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Aspiring physicians help fight outbreak

Cary Brothers knows a thing or two about providing the soundtrack for dramatic medical situations.

So, it was fitting the singer-songwriter known for his music on shows like Grey’s Anatomy played a few songs to help a group of third-year students at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine raise funds to support health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My brother and sister-in-law live in Roanoke, and my nieces grew up there, so I have a special connection with that city,” said Brothers, who lives in Los Angeles. “When my brother reached out about performing to help raise money to get PPE for local health care workers, it took me all of one second to say, ‘Yes.’”

Brothers’ performance capped more than a dozen musical acts featured in the Southwest Virginia Covid-19 Response Force’s online open mic night fundraiser, on April 17. The group, founded by a handful of third-year medical students, raised more than $1,100 in donations and T-shirt sales that night, which have helped fund 1,000 FDA-approved KN95 masks and 500 surgical masks for local health care professionals.

“It was a wonderful way to interact with the greater Roanoke, southwestern Virginia community and the live music scene here while supporting our cause,” said Ayesha Kar, a third-year student.

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