Please Help-Justice For Ken &Karyn
Since I initially put up this GoFundme back in February 2014, many things have changed.
Ken has been hospitalized four times since February--the most recent on 9/27/14. The EMT's had to start him on IV meds and oxygen at home as he was in severe V-Tach. I am so very grateful that they were able to revive him. He is resting now with private nurses coming in three times a week and on over 23 different medications for heart, kidneys and diabetes.
Vital changes since February 2014 also include Ken being placed on the transplant list for both a heart and kidney, as well as being a candidate for an experimental cardiac stem cell research study (the same one that was done at The Mayo Clinic).
This last hospitalization/cardiac episode has left him too physically weak for the doctors to take stem cells from his hip, send them to a lab to be cultured and surgically implant them back into his heart. We are praying that his strength comes back so he can have a fighting chance.
I am taking care of him at home presently and paying out-of-pocket for nursing care and all else. Ken is a part of me, maybe the best part, and I can not put him into a rehab/rest home until donor organs potentially become available. He needs to keep his spirit up and to quote Dorothy, "there's no place like home" :)
We are both so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from all of you. It's times like these when one truly comprehends how healing and life-reinforcing friends are. Many times karma is a good thing and in Ken's case, where he has shown only kindness and integrity to those around him, I'd like to think that the goodness coming his way is from all the goodness he has generated over the decades.
Thank you for sustaining us with your non-stop caring, compassion, calls, communications and contributions.
May that good kind of karma come full circle and bless you always. We love you <3
Always, Karyn and Ken
As many of you know, Ken has been suffering from congestive heart failure, insulin-dependent diabetes and renal insuffiency resulting from a botched quadruple bypass performed in November of 2009.
My life companion and Samantha's dad is a former national press pool political reporter and editor with 23 years at United Press International and currently almost 21 years with The Boston Globe. In 1969, during his senior year at Penn State, he was voted Sigma Chi's "Man of the Year" for his compassion towards others and that million dollar smile :)!
Ken is that go-to person so many of us have relied on for his integrity, easy laugh and ability to to be impartial during lifes ups and downs. Whether reporting or editing a breaking news, feature story or column, or holding a hand in someones time of need, he's been that stable, warm presence you can count on to get the job done with fairness, accuracy and humanity over the years.
Since his long hospitalization and surgeries of 2009 and 2010, we have been living on much less with the cost of living, a year on disability and 17 different medications, specialist visits/test co-pays skyrocketing. We had no choice but to sell our home two-and-a-half year's ago to an investor in exchange for renting it back from him. He is now demanding payments/increases at a rate that we just don't have. It has become a choice between medications and a roof over our head.
The owner/investor is demanding 5000.00 immediately and another 5000.00 at the end of February. He is a doctor who we trusted to not do this.
I can move just about anywhere in the city, but Ken works solely from home as his heart muscle is dying. Recently, a transplant was ruled out as his other conditions and age make him no longer a solid candidate for a new heart and kidneys. His mind is clear as a bell, but he has trouble just walking five minutes if that; a far cry from the happy jock many of you remember, know and love. We need to be able to stay here where his doctors are right around the corner at Mass General Hospital and for his medical emergencies necessitating immediate life-saving intervention.
Asking for financial help from friends is something we would never do if the situation was not so dire and the real life consequences so high. We are both givers, not takers who pride ourselves on working hard, keeping our issues private, setting that example for our now 28-year-old daughter and reaching our communal hand out to others in need. I am avoiding posting this on my personal Facebook wall at Ken's request, but hope many of you will share this with others and on your own FB walls.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and apologies for my multitude of typos!! It is a scary time indeed...
Anything anyone can do would be a godsend. Bless you all for a lifetime of friendship. We love you all.
May 19, 2017
Dear UPI Friends, Globe Friends and LHS Pals et al,
It has been 16 months since my beautiful Ken left this world way too young. Your generosity in helping Kenny try to stay with us until a donor heart and kidney could be found was such a gift, as was helping me give him the burial he had wanted when his body could no longer withstand the ravages of advanced congestive heart and renal failure without finding that compatible donor.
A dear friend put up a GoFundMe on my behalf 3 months ago. I know some questioned whether it was a scam as it wasn't my prose and some thought monies would go to him. Obviously, I didn't write it, but any monies went to me after GFM took out their 9%. Heartfelt thanks for those gifts of caring, concern and compassion after GFM and WePay took out their percentage (and thank you, Danny).
In this Trumpian world we now inhabit, it shouldn't surprise me that the deeper into Ken's benefit elections for Supplemental, ADDL Life insurance The US Department of Labor gets under special investigator, Colleen Kelley, Employee Benefits Security Administration, JFK Federal Building, Room 575, Boston, MA 02203 if you'd like to check this out, the more corruption is uncovered.
