There are few rock musicians as accomplished, popular and well-loved as Bon Jovi. The musician does not only possess the voice many rock frontmen wished they had, but also a heart of gold. Jon Bon Jovi supports many causes and has his foundation, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation which fights to ensure families and individuals avoid being forced into economic despair.
And while his foundation focuses on ending poverty and homelessness through building condominium complexes and homes for the ones who need them most, Jon Bon Jovi himself is an avid believer in helping others through his music and personal activism as well.
In 2011, Jon Bon Jovi traveled to his JBJ Soul Kitchen in Toms River to surprise a fan who had been fighting stage 4 lung cancer at the time. He arranged a dinner that would make Carol Cesario’s dream come true when finally meeting Bon Jovi after being his fan for 30 years. Bon Jovi had dinner with her and her family in his restaurant, and they spent hours chatting together. He also prepared gifts for Cesario: a book and an autographed guitar, as well as an exclusive private, listen of This House is Not for Sale.
In 2014, Bon Jovi surprised his 10-year-old fan Mario Carpino who had been fighting four inoperable brain tumors since age four by showing up at his fundraiser for pediatric cancer research. Little Mario had raised over $150,000 by working with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and attempted to reach Bon Jovi through a Facebook campaign. After receiving no official answer, the Carpino family thought Bon Jovi wouldn’t attend the fundraiser after all, but the singer flew into the Garden State and gave Mario the surprise of his life.
Also in 2014, Bon Jovi helped The Breast Cancer Research Foundation raise more than $1.4 million at its 9th annual Boston Gala. He paid tribute to Brian and Paqui Kelly, Bon Jovi’s friends awarded with BCRF’s Humanitarian Award. Paqui Kelly is a two-time breast cancer survivor and co-founder of the Kelly Cares Foundation along with her husband.
Jon Bon Jovi’s had cases of cancer in his close family, too. When he performed at a cancer charity fundraiser in New York, Bon Jovi made the performance a tribute to his late father, whom he lost to lung cancer. He spoke openly about the painful experience: “My father was a huge smoker. He used to suck down Lucky Strike unfiltered for years. He was a big greaser in the 50’s. Watching him deteriorate was a horrible thing. When you get that call, you’re baffled. You think, ‘This can’t be happening,’ but if you walk into any room, nearly every person in there has been touched by cancer in some way.”
With a positive example, Jon Bon Jovi is using his platform to change the world, one step at a time. Musicians like Bon Jovi indeed spread a message of love and hope in the face of adversity, and their actions change the lives of individuals and touch everyone around them.