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A Resolution To Keep

  In 1918 my great-grandmother died of the flu, and she wasn’t the only one. More people died from this influenza epidemic during those years than died on the battlefields of WWI. Why? Because of lack of knowledge and proper medicines. All my great-grandfather could do to protect his three little girls from catching the same disease that had killed their mother was to place camphor in a little pouch and tie it around their necks. 

  During the early 1900s, visits to the doctor were unheard of and medicine was whatever your parents believed would help you. 

“We were given sugar and turpentine for worms, and when my sister had the croup Papa mixed up some coal oil with a little sugar and water. If we had a sore throat he swabbed the inflamed area with Mercuro-chrome or turpentine, and then there was castor oil for constipation. That was really hard to get down,” says my grandmother.

  We’ve come a long way since then. A man in my hometown recently traveled to Louisville to receive a new heart. One of my friends just had laser surgery on her eyes and no longer has to wear glasses. While the discoveries that led to these success stories are wonderful, there are still thousands of medical
mysteries left to solve. 

  As we stand at the threshold of this new century, let us not forget those who are not here to step into the future with us. Let us continue to work toward a cure for cancer and less painful treatments for cancer patients. Let us teach our children about the importance of eating right in order to have healthy hearts. And let us resolve to work together for better health care for all Americans, regardless of race, gender, or level of income.

  That’s my New Year’s resolution. Won’t you make it yours too?

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