Friday, September 25, 2020

Another Huzzah for RGB

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Society

Ed Hessler

--- Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.--Ruth Bader Ginsberg

I've wanted to say something about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. There is so much to admire about her, her life and career and it has been commented on by many who knew her, some well and some who had encountered her at formal occasions.

An accolade I hadn't thought about is the subject of a column on STAT by Steven Petrow. She was a cancer survivor where she continued her path-breaking ways.

Twenty years ago she was diagnosed with colon cancer kept it at bay. Later she experienced both pancreatic and lung cancer.

It actually wasn’t that long ago," Petrow observes, "that people diagnosed with cancer — people like Ginsburg, me, and (some 16 million Americans with cancer) were called cancer victims." We were expected to hide in shame, and too often faced discrimination in the workplace and, of course, by health insurers who viewed us as either too risky or too expensive to provide coverage.

Ginsberg was a living demonstration, Petrow continues, "to all of us what it means to be a cancer survivor," defined by "the National Cancer institute,(as) a person... from the time of diagnosis until the end of life."

Petrow relates two stories from NPR's legal correspondent Nina Totenberg on the strength of RGB's commitments, regardless.

So with respect to her achievements, Petrow reminds us, "let's not forget to add 'cancer survivor.'"

Justice Ginsberg lies in repose today in the rotunda of the U. S. Capitol. Her friend, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves accompanied by pianist Laura Ward, sang RGB's favorite version of American Anthem written by composer/songwriter Gene Scheer.  

You may listen to Graves and Ward performing this poignant and patriotic song here.


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