Help Laura Rubin!

$21,375 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 278 people in 16 months

Laura Rubin, the photographer who photographed The Warhol Circle, continues to be  in terrible trouble right now, all alone with no support or income  and she needs our help.  She is suffering with acute Lupus and a heart condition. She has managed to raise her weight from a low of 93 pounds to  108  pounds because of our intervention  but is in desperate need of both medical and dental intervention.. Now nearly 70, she finds herself seriously ill, unable to work,  isolated and living with the stress of being on the verge of being evicted from her apartment, every month. She lives  with  fear on a month to month basis.
Return to USA is impossible both because of health condition and because there is no one and nothing here for her to return to even if the state of her health allowed for that.

Laura needs help now! Her rent is due by the first of every month . So far we have not been able to raise enough money to pay for medical treatment, only for her most basic expences.
Like many pioneering artists, Laura does not qualify for Social Security. Laura has no  health insurance to treat her severe Lupus and other serious health problems. If you are familiar with Lupus, you know it is an auto immune condition that attacks a persons own cells and tissues and is a very painful.

Laura waited a long time to reach out to me until this desperate time. She has been living in Mexico for 15 years, moving their originally to caretaker her elderly parents.
 She is completely alone. She had already donated her negatives to The Warhol Museum...and thru their generousity we have the capacity to make high resolution scans.

We are trying to keep to keep a roof over her head, with money for food, utilities and basic medical help for a year, in order to enable her to heal. She lives in deep fear; this is critical for her survival but if we could have 3 or four months of money ahead of her she could stop feeling the terrible anxiety and start to relax so she could heal. She could have some of the desperate medical help she needs.

Long before many photographers brought dignity and yes, glamour to queer and transsexual artists, Laura facilitated their expression through her photography. She allowed them to express to the world who they knew themselves to be.

Proud and independent, Laura gave her negatives to the Andy Warhol Museum as a permanent gift, just before a flood devastated her master prints. With the aid and support of The Andy Warhol Museum, Laura has given me permission to print photos from high resolution negatives from her amazing archive held by The Warhol Museum as gifts and rewards for the help you give. In addition, there are several original vintage prints in my possession that are also available but I would like to see these original vintage woeks go to a museum for the benefit of the public. Perhaps YOU would like to buy one of these original prints and donate them to a museum in your name and help keep Gay History ALIVE.

I am working now on fullfilling the gifts. Thank you for your patience .

She is desperate for medicine, doctor visits etc
You can get a high resolution scan of any of Laura's photos listed below. These are very rare photos.
$150 includes domestic postage
European postage extra

These are the photographs are available:

Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn, Mario Montez, Francis Francine, Andrea “Whips” Feldman, Geraldine Smith, Tony Conrad and Beverly Grant, and myself, Penny Arcade. These are amazing photos that capture the spirit of the 1960's . I will be adding the other photos in my updates in the next days.
Campaign Photo: Holly Woodlawn

Laura needs needs blood work and a cardiogram, liver function tests soon, not to mention eye care  and additional medications. She also has advanced  Osteo Arthritis joint disease making it hard for her to walk, so she needs transportation to the doctor appointments and help with shopping and cleaning.
Laura has exhibited with the Warhol Museum, International Photography Center , The Museum
of The City of NY, Guggenheim, etc. She has been featured in numerous publications; “After Dark Magazine, “Soho Weekly News”, “Gay Power” and many more. Her street photos are in the New York Jewish Historical Society’s permanent collection.

AVAILABLE SELECTION: Candy Darling alone and with Jeremiah Newton,  Mario Montez (several poses) , Holly Woodlawn (several poses) , Frances Francine alone and with Tony Conrad and Beverly Grant, , Penny Arcade, (several poses) Andrea “Whips” Feldman, Geraldine Smith.

Quality paper
11x14 inches, 75 limited edition 

  $150.00 includes  domestic postage
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Dear kind friends ,

Today we have an update written directly by Laura
about her situation in Mexico.