Colleen tried to cut through the mountains of red tape by making what would turn out to be a one-sided handshake agreement with the benefits department at The Globe. They asked if she'd show them the written, substantiated proof she had. In turn, they would hand over any and all written documentation that Ken had allegedly been paying AD&D instead of ADDL weekly as shown on every pay stub and in all signed-by-Ken benefit elections. Long story short, two weeks ago Colleen honored her end. In response, no written proof at all was sent back or offered - just a heresay email that Ken had changed his benefit election in 2012 to AD&D, which even the error in Aetna paperwork has as date of change 2013-2014 (truly a mess!). They also demanded several different types of subpoena's to be issued for any cooperation on their part. I'd like to make clear when I mention the paper, that does not in anyway reflect on the integrity of the reporters, editors, copy editors, columnists and photographers Ken had the pleasure of working with or the factual content of the news. This is strictly the bureaucrats and bean counters at the Globe.
If someone is telling the truth, even if there is an error in what they have, they would do what they agreed to and show their written, substantiated, documented proof to the US Department of Labor. If not, as anyone in the news field knows, they will hide, string it out, email bullshite without any documentation to buy time until the demise of the person the monies are intended for. Interest is earned on life insurance claims by both companies. It's quite a racket!
This leaves me in the position Ken never wanted and thought he had made sure wouldn't happen. Being without his life insurance for 16 months now has wiped out all monies as trying to stay afloat on one income instead of two just isn't possible. Ken and I always split household bills. Our landlord has informed me he will not renew the lease on our family home as I can no longer pay in full each month. The lease ends on 6/30/17 and I will be about 1100.00 short each month as my IRA is gone on 6/1/17. At this time, all family home bills are paid in full. I have been skipping grief counseling, counseling for depression, chemo and radiation for breast cancer plus other doctor's appointments as I can't afford the co-pays and pay rent plus utilities.
Most of the subpoena's have gone out with one that will go out on 5/31/17. It's obvious to USDOL that this could wind up in court to get the paperwork and get the money in my bank account.
If there is anyone not hurting for money in this day and age who has collateral a bank would consider, I am asking with complete humility and humiliation if you could co-sign or help with a personal loan in the amount of $10,000 - $12,000 to be paid back over 3-5 years. This could be split by a few people as I realize it's a fortune for one person . I can't move from our family home for many personal reasons and financial ones as well.
Please email me if you can possibly help or with any questions or concerns. I am not looking for a hand out, just a hand up while trying to survive for our daughter, Samantha's, sake. Otherwise, well, we'll just leave it at otherwise. Missing Ken is a place beyond whatever hell looks like.
I pray someone or a few people can help me wait out getting justice for Ken and what he lovingly paid for and left in life insurance for Samantha and I to survive on. A loan is a contract I take seriously as I'm not of the Trump ilk. When Ken's life insurance is no longer held hostage via corruption, there will be enough money to pay $10,000 -$12,000 back in full instead of installments and have enough to move forward and forever honor the memory of the truest, most incredible man I had the privilege to share my life with for 33 years.
Thank you and God Bless,
PLEASE HELP GET JUSTICE FOR KEN
To Friends Still Getting Updates From This GoFundMe,
First, I'd like to thank each and everyone of you again for helping give both Ken and I hope that a Type O donor heart would be found or that the experimental cardiac stem cells would work, Your support over 24 months of this GFM, as well as your friendship for decades gave my beloved a fighting chance. He knew about every donation and it brought tears to his eyes to know how many cared so deeply about him. He left this world 13 months ago knowing he was not insignificant, invisible or forgotten. God bless you forever
I am doing my best to honor Ken's memory by showing others his gentle wisdom, humor and by staying on this planet -- something he always said he couldn't do for a day without me. Ken was simply the best person I ever knew and probably ever will know, besides being my partner in this world for over 33 years and father to our beautiful daughter.
Today, I'm asking for your help in truly honoring Ken's contribution as a union member of The Boston Newspaper Guild since late 1993. As many of you know, I had asked a year ago for the names of attorneys or at The Boston Newspaper Guild as Human Resources gave me quite a runaround about Kenny's additional life insurance, taken out weekly from his paycheck. First they said he had accidental life, not additional and then changed it to he had never paid for any Globe life insurance out of his check. I knew differently as Ken and I had discussed whether he wanted money deducted when he became permanent at the paper in the 90's. Obviously, that discussion continued throughout years and was part of his legal will, drafted, signed and notarized in 2005 by Attorney James DeMaria.
