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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Insulin shock was used but it seemed to be complicated to give and the patients needed a great deal of supervision.

O'Connor had raised in '54 over a period, 71 million dollars for infantile paralysis, the largest amount of money anyone ever raised for a single disease on a voluntary basis. This compared with in the same year about 22 million raised by the American Cancer Society and roughly 23 million for tuberculosis in the same year, but only 5 percent of the 23 million was used for any kind of research; it was used for the X-raying of chests, mobile units, anything but prevention. This same year only 11 million dollars was raised for heart disease by the American Heart Association.

Consequently, if the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis had shifted its major interest to mental illness, there would have been great progress in both the understanding and treatment of mental diseases, and even of cerebral arteriosclerosis, right have evolved much more quickly, I feel.


Do you also think, Mrs. Lasker, that the March of Dimes idea could have been translated to the field of mental illness?


Yes, I do. I do think so. I think maybe O'Connor thought that the idea was too hard, that physical cripoling was easier to translate to people than mental crippling. What the reason was, I don't know. I must try to find out.

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