SEVERE WX : Lake Effect Snow Warning - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Former symphony conductor, wife both suffering with terminal illnesses

A man well known in local communities for his contributions to the arts has suffering from a progressive illness for many years, and his wife is now struggling with a recent terminal disease diagnosis.

Posted: Feb 28, 2020 11:39 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2020 11:31 AM

A man well known in local communities for his contributions to the arts has been suffering from a progressive illness for many years, and his wife is now struggling with a recent terminal disease diagnosis.

Charles Schneider was the founding music director of the Glimmerglass Opera, and conductor of symphonies in Utica, Oneonta and Schenectady.

He suffers from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a disease that causes scarring of the lungs. The scar tissue builds up over time, and lung function begins to deteriorate.

Charles told his children in November that his IPF has progressed significantly, and may not have much time left.

At that time, Charles’ wife, Rayna, also revealed to their three children that she was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease, or ALS, after suffering with speech issues for several months. Rayna has a rare form of ALS, called bulbar onset. According to the children, she also suffers with paralyzed vocal cords, significant weight loss and severe swallowing and choking problems.

The couple’s children -- Dana Schneider, Megan Schneider-Ajakh, and Paul Baker – have set up a GoFundMe to help offset the cost of caring for their parents.

The children shared their concerns on the GoFundMe page, saying “The thought of having two terminally ill parents, whose diseases both require extensive care, and neither of whom is employed, has taken awhile to comprehend and sort out, and has caused a wide range of emotions for all of our family.”

The post also says, “The funds will be spent strictly on in-home skilled nursing care, home health care during their final months, assistive devices (ramp, motorized cart, etc.), ongoing prescription costs, etc.”

More than $17,000 was donated to the GoFundMe as of Friday morning.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1255971

Reported Deaths: 41173
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1569407852
Kings1538388057
Suffolk1272872589
Nassau1138122551
Bronx1051755272
Westchester844201797
New York753193439
Erie517181371
Richmond447371380
Monroe44007760
Rockland31668806
Orange28574642
Onondaga27492528
Oneida16660342
Dutchess16541311
Albany16168255
Niagara11933241
Broome10981255
Saratoga914080
Schenectady8587124
Ulster7642191
Rensselaer6772104
Putnam644774
Chemung5567108
Chautauqua554156
Oswego487265
Ontario469482
Steuben4560131
Cayuga437269
Sullivan379849
Genesee365198
Wayne364651
Herkimer356156
St. Lawrence354759
Cattaraugus337361
Jefferson314522
Madison310876
Livingston267740
Tompkins264123
Cortland262854
Columbia243269
Allegany234775
Montgomery219774
Tioga219154
Wyoming213542
Clinton212918
Fulton207052
Warren204538
Greene202557
Orleans190868
Chenango175040
Otsego164623
Washington147324
Lewis145924
Seneca121846
Franklin11299
Delaware100020
Essex97218
Schoharie8895
Yates81316
Schuyler71410
Hamilton1461
Unassigned44104
Out of NY0165
Rome
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 25°
Binghamton
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 21°
Rome
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 25°
Rome
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: 25°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2021 Golfer's Paradise Card - 21 Courses for only $99.99
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve