This text was dumped from the document file which was used to create the hardcopy version of CryoCare Report. The text was reformatted for transmission online. We doubt that any errors were introduced by format conversion, but this possibility does exist. If in doubt, please refer to the hardcopy version of CryoCare Report as the definitive one.
The previous issue of this newsletter was extremely poorly printed. I used a local printer who had done good work for me previously, but on this occasion the results were awful. Unfortunately the job was also delivered late, and there was no time to get it re-done. We will be using a new printer for this issue, and I hope the results will be better.
The newsletter is now being designed by Erico Narita, a professional graphic artist whose past work ranges from fine-art calendars to annual reports for Fortune 500 companies. Erico is donating her services because she has a strong interest in cryonics. I'm very grateful to her for giving the newsletter a clean, professional look. I have cut back my own writing in this issue and have encouraged other people to contribute more. I'd like this trend to continue, not because I'm lazy (in some ways, it's actually easier for me to write than edit) but because I think it's healthier for CryoCare Report to represent as many different points of view as possible. Although the focus here is primarily on news, I'm open to opinion pieces, and I encourage anyone to contribute.
Material for the newsletter should be sent to me at or 1133 Broadway #1214, New York, NY 10010.
Brenda Peters writes: Unbelieveable! It's been a year and a half since we started the best cryonics group in the world! We have accomplished more than anyone expected.
But the breakneck pace of our growth has worn me out and I'm going to take a break from being President of CryoCare. I am proud that Brian Wowk, one of the superstars of cryonics, has been elected to replace me.
I'm not leaving CryoCare or cryonics. I will still be a Director of CryoCare and help our marketing efforts. I will also be working to raise money for more research for cryonics.
The next year and a half will be just as unbelieveable!
This orientation alone has tended to label us as extremists, out of sympathy with most Americans; but times appear to be changing. A Gallup poll sponsored by Time/CNN in May, 1995 found that a surprising 39% of respondents were willing to agree that the expanding powers of the federal government "pose an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens."
When asked the question, "In order to combat terrorism, do you think the federal government should be given more power to investigate U.S. citizens?" 33% said "Yes" while 61% said "No."
After studying these results, David Moore of Gallup commented, "This hostility to government is not ideological. People on the left and the right share the same view." He added that he was even more surprised that 20% of respondents agreed with the suggestion that "ordinary citizens should be allowed to arm and organize themselves in order to resist the powers of the federal government."
Public opinion is volatile. Still, these numbers suggest a growing resistance to federal regulation and control, which may be good news for those of us who fear the consequences if and when cryonics attracts the attention of federal regulators.
Billy Seidel, General Partner of Symbex, asked cryonicist Judy Norman Sharp, a licensed real-estate broker, to sell the building through Century 21. Judy kindly took on the job for zero commission and obtained several offers, none of which was satisfactory.
In September 1994 Billy asked Grubb and Ellis to sell the property. They managed to get two offers, one of which was an all cash deal where the buyer did not require Alcor to restore the building to code, thereby saving the organization more than $10,000. On behalf of Symbex, Billy accepted this offer. The sale of the building closed on May 23, 1995.
"There was one partner in Symbex who objected to the sale," Billy reports. "As a result, what was supposed to be a small amount of time and very little effort turned into many hours of frustrating work. If anyone's interested in the details, they can call me at my home phone, (310) 836 1231, or my office, (310) 836 1111. As of now, the building is sold and distribution of the proceeds is underway."
New evidence shows that when human cryopreservation is carried out under favorable conditions, it causes minimal damage that we can reasonably expect to be reversible at some time in the future using molecular nanotechnology.
A month ago, I would not have been able to write that sentence. I would have felt compelled to qualify it in some way - because no study of human cryopreservation protocol had ever shown freezing damage that could genuinely be described as "minimal."
Now, however, research by Michael Darwin, Sandra Russell, Larry Wood, Candy Wood, and Steven B. Harris MD has given us new reason to believe that modern cryopreservation techniques are doing what they're supposed to do: minimizing freezing damage more successfully than simpler perfusion protocols that were used in the past.
The full text of a paper reporting this research was posted at the beginning of June, 1995 on CryoNet (the online cryonics mail list) and in sci.cryonics (the Usenet news group). There's insufficient room to reprint this text here, but a summary of it follows with photographs that tell their own story.
First let me recap some basic background. In the 1950s, experiments showed that when the cells of a mammal are frozen, they experience less damage if they have been soaked previously in a solution of glycerol.
Unfortunately, it's much more difficult to apply this treatment to an intact organism than to a small tissue sample. Glycerol is capable of causing excessive tissue shrinkage and damage to cells if it's administered too rapidly in too high a concentration. Using proper introduction and monitoring equipment, however, the concentration of the solution can be gradually ramped up during a prolonged period of perfusion so that a high terminal concentration can be reached with relative safety. This technique was applied to cryonics patients by Leaf, Darwin, and others during the 1980s.
While there were good reasons to believe that this protocol was giving patients an improved level of protection, the supposition was never properly verified, mainly because there was insufficient time, money, and personnel to support the research. But in 1993, when BioPreservation moved into its new home in the building owned by Twenty-First Century Medicine, there was an opportunity to catch up on this overdue verification.
Several dogs were anesthetized and were put into cardiac arrest while they were unconscious. After a short waiting period (equivalent to the wait that a cryonics patient might experience before receiving attention from a transport team), the dogs were given cardio-pulmonary support using a "Thumper" mechanical CPR device, medications were administered, and blood washout and perfusion with glycerol were carried out, in exactly the same way as if the BioPreservation team was dealing with a human cryonics case. The dogs were cooled and maintained for 12 to 18 months at -90 C, then rewarmed. Brain samples were examined using light and electron microscopy, and damage was found to be minimal.
A second set of dogs was treated with a simpler protocol, similar to the type used previously in cryonics and still favored by some cryonicists who prefer simpler, less costly perfusion. The period of perfusion was briefer, and the terminal concentration of glycerol was lower. Brain tissue from these animals showed much higher levels of damage.
The bad news, of course, is that in the real world, random factors frequently interfere with cryonics procedures, and a patient may be subjected to longer periods of warm ischemia or CPR than were allowed in this study. As a result, the brain may sustain injury before perfusion even begins. Studies conducted on cats in the mid-1980s tend to confirm this. Where the animal was packed in ice for 24 hours after death, before cryoprotective perfusion and freezing, substantially worse brain damage was observed.
Also, even though the new study shows good preservation of fine brain-cell structures, with uniformly intact contents of synapses and their membranes, considerable damage did still occur. Ice holes were observed around brain capillaries, cells were dehydrated and shrunken, and some cells lost their cell membranes (although this did not seem to happen to neurons, only to their supportive glial cells). Perhaps most worrisome was the presence of large tears, although they were much less frequent than we have seen in tissue samples prepared using other protocols.
