By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


In his final Yankee Stadium appearance, a dying Lou Gehrig
said that he considered himself to be the luckiest man on
the face of the Earth. There was not a dry eye in the house
during that immortal speech, and the ticket stub from that
day, given to me by my father, remains one of my prized


Yesterday, my daughter Elizabeth experienced a New York
Yankee moment that will remain hers forever.

She was lucky to be an invited guest to a Yankee baseball
game along with a young man named Derek, who had his most
special fantasy/wish satisfied by those who perform the
noblest of deeds.

Derek has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that also
bears the name of Lou Gehrig.  He is a special needs child,
and his most special desire was to meet his New York Yankee
hero, outfielder Paul O'Neill. I was told that O'Neill
commented that meeting Derek was an honor for him.  The
young man beamed. Derek had his greatest fantasy satisfied,
and came home with a signed baseball and the indelible
memory of his once in a lifetime experience.

Lizzy hit a grand slam too, bringing home autographed
baseballs from New York Yankee slugger Bernie Williams and
Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles (Ripken broke Lou
Gehrig's record for consecutive games played).  Lizzy also
wore her Derek Jeter shirt, and Jeter was kind enough to
sign his name on the shirt that will never again be washed.
Her Yankee cap was autographed by Yankee infielder, Luis
Sojo.  All in all, Lizzy came home with about two dozen
other autographs, including that of New York's manager, Joe

Oh, yes.  In the bottom of the ninth, Paul O'Neill came to
the plate with the Yankees behind by two runs.  One giant
swing later, the baseball soared high and far into the right
field bleachers, tying the game with the season's most
dramatic home run.  To Derek, life's cruel fate was
forgotten, if just for a instant, and his magic moment
became a shared joy between Paul O'Neill and a young man who
received the great gift of fulfillment.

Lou Gehrig's disease is an autoimmune disease. Nobody knows
the cause.  Nobody has a cure.

In 1976, the journal Neurology suggested that Lou Gehrig's
disease might be induced by an autoimmune response to bovine
proteins (Volume 26:2, 167-172).

Frank Oski, M.D., once Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins
Medical School wrote on page 63 of his best selling book,
"Don't Drink Your Milk":

"It may be more than coincidence that a group of
investigators from the Baylor College of Medicine in
Houston, Texas, also identified milk consumption as a factor
in...amyotrophic lateral scleroses--also popularly known as
Lou Gehrig's Disease after the famous athlete who was a
victim of this disorder. The neurologists analyzed many
variables in twenty-five patients with this disease and
compared the patient's histories with twenty-five healthy
individuals of similar sex, age, racial background, economic
status, and education.  The factors that set aside the
patients with amyotrophic lateral scleroses from their
normal counterparts was that the patients reported an
increased incidence of exposure to lead and mercury, more
participation in sports, and higher ingestion of cow's milk.
More food for thought."

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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