News & Events
Statement from the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation (GDATF) on the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush and President George H.W. Bush:
First Lady Barbara Bush (Originally Published on April 18, 2018): The staff and Board members of the Graves’ Disease & Thyroid Foundation (GDATF) would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of former first lady Barbara Bush, who passed away yesterday at age 92. Mrs. Bush was diagnosed with Graves’ disease in 1989, but never let the condition define her or limit her potential. Her tireless advocacy for literacy and other charitable causes – especially after her diagnosis – is an inspiration to Graves’ patients everywhere. Mrs. Bush will always be remembered for her kindness. President and Mrs. Bush once sent a typewritten letter of support to GDATF founder Nancy Hord Patterson, and Mrs. Bush wrote a letter to attendees of the GDATF’s first patient conference. Dr. Larry Wood, founder and past president of the Thyroid Foundation of America (TFA) and a former GDATF Board member, reacalls that Mrs. Bush’s appearance at a TFA fundraiser made a significant impact on the organization’s success, and he is grateful for her support.
Pres. George H.W. Bush (Originally Published on December 3, 2018): 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.