Summarized extracts from the paper by Michael Darwin, Sandra Russell, Larry
Wood, Candy Wood, and Steven B. Harris MD.
Research in which cat and sheep brains were perfused with a moderate level of glycerol (4M to 5M), frozen, and rewarmed has been previously reported. These studies showed ultrastructural-level tearing and fraying of the ripped ends of nerve tracts, separation of capillaries from from surrounding brain tissue, physical disruption of the capillaries, lysis of the endothelial cells with occassional adherent endothelial cell nuclei, separation of the endothelial cells from capillary basement membrane, separation of myelin from axons, formation of gaps between the axon membrane and the myelin, unravelling of the myelin, extensive disruption of the neuropil and of the plasma membrane of both neuronal and glial cells, and conversion of intracellular and synaptic membrane structure into amorphous debris or empty and/or debris-containing vesicles. The purpose of our study was to see whether comparable damage would be suffered by a dog brain that was treated with protocols similar to those previously used, and to find out whether BioPreservation perfusion/freezing protocol would reduce this damage.
Five adult dogs weighing between 24 and 28 kg were used in our study. All animals received humane care in compliance with the "Principles of Laboratory Animal Care" formulated by the National Society for Medical Research and the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" prepared by the National Institutes of Health (NIH Publicoation No. 80-23, revised 1978).
Three animals constituted the experimental group and were subjected to simulated transport, total body washout, cryoprotectuve perfusion, freezing-thawing, and fixation.
In addition, two control animals were prepared. One of them was subjected to fixation at normothermic (normal body) temperature, to demonstrate that fixation and microscopy would yield normal-appearing tissue. The second control animal was subjected to cryoprotective perfusion and was then subjected to fixation without being taken down to temperatures below freezing.
Introduction of glycerol was by constant rate addition of base perfusate containing 65 v/v glycerol to a recirculating reservoir containing approximately 15 liters of 5% v/v glycerol in MHP-2 base perfusate. The target terminal tissue glycerol concentration was 7.4M in the venous effluent and the target time course for completion of the cryoprotectant ramp was 2 hours.
Cooling to -79 C was carried out by placing the animals within a 6 mil polyethylene bag from which air was evacuated with a shop-type vacuum cleaner and then submerging them in an n-propanol bath which had been precooled to -40 C. Bath temperature was slowly reduced to -79 C by the periodic addition of dry ice. Cooling was at a rate (averaged) of approximately 4 C per hour.
Following cooling to -79 C, the animals (now placed inside nylon sleeping bags) were positioned atop three 6"x12" styrofoam blocks inside a two-stage Rheem Ultra Low, -90 C mechanical freezer. Cooling to -90 C from -77 C was complete in approximately 6 hours. After twelve to eighteen months, the animals were placed in a well stirred n-propanol bath which had been precooled to 0C. Rewarming was at an average rate of 10C per hour. When the animals' core temperatures reached -6C they were removed from the alcohol bath. The animals were reconnected to a simplified extracorporeal circuit for perfusion of fixative.
Perhaps most striking was the excellent reperfusion of virtually every organ system in the animals with the exception of the spleen, which failed to perfuse almost completely. Venous return was excellent.
There was no evidence of cracking or fracturing, even though these animals were rewarmed by transfer from -90C to a 0C liquid bath. Particularly striking was uniform fixative perfusion of the brain. An advantage of carbon particle marker over dye is that it is possible to demonstrate not only filling of large vessels, but of perfusion of the capillaries as well, as evidenced by uniform darkening of the tissue to black or charcoal gray.
In sharp contrast to all of the previously cited studies, the high degree of ultrastructural preservation observed in this series of animals is unprecedented.
The most striking difference between this work and previous brain cryopreservation studies is the overall recognizability, inferrability, and even "normality" which is present in the micrographs. Examination of neuropil, individual synapses and axons at magnifications from 40,000x to 80,000x reveal excellent preservation of fine structure. Synapse morphology is normal in appearance and synaptic vesicles, membrane structure and general appearance are almost indistinguishable from unglycerolized, nonfrozen control, and are virtually indistinguishable from glycerolized-fixed non-frozen controls.
At the same time, however, there is evidence of considerable damage. Particularly disturbing are the continued presence of large (5 to 15 micron diamater in cross section) tears of unknown "depth" in both the grey and white matter. Dehydration of structures and the presence of what appear to be free nuclei and lysed glial cells are also disturbing.
Another important caveat to consider is that this study confirms the poverty of circulatory support provided by closed-chest cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Thumper support after cardiac arrest was grossly inadequate as indicated by low CO, EtCO2 aMAP, and SaO2 readings. Clearly, more effective means of circulatory support are needed to bridge the gap between pronouncement (cardiac arrest) and vascular access and the beginning of extracorporeal circulatory support.
While this study demonstrates substantial preservation of brain ultrastructure and histology, it also points out that much remains to done before reversible brain cryopreservation can be achieved or there can be a high degree of confidence that the structures responsible for memory and personality remain sufficiently intact to allow recovery of cryopreserved patients on a reasonable time scale (50 to 150 years).
Like many cryonicists, I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction and futurist thinking. My years as a Canadian teenager were particularly influenced by Kerry O'Quinn's Future magazine (circa 1977-1981) and the upbeat pro-individualist view of the future that it promoted.
My first contact with real-life cryonics came in early 1986 when I received an Alcor brochure sent out in a promotional mailing by Saul Kent's and Bill Faloon's Life Extension Foundation. I spent the rest of the year reading everything about cryonics I could find, and spent dozens of hours on the phone with Hugh Hixon and then-President Mike Darwin at Alcor. I was hooked. Cryonics was the simultaneous embodiment of three of the most powerful ideas I had ever encountered: the technological efficacy of human beings, the supreme value of individual human life, and the potential for human biological immortality.
In late 1986 I became involved in a lengthy electronic debate about cryonics on CompuServe, and my performance there prompted Mike Darwin to ask me to work with him to write a comprehensive introduction to cryonics for Alcor. This project eventually became Cryonics: Reaching for Tomorrow (CRFT), which after several revisions is still used by Alcor today.
A central premise of CRFT is that if cryonics works, then cryonics patients are not truly dead at any time. Instead, they are in a kind of coma that medicine today mistakenly calls death. This viewpoint (which seems so natural today), and the language associated with it, led to a mini-revolution in cryonics marketing that I believe helped drive Alcor's rapid growth during the late 1980s.
I have also worked on several other technical projects for cryonics over the years. These projects included the writing of technical monographs on cell repair technology, and most recently an interest in the design questions of large scale -130 C storage facilities for cryonics patients (so-called "coldrooms").
