Anita Cochran

Award-winning country music artist and songwriter Anita Cochran will perform with special guests Jamie O’Neal and Heidi Newfield, formerly of the Trick Pony American country music group, on Friday at 7 p.m. in a cancer benefit concert at The Honeysuckle, located at Twin Creeks Marina and Resort in Winchester. Tickets are $50, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The Honeysuckle is located at 91 Slip-A Way in Winchester. Find tickets at theloveanchorsfund.simpletix.com.

Award-winning Nashville recording artist and songwriter Anita Cochran will perform in concert Friday at The Honeysuckle pavilion at Twin Creeks Marina and Resort in Winchester.

Straybranch Productions will present a breast cancer benefit concert titled “Fight Like A Girl” on Friday at Twin Creeks Marina and Resort.

Cochran, best known for her No. 1 hit “What If I Said,” a duet with Steve Wariner, will be performing with special guests Jamie O’Neal and Heidi Newfield, formerly of the Trick Pony American country music group. Fans will be treated to three powerhouse vocalists on Friday.

The Love Anchors Fund

Proceeds from ticket sales of Cochran’s cancer fundraising event will go to The Love Anchors Fund, a charity she founded to help provide funding for breast cancer research as well as for breast cancer patients in need.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee manages the fund and distributes money to a variety of breast cancer organizations.

Cochran explains the motivation behind her charity.

“I started The Love Anchors Fund to help raise money not only for breast cancer research but to also help patients who are in financial need when they are going through their breast cancer journey,” she said.

Cancer diagnosis

Cochran, who was diagnosed with triple-positive invasive breast carcinoma in 2017, said she has been the beneficiary of some charities when she was so sick and couldn’t work.

“Starting this charity,” she said, “was a way for me to try to pay it back. So many people can’t work because they are too sick like I was, but your bills still come. The last thing you need to worry about is losing your house or your utilities being cut off. This is our first event to try to raise money for this charity so it’s very close to my heart.”

She explains what happened after discovering a lump in her breast during a self-examination.

 “I called the doctor the next morning and went in for testing,” she said.  

After spending the first week going in every day for more tests, she got the dreaded news.

“When they told me I had breast cancer, I was in complete shock,” Cochran recalls. “I never thought I would get breast cancer. This isn’t something that I inherited. It didn’t run in my family. The information that all the doctors and nurses were telling me was too overwhelming.”

She was in and out of a doctor’s office for 24 days during that first month after diagnosis.

“I didn’t sleep one wink for a solid month,” she said. “I was so scared and had to make so many important decisions so quickly.”

Cochran was scheduled to have chemo treatments every three weeks for a year. She spent almost two years getting through all the treatments and surgeries.

“I’ve learned so much about myself—what I can and what I can’t take,” she said.

Cancer survivor

Cancer survivors often say their outlook on life changes and it was true for Cochran.

“I no longer fret the little things in life and try to live a stress-free life as much as I can,” she said. “Being on the water definitely helps with that.”

Cochran is no stranger to Franklin County. In fact, she has been visiting Tims Ford Lake for more than 20 years.

“I love this lake, the towns nearby, the country roads and I’ve made some really close friends here,” Cochran said. “When I’m not on the road touring, I’m usually here on the lake. I love water. It’s very soothing to me; helps me to relax from everything.”

Cochran has been cancer free since July 2018. While in the midst of her cancer battle, Cochran penned a new single, “Fight Like A Girl.” She explains the idea behind the song.

“I wrote ‘Fight Like A Girl’ just after my fifth chemo treatment for breast cancer,” Cochran said. “I was so sick I was going to call my doctor and tell her I was too sick and that I was going to have to stop doing chemo.”

It was then, at her weakest point, feeling like she couldn’t take one more treatment, she found the inspiration for her song.

“I woke up the next morning and felt a little bit better. I looked around my life and said, ‘No, I’m not quitting. I have a great life and I’m going to do whatever I can to live!’”

Fight Like A Girl

Instead of calling her doctor to tell her she was quitting chemo, Cochran wrote the song “Fight Like A Girl.”

“When your life is almost taken from you, it’s the scariest place to be,” she explained. “I fight for me, but also fight for those who are going to go through breast cancer or have already been through it.”

As a songwriter, Cochran said it’s very common for her to put her life into song.

“That’s why I wrote ‘Fight Like A Girl.’ I needed a theme song for me to continue my fight and I hope that the song helps inspire others to not give up their fight no matter what their battle is.”

Cochran now shares what she knows to help anyone that has or will battle this disease.

“I had many people help me through my cancer journey,” Cochran said. “This is my way to celebrate my life and to give back. I hope to be a part of something that stops breast cancer once and for all. Every dollar counts. That’s why I started The Love Anchors Fund.”

She urges everyone to give back to others whenever possible.

“I encourage everyone to seek out meaningful opportunities to give back and do something. It really does make a difference!”

Opportunities to share message of hope

In January 2019, Cochran was thrilled to be invited to perform “Fight Like A Girl” on the “Good Morning America” television show, where she was introduced by anchor Robin Roberts.

To see the video from that performance visit her website at AnitaCochran.com.

Cochran is thankful for any opportunity to give back through her charity.

“I would like to say a big thank-you to Ken Howell at Twin Creeks for asking me if they could sponsor a music/breast cancer event to help raise money for my charity at their new venue,” she said. “They have built a beautiful, new, intimate, covered pavilion by the water called The Honeysuckle and this will be their first music event in that venue. I’m so proud and honored that they have offered proceeds to go to my charity.”

The proprietors of Twin Creeks Marina said they hope this concert will be the first of many fundraising concert events at The Honeysuckle which is set up to allow fans to enjoy the fresh air next the Tims Ford Lake while also providing lots of space to socially distance.

Hosting the concert will be TV and radio personality Suzanne Alexander.

Tickets are $50 and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday with the concert set to begin at 7 p.m. The Honeysuckle is located at 91 Slip-A Way in Winchester.

“Fight Like a Girl” is available for digital download and streaming from most major music retailers. Proceeds from download sales benefit The Love Anchors Fund.

If you cannot attend the concert, but want to donate to The Love Anchors Fund, go to www.cfmt.org/giving-and-investing/become-a-donor/give-to-a-fund/the-love-anchors-fund/.