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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Freyberg's. I was tempted to try to help get a voluntary agency in the arthritis field started, as arthritis cripples approximately 10 million people, totally disables about 200 thousand, and is a major source of crippling and misery to the people of the United States.

Q:

What was this Rheumatism Foundation?

Lasker:

It was a medical club like the others, entirely made up of doctors. It also had no money to speak of.

Arthritis cuts down the days of work that can be done, and it pauperizes many people who would otherwise be taxpayers. When they're severely ill, they naturally are unable to work, and they also are an expense to themselves and to others. Albert was not particularly tempted by the idea of giving money to this in the beginning. He opposed the idea really of going to see Floyd Odlum when we were in La Cinta, in the spring of '48. Odlumlived near La Cinta in the winter. Albert was tired and not anxious to get into anything new, even not interested in thinking about anything new. However, we did dine with Odlum once and when we went home that spring we had another meeting with Connie Traeger.

I finally conceived the idea that Albert and I should offer to supply $25,000 if Odlum would be the head of the organization and raise another $125,000 of seed money for a campaign, so there would be $150,000 in money to start a fund-raising campaign with.

Q:

Your interest didn't lag because Mr. Lasker wasn't enthusiastic.



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