The show must go on this Sunday

Grief is one of the toughest psychological tests to overcome in life.

When you lose someone, all you have is the choice to either crumble, or to look to the next day and try to carry on despite the sadness inside.

That nearly-impossible task of moving forward, instead of standing still, is what guitarist Mark Bowman and his family are dealing with as he prepares to play a live set Sunday afternoon in Hoquiam. Mark and his music partner Bruce Moore, who make up The Catahoula Hounds, will play from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hoquiam Brewing Company (HBC) — 526 8th St., in order to help out Dawn Keogh. Keogh has been fighting stage-4 peritoneal cancer, which attacks the lining of the abdomen.

This is her second time dealing with the life-altering illness. She faced “3C colon cancer” between 2018 and 2019. The cancer came back and metastasized to the peritoneum.

While Mark said he doesn’t personally know Keogh, he’s trying to help save a life as much as he can in the name of his daughter, Tiffany Bowman. Tiffany, 37, died Oct. 24, after enduring a two-year bout with stage-4 melanoma. As Mark put it, “It’s really not just about skin cancer,” when it comes to melanoma.

“It goes everywhere, it’s a very deadly cancer,” Mark said. “She fought it for two years, almost to the day. She beat it back for a couple … and then it just came running. They couldn’t stop it. It just ravaged her poor body.”

And yet, a month after one of the hardest losses a person can endure, the loss of a child, Mark’s show must go on. That’s what Tiffany would have wanted.

“We decided it would be a nice act of decency,” Mark said. “My daughter would have really appreciated it. She would have been all for that. She was all about other people and helping them. So that’s kind of the way it got started.”

The original plan was to play a series of shows to raise funds for Tiffany’s cancer fight. Mark and Moore had already played a gig at Red Cedar Beer Bar. HBC was the next planned show.

Then Tiffany succumbed to one of the toughest strains of cancer there is, including “over a dozen tumors in her brain” — according to the GoFundMe page the Bowmans set up for Tiffany’s “final expenses.” The donations surpassed the family’s goal and Bowman posted a heartfelt “Thank You” to the people who donated.

Despite the loss of his daughter, Mark still wanted to help someone deal with one of the worst illnesses on Earth, so he reached out to Sativa Miller, HBC’s bar manager. He also spoke to his family about playing.

“We decided we would go ahead and still play music and have the fundraiser for someone who needed it,” Mark said. “And so she said she knew of a woman battling cancer too, Dawn Keogh. And so we went ahead with it from there. We’re hoping it will help her out as much as we possibly can with finances and whatever, because I know how expensive it is to travel back and forth to Seattle to Fred Hutchinson (Cancer Center) and places like that.”

Mark said he and Moore will start doing more of this type of benefit for cancer fighters.

“We’ll see if we can maybe get it going a little bit to get some kind of help for the people who need it,” Mark said.

Miller commended Mark’s commitment.

“It’s very sweet that he’s doing it in her honor to help someone else in the community,” Miller said.

Dawn Keogh

Fortunately, Keogh had some amazing news to report on Wednesday.

“The fight has been won today,” Keogh said. “I completed my 12 cycles of chemo and then I had my humongous surgery on Nov. 8, when they opened me up from the ribs down to below the belly button. They opened me up and searched everything and everywhere.”

Keogh also received a heated chemo bath — the technical name is the Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy, according to the University of Chicago.

Keogh then said at her post-operation visit on Tuesday that her oncology surgeon Dr. Jeremy Sharib said “the pathology came back from surgery and there’s no evidence of disease. It’s all gone.”

“It was a miracle,” Keogh said.

Keogh also thanked Dr. Sharon Cohen, who has been her oncologist. She said Cohen and Sharib, and the rest of their staff, make “quite the team.”

While the cancer is no longer, it could still come back because the cancer remission window lasts at least five years. Even if it doesn’t return, the hospital bills still exist and they can be extremely crushing for most people. So, it’s why a fundraiser like the one for Keogh is so important.

Despite Keogh’s good news, it makes her sad to know Tiffany is no longer here since she was only 37.

Miller had a few words about Keogh, who she first met as a customer at HBC.

