I am seeking your support because I am moving from Virginia to Pittsburgh for better health and work opportunities. I am on disability for four chronic illnesses and I’m also an actively publishing writer. Living in Pittsburgh would give me access to health experts and to a more vibrant writing community in which to find work and social options. Your small donation will help me secure an apartment, pay for moving fees, and get started in a new city.
I have been on disability for a number of years now, which provides consistent but inadequate income. I have severe fibromyalgia and can’t commit to a traditional work schedule. I do freelance writing (mostly music journalism) but that income is inconsistent and modest. Any money you donate will go towards the move itself (I am still researching best strategies for that) and helping me pay a rental deposit/ first month’s rent.
I'm applying to part-time work in Pittsburgh in writing-related fields and also in fields related to trademark research. I’ve been contacting local music managers, publicists, etc. and sending samples of my bios and PR materials. Upon arrival in Pittsburgh, I’ll be able to interview and apply in person. You can help me be secure enough upon arrival that I can get set up, start the ball rolling with new doctors, and look for additional work.
I’m bringing one cat, my very photogenic himbo, Bean. He is indoor-only and up on his shots, so hopefully a landlord will welcome him.
There are a lot of reasons I’m moving to Pittsburgh and to the Bloomfield/ Shadyside / Friendship neighborhoods in particular. Here are a few.
Everyone I know who’s lived in the city loves it! That’s a big factor right there. It seems like a town that has a strong cooperative spirit, and it’s scrappy but also arty. People seem really nice there. I just love to be around down-to-earth people who share that certain creative curiosity.
Cough: Currently, I travel three hours each way to receive care for my sensory laryngeal neuropathy (chronic neurogenic cough I’ve had for eight years) because no one is closer than my ENT expert so far away. My doctor has already recommended a Pittsburgh provider who does an excellent job with the shots I get. My cough is a rare diagnosis, and there are no closer practitioners that are experienced with it.
Chronic Pain and Fatigue (Fibromyalgia): Fibromyalgia is an incredibly painful and exhausting illness that has affected every part of my life and even makes it difficult to treat other conditions. For instance, I wasn’t able to do physical therapy for a very painful injury because no local providers had experience with fibro patients. (The fibro is twinned with a mood disorder as well, for which a proper psychiatrist is key Fibro’s cause is unknown, so treatment progress has been limited. You can help me relocate to a place with cutting-edge care so I can be part of clinical trials, see experts, and have a support community. The Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research is an amazing resource for chronic pain, and you can help me access it. Which is priceless.
Eyes (Keratoconus): You can also help me be at the forefront of keratoconus research—it’s a thinning of the corneas that interferes with night vision, depth perception, and causes blurriness. There’s currently no treatment to reverse the progression, but such laser treatments are being researched. Again, an area with a cutting-edge medical community is necessary because I need to see experts as soon as possible.
Creative community: I have an MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama. I’ve been well-published in literary magazines, and I have manuscripts in several genres. I’ve also made visual art since 2013, and there’s no community here around the making, selling, and discussion of abstract art. With larger creative communities, I can resume volunteering on literary magazines and at studio events, as well as reading and showing my own work. AndI’m just plain excited to live among legendary establishments like Mattress Factory, White Whale, and Pitt press.
Bloomfield shoutout: People organize big public games of cops and robbers, there are Stevie Nicks cutouts at karaoke night, and someone paints awesome graffiti about Ironman. No, really. That playful spirit is so important. (Says the woman who once convinced the mayor of Madison, WI to give her a birthday cake!)
I chose Pittsburgh because I’ve started over in different cities a few times, and I want it to be the last place I start over. It’s both artful and authentic. The public transit and healthcare facilities are consistently highly-rated. And the best creative work happens in communities, in movements, anytime writers and artists have a place to be together.
I believe in interdependence, and I believe that helping me helps put me in a better place to help others, and so on. I’m moving to Pittsburgh because getting better will enable me to do my best.
Your small donation can help make big changes.