My involvement in cryonics took a very personal turn in 1991 when my mother became seriously ill. I was able to persuade her to sign up, and I took the Alcor Transport Technician course in June of that year. These skills were exercised two months later when my mother became the first cryonics patient in Canada.
In 1993 I ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Board of Alcor. There were many contentious issues involved in the election that year, but the most important one for me was access to the services of Mike Darwin and Dr. Steve Harris (who had since formed their own "front end" cryonics service company, BioPreservation). Once it became clear that Alcor was not going to allow its members access to BioPreservation services, I decided to join a group of other ex-Alcorians in forming CryoCare Foundation. I believed then, as I believe now, that technical excellence and advance is the key to making cryonics grow and gain acceptance in the larger medical community.
Professionally, I spent several years after high school working with a small computer software company that I co-founded, but eventually returned to school to earn a B.Sc. in physics and M.Sc. in medical physics. I am now in the middle a Ph.D. program in physics, specializing in functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging of brain functions). I will be continuing my Ph.D. studies (at the National Research Council of Canada Institute for Biodiagnostics in Winnipeg, Manitoba) fulltime during my CryoCare presidency, because (according to my wise wife, who is also a CryoCare member) this is the only way I will keep my feet on the ground, and my head in the real world.
In order to encourage an open dialogue between the officers, directors, and members of CryoCare, I am pleased to announce the formation of an electronic discussion group called "CryoCare Forum". The purpose of CryoCare Forum is to act as an "open town meeting" where members of CryoCare may discuss issues and policies relevant to the CryoCare family of companies.
The forum is meant to supplement CryoCare Report. CryoCare has been devoted to "open discussion of the issues" from its inception. But detailed discussions and meaningful debate are just not possible in a newsletter, due to the time lag, space constraints, and costs associated with publication. Since these constraints don't apply to electronic discussion groups, important issues and policies can be thoroughly discussed and debated in an open setting with full participation of members.
Participation in the forum is open to all members of CryoCare. The only requirement is that you must have completed the signup process. There is no fee for joining. All you need is an account on a computer system that can send and receive Internet mail (e.g., AOL, CompuServe, etc.). Sixteen people have already joined the forum - including all the officers and directors plus a number of "regular members." If you would like to join, just send your subscription request to Mike O'Neal at . (CompuServe members should precede this address with the INTERNET: prefix). CryoCare Forum is rapidly becoming the place where the policies of your cryonics organization are being discussed and decided. As a member, you have a very real stake in these discussions. So, come on, join the Forum and get involved!
When we created CryoCare, one of our primary concerns was to establish a secure method for managing patient funds. The widely used system of investing a lump sum and using the interest to pay for long-term care seemed basically good to us, but we were concerned about its potential for abuse.
Historically, all cryonics organizations have been relatively small and undercapitalized, creating an inevitable temptation to use patient funds for purposes which aren't directly connected with patient care. Fortunately, cryonics has mostly tended to attract ethical individuals whose primary concern is patient safety. But in a business which may have to endure for a century or more, we felt it was foolish to allow any opportunity for fraud.
It seemed to us that funds should be held and managed by a separate organization which would have only one priority: to protect patients in cryopreservation. These fund managers would have no divided loyalties because they would be prohibited from serving as officers or directors of any other cryonics-related business.
Our initial efforts to create this fund-management organization have been described in a previous newsletter. We're happy to report that the Independent Patient Care Foundation (IPCF) has now been formed and will conform with all our requirements. We believe it will provide the best possible protection for patient funds in cryonics today.
Meanwhile, in keeping with our policy of providing as much freedom of choice as possible, we will also allow our members to set up their own separate, individual trusts (in Wisconsin or in countries where perpetual trusts are legal) to hold funds beyond the minimum which we feel is necessary for long-term care. Later this year we hope to offer boilerplate documents which members can use to create individual trusts.
In general, though, we believe that most of our members will be satisfied with the IPCF. It has been specifically designed to avoid:
Depredation - Cryonics organizations have sometimes found themselves faced with hostile relatives who may bring legal action to claim a patient's money for themselves. CryoCare will present a much less tempting target for this kind of action, since it will not have patient funds under its control. Since the IPCF is a genuinely independent organization, it will be hard for anyone to bring a plausible suit naming it as a codefendant.
Government - The federal government is making active use of RICO statutes to seize the assets of small businesses and individuals who are involved in enterprises (such as selling vitamins by mail order) that the government disapproves of. At some point, this tactic may be used against a cryonics organization. This is another reason why we feel it is wise to protect patient funds in a legally separate entity. Note that the IPCF is not a "false front" or dummy corporation which can be proved to have "secret ties" with CryoCare; it is an independent nonprofit corporation with its own directors, none of whom may serve as officers or directors of other cryonics businesses.
Corruption and waste - Cryonics organizations tend to be run by volunteers with low salaries, and there is a constant temptation, not only on a personal level but to spend patient funds on everyday expenses. The IPCF provides unprecedented insurance against this kind of problem.
Amateur management - It is critical that the patients' money grow beyond the rate of inflation with the least amount of risk. The funds in the IPCF will be invested by professional money managers who have a proven track record. These registered investment advisors are compelled by law to obey rules set by the SEC and the NASD which are designed to prohibit conflicts of interest.
The IPCF is a Delaware corporation currently applying for tax-exempt status. The three initial directors are Robert Krueger, Dennis Ross, and Courtney Smith.
Robert Krueger, PhD (physics) is an original member of the RAND think tank and founder and first president of the Professional Services Council. He is currently a management advisor to over 100 professional services and high-technology firms. Founder and CEO for 20 years of the $100 million Planning Research Corporation, which was the world's largest diversified professional services corporation, Dr. Krueger is a management consultant of CryoCare and was one of the first people to sign up with us as a member. More information about Dr. Krueger is available in Who's Who or American Men and Women in Science.
Courtney Smith is an internationally respected investment expert, author, and lecturer. Mr. Smith has held investment and research positions at Wall Street brokerage houses, French and Dutch banks, and was vice president and treasurer of a Swiss bank. As CEO of Quantum Financial Services (the third largest independent futures brokerage house in the world) Mr. Smith increased sales by 50% and made the company profitable for the first time in its history. The author of five books on investment strategy, Mr. Smith has made more than 400 featured guest appearances on CNBC and CNN. Currently President and CEO of Pinnacle Capital Management, Inc., Mr. Smith was a founding member of CryoCare.
