Robbie was diagnosed at the age of 2 months with cystic fibrosis, a condition that plagues him with lung infections, forces him to endure extended hospital stays and makes him suffer from severe asthma attacks. Just the thought of having another asthma flare-up can cause him severe anxiety attacks. As if all of this weren’t enough, Robbie was diagnosed last year with diabetes and now has to inject himself twice a day with insulin.
Guitar company Gibson donated an amplifier and a 6-string Flying V guitar in Robbie’s favorite color, white. From there, the guitar was shipped to Lynyrd Skynyrd on tour and the band took time out of its hectic road schedule to personally autograph the instrument. Now when Robbie plays his new guitar he can see the band members’ personal notes to him! Robbie would have been thrilled with just the guitar and amp, but he was also given a package that included a guitar cable and tuner; a signed photograph of the band Alabama with 16 of their CDs for inspiration; an autographed photo of Jon Bon Jovi; and 4 copies of Guitar One magazine as a preview of the one-year subscription he will be getting of the music-filled publication. In order to guarantee that he will know his way around the guitar, the gift box also contained the phone number of the instructor who will be providing Robbie with lessons! And when Robbie works up an appetite jamming with his 6-string, he can re-energize with the 3-month supply of his favorite food, beef jerky!