Barbara Brenner

Health activist

On May 7, three days before her death, Barbara Brenner wrote a final blog post, in which she expressed appreciation for a full, rich life. "I have no regrets," she wrote, "except that I got ALS in the first place." A two-time breast-cancer survivor, Brenner died May 10 at 61 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis--a condition she refused to call by its better-known name, Lou Gehrig's disease, believing the image of a strapping athlete didn't reflect its devastation.

From 1995 to 2010, Brenner led Breast Cancer Action, which demanded research into the causes of the disease--especially possible links to environmental pollutants--and often...

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