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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: September 25, 1974 - Page 4

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 25, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                4A The Cedar Rapids Gazelle: Wed., Sept. 25. 1974 Your United Way At Work 'My name is Jerry Owen. Although I'm over 50 years old, I am unable to live alone because, since birth, I've had cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is not a disease which is even- tually cured. Ix is a condition, caused by brain damage, which I will have for the rest of my life. Cerebral palsy can affect a person in many different ways. For me it has caused lack of coordination of my muscles and much involuntary movement of my arms and legs. "Over the years I have been lucky enough to have found a part-time job. But my educational and social life had never been pursued. About three years ago the United Cerebral Palsy center in Cedar Rapids began an evening program of socialization and recreational activities for physically handi- capped adults. "It was a great opportunity for myself und others with various disabilities to be able to attend social functions with- out being stared at, pointed at, and talked about. We were able to share ideas and problems with each other. Although this was only a once-a-week activity, it was a start in broad- ening our lives. Then, last February, the UCP center expand- ed their program to five days a week, plus the evening program and a bowling league on Saturdays. "For a physically handicapped adult like me. this is the answer to my prayers. I have been able to participate in typ- ing, arts and crafts, field trips, adapted recreation and my social life has really improved. My life now has taken nri many aspects of a 'normal' person. "I sincerely hope the day activity program at the UCP center can continue for a long time. And it can with your help. By giving your fair share to the United Way campaign, the United Cerebral Palsy center can continue offering these programs for the people in this area who arc not able to be independent in living and employment. "We need your help. Don't let us down. Thanks In you it's working now and will continue to work in the future." Leap Bedpan By Dick West WASHINGTON (UPI) Predictably, the fame and for- tune gained byEvel Knievel from his attempt to hurdle the Snake river canyon has fomented a nationwide upsurge of daredeviltry. Some of the forthcoming events, such as songwriter Ed- die Miller's attempt to make a lawnmower jump a 27-inch ditch, are mere publicity stunts. But some have the genuine mystique and spiritual quality that brought Knievel his large following. Foremost among them, in my opinion, will be the attempt by Eval Primeval, a local hos- pital orderly, to jump a wheelchair over 16 bedpans. Primeval is a strange duck half crazy, hah" insane and maybe a little nuts. But sin- cere. He really believes in what he is doing and is preparing for the jump with missionary zeal. When I visited the obstetrical ward, where the leap will take place some time during even- ing visiting hours, Primeval was deep in consultation with his scientific adviser, Dr. Ray Phorceps. They obviously were worried. A preliminary test, which involved pushing an un- manned wheelchair down the room ramp, proved chair, which is propelled I'.' steam from three hot vi'.'.'T bottles, had failed to a'Jliiv. the necessary thrust iiii( course, colliding viii i' rjc.atd with pablum Inspires devilry Dick West Nevertheless, plans for the manned leap are going ahead. "Eval Primeval is a man of his word." Primeval told me solemnly. Primeval, who always does things with a flourish, is pulling all the stops this lime. He has commissioned Leonard Bernstein to compose a tone poem for the occasion. It will be performed by the New York Philharmonic 'Orchestra after which the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will sing the Eval Primeval anthem, "Ode to Leg Splints." Why the obstetrical ward? Dr. Phorceps, who handles Primeval's press relations, admitted that site was chosen for commercial reasons. "We expect to draw a large crowd from among the expec- tant fathers in the waiting he explained. "Addi- tionally, we'll catch the visitors assembled at the nursery win- dow to ogle the babies." Primeval told me the odds that he can clear all 16 bedpans are about 54-40. The odds against him clearing all 16 bedpans also arc And if he fails? Primeval faces that fate philosophically. "You only go around once in he says. "You gotta try to leap all the bedpans you can." 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