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Paul Marinaro's Road to Recovery

$53,461 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 451 people in 17 months
Created January 3, 2018
For Christmas 2017, instead of getting to spend the holiday at home with loved ones enjoying time together, eating a delicious home cooked meal, and taking in the warmth of a fire with the colorful lights of a tree, Paul Marinaro spent it in the hospital recovery from emergency life-saving surgery.

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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Hi everyone:

Céline Peterson here with an update on our dear Paul Marinaro, who had his second (and hopefully final) surgery last week. I am thrilled to let you all know that this second surgery was a complete success, though fairly invasive and has left our friend in considerable pain and discomfort for the time being. This also of course means that he will unable to work for another extended period of time - every artist's worst fear. That reality added to another round of mounting medical bills, and this has been a very overwhelming and frightening time for Paul. So many have continued to ask how they might be able to help and therefore I am once again sharing this campaign. For those who are able to, please consider sending our friend some financial support to help get him through this once and for all, and to return to the stage uninterrupted and triumphant. Believe me when I say that every little bit truly does count. Here is a statement from Paul expressing his continued gratitude:

"When I think back on the past 5.5 months since my emergency surgery in December and all that those months have entailed – the physical, emotional, and financial setbacks as well as all of the personal and professional triumphs – I am immediately reminded of the immense amount of help that I’ve received from all of you along the way.  In all of my adult life, I’ve never been out of work this long with no income -  a terrifying reality under any circumstances.   I can’t imagine going through any of this without the support that each of you has provided, and I become overwhelmed to think just how fortunate I’ve been.  With the second and hopefully final surgery now successfully completed, and as I begin the final stage of recovery, it’s important to me to once again attempt to thank you all for contributing to my cause.  I have breathed easier because of each of you and will never forget that."
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Friends. It has been an unbelievable week to say the least. First off, I am thrilled to share that we are now less than $3,000 away from our $50,000 goal for Paul! What incredible generosity from each and every one of you and your networks. Thank you for contributing, sharing, and not letting this be forgotten.

Second, I have to thank Howard Reich at the Chicago Tribune for another absolutely beautiful article in support of Paul, this time sharing his conversation with jazz legend Sheila Jordan ahead of her arrival in Chicago for last night's benefit! Read: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/reich/ct-ent-jordan-marinaro-0228-story.html

Speaking of said benefit, not only was it a massive success, but Paul was able to be in attendance and surprised the crowd at the end of the night by joining Sheila for a very special duet of 'Comes Love' and then leaving not one person in the room without tears during a beautiful thank-you to the room by way of a moving performance of 'I'm Pulling Through'. Feeling energized from a taste of being back on stage where he belongs, Paul ended the night with an electrifying version of 'Just a Lucky So-and-so'!!! As if that weren't enough, his companion and strongest form of therapy through all of this, his handsome dog TITUS joined him on stage to give both Paul and Sheila some love at the end of the evening! It was a night that not a single person on that room will soon forget, and thanks to every single person who joined us, we were able to raise over $16,000 for Paul with ticket sales and our silent auction.

From the bottom of my heart, I hang each and every one of you for your endless generosity. Paul is beyond completely and totally overcome with gratitude.

Let's get together that $50k mark on GoFundMe! I know we can do it. I know YOU can do it. Thank you so very much, and I'll be back soon with another update!

-Céline Peterson

Special thanks to Shoko Nagano for the attached photos!
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An update from Paul...

“February 22...two months since surgery and enjoying a walk with my best buddy and sidekick, Titus. I am very happy to be on the road to recovery, despite last week's frustrating disruption in those plans. It was definitely an unplanned setback and though it was a rough week, I am grateful that I did not require more surgery (for the time being) and that they were able to rectify the problem "conservatively". I just want to once again thank you all for your continual support and let you know that I am back home again and feeling much better. If I'm unable to respond to each of you, please know that I am receiving, reading, and enjoying every text, card, voicemail, etc.
The outpouring is unlike anything I'd ever imagined possible.
Though it feels so insufficient, I offer a very heartfelt and humble THANK YOU!
And yes, just like mine, Titus' eyes squint when he smiles.”
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Friends and fans of Paul, Céline Peterson here again. As I know some of you have heard, Paul found himself back in the hospital this past weekend, where he remains after a complication from his surgery. Paul wishes to thank everyone who has reached out to him and as you can imagine, it is hard for him to communicate with everyone at this time. Just know that he is staying strong, staying positive, and continuously comforted by the love and support he has received over what has been, without a doubt, the most challenging two months of his life. Please share the link to the www.gofundme.com/PaulMarinaro page that was setup to help Paul while he is recovering and unable to work: www.gofundme.com/PaulMarinaro. Also, for those in the Chicago area, please join us at thJazz Showcasese on FEBRUARY 28TH for a very special benefit concert for Paul featuring appearances froDee Alexanderer and the one and onlSheila Jordan!!! Tickets: http://ticketf.ly/2DlVPLw Sincere thanks to all who have made a contribution and shared the campaign already. Paul promises to be back stronger than ever!
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$53,461 of $60,000 goal

Raised by 451 people in 17 months
Created January 3, 2018
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