Dennis M. Ross, MA, is a member of CryoCare and President and CEO of a Forbes 400 private corporation with sales in excess of $600 million. Mr. Ross has served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Florida governor Bob Graham; as Director of Administration for the city of Tampa; as a County Admnistrator; and as Captain of the Administrative Division of the County Sheriff's office. Mr. Ross has served on the Board of Governors of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, was Vice Chairman of the Clinton/Gore Florida Finance committee, has participated in the Florida Council of 100, and was recently appointed by Governor Chiles and confirmed by the Cabinet and Legislature to the Florida Board of Regents.
We believe this is the most competent and prestigious board of directors ever assembled to look after the funds of cryonics patients. The directors will have staggered terms. When each director comes up for re-election, votes will be cast by the Patient Directors of CryoCare. (There are two classes of CryoCare directors: those who deal with everyday organizational details, and those who are only concerned with patient welfare.)
Currently, CryoCare has no patients in cryopreservation. Having been "open for business" for just over a year, we are happy to say that all our members are very much alive. But we are equally happy to say that there is now a secure, stable, and separate organization in place to manage patient funds whenever necessary.
When Mike Darwin tried to enter Canada earlier this year on cryonics-related business (unrelated to CryoCare), he found himself interrogated at length by immigration officials and was only allowed to enter under the condition that he would not use any of the equipment that he brought with him. (This incident was reported in the previous issue of CryoCare Report.)
Before the passage of NAFTA, while there was always strict enforcement of entry conditions by the US Immigration Service (they used to give me trouble in the 1970s when I entered the US to teach computer courses), I believe that the Canadian immigration authorities did not bother Americans nearly as much. NAFTA has changed this and Canadian immigration officers are now rigidly enforcing regulations prohibiting any American from working in Canada without proper documentation. To work, by the way, you don't necessarily need to receive payment; "work" is any activity that might deprive a Canadian of gainful employment.
A United States citizen may apply for permission to work in Canada, but a separate application must be made long in advance of each visit. This is obviously impractical for a typical cryonics standby.
When Ben Best (Secretary of CryoCare) investigated the matter in some depth, he found that cryonics rescue personnel might get easier access if they were employed by or under contract with a US company with a branch or subsidiary in Canada. Since I am a CryoCare member who spends considerable time in Canada, I volunteered to investigate further. I now believe there are three ways to proceed: a) Incorporate at the Canadian federal level as a for-profit or non-profit corporation. b) Incorporate at the Canadian provincial level (in Ontario or Manitoba) as a for-profit or non-profit corporation. c) Apply for and receive a provincial license allowing a corporation "to carry on any of its business activities" in a particular province. (There is no such federal license.)
Although the definition of "carrying on business" does vary somewhat from province to province, it appears that CryoCare would not be carrying on business in any province unless it has an office address or a phone book listing or owns property in that province. In addition, I have now found that contrary to the Ontario situation, which does not require any license or registration of a corporation registered in another province or federally, almost every other province does require such registration. Therefore, I see no benefit in having CryoCare's Canadian branch or subsidiary be incorporated federally. Since federal incorporation is more costly, more time consuming and more regulated, I believe that either option b) or c) above is the preferred method of achieving our goal.
Before CryoCare goes ahead with incorporation in a province (option b), I recommend seeking an opinion from the Canadian Immigration authorities concerning the effect of simple registration of CryoCare Foundation as a foreign extra-provincial corporation (option c). Such a request should come from Brian Wowk as a Canadian who is President of CryoCare Foundation and resides in Manitoba.
If Brian decides to incorporate in Manitoba, I will send for all the necessary application forms and will act as Brian's assistant. If it is decided that we should incorporate in Ontario, I will be able to do considerably more to help.
There will be another update on this topic in the next CryoCare Report.
A year ago, Mike Darwin mentioned to me his need for a "collapsible" ice bath. Many months later, I discovered that what he had been talking about was something which would reduce to maybe half its normal size; but by that time, misled by my own interpretation of the word "collapsible," I had already produced a model of a design that was much more ambitious.
Photographs of that model appeared in our second newsletter. It has now been fabricated as a full-size prototype, and I'm becoming cautiously optimistic that it will perform to specification. I wasn't optimistic previously because I had never before attempted to design anything so complicated, to withstand such a heavy load (a cryonics patient plus 300 pounds of ice).
The prototype has been built by two sculptors, Julian LaVerdiere and Robert Wysokie. Julian learned about cryonics a few years ago when he happened to visit a New York art exhibition where an Alcor cryogenic dewar was displayed as a "found object." (The theme of the exhibition was "death.") Julian subsequently visited Alcor's facility and decided there were many aspects of cryonics that interested him, personally and as an artist.
During his last couple of weeks at Yale University, he and Robert built the ice-bath prototype as the first in what they hope will be many projects relating to cryonics. They are forming their own fabrication business under the deliberately hokey, 1950s-flavored name "Renulife."
When folded, the prototype measures 9 x 15 x 25 inches - small enough to fit in any closet. The photographs on this page show how it opens out. Once it is fully extended, a baseplate drops down inside the frame to make it rigid. (See photo at left, showing Julian with the fully assembled bath.) The baseplate folds in half, which reduces its size to 25 x 37 inches. The ice-bath frame weighs about 40 pounds, and the baseplate weighs slightly less. Bath and baseplate both conform with airline passenger baggage restrictions.
My next step is to ship the ice bath out to Mike Darwin, who will test it and probably suggest some refinements. After that, Julian and Robert stand poised and ready to turn out more ice baths for any local groups that are interested. The Cryonics Society of New York has voted to pay for one as part of its plan to enhance local standby capability. Anyone else who's interested can call me at (212) 929 3983.
On January 3rd, 1995, Paul Genteman was pronounced legally dead and was cryopreserved by the Alcor Foundation, where he had formerly served as a director for many years. Paul was one of the best loved activists in cryonics, and we are pleased to present tributes from the people he loved, together with photographs supplied to us through Maureen Genteman.
From Allen Lopp:
I met Paul and Maureen in October 1980, and thus I had the pleasure of knowing Paul and working with him within Alcor for about fifteen years. Paul had one of the most cheerful dispositions of anyone that I have known, and a wonderful, somewhat twisted sense of humor. Even so, he always showed his joyfulness and humor appropriately, and when a situation required seriousness, he got serious.
One of the things that Paul was serious about was his belief in the principle of human freedom. Paul was one of several in our band who introduced me to the libertarian way of thought, something that my schooling in the American Revolution should have done but failed.
Another point that I now see about Paul (and probably missed while he was here) is that he had the makings of a very good politician: paradoxically, because he always rose above the politics. When others had differences that separated them, Paul worked with everyone despite whatever differences might be.
Somewhere in antiquity, Paul's surname probably originated from the word "Gentleman." Paul must have gotten it honest from his ancestors, for he was very much a gentleman in the classic sense: devoid of any notion to coerce, thoughtful, considerate, sociable, competent, learned, capable of refinement but never pretentious or stuffy.
