It’s been 20 years since LA-based band Go Betty Go hit the music scene hard with their unique brand of Chicana pop-punk.
The acclaimed women’s group has toured North America and Europe, performed on multiple Warped tours, released 2005’s album Nothing Is More and 2015’s EP Reboot, and inspired younger women to pick up instruments and form bands.
Now, group veteran guitarist/songwriter Betty Cisneros has been diagnosed with stage IV cancer.
“It was around April when she went to the doctor and got the diagnosis,” said the band’s drummer Aixa Vilar. “Obviously it was just devastating for Betty, her family and all of us to hear Go Betty Go. We all knew she hadn’t been feeling well for a few months and we all know Betty is a little stubborn but damn strong.”
Vilar said family and friends insisted that Cisneros go to a doctor and be checked out. “It was definitely a shock to find out how advanced it was, but cancer is not a death sentence these days,” Vilar said. “And at least we know what it is and she’s getting the best treatment, so we’re all optimistic. She’s doing what she needs to do to get better and that’s what we’re focusing on.”
To help Cisneros focus on her recovery, her bandmates — Vilar, singer Niclolette Vilar, and bassist Michelle Rangel — have one GoFundMe, who has raised more than $44,000 towards her medical bills.
They also have a benefit show planned – Fight Betty Fight – in the Paramount in LA on July 3rd. The show will feature Go Betty Go, with Two Tens guitarist Adam Bones filling in for Cisneros, along with Johnny Madcap and the Distractions, and a special acoustic set by Linh Le and Jennie Cotterill of Bad Cop/Bad Cop , as well as special Guest Emily Valentine. One of Go Betty Go’s early contemporaries, the Dollyrots, will also take the stage.
“I’m so happy that all of our friends will be playing this benefit with us. 100 percent of the proceeds go to Betty’s medical expenses,” said Aixa Vilar. “The event will also be streamed live on YouTube for those unable to attend, along with a link to GoFundMe.”
Vilar said Go Betty Go was working on new music before Cisneros was diagnosed and even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the pandemic and now these health issues, it’s put new music on hold, but we had a new EP that we were working on and while we were in the studio Betty was diagnosed,” Vilar said. “It all depends on when Betty is well enough, when we move on. The difficult thing about Betty’s chemo is that it makes it difficult to play the guitar because one of the side effects is that her fingertips get sore and numb.”
With bandmates, family, friends and musicians all offering well wishes and prayers for her recovery, Cisneros knows the love and support she is receiving, Vilar said, adding that it makes a difference.
“All the love and messages we’ve received for Betty has been amazing. Betty may not reply to all messages, posts, and emails, but she reads them all; it gets their spirits up and makes them happy,” Vilar said. “She told us it gives her positivity, optimism and hope and brightens her days. Especially when she’s having bad days, that’s crucial.”
Vilar said that although Betty is struggling, she is a fighter and she wants people to know that there is hope. “Every fan, friend, band and family member who supports them makes a difference. She knows she’s not alone,” Vilar said.
Despite the difficult road ahead for Cisneros, the band has been there for them and each other. “We’re all very connected and united, it’s a sisterhood,” Vilar said.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2022-06-30/go-betty-go-cancer-fundraiser-betty-cisneros Punks rally for Go Betty Go benefit show for Betty Cisneros in her fight against cancer