Phil Collen of Def Leppard Auctions Off Guitar to Support Gerson!

Juice, Coffee Breaks, Rock ‘n Roll!

Three weeks ago, Jen Engeran, the Gerson Institute’s chef, wore a Def Leppard t-shirt to work, and was met with tons of compliments from our musically-minded staff. Check out Jen rocking her Def Leppard shirt in the photo above, with Liz in her Gerson tee!

Just two days later, I received a call from Melissa Cordero, who introduced herself as the publicist for Phil Collen, the lead guitarist for Def Leppard. She told me that Collen was interested in auctioning off a guitar to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and wanted some of the proceeds to go to the Gerson Institute. For a few seconds as I listened, I was suspicious that one of my friends might have set this up as a prank call. However, as Melissa continued talking, I realized this was real.

In 2012, Collen was approached by music store owner Jake Willoughby, who asked if he would help raise money and awareness for the fight against pancreatic cancer. Jake’s mother had recently passed away from pancreatic cancer after a long 13 month fight, and Phil’s father had passed away from the same disease in 2004.

Phil Collen with Wings (photo courtesy of

Jake donated a Collen signature guitar, the Jackson PC1 guitar, for Collen to play during Def Leppard’s upcoming US tour, and Mike Learn donated his expertise to do the custom paint job. Thus, “Wings” was born.

The guitar, which Collen is playing during Def Leppard’s current US tour, will be auctioned off on eBay, beginning on the 5th and ending on the last day of the tour September 14th. The winner will be announced in November, to coincide with Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Luckily for the Gerson Institute, Collen, who is a vegan and a fitness guru, had already learned of the Gerson Therapy from Jeni Cook, a raw foods chef and the wife of Sex Pistols’ and Manraze drummer, Paul Cook. After watching The Gerson Miracle, Collen was impressed by the Therapy and wished he had known about this alternative when his own father was battling cancer.

Collen has decided to donate all the proceeds from the auction to the Gerson Institute! Not only will the sale of Wings be a much-appreciated donation, Collen’s decision to promote the Gerson Therapy and raise awareness about alternative treatments is priceless.

For more information on the auction and images of “Wings”, visit, and you can check out the auction and even bid on “Wings” on eBay! And please go to Phil’s Facebook page and let him know how incredibly awesome it is that he is supporting Gerson!

by Mikhaela Payden-Travers

Mikhaela is the Gerson Institute’s Development Coordinator, managing the Institute’s various fundraising programs. A grassroots fundraiser with experience working for small organizations in the United States, Guatemala and Mexico, Mikhaela joined the Institute in the summer of 2009.

She is currently enrolled in the Nonprofit Management Masters program at the University of San Diego, but when she’s not at school or at the Institute, she enjoys running, reading Umberto Eco and rescuing Tijuana street dogs.

From rock n’ roll vice to veggies and rice! Phil Collen has adopted a vegan diet and is now a vocal supporter of nutrition and wellness. Do you think in the future we will see a day where the “rock ‘n roll lifestyle” is synonymous with a healthy lifestyle?


3 Responses to “Phil Collen of Def Leppard Auctions Off Guitar to Support Gerson!”
  1. TINO says:

    Wonderfull guitar and a great guitarrist, from a legendary rock band.
    Great move Phill. Yeah

  2. Doug Cox says:

    Wonderful guitar and a great guitar painter, from the legendary airbrush master, Mike Learn. Lets hope the guitar brings a million dollars for Gerson.

  3. Nicko says:

    Bravo Phil tu as fais le bon choix ! J’espère que d’autres artistes feront comme toi !


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