I have gathered together years of weekly pay stubs and benefit election sheets of Ken's since March through many, many tears and much anger. Every single one of them shows $28.20 taken out weekly under the code, "ADDL Life". The last stub received after his passing in January 2016 even had it deducted. The benefit elections signed by the BNG and Ken all read Basic Life x 1x or 2x, depending on the year, with the notice that this is voluntary and not part of the $73,000 that you don't have to pay for if you are a member of the Guild..Ken never waived taking the additional life insurance from his weekly salary and it remained a weekly deduction until his passing. He also filled out that I am the beneficiary of these monies and if I didn't survive him, our daughter would be (he had to fill out our SSN#'s etc under that).
A very reputable attorney thought this should be a quick, easy fix after looking at the piles of paperwork as it was a "no brainer". He sent certified letters to Scott Steeves, President of The Boston Newspaper Guild, after Mr. Steeves' just laughed at me on the phone. To date, there has been no response to these certified and signed for legal letters (well over 3 months now).
My attorney has recommended that I get a heavy hitting business/corporate law attorney to file formal suit as "nice" and "facts"/"proof" don't work under the current BNG. Unfortunately, after 13 months of paying off Ken's expenses (which I'm still paying), sending out his death certificate everywhere and making calls that he had passed, trying to keep our tiny rented family apartment roof over my head which carries his scent and warmth still, my health insurance going up, but no longer paying for a majority my cancer treatments, I will literally be homeless in 3 months or less.
Ken had carefully planned through paying for that additional life insurance weekly through the Boston Newspaper Guild that this would not happen. Again, we discussed it on many occasions and I knew how much would be owed if the worst happened.
That the Union would dishonor my late husband and his family in such an "alternative facts" and "ignore" way is not only criminal, but such a hugely disrespectful act towards Ken's memory and those left behind.
Please, if you are reading this, help me get justice for Ken and please help me stay afloat until I receive these monies. I will pay back every dime. If needed, I will also furnish proof to any via email showing Ken's additional life insurance.
I realize widows are supposed to be strong and have earned income, but I gave that up to take care of the love of my life for well over two years. As for being strong, god, I am trying. Quite honestly, losing Ken after so much hope he would make it has left me in a no-woman's land of yo-yo-ing emotions, exhaustion, opportunistic infections and missing him some days to the point it's hard to put one foot in front of the other. Other days, I am trying to help the elderly through a neighborhood friends program and take action against the executive orders of the current POTUS. Ken and I used to talk about that if he wasn't here (always with a "bite your tongue" after that remark), that it would be terrific to go back to school to upgrade my computer skills to today's workplace after being a freelancer for so long. Had the insurance money come through the way it was supposed to, even with cancer, that's what I'd be doing now along with what has already been mentioned.
Someone very dear decided to do a GoFundme for me about two weeks or so ago. He has seen all the actual paperwork and couldn't stand the position I'm in. He launched it on his Facebook wall, which is how I found out about it. I was so incredibly touched and grateful, but it looks as if people that don't know me are confusing that with this one I had to save Ken as they somehow show up together, Please know that my friend can sometimes speak controversially, but it's always from his huge heart (whether you agree with him or not, he's one truly wonderful person). The link is
https://t.co/dzlrPaqhTo and if you can, please help. Ken would be so thankful that you've extended your caring for him to me to help right a wrong that he no longer can.
Much Love, Gratitude and Blessings To You All
The Boston Globe Is Still Denying Ken's Additional Life Benefits
I hope all is well with everyone. Wishing a Happy Easter to those who observe the holiday, May your baskets be filled with chocolates, bunnies, "Peeps" and above all, lots of love.
During this less than three months since Ken has been gone, I'm finding so much more has been left undone. The days get harder with missing him, rather than easier. I'm trying to rally from an almost paralyzing depression and a lot of anger towards The Globe. I'm hoping someone can help.
The Globe via Rachel Klein (Human Resources), Steve Behenna and Michelle Contreras (Benefits) insisted back in January 2016 that Kenny was paying for Accidental Life Insurance out of his weekly paychecks even though they read each week "ADD'L Life" and Ken had told me the total amount I would receive. I knew this couldn't be right as Ken had made a big deal about how much was taken out of his check every week and that he wished it could be more to insure I had at least five years of a roof over my head. He was very clear that he was paying for $78,000 in "additional" life insurance out-of-pocket and The Globe would add another $73,000 to that through their Basic Life Benefit. He was thinking of increasing the amount just a few weeks before he passed and completely trusted The Globe to handle everything with truth, dignity and integrity when he was gone.
