A member of violinist.com who has helped me in the past needs our help now.
When I joined violinist.com in 2004, the site was relatively new, with a much smaller membership than it has now. Because there were fewer members (v.commies, as we used to call ourselves), we formed a rather tight community. We frequently wrote about personal things on v.com, and we got to know each other as friends. That is how I met Peter Ferreira, a professional violinist and violin teacher. He was a resourceful and personable contributor, as well as a thoroughly nice guy. Peter reached out and helped me several times, and now that he needs help, I want to help him. I am also reaching out to the v.com community to help.
On two occasions Peter was especially nice to me. The first was just after I had been very depressed and had written about it on v.com. Then a number of v.commies led by Steven Brivati (Buri) did something remarkable for me. Everyone who wanted to participate played some Bach for me and wrote in to tell me what they had played. Peter played Bach's Chaconne at a recital and dedicated it to me, and I felt that I had a received a great honor. Having so many v.commies play so much Bach for me warmed and strengthened my soul, and I began to rise from my severe depression. This did not happen immediately, however, because I was so depressed that I didn't even look at v.com. Then Peter called me (I don't know how he found my number) and told me about my great gift from Bach and v.com. After speaking to Peter and reading the contributions from my v.commie friends, I felt truly blessed.
Peter reached out to help me again after I had posted a query about music notation software on v.com. My dilemma was that all the free apps were horribly inadequate and I couldn't afford to buy anything. Peter called and, first, swore me to secrecy. So many years have passed that I think it's safe to discuss the issue openly. Peter had just received a bootleg copy of some fairly expensive software and he wanted to give me a bootleg copy of his bootleg copy. He tried very hard and so did I. We were back and forth with each other on the phone for three days, but neither of us had the technical knowledge to make it work. At the end of the third day, a friend who was a computer professional came over to visit me and I asked him to help. He pleaded ignorance but I convinced him to try. He fiddled around on the computer for a few minutes and -- Voila! -- it worked!
Over the years I’ve stayed in touch with Peter over the Internet. I know that now he has many other pursuits besides the violin. He likes to canoe, kayak, and camp, often with his kids. He enjoys scuba diving even if it’s just in the Connecticut River. Finally, he is a devoted beekeeper.
I was stunned recently when I saw a tweet from Peter about his medical fund on the website Gofundme. Peter said that he had been in an accident in September 2017 which left his left hand severely damaged. Since then he has had four major surgeries and extensive physical therapy, but he can not make a fist and most of his fingers barely move. He posted a photo of his hand with the caption Franken Hand on his GoFundMe page. I looked at it, and it’s really bad. This severe injury is particularly devastating to a professional violinist. Peter has spent most of his life studying, playing, and teaching the violin. His only hope for recovery is yet another surgery and extensive physical therapy. Unfortunately his insurance company has turned him down for any more than an additional 90 days of physical therapy. He has nearly gone broke from paying all his copays. He is now asking for financial help so that he can get the treatments he needs in order to recover. Please contribute what you can for my friend and fellow v.commie, Peter. https://www.gofundme.com/peterfTweet
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