Jeff Bradshaw stricken with rare disease, loses 50 pounds

Jeff Bradshaw (Photo source: GoFundMe)
Jeff Bradshaw (Photo source: GoFundMe)

Trombonist Jeff Bradshaw has been confronted with a devastating illness. He is hoping to raise awareness for his plight as well as funds for his growing medical costs due to diverticulitis, a condition in which small, bulging pouches develop in the digestive tract.

“I was in rehearsal some weeks back with Carol Riddick, Will Downing, Jeff Veasley and experienced pain in my abdomen and couldn’t play. I was rushed to the hospital and did CAT scans and blood tests. I was told an abscess had formed in my intestines. It has been a journey. I have lost 50 pounds,” he says during an interview with Quincy Harris on Philly’s FOX29. “I am fighting, man, I am fighting.”

Bradshaw has been dazzling the music world for the past 25 years. He is one of the go-to guys for horn players in the music biz. He’s collaborated with everyone from Michael Jackson and Jay Z to Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Kirk Franklin. Bradshaw’s dad was a trombonist and his son also plays. He has played a significant role in neo-soul revolution in Philly along with The Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Jill Scott, King Britt and others. He has collaborated with the Roots for years and calls them brothers. In fact last year he performed with the Roots on The Tonight Show in support of his newest CD, HOME.

Bradshaw was just diagnosed with a severe and unusual case of diverticulitis disease. This illness has caused major intestinal challenges for Bradshaw who was recently hospitalized and who will have to undergo numerous intensive treatments.

“God is able. I can complain and I say [don’t] have medical insurance. The GoFundMe page JeffLiveJeff was the idea of my big sister Jill Scott, who said to me, ‘You’ve given so much to so many people and you’ve given so much on stage to so many artists. It is time for some of that love to come back.’ I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want people to think Jeff Bradshaw who has recorded this and that, why does he need help? I thought about all the millionaires who are no longer millionaires, who are down. I thought about all the people who have been so high in life who are now down. Everybody gets to ride that train. Fortunately for me, so many of my peers and colleagues are coming together to help me with these mounting medical bills,” Bradshaw says.

Here’s what his loved ones posted on a GoFundMe page set up in his honor.

We have come together to launch this GoFundMe page on behalf of our dear brother, friend and beloved Artist/Musician Jeff Bradshaw. He has been diagnosed with a severe and unprecedented case of Diverticulitis Disease. This disease has caused major intestinal challenges which now require Jeff to undergo a long series of intense treatments which now have spawned into deeper intestinal conditions. These treatments are very expensive and with little to no insurance, our friend cannot receive the care that he needs.

Jeff has shared his musical talents with the community, churches, Jazz fans, and other artists world wide for over 24 years. His music spreads joy and love in so many places. If you know Jeff, you know he plays with his heart and soul and touches all with his amazing gift! That’s why we are asking you to help us, help Jeff Bradshaw, in his time of great need.

Bradshaw’s newest recording HOME is a Philadelphia homecoming of sorts recorded at the Kimmel Cener. It is executive produced by two-time Grammy winner Robert Glasper and features performances by Glasper as well as Black Thought, Marsha Ambrosius, Will Downing, Kim Burrell, Take 6, Najee, Bilal, Eric Roberson, Tweet, Kenny Lattimore and Trombone Shorty. The album was recorded live at the acclaimed Kimmel Center in Philadelphia — Jeff’s hometown. As a boy, he used to play outside in brass bands right around the corner from the Kimmel Center. Bradshaw’s new CD is like coming full circle and is a dream come true.

Bradshaw admits that his diet over the years contributed to his illness. “You need to have a high-fiber diet. We have been on the road for 20 years eating fast foods. I won’t say don’t eat red meat. I didn’t eat a lot of fiber. I eat Philly Cheesesteaks, hoagies, Italian subs. Make sure you eat a salad a day, fresh vegetables. I am no longer eating fried foods, red meat and pork,” he explains.

There will be a benefit concert in January 2017.

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