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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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about the commission. Finally, they said, “Why make it just a stroke commission? Why not a cancer and stroke commission?” I said, “Well, why not make it a cancer, heart and stroke commission. Those are the main causes of death, together cause 71 percent of the deaths.” They said, “Well, that would be all right.” I said, “Yes, it's a brilliant idea. You must make it an overall thing, and in this way it can't be described as being just an interest of the President's because his father has had a stroke.” So they said fine and showed some enthusiasm for this.

I went upstairs with Feldman while Feldman called up Luther Terry to tell him the happy news that they were going to have a new Presidential commission, and I could tell by the sound of Feldman's voice that this was not going well with the Surgeon-General of the United States, who didn't see any need for any more commissions. Well, he was willing to override that, but a few weeks later he got a letter from Celebrezze saying that he was opposed to any commission on cancer, heart or stroke. For what reason, nobody could know; it was just that he was opposed. So, I said, “You don't have to give into that, do you?” and Mike said, “No, but I hate to go ahead with it when we've had a letter from him expressing his opposition without discussing it with him.”

Well, before Feldman had time to discuss it with him long lapses of time passed because Feldman was doing everything actually--everything got on his desk--and in the meantime, I saw Celebrezze because he gave an award, a Lasker Award in

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