Dave Vaught suffering from pre-cancererous disease

Dave VaughtThe VW Boys have been fixtures at festivals throughout the southern US for many years. Mixing comedy, magic and bluegrass has been their theme, along with “possum songs.” Their biggest number over the years has consistently been Five Pounds Of Possum, and at one point some years ago they would have a giant possum character roam through the crowd while performing on stage. Great fun.

This news about the VW Boys is not so much fun. Founding member, guitarist Dave Vaught has developed a medical condition known as Barrett’s Esophagus, where the cells that form the lining of the lower esophagus transform into the type of cells normally found in the intestines. This disease is often a precursor to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma, and is treated aggressively to prevent the onslaught of this deadly cancer.

Vaught has undergone surgery to cut out a mass, and will require laser treatments regularly for the rest of his life to zap any reoccurrence of rogue cells. He is insured, but his friends and fellow VW Boys, Tim White and Fat Albert Blackburn, are trying to raise some cash to supplement what insurance pays, and help compensate for time away from work. Dave is a professional entertainer, working as a magician in addition to shows with the band.

A benefit concert was held this past weekend in Bristol, VA where more than $4500 was raised. They are hopeful of raising a few thousand more to supplement the Dave Vaught Medical Fund, established at First Bank and Trust. Donations can be made at any bank branch, or online through a PayPal link on the VW Boys web site.

Friends and fans can send a note (or a donation) to Dave at the following address:

Dave Vaught
507 Hickory Road
Bristol, TN 37620

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.