JUNE 9, 1949
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Seldom has there been anything more exciting than the discovery of a possible cure for arthritis!
Most people afflicted with the ailment seem to have just resigned themselves to complete helplessness, if the arthritis has turned out to be the crippling kind. From England I have already heard from one of my friends who has practically spent the last few years of her life chained to a chair. She inquires anxiously as to when the new drug will be available.
When I sought some information about this I learned that it was so scarce that doctors have been able to give it to only a few people in the hospitals. However, it worked miraculously while it was available. Evidently, though, the drug is something on the order of insulin, because as soon as administration of it was stopped the patient in one hospital had his symptoms again. He had improved so much during treatment that he was able to walk after months of having been incapacitated, but in 24 hours the effect had worn off and he was as badly off as ever.
As the drug is produced in greater quantity and our researchers learn more about it, they may be able to do many new things. In the meantime, the knowledge that there is a cure somewhere in the offing is giving hope to people who would otherwise have resigned themselves to being cripples the rest of their lives.
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I had lunch yesterday at Lake Success with Mme. Hansa Mehta. This soft-spoken Indian woman has a most beautiful face. Gentleness and real concern for her fellow man is clearly written in her expression.
If all the people of India are facing the problems of establishing a new country and shedding what was bad in the past and trying to improve what was good, much as Madame Meta is doing, then there must lie ahead, no matter how slow the progress, a real future for this great nation. Madame Meta gives one a feeling of calm patience and strength, and I think she will be a real factor and one of the women who will be able to lead other women in this long struggle.
Yesterday, also, I was asked to see a Protestant minister who had just returned from Spain and was leaving New York during the day. The only time I could spare was during my drive into town. I judge that he has some very interesting material on conditions in Spain and in many other parts of the world, but, unfortunately, I did not have time to hear much of his story.
He did tell me, however, that Protestant churches have gone underground in Spain, and that while they operate, they do so in the most inconspicuous manner possible.
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Tuesday afternoon in our committee meeting I tried to get the vote on Article 16 of the Covenant, which is the article on freedom of religion. At five minutes before six, however, we still had three more votes to take on the second paragraph and I did not dare delay another minute, for the four officers of the Commission were scheduled to be on a television show at 7 o'clock.
We had been asked to be in the television studio at 6:30 and even though we drove into town as quickly as we could it was 10 minutes before seven before we were in our places, waiting for the show to begin and getting our last instructions. I just hope it went fairly well but I, for one, felt a bit breathless.