SEPTEMBER 4, 1947
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I have been reading over the report of the infantile paralysis center at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama. The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis gave the money to build this center as an adjunct of the John A. Andrews Memorial Hospital, and it opened its doors in 1941. Before I visited it, I had been told that poliomyelitis was rare among colored children. However, I am glad the center was established, for in reading this report the horrid thought suggests itself to me that perhaps the disease is "rare" among Negro children because we do not always know about the cases.
This center is designed primarily to take exceptional cases, so that doctors and nurses may be trained and may do research. The equipment must be of the best, since here people learn what they must do in other places. I went through the center in its very early beginnings, and this report indicates that they have made strides since then. Every type of treatment is given. And I hope it will mean that, all over the country, better care will spread in congested areas as well as in rural areas, where so often the doctors have known little or nothing about the treatment of this disease.
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I was interested to hear from one of my neighbors, who lives in a rural area not far from here, that a considerable organization is being formed to promote Sister Kenny clinics. I am wondering whether this is being done because it is felt that her methods are not well enough known. I remember very well that the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis was asked to continue the grants made for her work, and at that time I understood that hospitals throughout the country had adopted her treatment for patients who could benefit from it.
Her treatment should certainly be known in every hospital in the country and it should be used, but she has not found a cure any more than have the people to whom research grants are made by the National Foundation. Therefore, I was glad to hear the other day that the foundation had made a grant for research in a wider field, since I cannot help believing that perhaps the answer to infantile paralysis will come through someone who is doing research in a different though an allied field.
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Our house has seemed much emptier today. Elliott's three children from Texas went down to New York City yesterday morning, and by now he is speeding with them by train across the country, since school will soon be opening. The summer is really drawing to a close.
The house seems strangely quiet, though we have had three other young people in or around it all day. Miss Thompson remarked that unless someone came yelling into her room every morning like an Indian on the warpath, she did not think she could possibly do her work, and I have a little the same feeling! Three children cannot possibly keep one as busy as six!
Those who are here now will soon be beginning school, so before long we will have to be content with our own adult society, and somehow we do not furnish each other with as much interest and excitement every moment of the day!