Soup Kitchen Boys: A Duo of Hope and Fun

The Soup Kitchen BoysThe Soup Kitchen Boys: Phil (left) plays the guitar while
Erik (right) shares uplifting stories with the Asheville, N.C.,
Support Group.

When you hear the words “soup kitchen,” do you picture two guys and a banjo? Meet Erik Nordgren and Phil Preston: two everyday American men who have found harmony in their lives as the singing duo, the Soup Kitchen Boys.

Erik is a PH patient, and Phil is also coping with a chronic lung disease. Erik, a retired pastor and storyteller, met Phil, a musician, at a “Better Breathers” meeting. The two men found commonalities in each other and decided to create a singing and storytelling duo that would travel to support group meetings and offer their joy and cheer.

Liz Brigham, leader of the Asheville, N.C., support group, describes having the duo perform at her meeting in May. “They sang uplifting folk songs, and the group loved it! Our members loved it so much that they would run out to their cars to change their oxygen and come right back in. It was a jam-packed meeting. Everyone was singing!”

Erik told stories about having a positive attitude and how that can really shape your perspective about living with such a condition. He shared personal experiences with the group, saying that although the road may seem tough at times, carry on and keep fighting. He also sang while Phil strummed along.

Erik says the mission of the Soup Kitchen Boys is to entertain and encourage those who are experiencing a loss of physical vibrancy. “We know firsthand that loss can lead to depression and further medical complications,” he says. To counteract this, Erik and Phil have taken it upon themselves to bring positive messages, especially to people struggling with issues that compromise their quality of life.

The Soup Kitchen Boys came to the Asheville group at the right time. Liz says the group had recently experienced the loss of a devoted member and were caught in a whirlwind of grief. “One of our members had died only about 10 days before this meeting,” she says. It came as a surprise, then, when this woman’s husband and son came to the meeting and joined in the singing. “I was shocked to see them, to say the least. But the singing and cheerfulness of the meeting helped us with our sadness and grief,” she says.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of Pathlight.

The information provided on the PHA website is provided for general information only. It is not intended as legal, medical or other professional advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified professionals who are familiar with your individual needs.

For the best viewing experience of this site, it is recommended that you use Internet Explorer 8 or 9 or Firefox.

© 2014 Pulmonary Hypertension Association. All Rights Reserved.

801 Roeder Road, Ste. 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910   Patient-to-Patient Support Line: 1-800-748-7274
Webmaster@PHAssociation.org
    Privacy Policy   Virtual Tour of Website    Provide Feedback & Report Bugs

Designed by Matrix Group International, Inc.®

NORD

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.