John Miller medical fund and guitar giveaway

millerSome of John Miller’s bluegrass friends have started a fund drive to help him deal with the financial costs of fighting cancer and not being able to perform for a while.

The idea grew out of discussions between Mike Conner, who plays with John in The Travelers, Eastman Strings rep Tim Finch, who employs John in the Eastman String Band, and David Morris, John’s songwriting partner and a correspondent for Bluegrass Today.

“John and Mike and John and Tim have a lot more music to play together, and John and I have a lot more songs to write,” Morris said. “The doctors can do great things treating this form of cancer. We just need to help John and his wife, Cathy, pay the bills while he’s undergoing treatment and is unable to perform.”

Checks made out to John Miller can be sent to him in care of:

Carter Bank and Trust
370 Arbor Drive
Christiansburg, VA 24073

Every donor will be entered in a drawing to win an Eastman E10D guitar, the same model John plays on stage and in the studio. Eastman Strings is donating the instrument to honor John, who endorses the company’s guitars, and John will sign the label.

Tim said lining up the guitar donation was the least he could do. “John’s not just a member of our band, he’s a member of our family.”

Eastman E10D

The drawing for the guitar will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Eastman Strings booth at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass conference and festival in Raleigh, NC, and will be shipped to the winner from there.

As an added feature of the fundraising effort, Tim will cut off Morris’s hair that day – all of it – if at any point during the fund drive an individual donates or raises at least $500 on John’s behalf. “I’m rather attached to my hair, but it’s a small price for me to pay, and a great cause, so I’m actually rooting for this to happen,” Morris said.

John begins chemotherapy and radiation treatments this week for tongue cancer that is also present in some lymph nodes in his neck. “I’m ready for whatever comes,” he said. “I really feel so much care and concern right now from everyone.” John has been involved in benefits for other musicians who have fallen on hard times, but said he never expected to be the one needing help. “It’s something you don’t think about. It’s kind of shocking.”

John is willing to talk to others who are dealing with cancer, and urges anyone with questions or concerns to contact him through his Facebook page.

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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.

  • David Morris

    I’ve never had a price on my head before. But if having my head shaved will make me play like Sammy Shelor or Frank Solivan, I’m all for it. I only hope Tim Finch’s clippers are sharp!

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  • Jim McKinney

    Just go ahead on & Kiss your Hair “Bye-Bye!”, Dave!!! The check is ALREADY in the Mail, Ol’ Buddy, Ol’ Pal o’ Mine as well as a detailed email to Tim with Additional/Very Special Tonsorial Instructions & Guidelines…I didn’t want to leave ya in a quandary, just a-wonderin’/worryin’ over whether or not it’s gonna happen – it’s a Done Deal! ;>) Heh! Heh!! Heh!!!

    Godspeed, John !!!

    • John Miller

      Hey Jim! how much change do I owe You back as this will be worth paying my part just to support David loosing his hair! Ahh those pretty dark locks of hair! By the way Dave I love the line “I had a feeling this was going to end baldly” That is why You and are lyrical Genius.
      No Seriously, I sincerely want to thank Everyone You know who You are (I know I do for all the support)! I have had I’m sure hundreds of prayers if not Thousands of Prayers going up on my behalf and I just want You guys to know the value I hold on this! JOHN

  • David Morris

    Thanks Jim. I had a feeling this was going to end baldly!