A Different Disease

This blog is intended to explore different dimensions of disease and our collective abilities to cope. That is a wide mandate. A disease is defined as a disorder of structure or function. We have a national disorder that is devastating. We are waving the white flag and giving in to sickness.

The White House is proposing a $1.2 billion cut this year to the National Institutes of Health’s budget, targeting research grants.   That is about a twenty percent cut. We seem to be laying down arms and assuming fetal position. Almost twenty percent of us live with a disability and nearly 50 percent have at least one chronic illness. Trump is turning his back on us, and there is silence.

One valid and vital coping mechanism is our resolve to fight back and protect our lives and those of our loved ones. That is instinctive and should be overpowering. Seems basic to me. Yet I hear little and sense no resistance.   Yet many are fighting for their lives.

My much-loved brother-in-law is fighting pancreatic cancer spread to his liver. It feels as if he has been abandoned. Rep. Tom Cole, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma, is one of the few on the Hill who gets it. “We have more to fear from a pandemic than from a terrorist attack,” Cole said on morning television.

There is so much at stake for us, and we have become the silent minority.

14 Responses to A Different Disease

  1. Jane April 3, 2017 at 10:18 am #

    You are right on the money, Richard.

  2. H D April 3, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Anyone running for Congress in the mid-term election and doesn’t run on the “Impeachment Platform” is an idiot.

  3. Jan April 3, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    Very sorry about what your brother-in-law is enduring… and for those who care about him.

    • Richard Cohen April 11, 2017 at 10:16 am #



  4. Brian L. April 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    Well they have to pay for the tax cuts for the wealthy somehow, don’t they? Oops, I meant “jobs creators “. That label sounds so much more acceptable.

  5. Dale April 4, 2017 at 1:19 am #

    My daughter went to Boston College, the home of Pete Frates and an amazing group of his teammates and friends. Look what one simple idea, the Ice Bucket Challenge, did for ALS research. This was not government controlled funds, raising well over 100 million dollars. Many of the discoveries will likely advance MS research as well. I never thought MS got anywhere near the attention it should for research dollars. But then again I’m biased.

  6. CP April 5, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    Fighting back is instinctual when the fight is winnable. This Administration has left a lot of people feeling defeated. We as a society depend on research to advance treatment for any and all diseases. Cutting funding hurts everyone. I’d like to know how to effectively fight back. I live in the adjacent county to where Mike Pence is from so there’s no sense in me contacting any political representatives in my state.

    • HD April 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

      I hope you are not surprised. The people who voted for them and now can’t believe this is happening should not be allowed to vote again.

      • CP April 6, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

        I totally agree. But these people remind me of cult members that are unable to think for themselves and they make excuses for their “leader”. My mother was born in Montreal so hopefully that will expedite my immigration to Canada

  7. Yvonne April 8, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    Not only will research dollars be cut, the availability to the drugs and treatments that are out there remains out of reach for so many of us because no one really is working on that aspect! This administration is a cesspool not a swamp. The last administration at least tried to work on these things but the swamp was murky and difficult to move around so they got what they could and cut bait. Illness is not a priority. I no longer believe in our healthcare system. It’s about profit. Don’t forget it.

  8. Christopher April 10, 2017 at 1:11 am #

    The sad truth about sad facts is that the opposite is possible, but not inevitable.

    But if we all at least try… we give the possibilities fighting chance.

  9. Ss April 10, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    I sent a message to my Senator to asking to help support Biomedical Research funding (with NIH – National Institute of Health).

  10. Kat April 11, 2017 at 9:24 am #

    I feel dumber for having read some of these comments. Let’s please have an open minded discussion instead of the negativity and name calling. Otherwise this blog is just a waste of time. Let’s try to encourage a solution and hope. Let’s be proactive. Write your senators. Some of the Govt. funded research projects probably need to be eliminated. I have learned of many a stupid government funded research project. For example – People with MS who have leg weakness tend to have more falls. Really?? The ice bucket challenge is brilliant. The government is not going to solve all our problems. Sometimes organized citizens can get much further. Thank you Christopher, Ss and Dale for your intelligent comments. Kat

    • Yvonne April 11, 2017 at 9:38 am #

      WOW! This blog has always been open to as well as encouraging of different viewpoints and encouraged people’s perspective. Just because people express their discontent and frustration doesn’t mean they are negative or not actively involved in finding solutions. I am offended by your assertions of such. Perhaps you should check your perspective of the reason for this blog.