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A first person story of twenty years' of Hansen's disease (the name now preferred for leprosy) accents the shame and stigma attached to the sickness and the wonderful hope and promise recent years have brought, not only for treatment and cure but also for public understanding of its slight communicability and of the sufferers' misery at segregation. At 19, and romantically in love, the author learned to her horror that she had leprosy, and under an assumed name left New Orleans and went to Carville's U. S. Marine Hospital (National Leprosarium) for what treatment there was in 1927. There was the hopelessness of adjusting to her new surroundings, the ending of her romance, the despair of a cure, and the lifting of morale as new projects got in motion. Then her love for Harry and their illegal departure to marry and make their way. But Harry's condition grew so much worse that they were forced to return, almost sure they would never leave again. Every new experiment offered hope and none proved worthwhile until the miracle of Promin and Diasone which finally set the two free for a life of their own. There's the story of their magazine which crusaded for proper treatment of those ostracized, for better equipment and the help of various agencies the famous Hornbostel case which brought Carville such publicity; the effect of the disease on both the patient and his family. Strong in human interest and long on personal history, this is a story of faith which lights the dark places of a dread affliction.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1950
Publisher: Doubleday