Steve Kirsch's Tough Battle
For those who might not know, longtime Internet and tech figure Steve Kirsch (pictured here) wrote a blog a few weeks ago about a recent and tragic diagnosis for him: incurable blood cancer. This is terrible news, especially given that he and his wife have three young daughters.
Kirsch wrote in a post on his Web site on Aug. 11:
On Aug. 10, I inquired as to the result of the bone marrow biopsy test and they faxed me all my test results. The biopsy confirmed Coutre’s diagnosis with a 10% involvement of lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. In other words, I’m going to die soon. Today, [Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia] is basically an incurable death sentence. According to the medical literature, which is somewhat dated, half the people die within five or six years from first diagnosis. 80% are dead within 10 years. It is very serious stuff.”
I covered Kirsch closely for a long time during the last dot-com boom, when he founded the Infoseek Web portal, which was sold to Disney. The always colorful tech entrepreneur and inventor had a strong personality and opinions that never failed to be interesting. I have not been in touch for a while, as Kirsch has been actively involved in climate-change issues.
He has another focus now:
Statistically, it is possible that I’ll be unable to see my youngest daughter graduate from high school. It’s possible that I won’t even be around even to see her graduate from elementary school. This is a great disappointment for me. But what really hits home for me is thinking that my youngest daughter may not have a dad who is around long enough to see her graduate from elementary school and that my second youngest daughter will have a father who might be dead before her high school graduation. And that I will be leaving my wonderful wife Michele with a family of three kids to raise solo. All those wonderful plans we had about how we were going to spend the rest of our lives together…those plans have…well, shall we say…changed.”
(Update: Another figure from that time, former Netscape exec Mike Homer, also still struggles to battle his severe illness, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which I posted on here.)