His loss is unspeakably tragic. Had fate treated him accordingly as he deserved, he would still be with us.
From Brenda Peters:
I can hear his laugh. He had a wonderful joyful laugh. Paul Genteman could find the humor in any situation. Paul had a love for life and all its experiences that was truly inspiring. Paul had a rare combination of qualities, among cryonicists and any other group for that matter.
Paul was smart as a whip, principled, and yet gentle and compassionate - a very kind person. He did not use his intellect to belittle others or to manipulate them. He was wise and his wisdom shone. Paul was a gentleman in a world sadly lacking gentlemen. Paul was a quiet man, the kind of man who does not need to shout his passion and power from the rooftop. Anyone who really knew Paul, knew what he was and had to love and respect him for it. Paul's death was shocking and premature. It's very difficult to accept. I hope that I'll see Paul again. I really need to see Paul again, because you see, there's so much we still have to talk about and, I hope, to laugh about.
From Mike Darwin:
I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Paul Genteman as both a fellow Alcor director and as a fellow cryopreservation team member. In 10+ years of my dealings with Paul, often under very stressful circumstances, we never exchanged a cross word; yet Paul never backed down from any position he held in opposition to mine. Anyone who knows my temperament will realize what an achievement that was.
When liquid nitrogen had to be smuggled out of the facility to service Dora Kent when she was in hiding: guess who did it, and did it without questions or reservation, and without being asked? Paul, of course.
In ten years Paul never lied to me once and he was the only person to call me regularly and without prompting after my painful departure from Alcor: to thank me and encourage me and joke with me. Funny cards would come without warning and break a black day of depression into a broad smile. He was better than Prozac.
The thing I loved most about Paul was the thing I envied most: Paul was (and hopefully will again be) one of the handful of people I have known well in my life who really got an unconditional kick out of being alive. He loved it! He was full of JOY, a word that most of us past the age of 8 or 9 have long forgotten the meaning of. He was mischievous without malice, and brilliant without pretense. The novelty and wonderfulness of life never wore out for him, as it has for so many others. I loved him dearly and prized him as an ever reliable, ever calm, and always reasonable colleague; a damn scarce commodity in cryonics, or anywhere else in the world, for that matter.
Paul, I miss you, and so do many others of greater worth than I. If I could trade places with you right now I would. I know of no higher compliment I can pay a man.
From Saul Kent:
Paul Genteman had three attributes rarely found in the same person. He was smart, open minded, and nice . . . sometimes too nice for his own good. Paul was usually not critical of others, and when he did criticize someone, he was never malicious about it. He was a peace-maker with a conscience. I miss him greatly.
From Gregory Benford:
He was smart, sure, steady. But even those qualities can't fend off bad luck. I hope to see him again, up there over the horizon of a brimming future, and shake his hand, and celebrate how even luck can't keep you down forever. We all hope.
From Bruce Disher:
Paul and I became good friends immediately after we met in April, 1967 in Toronto, Ontario. We worked together for seven years . . . took turns driving each other to work . . . lent each other money to survive from payday to payday.
Paul had just come up to Toronto from Chicago as a "conscientious objector" to the Vietnam war. For the next few years, whenever Paul wanted to visit his family, I would lend him my driver's license, birth certificate and my car so he could visit his family without being bothered at the US border. I was with Paul when he met his wife Maureen at the Coal Bin tavern in downtown Toronto.
When not going out with Maureen, Paul and I used to shoot pool, take in movies and play chess. Paul taught me how to play chess. He was a good player . . . I always razzed him for taking too long to move . . . but he always seem to come up with the right moves and more often than not beat me quite handily. Paul taught me more than chess . . . he gave me an appreciation of reading and the value of knowledge. I never saw Paul without a book in his back pocket. He was a prolific reader of every thing from extraterrestrial life forms in another galaxy to casual mystery books by Ed McBain. He could bend your ear on any subject matter. Paul was very opinionated, and the worst part was that he could always logically explain why your viewpoint was either the wrong one or totally invalid. Paul was a very clever person . . . and I enjoyed our discussions and debates. Paul and I spent a fair bit of time together years ago. Paul joined my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner every year he was in Canada. When Paul went in the army and got shipped to Korea . . . I wrote him a letter a week just so he would reciprocate. He wrote classic letters. Paul was very literate and expressed a sense of humour in his letters that I will never forget. On Paul's return from the army, Maureen and Paul spent their first few nights together at my apartment in Toronto. Paul became one of my oldest and closest friends. Paul was one of a kind and I will miss him. I hope science progresses to the point when he may once again be with us.
From Maureen Genteman:
Dear Paul, I was in Toronto for my father's funeral in the latter part of December, 1994. You called me soon after the service to console me and put everything in perspective as you have always done since the day we first met in October, 1971.
You couldn't comfort me on the most tragic day of my life, January 3, 1995, when I got the call saying that you had "coded"! These things happen in the movies. They don't happen to people like us. It certainly shouldn't have happened to you!
I can only hope that you, Paul, who loved life more than anyone I have ever met, did not know that your precious life was being ripped away from you.
You had so many more books to read, art to draw, music to listen and dance to, poems to write, humor to share, love to give and receive - a whole world to enjoy.
As one of our friends so aptly put it, "You infused us with joy"! That you did, but more importantly, you were infused with joy, the joy of living, and I long for the day when once again your extraordinary presence and the light of your smile will once again grace this earth that you cherish so much.
I miss you terribly, Good Humor Man!
From Jeffrey Sonni:
I remember the first time I saw Paul Genteman, as clearly as the last time I saw him.
The first time was in 1956. It was in Sunday school, in Chicago, where we were bom. I had a "magic coin box" that I was demonstrating, before class started. Paul was, even then, attracted by the strange and unusual. Our friendship developed around our love of science fiction, and a slightly twisted sense of humor. During our teen years, we experienced the "firsts" together: "first car," "first love," "first beer, cigarettes," and more. During these years, Paul gave me a sense of "belonging," a sense of "sameness," without which my teen years would have been a lot lonelier.
Paul was such a friend to me, that when I decided to come to Canada, he decided to come with me. Without his moral support, I'm not sure that I would have fared as well as I did.
When Paul married Maureen and moved back to the United States, I knew I was losing part of my life-long dream; that Paul and I would always be close and frequent friends, living practically "across the street" from each other.
As the years went on, it became harder to stay close and stay in touch, and we spoke very infrequently, though I always held Paul my closest friend.
The last time I saw Paul was in September, 1992, affer a span of many years.
As we greeted each other, it was as if no time had passed. We were instantly comfortable with each other, and "picked up where we leff off."
In the two years since, we had 5 or 6 phone conversations a year; we'd talk for an hour or more; we discussed the strange and unusual, just as we did almost 40 years ago.