Dear friends and donors,
I write this to explain my medical situation. Unfortuantly i do not have insurance. I pay out of pocket for Dr visits, medications, lab tests. A portion of your donations are used for this purpose as well as dental, and overhead. If i did not receive these donations from you this year , I would have died from multiple infections.
When moving to Mexico 17 years back, i checked out the top plans which were very expensive (several thousand USD a year). the low cost govt insurance (several $100 USD per yearr) was useless, as the patient has to travel to a major city. The doctors misdiagnose, its not good. In Mexico if you have an accident, or an emergency, no private hospital will treat you (or their own citizens). you have to pay upfront (or have someone pay them who will take responsibility. Generally that person is listed on your health directive which you carry in your wallet. I do not have such a person.
In my case i would be rushed to the Red Cross. They would treat me and then then later before release want payment. No payment? No option.
For very poor Mexicans in critical condition (and or broken bones, emergency surgeries) they take them to the city run hospital to be treated. Even if I used this service, here is how it works: there are no practical nurses, no sheets, no towels, no soap, no water, no food etc. family sleeps in the ward with you, they bring the essentials. maybe the neighbors take turns. The free care hospital nearest to me (a hour away) is filthy, the wards are crowded w/families and old & disfunctional equipment. Only some Doctors speak English.
They are recent medical school grads, who volunteer for 2 yrs prior to receiving their licence.
people do die before a bed is available.
I don;t need to hear about what friends have told you about living in Mexico. I dread a fall, being hit by a car or motorcycle, a gall bladder attack etc. Ten years ago, a bike hit me. I had a slight shoulder fracture. A taxi took me to an Xray place, my Dr was sent results by email.
i worry every time I have to cross the highway, walk over gravel or rocks. For this reason, i take extra care. Besides bare essentials, medical money is of upmost importance. I wish I had some put away for medical emergencies and why i hope to meet my GO FUND ME goal soon as possible.
Right now its one day at a time. Thanks to you my gracious and kind donors, i have been able to survive. Thank You
Laura Rubin

Photo: Penny Arcade by Laura Rubin 1969
holding on to clothesline East Village on rooftop
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Greetings kind friends,

I am bringing you the latest update on Laura Rubin.
Laura's pain from severe osteoarthritis has been significantly improved by the various braces that she has been able to secure but the effects of severe Lupus have made her very ill these past two weeks as well as near constant migrane headaches.
Laura is elderly , ill and completely alone in the world. This campaign is not about an eventual outcome because Laura has no other source of support. Like most artists she does not qualify for social security, She has run out of her savings. She is estranged from her only living relative. She is not going to recover her health . She can only be made more comfortable, in less pain, in less anxiety for how she will survive. We are trying to give her peace of mind that she will stay in the apartment where she feels safe. She is not going to return to NY. There is nothing for her here and she is too sick any way. She lives with the presence of death and wants only to die peacefully in her apartment in Mexico where she feels safe.
That is what I am supporting and that is what I am asking your help in supporting.
Laura went to Mexico 15 years ago to care for her parents, thru some nefarious Mexican banking practices she lost the bulk of value of her savings.
She had already donated her negatives to the Warhol museum and Jewish Museum when her health took a severe turn due to Lupus, various auto-immune problems and severe osteoarthitis.
She does not live in a luxury area . She has 24 locks on her door and lives in fear of home invasion which is common for ex pats . She lives is in a complex owned by a German family where she has the rare protection of a renewable lease and a kind landlord.
For those who are new or unclear let me tell you that this campaign is about mercy. Laura is anxious and filled with various kinds of dread. Online she does not come across as vulnerable but she is. The world around us is filled with need. Often many of us feel our own unmet needs yet few of us are faced with this level of daily pain, stress and anxiety. I ask your help in supporting Laura and in continuing to support Laura.

my best,
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Here is a new update in Lauras own word:

Thank you for all your help! It has been hard being so sick this winter. I really was at the edge of losing hoping and your support and care really is saving my life. I had been in unbearable pain , having to lie in bed with ice packs to try to get some relief from the constant pain that starts to make you want to give up. But thanks to the kind anonymous donor , the new back brace has done wonders for the lower back area. The condition is chronic, i have to wear it propped up in bed with the lap top. If i don't, the lower vertebrae on the right side become very painful. i have a tendency to lean on one side, the bone spurs are sharp. My neck is affected as well. Much of that pain is gone when wearing the brace. This past saturday i ordered 2 pairs of ankle supports.
I am waiting for the others. Thank you so much for this gift. Currently, I need to to visit an optometrist, my eye glasses are 10 years old. The lenses have a plastic coating for reflection, which are peeling- my vision is blurry. (especially for the computer). The prescription needs to be changed for the left eye. There may not be a decent optical place near my home, this requires a long taxi ride into the city as a long bus trip is so hard with my Lupus and osteoarthritis. Thank you so much to everyone for helping me. Thank you to the devoted people who give monthly and frequently. You are literally saving my life and keeping me literally alive!
I am so humbles by your care and support , special thanks to penny arcade who never gives up on anyone she is helping!

Photo Angel Laura Rubin
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Dear Good and Kind people

Thanks to our anonyomous donor Laura has been able to get most of her braces which has cut her pain down (and medication for pain) down significantly however due to Easter she has had to delay her Physical Therapy Easter being a huge holiday in Mexico.

Thanks to your help we are very close to having Laura's May expences covered we need to raise $400 more
which gives Laura a little breathing room with a bit of money set aside for emergency medical which with severe Lupus and all of her autoimune illnesses occurs with unhappy frequency.

I really want to go down and see Laura in person now I am off the road for several months mostly without paid work so if anyone has tons of miles and wants to let me use it for an airplane ticket I am game.

you can write me here or at mspennyarcade@gmail.com
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$21,375 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 278 people in 16 months
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