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They were sympathetic. The most sympathetic one turned out to
be James O'Hara of Michigan, who is now a candidate for majority
leader. (Later note He lost.)
Was there a personal reason for his great sympathy?
Well, the personal reason is that he has not one but three
children with hemophilia, a disease still not curable, although it's
more treatable than it was in the days of Czar Nicholas and his child
who had it. It can be treated with a blood fraction but it's still very
very costly to treat and very complicated and not curable. So you can
imagine, if you have three children with this problem, you have to be
interested in medical research.
Frank Thompson was interested because he himself had had an
open heart operation, and another man who was present at our first
meeting and at the meeting at Mr. and Mrs. Blair's house was a Mr.
Corman of California, a very intelligence Congressman, member of the
House Ways and Means Committee. He had taken a friend to Dr. DeBakey
to be operated on for an open heart operation. So these were men who
had had some problems with illness.
In addition to the men I've mentioned, Yates of Illinois was
present, and -- I think Yates was there -- and Wright Eddie Boland of
Massachusetts. I had conferred with Mike Gorman, who's been a great help
to all of our work, and asked Mike in early July what kind of a --
as a HEW appropriations bill was coming to the floor, and we had
gotten very small increases in the House Subcommittee on appropriations, except in cancer where we had obtained a
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