Wood Family Tradition giving back

elijahAs we often remark, you can always count on bluegrass people to be the first in line whenever members of their community are in need.

It’s true again this week as North Carolina’s Wood Family Tradition is preparing to perform this weekend at a benefit concert for Elijah Aschbrenner, a 10 year old boy in the Statesville area who is nearing the end of a rough battle against a rare form of cancer.

Elijah was diagnosed in May 2014 with Epithelioid Sarcoma, a cancer so rare that only 500 cases have ever been found, and only 70 since 1970. His doctors say that he is the only child ever to suffer from this disease. Following chemo and radiation treatments, his health is rapidly failing. His father has taken a leave of absence from work to be with Elijah at all times, and the combination of that and the many medical expenses not covered by insurance are crippling the family.

So the Woods, along with Destination Bluegrass and Freedom Way Quartet, will perform on Saturday, October 24, from 11:00-3:00 p.m. at Lakewood Park in Statesville. They are asking only a $1 admission fee, which includes one raffle ticket for a gift basket filled with items from vendors at the event. Donations will, of course, be accepted.

Food will be available on site, along with other vendors, and a silent auction for a number of prizes will be held after the music. A large crowd is expected, as lots of folks in western North Carolina have taken Elijah’s battle to their hearts. His Facebook page has more than 44,500 likes, and his story has been related on ESPN, Today.com, NASCAR, and People.com.

Monies raised at Bluegrass & BBQ For Elijah will be shared with the Aschbrenner family, as will funds donated at a GoFundMe site established for this purpose.

Elijah is now in home hospice care, and is not expected to be able to attend the show.

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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.