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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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of the University. When Albert told me about this shortly after I got to know him, I was horrified, and was determined that somehow or other, between us, we would make a contribution that would make up for the opportunity that Albert had given the University and which was so casually lost. I really was bitterly distressed about this.


Think of the time that was lost. . .


Yes. This same amount of money could have sparkplugged tremendous fund raising campaigns that would have raised money for research in both heart and cancer, and it could have done a great number of other things. But Albert's energies were put in other directions, and he had hoped by giving the money that the University would use it intelligently.

At this time, in the late '30s, there were no voluntary funds for cancer research other than those provided by a few foundations, nor did the Heart Association have any funds for research; it was only a small medical club. These two diseases, even at this time, were the first and second leading causes of death in the United States.

I had been interested and appalled by cancer as a disease even when I was a tiny child, as I think I told you, when I went with my mother to see her laundress, Mrs. Belter, lying on her bed in a cheap, dirty room. My mother told me--I told you all this, I'm sure. I was not more than four or five years old, maybe even only three and a half, but Mrs. Belter's condition horrified me, and I was determined that a thing like this should happen

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