Classmate Patty Haberstroh is happy to report that…”2 1/4 years post ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) diagnosis I am still here!  I’m in a wheelchair full time, am losing my ability to speak, and need some breathing assistance – but I’m thankful.  Family and friends have given me great support, as have my seven grandchildren!  I’ve made so many solid new friendships in this ALS world that no one wants to join.  The ALS Therapy Development Institute (TDI) in Cambridge, MA, is a nonprofit biotech solely focused on finding a cure for ALS.”  Patty’s “Pepper Challenge” has raised over $650,000 for ALS TDI to find a cure!  She spoke to a couple of hundred Yale Med School students about the reality of this disease, as well as raising awareness thru other speeches she’s made.  She declares:  “I will continue to fight!”

Classmate/author Cheryl Suchors writes:  I’m taking a much-needed rest after the two-year stint that involved the publication and marketing of my award-winning memoir, “48 PEAKS: Hiking and Healing in the White Mountains. An inspiring story of adventure and persistence.”  I’ve gone back to my Smith roots, taking a conversational Spanish class to revive the once-fluent tongue and ears honed during my Junior Year Abroad in Madrid.  A lot of rust has accumulated on said organs after fifty years!  I’ve also been enjoying Rush tickets ($10) for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, having just discovered this particular treat that Boston has to offer. 

After much thought, I’ve decided how I’d like to celebrate my 70th birthday, coming in November: hiking in Patagonia!  This means I’m busily working out and trying to recover from not doing so for most of the past two years. The body takes longer and requires a lot more work to strengthen than it did even ten years ago, that’s for sure.  Let’s not even mention all the preventative things I have to do daily to preclude more injuries. But it’s all worth it to feel strong and healthy and continue hiking and traveling.  Have I retired? I’m not sure yet. Stay tuned.

Diana Zuckerman sent this:  “I had an amazing year, despite the challenges of working as president of a Washington, DC health policy nonprofit, The National Center for Health Research, Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund!  For example, in the last few months I was asked to speak at the Virginia Crime Commission about strategies to prevent mass shootings, was on Fox and Friends warning about the risks of e-cigarettes (fortunately, there are still a few nonpartisan issues in DC), and I successfully worked with patient advocates, plastic surgeons, the media, and the FDA to warn women about breast implants that can cause cancer and other serious health problems.  On a personal level, my daughter and her husband blessed us all with my first grandchild in April.  Rob (my significant other) and I had the wonderful experience of traveling to Machu Picchu in July 2019.  I’d love to hear from classmates about health issues they need to research.  The National Center for Health Research, Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund has a free cancer helpline.  Please Google and check it out!

Sec. Stefanie Solnick Cargill