Courage: One Woman's Dream and the Mighty Effort to Conquer Multiple Sclerosis
by Richard Trubo
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee, 2001
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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