Beloved New South Wales metal identity Tom Roberts has been battling Friedreich’s Ataxia since he was 14 years old, and a new crowdfunding campaign is hoping to raise funds for a wheelchair-accessible van so that he can get to gigs.
Friedreich’s Ataxia, which attacks the nervous system, is degenerative, and has seen Roberts, the father of two, confined to a wheelchair earlier this year at the age of just 26. But one thing’s for sure, it hasn’t affected his dedication to Aussie heavy metal.
Despite his health issues, Roberts has continued to go above and beyond to support the local heavy music scene, running his own podcast The Full Metal Lockdown, working as a band booker for Run & Rejoice and masterminding Pitted, a monthly heavy metal event in NSW’s Bateman’s Bay.
Roberts hatched the idea for Pitted a year ago, and it remains the only dedicated metal party on the state’s south coast. He has gone above and beyond to support the local scene that he loves and to make Pitted a success, but now he needs the scene’s support.
Getting around in a wheelchair is no easy feat, So Roberts’ family and friends have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a wheelchair accessible van to help him get to gigs and go about his daily life, so that he can continue doing great work.
“Besides being a genuinely top bloke and an absolutely amazing Dad to his kids, Tom has completely reinvigorated the South Coast heavy music scene,” says fellow promoter Skylar Kyu.
“I’m in awe with what he has created in Pitted down here, we’ve had people tell us that the night rivals some of the best in Sydney, to achieve that in Batemans Bay was no mean feat and is a true testament to Tom’s passion and hard work.
“At the moment the dude actually needs to take a taxi to these amazing shows he books, it’s ridiculous. Not only would getting this van be huge deal in his personal life but would be massive asset in his professional life as well.”
So far, the crowdfunding campaign has raised over $5.8K of its $40K goal, so there’s still a ways to go. If you’d like to lend a hand to Roberts, you can donate via his official GoFundMe page here.