Darrin Reed, longtime, well-liked and highly efficient administrative assistant at Laguna Beach Unified School District for the past 15 years, officially resigned from his job, district officials announced at Tuesday’s school board meeting.
Reed worked for a series of superintendents at the district and was regarded as everybody’s favorite “go to” guy for whatever was needed. Last fall, at age 47, Reed was diagnosed with leukemia and took an indefinite leave of absence. He has since gone through chemotherapy, emergency surgeries, nearly 100 days in the hospital and a bone marrow transplant.
Reed’s medical insurance from the school district expired and he has been attempting to pay exorbitant medical bills on his own. Friends helped with a fundraising event in June.
Cheryl Kinsman, a local accountant and former public official, worked with Reed for 10 years on the drug abuse task force, a joint school board and city council committee. “Darrin kept everything humming,” she said. “He was just a bundle of energy. Anything you wanted, anytime you wanted to know anything, you could call Darrin and he knew the answer.” He also participated as a cast member of “Lagunatics,” the annual theatrical roast.
Reed’s partner, Ray Kawecki, said that Reed was expected to be able to go home from his latest hospital stay last week, said the latest entry on caringbridge.org/visit/darrinreed.
The school board extended Reed’s medical benefits at one point, but he faces expensive co-pays and extra costs, and now has no salary or sick pay. Friends relate that medical expenses have been enormous, particularly with continued anti-rejection medications, hospital care and professional out-patient care.