A beloved glassblower from Las Vegas fights for his life.
Of all the maladies out there, few are as terrifying as brain tumors. They often go undiagnosed until late in the game and are notoriously dangerous and invasive to treat. Such is the case with a glassblower named Bob Dillingham, better known to the cannabis community as Dr. Bobalicious.
The cousin of Creative Artisans/Dopeass Glass owner Phat Jack, Bob is a beloved figure on the Las Vegas glass scene and a dear friend of my wife April. Years ago, when she was living in Vegas, Bob was one of the few friends who was there for her during some rough times—keeping her company when her power was shut off, and helping her pack when she moved to New York. Each March, he’d drive out to Austin to hang with us at the Doobie Awards, and in 2010 he even designed the trophies (musical notes with cannabis leaves on them). When April and I got married in 2011, Bob flew in for the wedding and gave us a custom-made copper-fused chalice as a gift, from which we drank wine during the ceremony.
The last time I saw Bob was when we visited Vegas in August 2013. Over the course of a few hours (and as many beers) down on Fremont Street, I got to know him in a way I hadn’t before. His shyness melted away, and his dry sense of humor emerged—and I realized why April cared for him so much.
Shortly after that visit, we found out about Bob’s condition. After suffering from headaches, he went to the doctor and learned that he had a massive tumor growing on his brain stem. There were so many nerves and veins running through and around the tumor that doctors were afraid they might not be able to remove it. Bob’s family consulted top specialists in the field, including Dr. Neil Martin at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center at UCLA (the most advanced brain center in the country), who admitted it was the worst tumor he’d ever encountered. On October 16—one day after his 30th birthday—Bob went through a 13-hour surgery to have it removed. The operation was mostly successful, but since then it’s been one challenge and complication after another. Back and forth from Vegas to LA and hospital to hospital, in and out of consciousness, numerous fluid drains, inserting and removing shunts, pneumonia and a dozen different surgeries. Through it all, Bob has remained somewhat responsive, but unable to speak or move much more than his fingers and eyelids. His family and friends can tell that Bob’s still in there, though, and they haven’t left his side or given up hope.
To show support and raise money for his treatment and expenses, his family created the #TeamBob hashtag, Facebook group and GoFundMe.com account. As of press time, they’ve raised just over half of their $10,000 goal. To help, I designed a Team Bob logo—a figure blowing a rainbow-colored brain (Bob’s Brainbow)—which has now been made into stickers, T-shirts, baseball caps and hatpins, all of which are being sold at cannabis trade shows like Champs and the Cannabis Cup.
Bob’s ordeal has been unimaginable, and it’s far from over—but with the love and support of his family and the cannabis community, we believe he will make it. If you’d like to help, you can donate at gofundme.com/teambob-dillingham, or purchase some Team Bob merch at the next Cup.
Hang in there, buddy—we’re all rooting for you.