Ken Haney’s Courageous Struggle

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently featured music department graduate Ken Haney in an article about how the passage of healthcare reform will affect individual Pittsburghers and small business owners. Haney, a clarinetist and member of our Carpathian Ensemble,

“… has multiple sclerosis. He is being kept relatively functional by monthly infusions that cost $3,000 each, paid for by Medicaid because he couldn't get health insurance due to his pre-existing condition. He wants to work full time, but if he earns more than $200 a month he won't qualify for Medicaid. Without treatment, he'll become too disabled to work.”

While the focus of the article is on how Ken’s situation relates to the new health care law, his story is compelling in and of itself. Along with the article, the PG has posted an extensive video interview that highlights Ken playing his clarinet. In the video Ken talks about how Professor Nathan Davis was one of the first people to realize how serious Ken’s physical condition was becoming.

Ken’s story gives us a glimpse into the human side of the educational experience, but more importantly, the courage of a young man who is passionate about making music and contributing to society in constructive ways regardless of the physical and structural barriers he must face.

You can hear Ken perform with the Carpathian Ensemble tonight (March 26) at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium at 8 p.m.