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“This is a good thing. We found it early and it is all fixable.”

Those are the words doctors told Pete and Amy Johnson when Pete was diagnosed with an ascending aortic aneurysm, bicuspid aortic valve, and aortic stenosis in 2015. Had medical experts not caught it early, Johnson might not be around to take part in the third Rock from the Heart in Fargo and Minneapolis this coming February.

In short, Johnson was suffering from a silent killer. Thoracic aortic aneurysms affect approximately 15,000 people in the United States each year. Up to 47,000 people die each year from all types of aortic disease, and 11 million Americans are living with heart valve disease, making aortic disease a silent epidemic.

It's become Rock from the Heart's mission to let the world know that while these conditions often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, the disease is treatable if found early and lives can be saved.

Johnson, for example, found out about his life-threatening condition during a routine physical. The doctor heard a heart murmur and said, “it might be nothing, but I’d like to check it out.” This wasn’t the first time Johnson has been told he had a heart murmur, but it had previously been brushed off as "innocent."

Rock from the Heart features Night Ranger in Fargo, Grand Funk Railroad in Minneapolis

Rock from the Heart will be held twice in 2022. First up, a night of heart health and rock n' roll will be held Feb. 11-12 in Fargo where arena rock legends Night Ranger will headline the show. 

As it turns out, Night Ranger's Kelly Keagy and Pete Johnson have a lot in common: both are drummers and both underwent open heart surgery in 2017. 

"Before Pete’s heart surgery in 2017, we saw Night Ranger perform in Fargo at Ribfest…two months after Kelly’s surgery. Pete was scheduled for open heart surgery later that summer and seeing Kelly on stage drumming gave us the hope that Pete was going to be okay. It was the first time since the diagnosis that we had felt hopeful for the future," Amy said.

Pete added: "That is why Night Ranger is the perfect fit for our event. Anyone who is living with heart disease can see two survivors up on stage, drumming a full set of rock and roll, and hopefully leave with hope that they, too, can lead a happy and healthy life after surgery."

Grand Funk Railroad will headline Rock from the Heart in Minneapolis on Feb. 25-26. The show will be held, as it has in past years, at the Pantages Theatre. 

Both the Fargo and Minneapolis events will happen over the course of two days, with the first day in each city featuring an aortic health symposium and a survivor's dinner. The second day in each city will include the V.I.P. pre-party followed by the rock concert. 

How to buy Night Ranger tickets for Fargo

Ticket prices for Night Ranger in Fargo concert range from $59 to $79 on the floor, or V.I.P seats for $175-$200. They can be purchased here. V.I.P. tickets include: 

  • Premium concert ticket in the 1st two rows or table seating on the mezzanine level
  • Access to the exclusive pre-show party at The Loft hosted by 107.9 The Fox
  • Private bar and restrooms
  • Two complimentary drink tickets
  • Free appetizers
  • Silent auction
  • Swag bags

How to buy Grand Funk Railroad tickets for Minneapolis

Tickets prices for Grand Funk Railroad in Minneapolis range from $49 to $69. You can buy them through Ticketmaster, by calling 1-800-982-2787, or in person at the State Theatre Box Office located at 805 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis.

V.I.P. pre-party tickets for the Minneapolis event on Feb. 26 cost $75. The pre-party will be held at SEVEN Steakhouse and Sushi (it's on the same block as Pantages Theatre) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. V.I.P. tickets get you access to: 

  • Appetizers
  • 1 free drink ticket
  • Cash bar
  • Silent auction
  • 50/50 raffle
  • Door prize drawings
  • Exclusive swag bags

Rock from the Heart's mission is to provide accurate information about thoracic aortic aneurysms, aortic dissection, and aortic valve disease by reaching out to the community through music.

Rock from the Heart wouldn't be possible without Essentia Health, 107.9 The Fox,  104.1 Jack FM and the Minnesota Vikings. 

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