Cathy Seipp’s Last Days

Cathy’s daughter Maia posts on’s comments section: “Dear commenters…this post was her last. Until I can obtain her password to get in (haven’t heard back from webmaster yet), will use this comments section as a means. My mother, Cathy Seipp, is in the ICU as of Saturday and the doctor bluntly told it to me straight. She is taking a turn for the worse and has…1 to 2 days left. Thank you all for participating in the above discussions. Will keep everyone updated. Please email me at cecile ml dubois at aol dot com.”

Maia IMs me at 4 p.m.: “My mom is soon going to be in a better place.”

Emmanuelle Richard emails: “Sandra just called at a quarter to 6 and said that the doc thought that Cathy was in too much pain and decided to take the oxygen mask off at 4:47 pm. It’s almost a quarter to 6 and she’s still fighting. It’s incredible. From what I understood yesterday, you’re not supposed to survive that long in her condition without the mask but now, it’s a matter of minutes. Sandra is with Maia, and Michelle is there as well as Jerry all around her.”

I only got to know Cathy after she was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer in the summer of 2002.

Here’s the story on how my section on Cathy came about:

I was intimidated by Cathy at first and even though I wanted to interview her for my blog, I held back.

In November of 2002, I ran into Emmanuelle Richard in West Hollywood.

(Over the past year, I had been profiling various journalists for my website

“Why don’t you interview Cathy?” Emmanuelle asked.

“I’d love to. Do you think she’d do it?” I said.

“Yes. She wonders why you have not asked her. We were talking about your journalist interviews and she said, ‘Well, I’m at least as interesting as Ross Johnson.’”

I emailed Seipp and asked her for an interview. She then canvassed her friends about whether or not she should do it. Most of her friends advised her against it but she did it anyway.

She was flattered by my attention.

We became the best of friends because we were both endlessly fascinated by Cathy Seipp.

There were two interviews I did not get for my Seipp profile that would help fill out her story — her writer friends Dan Akst and Greg Critser.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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