￼As a citizen of both Canada and the United States, I get to experience all the wonderful elements of each country - vibrant cities, beautiful countrysides, and countless cultures that bring together traditions both old and new. As a Canadian, I have the benefit of our Universal Healthcare system, which protects me from any illness, injury and unexpected health issue that may come my way. Unfortunately, as a self-employed musician living in the United States, my very dear friend Paul Marinaro is forced to live a very different reality.
Paul has struggled with Diverticulutis for years. That condition has come with severe chronic pain, nausea, fever and extreme fatigue, along with considerable weight loss that can hit at any given moment. Those who are familiar with what he has struggled with have seen him push through this pain under unimaginable circumstances. Those who were not aware witnessed it whether they realized it or not. Paul has performed to sold out crowds while holding onto the piano to maintain his balance because he was having an attack. He has laid on the floor of backstage areas while the band plays the opening number. This has been going on for years, and the pain, discomfort and inconvenience has only gotten worse, though he has always managed to maintain truly astonishing strength and integrity when it came to his performances. Why has he put up with this? Because as a citizen of the United States, he was unable to get the medical attention he needs without putting himself into major debt. Not just the debt of the surgery and hospital stay, but any materials necessary to his recovery, any homecare that may be needed, rehab and of course, the fact that he will be unable to work for months with no idea how he will manage to take care of his every day expenses.
While Paul has managed (quite remarkably) to avoid the inevitable for many years, on December 22nd 2017, the inevitable and unavoidable happened. After years of chronic bouts, his weakened colon ruptured, causing a massive infection and he became severly septic. Thankfully, he was able to get to the phone to call 911 and the ambulance took him to the hospital. By that afternoon they were working to save his life. With his family on a plane from Buffalo, and his dearest friend by his side, Paul was able to start what would be the biggest fight of his life.
The best Christmas gift that any of us who love Paul could get is the news that the surgery was successful. The doctor informed us that this was the worst case he had seen in his 21+ years of being a general and vascular surgeon. Hearing him reiterate how close we all came to losing Paul was very jarring. Of course, we are all completely relieved that he is with us and starting his road to recovery.
Now, the hard part. Paul has a long road ahead of him starting with recovering from this first surgery, preparing for a needed second, recovering from that and then working his way back to the stage. He needs our help.
Along with being one of the best people on the face of this earth, Paul has an incredible talent and has worked incredibly hard to build his career (especially over the last decade in Chicago), and in the last year has taken some huge strides. He made his New York City debut to a sold-out crowd at one of the most historic clubs in jazz history, Birdland (PAUL SINGING "DEVIL MAY CARE" AT BIRDLAND) , performed with the legendary Sheila Jordan for the 2017 Chicago Jazz Festival to a crowd over over 10,000 people and has sold-out countless performances at the iconic venues Jazz Showcase (PAUL SINGING "FOR ALL WE KNOW" AT THE JAZZ SHOWCASE) and The Green Mill (PAUL SINGING "I AIN'T GOT NOTHIN' BUT THE BLUES" AT THE GREEN MILL) . His 2013 debut album (a carefully created concept album in tribute to his Father) was met with widespread acclaim all over the US, and led to the beginning of a professional up-swing for Paul that would send him to various cities in the United States and to Canada, to share his talents with eager audiences. (PAUL AND JOSEPH MARINARO: "YOU WILL BE MY MUSIC")
Paul belongs on stage. There are no two ways about it. It's his home. He is the perfect example of someone who was born to do this. Along with his god-given talent, he has put countless hours of work into continuously evolving as a singer. He has spent a large portion of his life dedicated to learning more about the music that he wants to sing. He is not in this for any reason other than the fact that he loves it, and he knows as much as anyone who has heard him sing, that this is what he is meant to do. Paul has some very big career opportunities scheduled for later in 2018, and he is using these dates as a goal to keep him motivated.
Fiercly proud and independent, those of you who know Paul are well aware of how hard it is for him to accept help, let alone ask for it. I want you to know that he is aware of this campaign and has humbly consented to my organizing this. This is a very difficult thing for him, but he is very appreciative to everyone who has already reached out and asked how they can help.
Please consider giving your support to someone who needs and deserves it. Paul has a very long road ahead of him, and wants nothing more than to be back on stage healthier than ever. He needs our help. Absolutely any donation is greatly appreciated. ￼
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