For those of you who don’t know, I am Ray Korona’s Life Partner. I wanted to make sure everyone listed in his email address book received this note, so please excuse duplication if you have already received it. Also, I tried to send to the whole list yesterday and that didn’t seem to work, so I’m sending again in smaller batches.
I hope eventually everybody will think about Ray and get the usual happy feeling, but for now I am sad to say that Ray passed away at 6:00 pm Thursday, Oct. 16, at Hackensack UMC. I was there, along with his brother and sister and in-laws, some nieces and nephews, and several friends. We played Ray’s cds. Gina Tlamsa, a friend and member of the Ray Korona Band, added great beauty and peace to the day by playing the flute.
Ray was diagnosed with Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma about a year ago, and after chemo as part of a clinical trial, he was feeling pretty good most of last winter and spring. He went into remission and was able to perform in the annual Ray Korona Band show in April. In May he had a stem cell transplant, which was supposed to give him a much better chance of staying in remission. In August we learned that the cancer had come back. He tried one kind of chemo and felt good for several weeks, but then it didn’t seem to be working well enough.
Two and a half weeks ago Ray checked into the hospital because his doctor wanted to investigate some blood test results. His immune system readings were also low, and he had been needing transfusions periodically. He had also just had the first infusion of a different chemo drug. We thought this would be a routine visit to fix a few things and continue as an outpatient, but various symptoms, like shortness of breath, started to get worse. Monday Ray got Sepsis and was moved to the ICU. Tuesday he seemed to be getting better, but after that things got worse again and Thursday the doctor called us all in. In short, this was a very strong and aggressive cancer. There have been a lot of new developments in its treatment in recent years, but apparently not enough.
A lot of you have been asking me what you can do to help. I’m not really sure at this point, but on a personal level I will certainly take some of you up on your offers. The main thing I can think of is something Ray cared about deeply: sing Ray’s songs and try to get his music heard by as many people as possible. (http://www.raykorona.com)
Community Church (home of the Peoples’ Voice Cafe), will be hosting a public celebration of Ray, hopefully within 2 months. And members of the Ray Korona Band will be singing a few of his songs as part of the Peoples’ Voice Cafe 35th Anniversary Celebration, November 22.
Thank you again for all your support over the past year and a half, and your continuing support now.
Good News loved Ray Korona. We did many Peace and Water Shows with him, he was the most sincere loving men we ever met. He always made you feel good and special, but he always was the one who was SO SPECIAL. We loved him and know he and his music are still and will always be around us.