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Multiple Sclerosis

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13 Segments




Remembering Annette Funicello, America's Mouseketeer

Handpicked by Walt Disney to be one of the original Mouseketeers, Annette Funicello was America's girl next door. She spoke to Fresh Air in 1994 about Mickey Mouse ears and why she went public with her multiple sclerosis diagnosis. She died Monday at age 70 from complications of the disease.


Actress Teri Garr

Teri Garr is probably best known for her role in Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein.” But she’s worked with other well known directors and has made many films. Her first movie role was in Francis Coppola’s “The Conversation.” She was in Stephen Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and Sydney Pollack’s “Tootsie.” Before becoming an actress she was a dancer, following in the footsteps of her mother who was a Rockette. GARR danced in a number of Elvis Presley films, on the Sony and Cher Comedy Hour, and on the show Shivaree.


Journalist and Author Richard Cohen

He's a former senior producer for CBS News and CNN with three Emmys to his credit. For the past 30 years he's lived with multiple sclerosis, even continuing to work in a war zone shortly after the diagnosis and with failing eyesight. He's written a new memoir called Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness/A Reluctant Memoir.


Writer Nancy Mairs on Living "Waist-High in the World"

Mairs is the author of several books, including "Ordinary Time," "Voice Lessons," and "Plaintext." In many of her books she deals openly and honestly about the progression of her multiple sclerosis, and it's effect on her life and marriage. Her latest book is "Waist-High in the World."


Remembering Novelist Stanley Elkin

Elkin was called "one of the most entertaining stylists in contemporary American fiction." His use of metaphor, "transforms grotesque situations and the drab vulgarity of popular consumer culture into comic affirmations of human existence." (from Contemporary Literary Criticism). His novels included, The MacGuffin, The Magic Kingdom, and others. Elkin was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis twenty years ago and died of heart failure on Wednesday, May 31, 1995. We replay our 1993 interview with him. (Rebroadcast)


Actor and Comedian Richard Pryor on His Health and Career

This nationally acclaimed comedian has recently released his book Pryor Convictions and Other Life Sentences. Pryor's memoir takes readers on a journey through his successful yet struggle-filled life. A strong man who has overcome such ordeals as a drug addiction, self immolation, and six marriages, Pryor is determined to overcome his most recent battle with multiple sclerosis.


Nancy Mairs Discusses her New Memoir.

Poet, writer, and teacher Nancy Mairs. She's a Catholic feminist, who started out Protestant, and who late in life became a feminist. She calls herself, "the connoisseur of catastrophe." She's known for writing honestly about her struggles with multiple sclerosis, depression, and the life-threatening illness of her husband, also about being a woman, a mother, and a wife. Her newest book of personal essays is "Ordinary Time," (Beacon). One reviewer calls it "a small miracle of honesty mediated by dignity and humor."


Author Stanley Elkin on Writing and Multiple Sclerosis

Elkin has been called "one of the most entertaining stylists in contemporary American fiction." His novels include, "The MacGuffin," "The Magic Kingdom," and others. His latest collection of of novellas is "Van Gogh's Room at Arles." Elkin was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis twenty years ago. He'll talk about his writing and his life and how it's changed since the disease has progressed.


Ben Sonnenberg on Being a "Poor, Little Rich Boy."

Writer and editor Ben Sonnenberg, Junior. Sonnenberg was born into one of New York City's most prominent families. He went on to be a poet and playwright, and he started the influential literary magazine, "Grand Street." Sonnenberg's new memoir, "Lost Property," talks about those events, and about his being stricken with multiple sclerosis. (The book's published by Summit Books).


Jacqueline Du Pré's Brief, but Brilliant, Life and Career.

Ellen Pfeifer, music critic for The Boston Herald, reviews the brief career of cellist Jacqueline Du Pré, who died on Monday from the effects of multiple sclerosis. Her playing was a described as a mixture of elegance and ferocity. When the disease struck at the age of 26, it cut short one of the most promising solo careers in all classical music.


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