JOAN SALTZMAN was breached in the womb in 1947, a clear, early signal of her rebellious nature. Like most mothers in the 1950s, her mother's best hope for her was that she would become an elementary school teacher, marry a doctor, have two children and wind up in the suburbs. Did Joan show her mother! She went to graduate school in English at the University of Pennsylvania and received a terminal master's degree, a kind of terminal cancer for academics. Next she became a criminal lawyer to follow in her hero Perry Mason's footsteps, and then a medical malpractice lawyer.
Joan met her Mr. Right, John Katz, on a street corner in Montreal when she was almost forty-six. He wasn't perfect, but who is? She didn't get married until she was a few months shy of fifty and although she eventually did marry a doctor, not the kind her mother was hoping for but a Harvard-educated film professor; he wasn't the healthiest guy in the world.
The man to whom Joan eventually hooked her star had end-stage kidney failure and needed a transplant. She was the only candidate around. It wasn't like those stories that you hear about where a wife can't wait to give a kidney to her husband. (Don't you always wonder about the truth of those stories?). Joan knew all of the complications that could occur in surgery and she was in no hurry to rush into an operation she didn't need. Joan dragged herself kicking and screaming to the operating room and gave John a kidney in 1999. She still thinks it was the best thing she has ever done.
Joan Saltzman can be contacted through this website or at firstname.lastname@example.org