERY big reason why people will care.

FOXG1 is one of the most important genes in brain development.

We all have it and we all need it to do simple things like, talk, walk, use our hands with purpose. The gene plays a role in many other genes and is linked to many other neurological disorders.

Get this - FOXG1 is also one of the most dysregulated genes found in a population of Autism and is also linked to other major neurological diseases like epilepsy, schizophrenia, Altzheimer’s, brain cancers and more.

So while FOXG1 is a rare disease, there is nothing small about the impact of our work. Every yes has the power to help millions of people live a healthier and easier life.

I like to think about Josie in her dorm room one day, with her poster of Rick on the wall, telling her roommate that she used to have this really bad disease called FOXG1 syndrome but she doesn’t have it any more. Then she plays the Red Bird from 3/12/22 and they carry on with their day.

There will be many children one day who tell their friends about a disease they were born with that was fixed right away. They will never know what could have been thanks to the work we’re doing now. So as we celebrate this incredible purpose together on March 11th with our private performance by the band who is equally as kind as they are talented, we know just how deep the power of yes runs.

There are many ways you can say yes to helping.

You can donate directly at or you can buy some Honk for a Cure merch in the FOXG1 store.

I once said to my friends in a text group, “these guys are the definition of cool. I’m replacing the word ‘cool’ with ‘Goose.’” It stuck and now we often say things like, “that’s so Goose.”

Another way you can say yes to helping… click here to donate to win a gorgeous Gibson guitar signed by all the members of Goose.

How Goose is that?


Hear Josie


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