Tom's Story

Tom was a loving husband to his high school sweetheart Kelly, an awesome father of 3 and devoted “Papa” to William.  Amber and her husband Will blessed Tom and Kelly with their 1st grandchild who is their pride and joy. The bond this family has is undeniably strong.

    On August 8th – Tom’s 54th birthday, Tom and Kelly received a life shattering diagnosis they were not prepared for - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig Disease. Specifically, he had Bulbar Onset ALS. Bulbar Onset ALS affects the speech, swallowing and breathing functions first before spreading to the limbs. Over time, this progressive disease causes the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles leading to paralysis of the entire body. There is no cure for this terrible disease and after his diagnosis, Tom declined at a rapid pace.  Most patients diagnosed with Bulbar onset ALS have a life span of approximately 18 months.

 

Rather than surrendering to this ugly disease, Tom faced it courageously.  Sadly Tom succumbed to this terrible disease on May 11th 2020, after only 9 months.

 

          Before this diagnosis, Tom was a healthy guy who ate right, played hockey 2-4 times a week and enjoyed motorcycle rides with his wife and children. A true lover of music and an accomplished drummer; he has been in numerous bands over the years including Tattoo and No Mercy in his early days and has had the honor of performing and recording with Kevin M. Buck and Lyden Moon in recent years. The list of projects he had been involved with in the last 40+ years could go on forever! His current projects were Bad Medicine and Motley II who he had been with for several years. In 2018 Tom formed his dream project - Coopers Dead Things and hand-picked the musicians to perform in this amazing tribute to Alice Cooper.  Tom was the front man and his son was his drummer. Unfortunately, as this disease had progressed Tom realized it was time for his final show just as the band was beginning to enjoy the successes of their hard work and, were filling venues to near capacity.

 
     Through the years, Tom had volunteered and performed at countless fundraisers for his community, church, and at numerous benefits for families in need. Kelly has organized, run, and volunteered for more fundraisers than her family can count. She is the one you will find involved in just about any fundraiser her family, friends or acquaintances may need assistance with. Tom and Kelly have selflessly given their time and energy to help make life better for others.

   Unfortunately, with Tom's passing, his family is still struggling financially to pay his medical bills and, also unexpected costs that came with remodeling their home to accommodate Tom's declining health.  Kelly had to take a leave of absence from work to be a full-time care giver as Tom had to go on disability thus leaving them without adequate income to support their immediate needs.


     A GoFundMe is set up for the family

https://www.gofundme.com/f/salzburg-strong-tom039s-als-battle

 

A benefit is being held on Sunday October 11th 2020 at 115 Bourbon Street from 2pm-7pm. Our goal is to celebrate Tom’s life, raise awareness to ALS and raise funds for his family.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to ALS research.  Anyone interested in donating or volunteering can contact us via the contact link.

 

      An account for the family is established and donations can be sent to the following:

Checks made payable to:   Salzburg Strong
Mail to:   BMO Harris Bank; Attn: Jason K
              101 Burr Ridge Parkway
              Burr Ridge, IL 60527       
              Please reference acct. number ending in: 5432

     We thank you in advance for your generosity. More importantly; we ask for your prayers as Tom’s family navigates through this sad time as they find a new “normal” without him.

If you are looking for other ways to help Tom and his family please go to the contact form and send us a message. We are currently seeking donations for gift baskets, raffle prizes, food donations for the day of the benefit, pop and water donations for the day of the benefit.