“Dawn is one of my regular customers at the brewery,” Miller said. “She started out as a customer and became a friend. Before her cancer treatments, she would come in once a week, later in the evening, when it is a bit quieter so that she can read or we can catch up while she eats.”

Keogh’s number of trips to the brewery have decreased.

“Lately, she’s only been able to come in when she’s feeling up to it,” said Miller, who also spoke about how giving Keogh is. “She’s always bringing me gifts including dried lavender from her garden and her homemade bath salts, which I love to use after a long day on my feet at the brewery.”

Perhaps those gifts are to thank Miller for bringing Keogh delicious home-cooked meals. Keogh loves Miller’s cooking.

Mark is glad HBC will host the event.

“They’re so kind at the brewery, Patrick Durney and Sativa, to go forward with this,” Mark said.

Keogh spoke about what Mark and HBC’s fundraiser means to her.

“It was totally out of the blue and unexpected, and so very generous of Mark and Sativa,” Keogh said. “I did suggest that Mark might need the funds to help pay for his daughter’s bills because the bills don’t stop just because you’ve passed on. But, Sativa said Mark and his daughter’s mother talked about it and decided this is what they want to do. I’m touched by the generosity of strangers.”

Keogh’s impressed by HBC’s community work. She said because of the work the brewery does, it’s more like a community center than a brewery to her.

How about the music?

“We’re old guys, so we play ‘60s and ‘70s music, the old Top-40 that is now called classic rock,” Mark said.

Mark plays both a 12-string and 6-string acoustic guitar and he’s in charge of most of the vocals. Moore plays bass. They play without a drummer.

“We just play stuff we can pull off that way,” Mark said.

Count Miller as a fan of the duo’s music.

“I have seen both Mark and Bruce playing in bands over the years,” Miller said. “They did a fundraiser at Red Cedar last month for Mark’s daughter. They played out in the beer garden and it was a lot of fun. They do a great mix of ‘70s bangers.”

Miller said she’s seen the duo play hits from The Band, The Rolling Stones, Steve Miller, and others.

“Good stuff,” Miller said.

His daughter, Tiffany

In addition to being a loving mother to her son Zayden, sister to her twin Megan Judy, daughter to her parents and siblings, partner to “the love of her life” Patrick Strunk, and close friends with Ashley Friberg, Tiffany loved Grays Harbor and the people who live there.

“Tiffany was the kindest person,” Mark said. “She had so many people who she knew who loved her. We’re having a celebration of life for her on Dec. 2.”

According to Tiffany’s obituary, which Mark strongly recommended to give a read to get more insight on his daughter, she affected a lot of people during her life.

“Tiffany touched so many people with her kindness and understanding,” the obituary states. “She was not a pretentious person, always had a smile for everyone.”

Thankful for the support

In addition to the physical treatment for cancer, Keogh has also needed support.

“One of the many support systems that have helped me through, since this is my second cancer journey, is an outfit called Harmony Hill in Union, Washington,” Keogh said. “They hold three-day cancer retreats for free for cancer patients and a caregiver. I did that in November 2019 and it turned my whole life around. It helped me get a handle on the cancer picture and hanging out with other cancer patients and caregivers.”

Keogh scheduled another retreat that will happen in January so she can start 2024 on the right foot.

“It was Kim Roberts from Westport Winery who told us about Harmony Hill, because she walked the cancer journey,” Keogh said. “She said she thought she was totally prepared. We all think we’re ready and we’ve got this and we know all the things to do, but then you enter that journey and so much is missing, so many tools I didn’t have.”

To reach Harmony Hill Healing Retreat, go to

How to donate to the fundraiser

“We suggest everyone bring cash for donating and (for) the silent auction,” Miller said. “We added her PayPal in case people want to donate online.”

The silent auction at this point will include two art photos —11 inches by 14 inches — from Miller, an electric toothbrush from Rupert Family Dentistry, a gift card donated by The Tap Room, plus other gift baskets and gift cards. Miller also said other local businesses have donated this week, too. HBC will also be adding a donation too.

Keogh’s lesson

After facing a deadly disease twice, Keogh’s mission is to enjoy life more.

“The lesson I learned is to live more slowly and more thoroughly,” Keogh said. “I really treasure the days and the nights now and the people around me.”

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at