Paul's daughters, Elizabeth and Alanna, have started this site for him on the recommendation of his close friend and adviser, Jim.
As many of you know, Paul has been an active figure around Berkeley in several different communities, including the poetry scene. Shortly after his 70th birthday in November, Paul found himself facing a variety of symptoms that landed him in and out of the hospital and searching for answers. Days after Christmas, Paul finally received the diagnosis: Myelofibrosis; a serious bone marrow disorder that disrupts the body's production of blood cells. The result is extensive scarring in your bone marrow, leading to severe anemia, weakness, fatigue and often an enlarged spleen.
Before Paul was able to start his recommended course of treatment his symptoms became life threatening and he had to have his spleen removed in an emergency surgery on Mon 1/9. The surgeons prepared us for the worst, advising Elisabeth to fly in from New York as the chances of major complications and or death were high. Against all odds, and with the help of an amazing medical staff at Kaiser, Paul pulled through and is undergoing nothing short of a miraculous recovery. His doctors are amazed at how well he is doing and though his condition continues to improve, but the journey is far from over.
While we have every reason to hope and believe that Paul will recover from this surgery and return to poetry readings, meetings and spending time with loved ones, he is going to need a great deal of help and support in the days and weeks to come. We (his family) are working to craft a care plan to support him through his discharge from the hospital , but because we both live in different cities, our ability to help him on a daily ongoing basis is limited.
We have created this site in order to communicate and connect directly with those in the myriad communities in which he is involved. Through extensive conversations with each and every governmental arm and agency, insurance and otherwise, we have determined that the monthly out of pocket cost of care is still quite high-- almost 50% of his monthly income. We are setting up Paul with all the services we possibly can through his benefits, but he could use additional help.