Country Duo Branch & Dean Use Their Music to Raise Awareness of CF and Honor Branch's Son
Dean Scallan and Steve Branch of Tennessee comprise the country music duo Branch & Dean. Branch’s son, Theron Henry Branch, died of CF in 2013 at the age of 23. Branch & Dean are National Celebrity Ambassadors for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Learn more about Branch and Dean and watch the music video for their song “The Dash” on their website.
YOUR SONG, “THE DASH,” WAS WRITTEN TO HONOR BRANCH’S SON, THERON, WHO PASSED AWAY FROM CYSTIC FIBROSIS (CF). IT ENCOURAGES LISTENERS TO MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY MOMENT OF THEIR LIVES. HOW DID THAT SONG COME ABOUT?
Branch: I had the idea for “The Dash” when Theron was still alive. He heard the song at different stages, and he was always a really big fan. When he passed, we all came together at the same time and we knew that this is what the song was meant for. The song just came to us, and it had a purpose.
The song has been very therapeutic for me. After a show we recently did, a man came up to me, and he was in tears. I just hugged him for a minute, and I said, “It’s all right, buddy.” He said to me, “I want you to know that song touched me. I lost my son a few months ago, and I haven’t been able to talk to anyone about it.”
My son has been gone for three years – and his life and his story is touching lives all over the world.
Dean: We didn’t ask for “The Dash” to come about, but it’s clearly what we were put on Earth to do. Making music and spreading awareness about CF has become our path. Theron’s story came together with a song that is a vehicle that people can understand.
“We’re in this to change the lives of people with CF.”
– Steve Branch
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CF COMMUNITY TO SOMEONE UNFAMILIAR WITH CF?
Branch: Four years ago, we went to our first CF convention in Washington, D.C. And you know, the way the world is going today, sometimes you wonder if there are any good people left in this world. But I walked into that conference and all that changed, because everyone was so compassionate and accepting. One thing that all people with CF have in common is, they don’t tell you how badly they’re hurting, and they want to help everyone else. The CF community is a unique family like no other.
WHAT DOES BEING “ALL IN FOR CF” MEAN TO YOU?
Dean: Everywhere we play, there’s a person with CF in the crowd. And every time a CF patient comes up to see us, they get a hug from Branch & Dean. We’re planning to do a big tour called “Live Your Dash” to raise awareness of CF. All of the proceeds will go to CF research. We’re in this to change the lives of people with CF. We’re going to keep fighting. And we are fighting to win.
Branch: When we travel, we visit local CF Foundation chapters. We have met patients all over the world. We feel strongly about the importance of spreading awareness. CF is not like any other disease. The more people who understand what CF is, the more visible it becomes to them.