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Statement from the Graves' Disease and Thyroid Foundation (GDATF) on the passing of President George H.W. Bush:
We were saddened to learn of the passing of Pres. George H.W. Bush, and extend our condolences to his family and friends.
With his diagnosis of Graves' disease in 1991, Pres. Bush not only raised the profile of Graves' disease in the public consciousness, but was also an example of how patients can persevere and lead happy, productive, lives. He inspired patients everywhere when he celebrated his 90th birthday with a parachute jump!
He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, First Lady Barbara Bush. Mrs. Bush - who herself was diagnosed with Graves' disease in 1989 - declined to celebrate her own 90th birthday with a parachute jump, quipping, “I'm too smart to jump out of a perfectly good plane."
Pres. Bush was known as a prolific letter writer. GDATF Founder and Chair Emeritus Nancy Hord Patterson, Ph.D. received a typewritten letter of support from Pres. and Mrs. Bush in 1992. ("We are pleased to lend our names to an organization that has done so much to increase the public awareness of Graves' disease. Thank you for extending to us the opportunity of being involved in this worthy endeavor..."). She has always been thankful for their kindness.