Country music artists rally in support of CMT Awareness Month

'A Night at the Opry' among events lined up in Sept by research foundation

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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The country music community is coming together for “A Night at the Opry,” one of many events lined up by the CMT Research Foundation (CMTRF) for CMT Awareness Month this September.

The event, held at the Opry House in Nashville at 7 p.m. on Sept. 20, will feature live music and comedy with country artists, such as Gary Mule Deer, Lady A, and Rhonda Vincent.

The awareness month activities, taking place in the U.S. and during what’s being dubbed as CMT Action Month, are an effort to boost awareness about Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and raise funds for research.

“CMT is more than just a diagnosis; it’s a reality that affects the whole family, challenging them in ways many can’t imagine. Seeing its impact firsthand, I am more committed than ever to champion the cause,” Linda Davis, a “song stylist” from Nashville who has a personal history with CMT, said in a foundation press release sent by email to Charcot-Marie-Tooth News.

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‘Let’s shine a light on those affected by CMT’

“In September, as we rally together, let’s shine a light on those affected by CMT and work tirelessly to fund promising research towards treatments and cures,” Davis said.

The country music community has joined efforts to support CMTRF activities with contributions from Alan Jackson’s “Last Call: One More for the Road Tour,” and donations from the “Outlaw State of Kind,” Chris and Morgane Stapleton’s charitable fund, and also from Country Music Television. Jackson revealed in 2021 that he has CMT.

The Global CMT Research Convention, scheduled for Sept. 22-23, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will join world CMT researchers with patients and their families. On the first day, researchers from academia, along with industry and government agencies will gather to discuss the development of new treatments for CMT. The next day, patients will have a chance to meet and interact with the research community and learn about the latest advances in CMT research.

On Sept. 30, supporters will have the opportunity to bid on exclusive music items in an event called Turn Up the Volume! Auction & Raffle. Launched in collaboration with Scientific American, items include a Gibson Peter Frampton autographed Les Paul custom guitar package, an Alan Jackson autographed straw Stetson Hat, as well as an Eric Church Heart & Soul box set. Other available items are autographed by Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Gary Allen, Keith Urban, Jon Pardi, Vince Gill, and others.

Participants will be allowed to bid for a Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa package and a recording session at FAME Recording Studios. A generous benefactor will match every dollar raised from the auction up to $250,000.

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CMTA also planning several awareness initiatives

Elsewhere, the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA) has planned several initiatives to help raise awareness about CMT, including a CMTA virtual Sky of Fame. With a $5 or $10 donation, the association will add the name of the person chosen to their virtual sky of CMT stars. For $35, it offers a “STAR in Their Name” and a full custom color print.

To help spread awareness about CMT, which is estimated to affect one in 2,500 individuals, CMTA has packed a social media toolkit and has created hashtags for social media posts: #CMTAM23, #CMTAwareness, #1in2500. Profile frames for social media are also available.

Other possible ways to raise awareness include joining or starting in-person cycling events, giving a short presentation about life with CMT at school or the workplace, and hosting or joining a Walk 4 CMT.