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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Well, I had in my mind the importance of arthritis as a disease, as a major crippler of people everywhere. I recall the illness of my grandfather, who, when I was a little child, sat always with his hands spread out, very thick and inflamed with arthritis, and I realized how much immobility it caused him, and I was always sad about that. And I sensed--I knew Floyd Odlum, who had been crippled with arthritis--I realized that arthritis was a major form of disability, that we had a big lead with the discovery of cortisone, and that it could be followed up, I thought, and perhaps we could find not only a good treatment but cures for arthritis, or preventions.

Then there are other diseases which are called metabolic diseases--diseases of the kidneys, the liver, problems of obesity--which are presumed to be taken care of under the title of Institute for Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases.


Is this a natural lumping of the diseases together?


Well, it was thought to be by the Public Health Service, who were pushed into accepting these two institutes. Well, I'll tell you about that.

On January 19, 1949 we came up from Boco Raton, Florida, and I went to the inauguration of President Truman, with Anna Rosenberg and Florence Mahoney. We sat in front of the Capitol on a bright, sunny day and saw him sworn in. It was a simple, picturesque, dramatic scene that would have been a beautiful subject for Grant Wood. Later in the day we watched the Governors

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