I have tried to reach The Globe via email and phone on many occasions now as I recently found Ken's file with his yearly Benefit Elections from The New York Times Company (not from John Henry's ownership, but the codes are the same). These papers are very clear that he was, indeed, paying for what he told me: "additional life insurance" of $78,000, not "accidental life insurance" which has a different code.
This was what Ken lovingly could afford to leave me, our daughter and part of his legacy. He would never have had a weekly amount deducted for accidental life when he knew he was sick and the papers I have prove that.
The Globe ignoring my requests for the hard copies of his benefit elections when the company changed hands is an insult to Ken's memory and also theft of a weekly part of his hard-earned wages.
I'm willing to give the devils their due and say perhaps in the transition from NYT's to John Henry's Team, they made some type of computer error, but this complete silence and lack of looking into it or seeing my actual hard copies is beyond reason.
If anyone can email me the name of an inexpensive attorney who deals with these matters, a BNG higher up who can help or any information to make this wrong right, I would be so appreciative. I can not survive on that $73,000 with so many "death expenses" still to pay and the high cost of living. I will be without our home in a year without this insurance that Ken broke his back working for/paying into even when he could barely breathe.
Thank you for any help and god bless. Ken loved, respected and appreciated all of you so much, as do I.
Much Love and Gratitude, Karyn
Ken and I appreciated every donation through GoFundMe, as well as through other means.The Boston Globe Union via The Newspaper Guild sent $500.00 directly to the J.S. Waterman Funeral home. Truly a beautiful gesture to a man who believed greatly in the power and importance of unions.
All of you helped keep Kenny with us for a few years more than was anticipated without the prayed- for heart/kidney transplant and certainly helped him live more comfortably within the confines of our apartment. What a gift! My heart is filled with your caring for such a beautiful man.
Ken was buried, per his wishes, privately, at The Forest Hills Cemetery on 1/22/16. He wanted people to remember his life and not his death. His love for all of you extended to not wanting to put anyone through any further trauma. If you would like to visit his gravesite and say a prayer, please feel free to go to the Rest Haven section of the cemetery, plot 23, at Forest Hills, 95 Forest Hills Avenue, Boston, MA 02130.
I have so many old-new memories of Ken that are replacing some of the memories of those last 5 weeks in MGH. With your help, I hope to get to a place where I no longer see him frail and in pain, but smiling that gorgeous smile of his and being the rebel he always was.
Ken's remarkable courage to endure so many procedures, help pave inroads into cardiac care through allowing experimental procedures and hope beyond all hope to survive is a tribute to the life he lived and the respect he had for every living thing. He was a true gentleman and believed in walking softly and carrying a big stick (paraphrase obviously). He was someone who could break out into unabashed giggles or tears, share a beer, a workout or a great talk with you and never cared for societal mores of what masculine behavior should be. He was very sure of who he was, but always humble about his abilities as both a reporter and editor. Ken's unique personality embraced all and one of his greatest gifts was letting people just be who they were. When we first met, I couldn't believe how at home in my own skin he made me feel and how cherished for my many layers. I believe he brought out the best in all of us and cared for us when we were less than our best!
As a child born under the sign of Scorpio, he did have temper, but that was mostly brought out under great duress--especially when anyone helpless was treated unfairly. Ken usually dealt with stress by spending two hours working out and listening to music or watching a science fiction/fantasy flick. He loved to read biographies and thrillers, as well as historical novels. In those last years, when anything physical was not possible, we'd watch movies together, talk politics, religion, philosophy and delved into the nature of love on a whole 'nother level.
During this time of missing my love more than words could possibly express, I am truly comforted by your memories of Ken and your continued generosity of spirit. I know I make a lousy widow by not getting back to people in a timely manner. Please know grief has been coming in waves that ebb and flow. As soon as I'm a bit less tearful when I least expect it, I will plan with some dear friends of Kens a place we can all toast his life and celebrate the joy he brought to this world. I promised Ken I would do that and I do think it's important that we pay tribute to him. I am also looking into having a tree planted near one of his favorite spots on Thoreau Path in Boston.
I'd love to thank certain individuals who have gone above and beyond over these past two years, but I don't want to embarrass them. I know you know who you are and how grateful I am.
To all those fighting the good fight now against many diseases, sending prayers for healing. I know Ken is watching over you.
All My Love and Gratitude To So Many Incredible Individuals. I hope to see you all soon.
Cheers and -30's- for now,
God Bless your beautiful family. Prayers from California.
Good luck, Ken!! Psst, don't tell anyone but you're my favorite copy editor.
My thoughts are with you, buddy. Hang in there