Reigning IBMA Dobro player of the year Phil Leadbetter announced on his Facebook page that his cancer has returned.
Leadbetter, 53, has been playing Dobro in bluegrass music since the 1980's when his band New Dawn performed at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville. Since then he has recorded several solo albums, recorded and toured as a member of J.D. Crowe & the New South, and currently performs with Dale Ann Bradley.
In 2011 Leadbetter was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He has been aggressively treated with chemotherapy and stem cell transplants; however, as he wrote on his Facebook page yesterday (7/10), "we've been hitting it really hard for four years now, and it seems to be getting more stubborn." He has detailed his fight on his web site.
Leadbetter is one of only three Dobro players to ever win the IBMA "Dobro player of the year" award since the award's inception in 1990. The other two are Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. Leadbetter was also the award's recipient in 2005.
Please keep this bluegrass great in your thoughts and prayers as he continues his fight against cancer.