Common Sense

Illness Changes People

There is nothing so liberating in life than facing that moment you could lose your life.

Illness changes people.

This I know. And this I know Rudy Giuliani knows.

Because he's crazy enough to talk about it. And this week, even run radio ads about it.

I say crazy, because there was a time when candidates made damn sure they didn't talk about this stuff. Because it made them look weak, or frail, or heaven forbid, human.

No more.

If it isn't Giuliani talking about prostate cancer, it's Fred Thompson discussing his own battle with lymphoma, or John McCain, his repeated battles with skin cancer.

Big issues in their lives. For a while, maybe even big threats to their lives.

But now, not to us. We have grown as a people not to judge someone by what ails them, but by what defines them.

I say, all to the good.

And if, in Giuliani's case, it helps define the success of our medical system when everyone seems to be condemning it, I say, have at it.

Some insist there's still a stigma attached to illness.

I like to think the illness in our society is assuming there's any stigma at all.

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