It may be trite, and often said, but Paul will live on in my memories, and the memories of all of those who knew him and loved him. Paul had a kind and generous nature; giving, open-minded, fair, and tolerant
He changed my life; I'm a better person for knowing him . . . I'll never forget him . . . I'll always treasure my memories of my oldest, closet friend and I'll always be proud to say, I loved him like a brother.
From Nancy I. Salem:
Regarding Paul, I have known him through his ex-wife Maureen, who is a very close friend of mine.
Paul was a sincere, personable and attentive person. When I first met him at a party in Mar Vista, California, he srtuck me as exceptionally smart. He had the sort of sharp wit that professional comedy writers would have. In the computer field his smartness placed him in silicon valley, where he belonged.
Through Maureen, I knew that he was a caring husband when they were married, and he remained a very good friend and confidant outside of the marriage relationship.It takes a lot for a person to be able to maintain this kind of an amiable relationship.
I appreciated his philosophy in life. His ideology was cutting-edge in many ways, and can be a little difficult for ordinary people to comprehend, but Paul was no ordinary person.
Paul is missed by everyone whom he knew from near or far.
From Ruth Ann Genteman:
(this text was originally read at the memorial service)
I regret that I am unable to be there, to meet and share with so many who knew, respected, and loved my brother. As a family we are shattered by the loss, and struggle each day to come to terms with the anger, sense of disbelief, and searing pain left in the wake of Paul's untimely death.
I gain strength in learning about the countless lives he touched - many in a profound way. When someone dies, superlatives are often used to describe the person who has passed beyond our reach. In Paul's case, the superlatives would be accurate.
He came into this world, the cherished firstborn son, with many exceptional attributes and talents. Without effort he set a dauntingly high standard for me and our brother, Alan, to follow.
There was nearly a nine-year age difference between Paul and I, and as a child I adored and was in "awe" of my big brother. I remember a particular assignment given to me in grade school: to compose an essay about the animal we would most like to be. Naturally, as I so often did, I turned to Paul for advice. Of course he suggested a rare and regal species: the California condor. Other children were going to be a run-of-the-maill elephant or tiger - but thanks to Paul's imaginative input, I was going to be a creature much more unique and dramatic - a magnificant condor soaring above precipices with a glorious nine-foot wing span.
Throughout his life Paul was intensely interested in, and very knowledgable about, a broad spectrum of subjects. Consequently, it was like having instant access to a walking resource center. In adulthood, I always felt the assurance that he was only just a phone call away, and that I could look to him to be the calm voice of reason in any given situation. Even thousands of miles away, my brother remained a quiet yet powerfully stabilizing force in our family. While he had the admiration of many, Paul wore his gifts with an easy grace and modesty. In fact, we would not even have known of his more impressive achievements and accomplishments had it not been for my sister-in-law, Maureen, keeping us informed.
When Paul visited us in the country setting of our small Illinois town, I knew it was a dramatically different world from the "large" life he led in California. Yet he approached his time spent with us in his characteristic relaxed, adaptable, adventurous mode. His attitude was one of, "Anything you want to do is fine with me." He had a playful side, and immersed himself fully in whatever the immediate environment had to offer. This is one of the qualities in Paul that I enjoyed and appreciated the most. His genuine demeanor, lack of pretense, and non-judgmental ways allowed those around him to just be themselves. As my father has said so many times, "He was a joy to have around." I feel certain that all those who knew him would agree.
Part of the great sadness I feel is that I don't think Paul realized the depth of the feelings I had for him. That was one of those things I was always going to communicate to him "someday" - when it felt less awkward and the "timing" was right. With our genetic background and family history of longevity, I felt confident that the deck was stacked in our favor to grow old. But it was not to be. On January 3rd, 1995, all of the "somedays" I thought we still had together were abruptly and forever ripped away. I know that not even the passage of time will completely heal or reconcile certain feelings I have. I realize, too, that I am not alone in the tremendous sense of outrage I feel at the senselessness of this tragedy.
My brother was easy to love. He lived his life with honesty, integrity, optimism, humor, and passion. He will always be remembered not only for his bright, creative mind and wonderful sense of humor, but for qualities of the heart, as well. I will forever hold an indelible image in my mind of his ready smile, generous nature, unmistakable laughter - and what I called his "Burt Reynolds walk." Yes, if you stop and think about it for a moment - he did walk like Burt Reynolds! I believe that those in his life were enriched by having known him. And as our brother Alan pointed out, "He would not have regretted the way he lived his life."
Having Paul as my brother was one of the special gifts that I was given in this life. I was not ready to have it taken from me so soon. It is my deepest hope that there will be an understanding one day, and that the vibrant, dynamic, and unforgettable life force he embodied continues on. . . .
From Wendy McElroy:
When I met Paul Genteman, the fire of fanaticism diluted his pupils. I recognized it because - as an anarchist - the same quest-drive expression often stared back at me from the mirror. Only Paul had a sense of humor about it all.
Having abandoned my faith in taxes, I still accepted the inevitability of a far worse tyrant - death. Paul spent evenings patiently explaining the theory of cryonics to me. He seemed like the protagonist of a science-fiction novel come-to-life: handsome, confident, exuding goodwill, and absolutely convinced that technology could produce utopia. I put my trust in social solutions instead.
It is rarely such a pleasure to be wrong. Now, years later, the surging optimism I feel for life comes from the very things I told Paul he was flat wrong about. It comes from the things he poured his passion into: computers, anti-aging, and cryonics. Because of his dedication, I stand a far better chance of doing something that will give me great pleasure. Someday I will shake his hand again and say "you were right all along." Until then Paul . . .
From Steve Harris:
I got to know two interesting and fine things about Paul in the years I knew him. One was that he enjoyed watching other people have a good time. He was very bright and told jokes I think mostly because he simply liked to see other people get the pleasure of a laugh. When he found out I liked photography, I found that he was also very interested in storage of information. He sent me pictures of myself at cryonics activities several times, because he knew I would enjoy having them for my archives.
The other thing about Paul was this: when he'd made up his mind to trust someone, he did so completely, and stayed loyal. Sometimes he did this unwisely, but in Paul's world, people were generally trustable, and that was the end of it. Paul himself was a trustworthy person. Paul saw a better world than the one he actually lived in, because he projected himself onto people he knew. My hope is that one day if Paul makes it back from his long journey, he finds that kind of world, for he surely deserves it if anyone does.
Memo to "Quasi-Dead" Buddy From Brian Cooley:
Well, well, well. You've scored another innovative achievement. You now have me writing my first letter to a dead guy. Not just some literary tribute or historical cormmentary, but an actual friend-to-friend note. Kind of an extended postcard, a "Wish you were here" type of thing. I just hope I don't get a similar sentiment from you until you rejoin us at a place that I can get to without being immersed in liquid nitrogen.
