Courage: The Story of the Might Effort to End the Devastating Effects of Multiple Sclerosis

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9781566634144: Courage: The Story of the Might Effort to End the Devastating Effects of Multiple Sclerosis
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When Sylvia Lawry's brother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late 1930s, she refused to accept the medical wisdom of the day that "nothing could be done." In 1945 Ms. Lawry took the unique step of running a classified ad searching for someone who had been "cured" of multiple sclerosis. When instead she found that respondents were as desperate as she, Ms. Lawry began making plans for what would become one of the nation's largest voluntary health agencies―the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society. Courage is the story of one woman's unceasing devotion to her brother and how her dream to end the devastating effects of MS was transformed into one of the most powerful and effective national health organizations in the world, a passion she pursued for more than half a century. It is also the story of medical detective work that has enlisted dedicated scientists in the search for clues to one of the more baffling and stubborn medical mysteries of our time, and of people, especially volunteers, who have become the strength of the Society. Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system, affecting more than two and a half million people and their families throughout the world. Although the cause remains unknown and there is still no cure, research breakthroughs have now led to therapies that can help control and manage the disease, thanks in large part to work supported by the Society. Courage looks into the inner workings of the MS movement and counteracts the common misconception that health agencies are self-serving, seeking only to perpetuate themselves. We hear of countless stories of man's inhumanity to man; Courage celebrates the power of our humanity. With 12 black-and-white photographs.

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About the Author:

Richard Trubo is an award-winning journalist and author of many books on health and medicine. His articles on medicine have appeared in numerous national magazines. He lives in Irvine, California, outside of Los Angeles.

From Publishers Weekly:

In 1945, eight years after her brother Bernard was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Sylvia Lawry (1915-2001) placed an ad in the New York Times asking anyone who had recovered from the disease to contact her. The letters she received were not from patients in remission, however there is no cure for MS but from people also suffering from it. Trubo (Cholesterol Cures; How to Get a Good Night's Sleep) describes the evolution of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which Lawry founded in 1947, and which grew from an informal gathering in an office donated by the Academy of Medicine in New York City into an organization with dozens of national and international chapters. Lawry's tireless advocacy has led to earlier diagnosis of MS and drugs to treat its symptoms, improving the quality of life for many patients. But Trubo is careful to detail the conflicts as well as the success, as when Lawry's determination to devote 40% of all funds collected from cash-strapped chapters to the national organization for research angered chapter chairpersons. Although Lawry's achievements are remarkable, she never fully springs to life in this flatly written chronicle. As a biography of an organization rather than a biography of its greatest champion, this book will primarily appeal to people with a personal interest in MS. Photos not seen by PW.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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