EXCLUSIVE: THE PRIVATE WAR OF DOLLY PARTON
WHAT a doll! Bighearted DOLLY PARTON, deeply moved by her own cancer scare, has declared war on the deadly disease – beginning in her beloved home state of Tennessee.
Just months after undergoing experimental surgery as a preventive measure, the perky entertainer announced she will give a concert in East Tennessee in the spring to raise money for her campaign.
The “9 to 5” singer will use the proceeds from her Paint the Mountains Pink project to increase awareness of breast cancer and to help fund examinations, checkups and treatment for mountain women.
Money raised from the concert will be donated to the medical support group, the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, named for the physician who brought Dolly into the world.
Dolly’s legion of fans and admirers expect the event to be a huge success.
“Dolly really is one of the people here and they love her and support the things she says and the things she wants,” said her spokesman Ted Miller.
The concert will have special meaning for the country superstar.
The ENQUIRER recently revealed that Dolly, 67, who suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease, underwent a secret new surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., because of fears that the condition could easily lead to cancer.
Working through a series of five small incisions, surgeons installed a tiny ring of magnetic titanium beads around the junction of her stomach and esophagus. The ring of beads allows food to be swallowed but halts the flow of stomach acid back into the esophagus – a condition that can cause cancer if left untreated.
The procedure, expected to last two hours, took five because doctors found they had to remove extensive scar tissue, which was then biopsied for any sign of deadly esophageal cancer. Happily, Dolly got a clean bill of health.
The homespun “Steel Magnolias” star made sure the first to know about her concert were the folks of Sevierville, Tenn. – the town where she was born. In a prerecorded message played at a local fundraiser, she announced that the concert will help “pay for women in Sevier County that do not have insurance and can’t afford to have mammograms done.”
Dolly, who has not performed in the area for two years, will do more than sing. She’s donated a package of one-of-a-kind items to a fundraising auction for her cause. The grand prize: a guided limo tour for six of Nashville’s high spots – given by Dolly herself. They’ll enjoy accommodations at Dolly’s High Rise HideAway, plus a tour of her lake house and her private estate. They’ll also visit Nashville sites of historic significance to Dolly and partake in a catered dinner – hosted by Dolly.