The Director of Logistics at Design Miami since 2005, transplanted New Yorker Ty Bassett has embraced this town as his own. That’s why the doers in Miami have come together to support him in his battle for life after he was diagnosed with a rare stage IV cancer. With a little help from his friends and promotion from Gilt City Miami, Miami Magazine, and others, funds are being raised to get Bassett to the Texas-based MD Anderson Cancer Center where he can receive the treatment he needs.
At last night’s F*** Cancer event at the Moore Space, there were fake “f*** cancer” tattoos, drinks by Grey Goose, chow by Leon Leon, Mai Tardi and others, music by Mark Levinthal, and poems by the Poem Depot. It was a classy, laid-back affair. Bassett spoke with Niteside about his hopes and appreciation.
Do you miss New York?
I came down to South Florida initially to do parties with my ex-wife Susanne Bartsch which was in the early ‘90s. And I loved Miami. I always thought that if I ever left New York, the only other place that I would want to go to would be Miami.
What kind of cancer do you have?
I have synovial cell sarcoma. All sarcomas are rare. There’s about 15,000 sarcomas a year and there’s about 800 synovial cell sarcoma diagnosed in the US every year.
You’re raising money to get you to a better cancer center?
I’m getting treatment at MD Anderson and it’s gone phenomenally well. I just finished a round of chemotherapy on Monday and I’m here on Friday. When you have a sarcoma, there’s only five sarcoma centers in the states, and I have to be at a sarcoma center.
How do you feel about this event tonight?
I’m actually blown away.
You’ve given a lot to the community, do you feel like now the community is giving back to you?
You know, this sort of moment, it’s very humbling. The people have this sort of compassion, and so many people are willing to step up to the plate and to help has been an amazing thing. I knew I wanted to go to MD Anderson, I had no idea how I was going to afford it, and through this and through DACRA, who’s been an incredible employer and Design Miami and my fiance Jo, it’s made this happen. It’s really a blessing for us.
There’s a lot of tattoo art in here, the design of the logo. Are you into that?
Yeah, I think I’m a little bit of a rebel, so I’ve had lots of tattoos and I ride motorcycles and I think they just picked up that theme and ran with it and everyone’s having fun with it. This isn’t meant to be a depressing event, it’s meant to be a celebration and people are rocking and rolling and having a good time.