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Lou Gehrig on Lou Gehrig's disease and multiple sclerosis

Lou Gehrig

One of my favorite blogs of late is Letters of Note, which is a self-described repository of "correspondence deserving of a wider audience." Today, Letters of Note has an encouraging letter Lou Gehrig wrote to a patient afflicted with multiple sclerosis.

The letter was written in March 1939, and Gehrig had just been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease that would later bear his name. Several months after the letter, Gehrig was forced to retire from the Yankees. I won't spoil all of the fascinating details, but Gehrig differentiated his condition from MS and suggested the patient visit the academic medical center where Gehrig himself was being treated:

I cannot too strongly urge you to visit Mayo Clinic as soon as you see your way clear. You may feel that you cannot afford it but I can assure you they are the most reasonable institution imaginable - and I'm sure they will find out in short order what will prevent growing worse each year.

Letters of Note is hosting an image of the letter, as well as a transcription thereof.

Photo from the Harris & Ewing Collection at the Library of Congress

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