Friday, April 13, 2007

friends' deaths

Sherry Ketzbeau

When you have a terminal illness, and you correspond with, and/or become friends with another person with the same illness, you are bound to have to say goodbye. I never met Sherry in person, but she made me feel so not alone with this disease. She lived in Michigan on a farm and raised show bunnies, so I enjoyed looking at her website, even though I am not in favor of rabbit-breeding.

Sherry was a wife, a mother and a grandmother. I am none of those. I think I recall that Sherry lived 6 or 7 years with ALS.

There are 6,000 people a year dying of ALS. It seems as if every support group meeting I attend brings news of another death and every week on my yahoo group someone else dies. There are those who were diagnosed after me and are already gone. Although I am grateful I am still here, I mourn every time I hear of a PALS (person with ALS) gone.

Stem Cell Research -- Good News and Terrible News

This Tuesday, April 10, the U.S. Senate voted Wednesday on the Stem Cell Enhancement Bill (S.5). it passed 63 - 34, with strong bi-partisan support. Here's the link to see how your Senator voted: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00127

OK that’s the good news. And now for the terrible news: this is below the magic number of 67 needed to override a promised Presidential veto. Does all this sound familiar and discouraging? Yes, the vote was similar last fall, the first time the Senate considered this bill. It was followed by Bush's first ever presidential veto. I guess this is like the fight for the handicapped-accessible door in my building -- i.e. unless disease touches you personally, you think it never will.

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