A New Partnership

In the winter of 2008, Americans learned that our future First Lady had grown up with multiple sclerosis in her home. Michele Obama spoke about her father, Fraser Robinson, who was a pump worker for the City of Chicago while he raised two future Princeton graduates.

The new First Lady described how she watched her Dad, “grab his walker, prop himself against the sink and slowly shave and button his uniform.” When he came home, he would reach down to lift one leg after another to make it up the stairs and greet his kids. I did not hear about the man again.

I had wondered if Mrs. Obama would assume a leadership role in the effort to win more funding for MS research. I realize that the endless array of diseases seeks better funding, too. The Federal Government cannot show favoritism. I get it. President Obama will leave office soon enough. So what happens then?

Ann Romney, wife of Mitt, Obama’s opponent in the 2012 race for The White House, was diagnosed with MS in 1998. The Romneys have founded the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a Harvard hospital. Mrs. Romney has told audiences she could barely get out of bed back then. She looks like a million dollars now. That she is willing to go out front is wonderful.

I hope Mrs. Obama speaks out about MS and the courage of her father when the First Family leaves the limelight behind. What a team she and Mrs. Romney could make. Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush ignored party lines with their charitable projects decades ago. That kind of alliance has existed before. It’s not a bad idea.




18 Responses to A New Partnership

  1. Nan June 13, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

    It’s a great idea, Richard!!! Perhaps someone needs to suggest it to both of them. It could be a powerful and meaningful pairing. Not to mention illustrative of working across “party lines” for a common objective. That would be a win win!!

  2. Sarah June 14, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    I would love to see this happen. How powerful to have both sides of the effects of this insidious disease highlighted – the afflicted patient and the family member. There are not many people that MS has not touched, either personally or thru a loved one.

  3. Amy Corcoran-Hunt June 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    Now *that* is a great idea.

  4. Kat June 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    Thank you for this great suggestion!!! Made my day to think of this possible alliance and the awareness and money it could bring to finding a cure for MS.

  5. Brian L. June 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    Meredith’s show would be a great launching pad for such a movement!

    • r. cohen June 16, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

      Except it was canceled.


  6. Jan June 17, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    Richard, just peeked your tweet on the right.My sympathies re your mom.

  7. Wendy June 18, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    oh my gosh! What a fabulous fabulous idea ! So how do we let these two wonderful women know that we have a new partnership for them? Love love love this idea

    • r. cohen June 19, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

      Okay. Make it happen.


  8. Wendy June 21, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    OK… I’m on it i’m writing my letter today. Mine is only one letter, Wouldnt it be wonderful if everyone on this blog could write one also. I understand that the gay community was able to get so much funding for HIV because they created so much awareness by holding events like demonstrations and rallies.

    • jojo June 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

      If all the MS blogs would collaborate perhaps this could work. A march on Washington, of course most of us can’t march. The problem here is nobody works together. Too many have their own person agendas in regards to blogs etc.

      • Hilary Debelak June 24, 2016 at 9:38 am #

        Maybe we do a virtual wak on Washington. On Aug 1st everyone do several social media posts with the tag #MicheleObamaSpeakUpOnMS

  9. Hilary Debelak June 23, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    I am going to invite her to Strikeout MS (strikeoutms.org) on Nov 5th here in Cincinnati. I’ll let you know.

    She would be a good voice for kids of people with MS, not just us MSers.

  10. Betty June 24, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

    Hillary, I’m with you. Will be ready to roll. Great idea. Keep me posted!

  11. Wendy June 25, 2016 at 12:47 am #

    Remember we are striving for a partnership!!

  12. Wendy June 25, 2016 at 12:51 am #

    Don’t forget to invite both woman. Anne Romney has already contributed to our cause and will most likely continue to do so!

    • Hilary Debelak June 25, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

      Totally agree. She has been good to our cause.

      -Hilary (not Hillary) 🙂