Actually, I'm enjoying the concept of you reading this some day in the future. I can amuse myself and some of your other friends now, and not have to suffer any retorts from you for possibly decades. I imagine you took that risk into account when you decided to book space in the cryonic condominium. I can picture you now, with your neighbors the sperm cells and various other head cases contemplating just how damn cold it is inside your apartments. Could it be possible that some form of awareness is present while you were frozen? It'd be interesting to talk to someone such as you just after they were recovered from cryonic storage. Be sure to touch on this subject with me when you get back and look me up. Hopefully I'll re-emerge from deep senescence when you come to see me. Better yet, I'll subtly attempt to disclose only glimpses of my lucidity while continuing to jerk you around as if I hadn't recovered my full senses. I've actually practiced that on you already if you recall.
Another subject for our future discussion will be my commentary on the total absurdity of the events surrounding your demise. I'm sure you'll appreciate my having nominated you for the "Galupe" Award for goofiness in planning life threatening surgical procedures. I feel quite confident that the Board of Trustees for the Galupe Foundation consisting of myself, Arlene, Tom, Pam, Don, and Denny Kankowske will award you the honor in perpetuity. Consider this your notification of award.
Now, since those of us who dwell on earth rather than simply occupying about a cubic foot of our space are busy about our enterprises, I'm going to sign off. I'll tell you this: If you and your cryonic associates are able to pull this off, there'd be nobody who'd enjoy eating crow more than me. Of course, my sarcasm and skepticism about your plans were always in jest because that's my nature. I have no doubt that you knew that you simply allowed me to enjoy putting you on the spot by introducing you to new friends as "the guy who has actually beheaded some of his former friends." I greatly enjoyed making you explain your way out of that introduction, and I also relished making you laugh your wheezing-until-you're-totally-out-of-air-please-let-me-recover-or-I'Il-die laugh in which you willingly surrendered to my silliness. I'll miss that most about you (until you get back, that is!)
If you don't get back, I'll look for you in the future, possibly on a more conventional plane of existence. Either way, keep this part of my heart until we meet again. I'll keep the part of yours that I have now. We can swap later. Love, B.C.
From Courtney Smith:
Paul Genteman was and will be a special person. He loved life. To be with Paul was to see the joy in life. I will always remember Paul with a big smile. Smart, funny, generous, calm, competent. These words pale in comparison to the reality of Paul.
Paul was one of my favorite people.
His cruel and unnecessary deanimation fills me with anger. Yet I feel that this anger is not a fitting tribute to a man who knew how to live and let live. Yet sometimes the irony overwhelms me.
I miss him.
I look forward to seeing him again. No one deserves reanimation more than Paul.
From Marce Johnson:
When I think of Paul Genteman I think of a really NICE person: witty, persistent, dedicated to cryonics - do you know of anyone else, who as an Alcor director, drove over 700 miles in the same day to attend the Alcor monthly meetings, even though he could have "attended" by phone? - a man with a delightful sense of humor - who else do you know who had a tarantula for a pet?
I think I shall always be able to hear him saying "thanks Marcie." When I asked members to vote to keep him on the board, he thanked me quietly; when he did his usual wonderful job as master of ceremonies at dinners, and I praised him for doing so, he thanked me quietly and graciously again. The last time when we bumped into each other in the hotel courtyard at the November cryonics convention, he had been jogging and I was hurrying to help set up the hospitality suite. He said he'd give me a hug if he wasn't so sweaty, and I asked him to hug me anyway. I told him to come up to the suite and share some of my favorite red wine with the few wine drinkers. As he rushed off, he uttered, "Thanks Marce."
And so, in about the year 2090 or hopefully sooner, I want to take Paul and Maureen to dinner and pick up the check so I can hear him say again, "Thanks Marce."
CryoCare currently has 72 fully signed up members. Though hundreds of people have requested the signup binders it is impossible to know how many people are actually in the signup process. This is largely due to the fact that we do not charge a fee to enter the process. But judging from correspondence there are dozens on their way to becoming members. We're learning patience because even with our simplified paperwork the process can be a lengthy one and usually takes many months to complete.
CryoCare's holiday letter stated that we had 100 members. Many delays in insurance, estate planning, and just plain old procrastination prevented this from becoming an accurate number by year's end. That notwithstanding, we have high hopes for 1995 due to the amount of individuals who are very close to completing our signup requirements.
Of CryoCare's 72 fully signed up members we can report the following statistics and items of interest: Exactly half our members are signed up for Whole Body Cryopreservation and half for Neuro Preservation. This was not a surprise.
The 72 consist of 21 females and 51 males. This is a refreshing ratio for an endeavor that has been overwhelmingly male for the last three decades.
The average age of a CryoCare member is 46. July seems to be the month of choice for a CryoCare member to be born, with March and October running a close second.
We believe we have the youngest cryonicist in the world. His name is Chancellor Garett Faloon and he is 1/2 year old. Most CryoCare members are successful professionals in positions of authority in their various fields with an emphasis on business and science. Judging from the number of tax and business attorneys who have scrutinized CryoCare and then recommended it to their clients as the cryonics organization of choice, we are not surprised that we attract professionals. We are working very hard to encourage professionalism in all aspects of our organization.
25% of our membership is over 6 feet tall. The average height is 5'8", however and the average weight of a CryoCare member is 129 pounds. CryoCare has 10,594 pounds worth of members. That's over 5 tons of cryonicists. Ponder that.
CryoCare can count three law enforcement officers, and three members of the armed forces among our membership, so don't mess with us. Besides many business professionals, attorneys, doctors, and scientists, we also have four teachers, three students, a famous philosopher/guru, three professional writers, a standup commedian, and a producer for rap music. 10% of our members are millionaires and we have more of the "most famous cryonicists" than any other organization.
We're very proud of the quality as well as the quantity of our members. We have worked hard and will continue to do so. With a shortage of administrative personnel and no paid employees to date, we feel that we have accomplished a great deal in a short time. Thank you for your support and if you are not yet an active member, I encourage you to become one, because there truly is never a dull moment around here.
H. W. "Skip" Barron, who signed up for cryonics in 1986 after reading about nanotechnology, has decided to establish a regional affinity group for the Pacific Northwest. The group will be open to members of all cryonics organizations. If you live within reach of Seattle and you're signed up for cryonics - or even if you're just thinking about it - give Mr. Barron a call at (206) 542 9441 or write to him at 335 Northwest 177 Street, Seattle, WA 98177.
