Medicine: Half a Family

When Vivian Chamberlain, 34, died in Stockton, Calif, last week, she was the fourth of 14 siblings to be carried off by a mysterious, muscle-wasting disease. Vivian was 15 when she was stricken with what doctors believed to be muscular dystropny—a progressive wasting away of muscle power for which neither cause nor cure is known. She had gradually become disabled, spent her last two months in San Joaquin General Hospital. When Vivian the first ominous stiffening in her ankles, followed by weakness and loss of balance, one sister had already died. She lived to see another sister and a brother die...

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