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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Update on Steven Gey's Condition

Gey_2In January 2007, I blogged the tragic news that one of the true giants and nicest people in our business, Steven G. Gey, David and Deborah Fonvielle and Donald and Janet Hinkle Professor of Law at Florida State, had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  The most recent issue of the West Virginia Law Review is dedicated to Steve, and Steve shared an update on his condition with his Florida State colleague Dan Markel.  Please take a moment to read the gripping report in its entirety; here's a snippet:

Although I do not yet have the slurred speech that is common once ALS creeps into the bulbar region, my voice is now almost always hoarse, shallow, and muted. The disease is accomplishing what none of you could: it may soon actually shut me up. On top of everything else, my hands and arms have now become almost totally worthless. Not only do the students have to carry my books to class, they also have to turn the pages for me. I can no longer shower or dress myself, and feeding myself is a comedy routine. ...

I'm still teaching. In fact, right now I'm teaching a full load, and I've had the Dean put me on the list to teach at least one class next year. Hope springs eternal. I've also done my usual bunch of speeches and symposiums in various cities this year, although I'm afraid that's over now. Traveling is just too hard, so I'm just going to have to learn to enjoy the wonders of Tallahassee. Where is the medical marijuana when you need it? I'm also still writing quite a lot, and could write a lot more if I could just figure out how to teach my voice-activated software to type "Justice Scalia" instead of "Justice Oh My Silly." (On the other hand, maybe the software is smarter than I’m willing to acknowledge.)

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