SAFFORD — A little bit of Nashville is coming to the Gila Valley to help a young boy battling an immune disease.
The trio Due West will perform at the Safford Center for the Arts, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., with proceeds to help pay the medical costs for Seth Jacobson. The 9-year-old was recently diagnosed with Henoch-Schonlein pupura, or anaphylactoid pupura, which affects the joints and gastrointestinal tract and, in rare cases, can cause serious long-term damage to kidneys.
"Brad called with this idea to have Due West play a show to help us out," said Seth’s father, Tad Jacobson. “I was a little hesitant at first to let him and (the rest of the band) go to so much trouble for me, but he convinced me when he said, 'If the situations were reversed, what would you be doing for my family and me?' It was a no-brainer."
Seth Jacobson was admitted to University Medical Center in Tucson for the first time on Dec. 26 with intense abdominal pains, fever and joint swelling. Two days later, Seth was diagnosed with HSP. He returned home Dec. 27, only to have to be flown back in a helicopter four days later. Seth spent a total of six days at the Tucson hospital, causing him — and his history teacher father — to miss the first week of the school semester.
Though Seth's prognosis is extremely positive — doctors do not anticipate any long-term effects — the helicopter rides and costly treatments far exceeded the Jacobsons' insurance coverage, leaving them with a daunting mountain of medical bills.
Hull and Tad Jacobson have been friends since high school, both graduating in 1994 from Gila Valley schools, Hull from Thatcher and Jacobson from Safford. They attended one year at Eastern Arizona College together, and though career and family obligations have led them to near-opposite ends of the country, Tad said that they have remained close throughout the years.
"I'm honored and humbled that Brad and the guys are willing to do this for my family, though I can't say I'm surprised," Tad said. "It's just the type of guy he is and the type of friendship we have."
Due West is Hull's band, a singing trio currently based in Nashville, Tenn. Hull's two band mates, Matt Lopez and Tim Gates, began harmonizing when they met at a Nashville party, where all the guests were passing around an acoustic guitar and a familiar song more than 10 years ago.
In the subsequent years, the band has played numerous shows together in venues all over the country, including a handful of shows at the Safford Center for the Arts. The trio made its major country debut at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry Theater in September of last year, an experience that Hull called "an absolute dream come true."
The band's first album is set to be released later this year and will include its first Billboard top-100 single, "Things You Can't Do in a Car," which currently is available on iTunes.