In 2002, Sean McGrath was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer. He fought long and hard for recovery for two years and sadly lost that battle in 2004. Shortly after his diagnosis his good friends and bandmates rallied around Sean and organized the “Hold On To Your Friends” benefit concert at Irving Plaza in New York City to help with his expenses. The concert featured the bands Thursday, Midtown, The Movielife, and Taking Back Sunday. His friends continued to raise money and to help Sean in many other ways throughout his struggle. Sadly, two years to the day after that benefit show, we were attending Sean’s wake in south Jersey.
Sean was a former colleague and Chicago City Limits classmate of Bruce’s as well as a founding member of New Jersey bands Saves The Day, Mouthpiece, and Hands Tied. Jessie and Sean had first met ten years earlier, and were living together along with two cats in a studio apartment in Brooklyn at the time of his diagnosis.
When we lost Sean, we wanted to do something positive with our leftover funds, in his name and spirit. To do so, Bruce and his fiancée Jessie founded The Sean McGrath Fund under the auspices of the Princeton Area Community Foundation on the first anniversary of his death.