My name is Kevin Painter. I am an independent artist and have been playing drums since I was 13 years old. At birth I was diagnosed with severe Hemophilia A. It is also known as Factor 8 deficiency. Hemophilia is a hereditary disorder in which one of the proteins needed to form blood clots is missing or reduced. When a person with Hemophilia is injured, bleeding most commonly occurs internally into the joints and muscles, and less commonly into the abdominal cavity, brain and internal organs. Numerous bleeds into the joints can eventually lead to arthritis. A major misconception is that if a person with hemophilia gets cut, they will bleed to death. Minor scrapes and cuts are not much of a problem and bleeding can be stopped by applying pressure, but severe cuts and lacerations can be very serious. Hemophilia is rare – affecting approximately one in 5,000 males born in the United States.
Prevention or treatment to control bleeds requires intravenous infusion of a blood clotting product to replace the missing or deficient proteins. Bleeds can often be very painful and unless treated quickly, can lead to severe swelling of joints or muscles. Uncontrolled bleeding can be life threatening if occurring in the body cavity or head. I have lived with some level of pain for most of my life.
From an early age, music has been a very important part of my life and in many ways, has saved my life. Playing the drums came easy to me. It helps me release not only tension, but also emotions. Growing up, I faced many tribulations due to my bleeding disorder. I had multiple joint problems in which I needed casts, use crutches and most recently have required a wheelchair. I grew up in hospitals and have been close to death several times in my life. In my early 20s, I already had to have a knee replacement. Playing drums helped rebuild my muscles and kept me pushing forward.
Most recently I was diagnosed with PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalitis). It is a rare and usually fatal viral disease that is characterized by progressive damage or inflammation of the white matter of the brain at multiple locations. PML affected the left hemisphere of my brain and unfortunately, I lost the entire right side of my body’s motor functions. I was given a 5% chance of survival and was told to spend as much time with family as possible. I fought very hard to recover and eventually was able to start to play drums again. I have been in various bands throughout my life, playing hundreds of shows. The last band I was in was Plaster Frown. We played on the East Coast, and it was a complete blast!
As I have progressed as a drummer, I have used a variety of bass pedals. Within the last 8 or so months I have tried 4 different sets of drum pedals to help me condition myself back to how I used to play and better. I had tried to play three other types of double bass pedals, but when I got the Axis A2 Longboard pedals I knew my search was over. I could play double bass again for the first time in 8 months; how it sounded and felt before PML. The pedals gave me confidence, momentum, and have drastically improved my playing overall. You have to realize my brain was affecting my motor skills from fighting PML, and I’ve been in and out of a wheelchair for over a year so my body, especially my legs, are very weak).
I have called customer service several times, and the support was unbelievable! Every time I have called everyone was great and treated me like I was a huge artist. Darrell and Karen were super nice. I would not trade my Axis Pedals for any other pedals on the market. I am now playing in a band called CoreFlow and expect to be playing shows soon. I recommend Axis Pedals to everyone! Play Axis Pedals or don’t play drums at all!
Kevin Painter, Nashville Tn.
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