Marc Hunter was lead singer of Dragon, a New Zealand band that enjoyed hit songs in New Zealand and Australia in the late 70s and 80s. From my school days in Australia, I remember particularly well their hit "April Sun in Cuba".
Jump to 1998, the year before the arrest of the founders of the Jungshim/QiWellness cult
. Marc Hunter, like Captain Naima Mohamed
14 years later, was desperately seeking a cancer cure. His search led him to South Korea and to Daera Chun, the base of the cult.March 30, 2011: Marc Hunter: The Reason I’m Donating to Kevin Marshall’s Charity
(Chuck Miller for Times Union)
“The doctor felt around my throat,” said Marc to reporter Pamela Lesmond, “and said, ‘You have a large cancer.’ I sort of didn’t hear anything for a minute. I was stunned. I just sat there.’ ...
“I’ve thought, ‘Everybody dies and I am going to die sooner or later,'” said Marc. “It’s pointless wondering things like, ‘Why me?’ because you could equally wonder, ‘Why not?’ I’ve had a niggling fear that all those years smoking cigarettes were coming home to roost. I am a very positive person. I am not trying to downplay the seriousness of it, but many people have had worse things happen to them.”
Within days, news of Marc’s throat cancer sent a shockwave through an Australian music industry that had just rebounded from INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence’s suicide. Quickly, various performers and bands gathered for a Dragon tribute concert, the profits from which would help defray Marc’s medical bills and provide for his two children. ....
“People were standing up and yelling and cheering and crying,” said Todd Hunter, “it was incredible. Marc sang, maybe for the last time, that song. These musicians’ incredible generosity was so phenomenal. There was a time when Marc thought nobody cared about his music. But he was amazed by what all these guys were doing, and it got to him in an incredible way.”
But Marc’s throat cancer continued. He needed the strength to undergo another operation, before the cancerous cells spread to his his brain and to his lungs. But his energy was low from previous surgeries and chemotherapy. Three weeks after the Melbourne concert, Hunter and his wife flew to Daera Chun, South Korea for one last option – an ancient healing process called Qi, which was a blend of meditation, diet and chun su massages.
Back in Australia, Marc Hunter’s situation spurred more fundraisers. A second benefit concert, this time in Sydney, featured another Who’s Who of Australian musical talent, past and present. Men At Work regrouped for the first time in a decade to perform at the concert. Members of InXs performed for the first time since the death of Michael Hutchence. Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett and Cold Chisel’s Jimmy Barnes duetted on Dragon hits “Dreams of Ordinary Men” and “Speak No Evil.”
“I have thought a lot about the possibility of dying,” said Marc at the time to the newsmagazine New Idea. “Now, I believe it doesn’t really matter when or where you die, but how you live your life. If somebody diagnoses you with cancer and tells you they are going to cut open your jaw and take out a tumor, you would panic unless you had something to sustain you. But my time with the Qi masters gave me a tap on the shoulder and reminded me we are spiritual beings.”
Marc Hunter passed away in his sleep on July 17, 1998. After his treatments at Daera Chun and the throat operation in Sydney, he spent the remaining months of his life in the company of his wife, children, family and close friends. He was only 44 years old.