Monday, March 19, 2007

Above the 37th Parallel

Of all the people I know back home, the ones I remember best are those from childhood. Through all the growing pains, there is a sense of kindred spirits. This is especially the case among those with whom I attended Catholic schools for twelve years. One of them was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1989, and her story hits the stage of the Queen City this summer.

She knew multiple sclerosis can be disabling and wondered what she might face one day.

"My best friend's mother died from complications of MS at 45," [Nancy] Jones said. "I watched her go from being a young, active mother with four kids to walking with a cane and then a walker and then being bedridden."

Six people on the street she grew up on in Milford developed multiple sclerosis. "We had our own little cluster," she said.

After living in Cincinnati for many years, Jones moved back to Milford a few years ago because she needed a one-story house.

Almost 18 years after her diagnosis, Jones, 51, has compiled her questions, answers and musings about living with a long-term illness into a one-woman play.


Among those "six people on the street she grew up on" was my Dad, who was diagnosed in 1970, at the age of 45. That's six people on a street with thirty-six houses. That's a lot, I should think. I suppose I could arrange to be in Cincinnati sometime in August. Opening night is always the best time to see a new play. Besides, the proceeds go to further research into the causes of MS, with the hope of a cure. Cincinnati is taking the lead there too.

Nancy Jones goes over the script for her play with Drew Fracher, who will direct the production at the Aronoff Center in August. They're at her home in Milford, a one-floor house because stairs pose a problem. (The Enquirer/Leigh Taylor)
Nancy Jones goes over the script for her play with Drew Fracher, who will direct the production at the Aronoff Center in August. They're at her home in Milford, a one-floor house because stairs pose a problem. (The Enquirer/Leigh Taylor)

1 Comments:

At 3/29/2007 01:36:00 AM, Anonymous nancy said...

David Alexander--as I live and breathe. My husband suggested that I google my own name to see what pops up. You did! (Among other stories from my P.R. spokesperson days and "Beat the Bug," a healthy habits card game I created) Amazing what happens as a result of insomnia. Anyway, it would be wonderful if you could be here for the play. Bruce Paul who has a severe case of Guillaume Barre disease is hoping to be here, too. Cathy Smith contacted me via her sister who works for WellPoint in Indianapolis. I knew that you were still in the D.C. area and I think you are an art director. Tickets go on sale May 1 for $25 and $100 (includes a 4-course dinner pre-performance and reception at Arnold's on Eighth Street and donation). Performances are scheduled for August 10 and 11.

 

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