Eddie Adams has had a difficult life. Just a few weeks ago, he had no money to buy textbooks and had to borrow them from his George Mason University classmates. Even though he’s the principal cellist in the school’s orchestra, he couldn’t afford to even rent his instrument. But a lot can change in a few weeks.
The Washington Post ran a story about Eddie’s extremely tortuous and difficult childhood. We learned about his connection to the cello and how the stringed instrument acted as a chance for a newer life. A better life.
Shortly thereafter, a GoFundMe page had been set up for Eddie. The day the story ran, Eddie could not believe what he was seeing. The page had already received $25,000 in donations. Eddie assumed it was a technical glitch. “I legitimately thought it was a glitch in the system,” said Adams. However, the next day it was at over $70,000. Thousands had read his story and felt inspired y his talent and perseverance.
Eddie Adams grew up extremely poor, moving houses with his mother and five siblings around seven times. One of those times was to the local homeless shelter. Eddie was bullied by his family for his intelligence and personality. They felt he “acted white” and teased him for his good grades, while also claiming he was spurning their family and culture. One day at school, Eddie picked up the cello, but didn’t connect with it quite yet. “I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing. This sounds terrible,’?” he said. “I didn’t know what was in tune and what was out of tune.”
But life at home soon became so unbearable for Eddie that he began staying after class to work on the cello. He quickly became fluent in the instrument, wowing the admissions judges at George Mason’s academy of music so much that one of the judges dropped her pencil and forgot to score him when she hear him play.
Right now, the GoFundMe sits at a sum of over $150,000. For Eddie, it’s an unimaginable blessing. “I still don’t want to believe it happened because it’s too much money for me to even think about,” he said.
Aside from money, other gifts came his way. One person bought him a cello valued at around $20,000. Another is gifting him a specially-made cello for $30,000. A couple from Delaware is outfitting him with a new tuxedo he can wear for his performances. The city of Alexandria has invited him to perform at a homeless shelter, which he has accepted.
Eddie has used some of the money already. He’s paid off $15,000 in student loans and their interest. he just went to the dentist for the first time in years. He was also able to secure off-campus living with roommates which will give him a permanent address to apply for jobs.
His professor, June Huang, who first heard him play and dropped his pencil because of his soulful skill, is acting as the point person for the donations and is helping him keep the money safe and make it last as long as possible. “Eddie, we have just secured your education. No matter what happens to me, beyond where my health or my job may take me, you will get an education,” she told him when the donations began pouring in.
“I feel a great sense of relief. Being part of a worthy cause, it’s very life affirming,” Huang said. “I knew there’s a limit to what I can provide for Eddie. I needed a community behind him.”
Her one dream for Eddie is that he makes is as a professional musician which, by the sound of it, he certainly will.
You can listen for yourself:
h/t: The Washington Post