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Benefit concert to help pay for funeral

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Dusty Gudmundson understands that he’s going to die.

The 27-year-old has battled muscular dystrophy his entire life. After suffering a heart attack in late May, doctors have told him his body would not recover, and that he only had weeks to live.

Gudmundson’s final wish is to have a traditional funeral and burial, something he cannot afford. So friends and family are banding together to try and raise the money to give him the ceremony he wants.

The “Going Home” benefit concert is from 3 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday at McSwain’s Smokehouse, 50 State Road 135, Bargersville. The event will include a daylong music festival, with performances by Evan Haughey, Frank Hommel & Friends and Rock & Roll Joe Roberts.

Rock acts Tumbling Dice, No Alternative and Sudden Impact will bring the festival home.

“One of his wishes is to have a normal funeral. They know he’s going to go, even though he’s fighting,” said Brian Hommel, Gudmundson’s cousin.

Gudmundson has defied a doctor’s prognosis in the past. He and his family were told he’d wouldn’t live past 20, then that he wouldn’t live past 25.

But he’s tried to make the most of his life while he can, Hommel said.

At age 20, he attended Ivy Tech Community College. Though he couldn’t walk or even breathe on his own, his mind was sharp, and he was able to talk.

That’s part of the motivation behind Hommel planning the fundraiser.

“I’m just trying to support them. A funeral is his final wish, and he deserves to have that,” he said.

Funds raised will go directly to Gudmundson’s funeral expenses, Hommel said. Any remaining money will go to help his family offset the massive health care expenses that they have incurred.

Besides the music, Hommel has planned a beanbag tournament, with donations to participate. A raffle is in the works, including some of Hommel’s own NASCAR collectibles.

He has also set up an account at Chase Bank in the name of Dustin Gudmundson.

Though the event is free, a $5 or more suggested donation is appreciated, Hommel said.

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