American family stories by audiographer Joe McHugh
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Illness and Healing
Spring in the Valley Oil Painting by Paula Blasius McHugh

My father died of polio when I was a young child, so I know first-hand how a serious illness can influence the destiny of a family. Here are several remarkable stories that honor the kind of courage and determination needed to overcome the difficulties that life can send out way.

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Whatever it Takes
Playing Time 7:18

A wonderful tale told by Beth Goodwin of Virginia about how modern medicine has improved the quality of life for so many people. It is also about a mother's love and determination in caring for her child.

As Long as I Have You
Playing Time 5:07

Alan Hayashi's parents not only endured the hardship of a WWII Japanese internment camp, they also found themselves dealing with the consequences of a life threatening disease. Years later their son would become a public health official.

Water Treatment
Playing Time 4:12

Bud Ogren is a retired law professor who lives in San Luis Obispo, California. Here he tells a story about breaking his arm as a youngster and how his father, a man with a seventh grade education, figured out what to do even after the doctors had failed.

West Virginia House Call
Playing Time 3:40

Sad to say even today many people put off seeing to a medical problem because they can't afford the treatment. In West Virginia in the dark days of the 1930s this was especially true as Robert Butcher relates a story about his grandfather who was a country doctor and a patient who perhaps waited a little too long to call.