Summer 2018

Patty Clark Haberstroh sent this important message:

I was diagnosed with ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease – in October 2017.  I had been dragging my right foot for several months, feared what that might mean from going online. But nothing prepares you for the shock of the diagnosis.  2-5 year average lifespan from diagnosis.  I’m determined that that will not be me!

One of my friends in town has ALS and she referred me to ALS TDI in Cambridge as a nonprofit biotech solely focused on FINDING A CURE.  This is what I and so many others need.  Their motto, “ALS is not an incurable disease.  It is an underfunded disease, is certainly true the more I learn about the disease.

So…my kids felt they couldn’t remain powerless.  My son Tom worked for ESPN for years and knew a lot about how to work social media.  Thus, “Peppermint Patty” became “Pepper Patty”, which became the “ALS Pepper Challenge”.  We estimate around 1000 folks have done it.   As of this morning (1/31/18), we’ve raised over $85,000.00, which will go directly to help fund a clinical trial for a promising drug TDI has been working on with their 36 scientists.  Our goal of $1 million is ambitious, but that’s what it takes to get the trial started.

I’ve been so touched by the caring of so many who took the challenge—celebrities (Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Andy Cohen, Shaq, Charles Barkley), groups (Westport Town Hall staff where I work, Westport Board of Ed, Westport Library staff), people I don’t know living with ALS, as well as groups of my friends. 

The most touching are the kids of my kids talking about how I affected their lives growing up.  In ways I never knew—other than feeding them.  We’ve had many laughs as people use their creativity in the videos—some crazy stuff

There’s been joy for me coming out of this.  I’m told I’m a “slow progressor” and that gives me great hope – but that could change at any time.  So much is unknown.  I love the pepper crunches but we do need the money. 

Here’s the link to donate:

https://www.classy.org/campaign/alspepperchallenge/c161855.

 

The highlight document TDI created for us is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh5iKOjv2F8&feature=youtu.be

The initial new broadcast from New Channel12, Westport:

http://newjersey.news12.com/story/37297326/westport-family-raises-awareness-for-als-with-alspepperchallenge

Diane St. Cyr Francis writes:

In late May 2018, my younger daughter Hillary is expecting her fourth child.

I will be traveling to Virginia at that time to help her with her growing family.  At home I continue to take aerobics four times per week, and I continue to teach piano lessons in my home.

For Sarah H. Gordon, 2017 was a rough year for her and her family:  I was diagnosed with cancer and diabetes in January, and spent the year working on my heath, with excellent results that have made me thinner and healthier again.  I’ve also acquired an unbounded zest for eating vegetables in olive oil.  Unfortunately my brother Peter died on April 11, and leaves his incredibly able twin daughters in a very good place; we all met at cousin Deborah Schumann’s ’69 house in Bethesda for a Celebration of Peter on his 71st birthday, October 1. My cousins from England and California did make it to this gathering, as did Susanna Bodine Holahan ’66 and her granddaughter Elsa, a very wonderful young woman of about 12 years.  My sister Ann D. Gordon ’66 also attended the Celebration of Peter at Debbie’s house. 

My step sister Martha Pollock ’69, who came down from New York to help me with my cancer surgery in May, died on December 17th in her home on December 17 and I went to a Celebration of Martha in Niskayuna on December 27.  I will miss both Peter and Martha dreadfully as they managed to bring light to everyone even during illness and hard times.  I also saw Lucy Bodine Nattrass ’72 for a brunch in New Haven this Spring as she passed through on her way to see her mother Elizabeth Reimann Bodine ’41 a short time before Elizabeth’s death this past summer. More recently I received a very nice Christmas letter from Sallie Smith Kise ’64 who lives in Maine on the family farm where our own family spent summers as children. I still enjoy my home, garden and orchard, and enjoy the TLC of having some help with it now. I wish the others in my class well, and was sorry miss to our 45th reunion.

Susan Griss wrote: 

Now that I am “semi-retired” from arts-in-ed in the schools, I am taking my work international. This past October I had the honor of keynoting at an international dance pedagogy conference in Slovenia, also presenting workshops there and at the University in Ljubljana. At the end of February I will be traveling to India to train teachers in New Delhi for a month under the Fulbright Specialist Program. Looking forward to more world travel bringing my methods of teaching academic curriculum through movement and dance.  And… I am now a grandmother! It’s as fabulous as everyone said it would be!

Linda Blackburn Gross said: 

Two days before Thanksgiving (1917), I fell down in our garage and broke my hand.  My husband drove me to the ER where they put it in a cast. Fortunately this was my left hand and I am right handed.

Prior to that, on March 14, I slipped on some black ice on the sidewalk while walking to the library, and broke a bone in my right arm near my elbow. The doctor said I only needed a sling.

On December 23, 2016 our son Jeff got married to Emilia Sobreira in her hometown of Caratinga, Brazil.  We able to fly down for it, all wonderful except that the airlines lost my suitcase. At least they refunded me for some of what it was worth!

Sarah McElhone Moriarty  sent this quick bit of news:

A quick bit of news.  I took a new job in IT at Harvard University this fall and my husband Tom and I moved to Cambridge. Also, in October, I had the privilege of ringing the bells in my first Carilion peal with Meredith Morris ’85 and Kira Chase ’17.

Here’s a link to that: https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=1191307

Sec. Stefanie Solnick Cargill, 1224 E. La Jolla Drive, Tempe, Arizona  85282, rhpt70@cox.net.