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Tom Adams Musicians Dystonia Treatment

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A 3-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, Tom was diagnosed in 2003 with the neurological disorder Focal Dystonia. This is a movement disorder that has prevented him from playing the instrument at a professional tempo (in three-finger bluegrass banjo style) for the past 15 years.

Nonetheless when playing using two fingers rather than three, Tom won the IBMA Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year in 2013 for his banjo work on "Foggy Mountain Rock" on the album A Bluegrass Tribute to Earl Scruggs.

Tom currently maintains a full-time banjo-teaching schedule both online and at his home studio near Gettysburg PA, and plays two-finger banjo s-l-o-w-l-y with the band Springfield Exit (Linda & David Lay and Tom's longtime musical partners David McLaughlin and Marshall Wilborn).

Tom now has the opportunity to take part in a study and possible treatment regimen specifically designed for musicians with Dystonia being conducted at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City by neurologists Steven J. Frucht, MD at NYU Langone Health and David M. Simpson, MD at Mt. Sinai.

While the costs of the Botox injections, evaluations, and studies will be covered by the medical facilities involved, Tom needs your help to cover the other expenses necessary to making these treatments possible.

Funding is needed starting February 11, when Tom will need to make the first of ten trips to New York City to take part in this musicians' Dystonia study. Each trip will require an overnight stay in the city, round-trip travel by Amtrak, and a loss of two days' wages each week when he is participating in the study.

Successful treatment is not guaranteed. It is possible that Tom will see little or no improvement but there is also the very real possibility for him regaining 80% - 90% of his ability to play three-finger style on the 5-string banjo.

If you are able to make a donation or to share this GoFundMe campaign with your network of friends, we would greatly appreciate your help.

Yours Sincerely,

Tom & Judy Adams


  • William Jolliff
    • $50 
    • 5 yrs


Tom Adams
East Berlin, PA

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