Recovering from AIDS related Pneumonia

Hi all,

Most of you will know me from a ballet studio somewhere across the United States. I love love playing class for dancers; it's my purpose in life. I hope I have touched many of your lives with my music.

If you have been following my Facebook page recently, you will also know that I recently became very I'll while on a trip to work in Colorado with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. I was diagnosed with PCP Pneumonia, which is a nasty lung infection a person generally only acquires when their immune system is very, very weak, usually with advanced AIDS. As few as 15-20 years ago, PCP Pneumonia was what killed the majority of AIDS patients. It's been very scary. Terrifying.

However, I am a lucky man. We know a LOT more about HIV, AIDS, and treating symptomatic illnesses than we did in the mid-1980's. I am recovering nicely after a week in Columbia Presbyterian and expect to be back to work within two-four more weeks.

That being said, I really, really need some financial help. I am already behind with my rent (about $1300) and the end of the month is coming up soon ($2400 - total). My landlord is a loving and supportive man, but I cannot continue to abuse his kindness where my rent is concerned.

I also have literally NO financial cushion to keep me afloat while I continue to heal at the hospital and at home for the next two to four weeks. I am worried about having food to eat, metro cards to get to follow-up appointments with my doctors, medication co-pays and other misc. medical costs. I also need to be able to keep a working phone so I can stay in contact with my friends and family. And I have some medical bills coming in from the Emergency Room in Aspen and the company which rented me a portable Oxygen concentration system so that I might fly home to receive good care at Columbia Presbyterian. I think the ER bill from Aspen County Hospital is about $5,100.

I hate asking for charity, but it's one of my few recourses right now. My physicians continually chide me for stressing so much about money, and telling me that stress is almost as bad for my current condition as skipping medical care. With just a little generosity, you can help make these few weeks a rather rough spot in my life, instead of a disaster that may take me years to recover from.

With your help, I can get well, stay healthy, and get back to the place I'm happiest - behind a keyboard, playing lush plies and lightning fast petite allegro for dancers, who are my constant inspiration. Just a small donation will help tremendously. And it will make a huge difference in my life.

I pledge to donate any funds donated in excess of my final goal to a NYC HIV/AIDS charity, so they may support someone else like me who is struggling, scared, and living without a financial net.

Thank you for your generosity. It is making a huge difference in my life. I will be eternally grateful. God Bless You. Your love and support have literally turned me around from an emotionally despondent state (lots of crying on nurse's shoulders), to feeling today like I will get through this, I will be back at the keyboard soon, and that I am surrounded by love. Everything is going to be okay.

"To love another person is to see the face of God."
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Kevin Carpenter 
New York, NY
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