The 63-year-old guitarist of the British post-punk band received his diagnosis on June 8, 2021, according to the fundraiser, and the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes which has since complicated treatment.
“Surgery is not an option. He has just begun what will be an indefinite series of treatments involving radiation, hormone therapies, and possibly access to clinical trials through Sloan Kettering in New York City,” read the lengthy message. “Healing requires not only what takes place physically, but just as important, if not more so, a mental and emotional state that is calm, focused, and free of stress…. I want to see my friends free of those fears and worries. Most of all, I want to see my friend John embarking on his mission to regain his health and well-being with all of the physical, mental, and emotion ammunition he can muster, and all fear of potential worldly ruin laid to rest.”
“John needs your help. Please do what you can. Share, donate, send words of encouragement. And thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” the band wrote on its Facebook account at the end of August while sharing the GoFundMe page.
Dorsey, who launched the fundraiser on behalf of her friend and Ashton’s wife, Catherine, and who used to be part of David Bowie’s band, wrote a lengthy post about how she came to know the family and how Ashton has been financially supporting them by working as a props master in the film industry since 1998. He played guitar for The Psychedelic Furs from 1979 to 1992, when the band went on a hiatus, and again from 2000 to 2008. In 2016, he released his debut solo album titled Satellite Paradiso that featured fellow acclaimed musicians.
“This employment, although not what a musician of John’s experience and background would ideally prefer as a means of survival, has at least been a flexible and reliable solution for keeping his family afloat, while still affording John the opportunity to continue to work at what he loves and does best, music,” she wrote. “Starting now, John will also be unable to continue working, and there is no safety net to realistically support or break an approaching financial fall. He has already weakened his condition and stretched himself thin continuing to show up for work up until this point.”
At press time, the fundraiser had raised more than $61,000 out of its $100,000 goal. Merck Mercuriadis, the founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, gave the top donation of $5,000. Last week, Dorsey shared an update and wrote that Ashton started his treatments and hopes to send a “thank you” video alongside his family when he is able to do so.