We're reprinting, below, the essay that Mr. Barron wrote for the "Omni Immortality Contest" because we think it's memorable, and it illustrates his eloquent but down-to-earth orientation.
by H. W. "Skip" Barron
Twenty-five years ago, I met a man of eighty-five years still working on the waterfront in Seattle. As a boy, he knew the Mercers and Denneys, the first families to build log cabins here. As I listened to his stories I anguished at the thought of the loss of his memories; the sights, sounds, and smells of those bygone days. How I wished we could "record" those memories.
Today, though cryonics, we have a good chance of saving the memories of those of us living through these soon-to-be "bygone days."
Our great-grandchildren, living in a world of wealth and ease generated by intelligent machines, will never know what it was like to have been, as I have, a US marine, laboratory worker, salesman, logger (with the pain of a shattered leg), shipyard worker - shipyard worker?! They will never believe how we built ships, with our hands, in the heat and cold; the smoke, filth, and smells; the screaming noise and the danger of injury or death at any step. Most of all, they'll never believe the bone-deep weariness of this kind of toil, day after week after year.
As for me, I want to be frozen so I have some chance of seeing my great-grandchildren, to tell them of the past and to share the far future with them. Then they will know that they, too, like we, stand on the shoulders of giants!
After much delay, caused mainly by the lack of firm numbers relating to the cost of the dewar vault system, CryoSpan's business plan (which includes a 12-year forecast of patient and dewar populations and financial model of assets, liabilities, expenses, revenues, capital requirements and share prices) was completed in March. It was then mailed to a selected list of cryonicists with a covering letter making it clear that although this was not an investment prospectus, the purpose of the mailing was to solicit investment funding for CryoSpan. The plan made it clear that a modest continual yearly increase in the number of cryonics members and patients coupled with fact that CryoSpan's patients are soundly and perpetually funded produces the result that an investment in CryoSpan has the potential ultimately for a very large return. The amount of capital which is required to fund purchases planned for this year is $21,200. So far, $7,000 in investment funds have been received. If anyone wishes to receive a copy of this business plan, has funds to put into a long-term investment, or wishes to help ensure that there is a sound, quality company available to be the provider of your own long-term cryonics care when that is needed, please contact CryoSpan or simply send a check!
The construction of the underground vaults for the dewars has been delayed once again by the City of Rancho Cucamonga regulators. Now it is the fire department which is making us jump through hoops to satisfy their concerns about our use of "dangerous" cryogenic liquids.
This is not a problem which cannot and will not be solved, and we are busy effecting the solution right now. If this latest delay is truly the last (something which it seems to be impossible to predict), then the vaults should be ready by the end of June or the middle of July.
One good thing about this delay is that there is now more than ever a good chance that CryoSpan will be able to purchase another 4-patient dewar which is properly designed to fit in the vaults. If it can, then we will keep the current dewar (which rolls on large castered "feet" which would have to be cut off for it to fit into a vault silo) above ground for emergency (and somewhat portable) purposes.
CryoSpan has completed design and construction (using an outside contractor) of a highly insulated fiber-glass container which will be used for cooldown, truck transfer at liquid nitrogen temperatures, and emergency backup purposes. This container is currently in the midst of testing and checkout and is expected to be operational by mid-June. It is designed to be able to effect the horizontal cooldown of a whole-body patient, to transport up to three whole-body patients (in a box truck), and to hold four whole-body patients (the entire contents of big-foot dewar) for emergency backup purposes. The container is mounted on casters and can be loaded onto a truck or trailer by fork-lift or crane. Its boil-off rate is expected to be in the order of 100 liters per day which is adequate for short term use. CryoSpan's second major recent procurement is a three-ton gantry crane and hoist from McMaster-Carr. This will be used to lower the dewars into their concrete underground silos, to handle insertion and removal of the patient pods from the dewars, and load/unload the transfer container from truck or trailer.
CryoSpan's patient population currently stands at four humans (two neuro, two brain only), two neuro dogs and one neuro cat. The small A8000 dewar is completely full and the four whole-body patient big-foot dewar stands ready to be put into service when our next patient arrives.
As this issue of the newsletter goes to press, we're in the process of setting up a new phone system for CryoCare. Our current phone system is versatile, economical, and convenient, but it is not sufficiently easy to use, and has not been totally reliable. Twice, on weekends, we have had interruptions in service which we find unacceptable.
We are now moving to a system where you will reach an answering service if we are unavailable to take your call. The service that we have chosen (after investigating and testing several alternatives) has been in business for thirty-five years and is still owned and operated by the individuals who established it. The operators are polite and helpful, and they have experience dealing with medical emergency calls.
Here's how the system will work: When you call 1-800-TOP-CARE, your call will be transmitted to Billy Seidel, who is replacing Brenda Peters as the person who fields information requests. If Billy is unavailable, after three rings the call will be forwarded to our new answering service. There, you will reach an operator who will answer with our business name. Text will automatically pop up on a screen in front of the operator, reminding her or him of our procedure for different types of calls. If it's an emergency call, the operator will take your number and will stay on the line with you until the call is successfully transferred to a CryoCare officer or director. The screen will show a list of our various names and numbers, and a list of pager numbers as well. If your call is not an emergency, the operator will connect you with a voicemail system so that you can leave us a message. Messages will be collected on a regular daily basis.
We think this is the best possible way to guarantee responsive service. It will cost slightly more than our current automated system, but it should be much more helpful in emergencies.
Of course, there are circumstances where the system may fail, and we have had to take this into account. If you dial 1-800-TOP-CARE and get no response, you can call any of the following people direct.
PLEASE COPY THIS LIST OF NUMBERS AND PUT IT IN A SAFE, MEMORABLE PLACE!
In a CryoCare emergency, you may call:
Brian Wowk Daytime: (204) 984 6618 Evening: (204) 254 6192 Pager: (204) 933 0324
Charles Platt Day/Eve: (212) 929 3983 Pager: (800) 908 0470
Billy Seidel Daytime: (310) 836 1111 Evening: (310) 836 1231
Brian is the president of CryoCare. Charles and Billy are vice-presidents. Any of these three people can help you in an emergency.
Members of CryoCare receive the newsletter at no charge.
If you are a non-member and wish to continue receiving CryoCare Report, write a check made payable to CryoCare Foundation for just $9. The next four issues will be sent to you via first class mail. Provided your name and address are on the check, you don't need to enclose anything with it. Just write "Subscription" on the memo line of the check and send it to Kevin Brown, Ph.D., Treasurer of CryoCare, at 19-353 Dell Place, Stanhope, NJ 07874. We'll do the rest.
Thanks to Mike Darwin and Maureen Genteman for special contributions and financial support for this issue of CryoCare Report.
Material intended for publication in CryoCare Report should be sent to the editor, Charles Platt, at 1133 Broadway, #1214, New York, NY 10010. Telephone (212) 832 2429 or (800) TOP-CARE.