Cousins

Suppose you had a batch of cousins. Cousins can come in batches.

One of your cousins, John, won eighteen club golf championships, at four different Country Clubs. He also qualsified for the National Amateur Golf Championship, three times out of three. When he was sixty-two John won the National Open Doubles Lawn Tennis Championship for sixties and over. Ten years later, in Australia, he won the Worlds Open Doubles Championship for seventies and over. This is a rare feat, golf and tennis, for a nonprofessional. In the family John was known as an unusual athlete. Cousin Robert qualified for the Masters’ Bridge Tournament when he was twenty-eight. When he was thirty, he devised a scientific method of playing gin rummy and beat the best players. For thirty years, the Encyclopedia of Bridge said Robert was reputed to be the best gin rummy player in the United States. In the family Robert was thought of as a heck of a card player. Another cousin, Charles, bred race horses. On two occasions he received the Turf Writers Award for Best Breeder of the Year. Charles was head of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and received the Fitzsimmons Award, “One Who Contributed Most to the Best Interests of Racing.” On two occasions, Charles was Chairman of the Board of the New York Racing Association. He received the Eclipse Award, “Man Who Did the Most for Racing.” In the family Charles was thought of as an outstanding figure in racing.

Fred was head of a small Stock Exchange firm. It was necessary to advertise. The budget was so small, Fred had to write the ads. His firm won the first Standard & Poor’s Gold Trophy, for best advertising in Wall Street. The family thought of Fred as an unusual advertising man. Another cousin, Henry, started a mutual fund. He wrote the prospectus and did the marketing for it. Henry received a most unusual award, “One of the five best marketing persons for the 1960-1970 decade.” The family thought of Henry as a remarkable marketing man. Your cousin George was head of research for a mutual fund. During the twelve years he made the market decisions, the fund got the best performance, by far, of any fund. George was the subject of an eight page article in Life Magazine titled “Maverick Wizard Behind the Wall Street Lion,” in which it said he was a genius, and compared him with Bernard Baruch and Joseph Kennedy. The family thought of George as an exceptional Wall Street man.

You had a cousin, James, who had three jobs, at $15 a week, and hadn`t made a go of any of them. His parents didn`t think held make a living. Years later, James became one of the richest men in the United States at that time. In the family, James was thought of as a lucky SOB. Suppose I told you that all these cousins were the same person? You’d say, “impossible, ridiculous.” But it’s the truth.  And something important happened in your Cousins’ life. After suffering from an endogenous depression for over five years, your cousin Jack, had ideas about what was wrong in his body, and did an unheard of thing. He asked his physician to let him try a twenty year old drug not known to be useful for his condition. The results were so good, and so prompt, that his physician thought it was a coincidence. However, over the next year Jack introduced six people with similar conditions to physicians to receive the drug, and they all had similar responses.

After unsuccessful attempts to get the medical profession to investigate, Jack felt obligated to leave his highly successful businesses in Wall Street to research the matter, and established the Dreyfus Medical Foundation. The possibility that the use of a medicine had been overlooked for twenty years seemed remote. But the chance that seven consecutive people had responded promptly was also remote. With the aid of a physician, Jack conducted a double-blind study of eleven prisoners in the Worcester County Jail. The results were dramatic and it was obvious that benefits of the medicine had been overlooked.

Over the years, the Foundation’s medical library discovered an increasing amount of studies published in over 350 medical journals, from forty-seven countries, written in twenty different languages, reporting the medicine to be useful for over seventy symptoms and disorders. The Foundation condensed these studies into bibliographies, one in 1970, another in 1975 and a third in 1988, and sent then to all the physicians in the U.S. The last bibliography contained 3,100 medical references and was accompanied by a book, A Remarkable Medicine Has Been Overlooked, which Jack wrote. To a large extent, due to the Foundation’s efforts, phenytoin is now being used in China, Russia, Ghana, India and Mexico for over fifty symptoms and disorders. Although it was introduced in the United States, its only listing with the FDA is for a single disorder. Millions in this country suffer needlessly.

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