Meet Michelle Laroque; she is the loving and beautiful wife of Steve Harwell, lead singer of the music band Smash Mouth, the San Jose based band created in 1990 and famous for songs like I’m a Believer, Pacific Coast Party, Walkin’ on the Sun, among others.
Michelle Laroque and Steve Hardwell have been married for over a decade, together they have been through the good and the bad times.
Presley Scott Harwell
They were overjoyed when their son Presley Scott was born on January 26, 2001; they supported each other when their six-month-old son was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia.
“Presley was totally healthy. We thought he was teething. I noticed his stomach was swollen and hard. I usually tickled him and he’d crack up, but he started crying a little bit and he had a glassy look in his eyes.”
Michelle took Presley to the doctor and there she received the terrible diagnosis, Steve got ready to leave to go on tour.
When I was changing planes I got a phone call from Michele,” says Harwell. “Of course she didn’t want to freak me out and tell me too much. She just said, ‘You got to come home, Presley’s sick.’ When I got home, the doctor was waiting for me, and I knew it was bad.”
“Presley’s white blood cell count was 400,000. Normal is about 16,000,” says Harwell. “He had such a rare case in how fast it attacked his system. They changed his blood and got the white cell count down to about 30,000. Suddenly, the doctors were thinking maybe he was going to turn around.”
“I spent the night at the hospital and he seemed OK, but his potassium level got so high, it stopped his heart. They ended up putting him on dialysis and that started working and things started looking better, but his heart was so weak. It all happened in a matter of a few hours.”
Presley fought till the end, he died on July 29, 2001.
“After Presley crashed the first time, it took them so long to get him back that his brain swelled,” says Harwell.
“We knew we weren’t going to get him back. His eyes weren’t dilating and we knew things were taking a turn for the worse. It just got to the point to where we didn’t want to keep putting him through all that. Michele and I decided to take him off of the machines. The little guy fought as hard as he could.”
After he died, Harwell and Michelle Laroque created The Presley Scott Research Foundation for Leukemia, which is run by Mrs. Laroque.