Updated: Song by Chilliwack band grabs top spot on charts

The song was launched as a fundraiser for a sweet Chilliwack toddler and now it's topping the iTunes charts.

Chilliwack toddler Lilee-Jean has been diagnosed with glioblastoma – an aggressive form of brain cancer.



The song Pray (for LJ) started as an idea to raise some money for BC Children’s Hospital out of sheer love for a sweet Chilliwack toddler battling cancer.

It hit the number one position on iTunes top songs Friday and the members of Chilliwack band Pardon My Striptease are beyond thrilled.

“Waking up to be #1 on all of iTunes. We never thought this would happen at all, Pardon My Striptease drummer Dylan Weightman said. “This was only an idea to raise some money out of love.”

Earlier this week, Pardon My Striptease and Nickelback were vying for the top spot on the iTunes rock charts this week.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Weightman. “We didn’t really think we could do it.”

The downloading of PMS song, Pray, a charity fundraiser for BC Children’s Hospital, knocked Nickelback’s new single, When We Stand Together, off the number one spot on the iTunes rock charts on Thursday morning.

The local indie band had also challenged the stadium rockers to match the funds they’re raising for Children’s on Wednesday night.

Nickelback responded officially online Thursday night to tell everyone that they’re accepting the fundraising challenge. And they upped the ante.

“We’re moved by the efforts of Pardon My Striptease to raise money for B.C. Children’s Hospital and are happy and excited to take part,” said Chad Kroeger, on the Nickelback website.

“As such, Nickelback will be donating $50,000 to the BC Children’s Hospital and we invite both the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun to each join with us and match our pledge.

Nickelback members wanted to do something locally.

“Being in our own backyard, the story of Lilee-Jean Putt’s fight really hit home.

“But, most importantly we don’t want anyone to lose sight of what this is really about. This is about helping Lilee-Jean Putt and so many other children receiving world-class care at our own BC Children’s Hospital. We are hopeful others will join us.”

Chilliwack has really come through for Lilee and the PMS song link went up the iTunes charts with viral-like verve in just three days due to heavy link sharing on Twitter and Facebook.

“The support from our community of Chilliwack has been second to none,”  Lilee’s mom, Chelsey Whittle told The Progress. “The people have rallied around a baby they don’t know, and a family they know a little. It really rekindles our faith in mankind.”

Many donors were happy to help the family, and Children’s, ever since they heard that PMS singer Andrew Putt and Chelsey Whittle’s toddler, Lilee-Jean Putt, was stricken with a rare kind of brain cancer. She underwent surgery and is receiving her second round of chemo treatments at the Children’s.

Lilee celebrated her first birthday on Monday, Dec. 5, the same day the single, Pray, was released on iTunes.

All the proceeds from the sale of the song Pray (for LJ) are going to the hospital.

The family was relieved to spend the day at home in Chilliwack Thursday.

Today they go for an MRI that tells them if Lilee’s chemo has been successful, so spending any time outside of the hospital is welcome at this point.

“It’s so rejuvenating,” Whittle said. “We are hoping, with fingers and toes crossed, that we’ll be home for Christmas and that we won’t be readmitted over the weekend.”

To be able to celebrate “over anything right now” is a blessing, she said.

“We take it upon ourselves to do it every day,” Whittle said. “Lilee touched so many lives and she’s only a year and a couple days old.

“She’s already doing more for society than I could ever hope to. So we’re pushing cancer aside for now to focus on helping and rejoicing.”

They’re so grateful to the hospital for taking care of their needs during the stress of cancer treatments.

“The people at the Children’s are incredible,” Whittle said.

“They have someone to help with everything.

“I’m so happy that my family is able to do something to give back to the Children’s, and the fact that the song has gone viral, is so overwhelming.

“It’s probably the best Christmas gift that we’ll get. I don’t think we can adequately express our gratitude for everything, but we are so very grateful.”

To buy the .99 cent song Pray (for LJ) go to http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/pray-for-lj-single/id483258496.

To hear the song, check out the video link at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swakuk8zdqg.

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