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President Meets Arthritis Poster Child, MS Victims

May 24, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Lindsey Joffe, the 31/2 -year-old National Poster Child of the Arthritis Foundation of America, gave President Reagan a lollipop on Thursday and he presented her with a jar of jellybeans.

″It was very special ... we’ll savor it forever,″ said Lindsey’s mother, Dorothy, after the meeting.

Mrs. Joffe, of Williamsville, N.Y., her son, Bryan, and husband, Serge, accompanied Lindsey into the Oval Office for their five-minute session with the president. Lindsey has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Mrs. Joffe said.

The visit was to mark May as National Arthritis Month, while the lollipop symbolized the Arthritis Foundation’s theme of ″Help Lick Arthritis.″ The foundation is a voluntary health organization that sponsors research and provides education about arthritis.

In a separate session, Reagan met with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society mother and father of the year.

The president presented plaques to Carol Gearhart, of Oxnard, Calif., as the mother of the year and John Grout, of San Diego, Calif., as father of the year.

″I was thrilled,″ said Grout after the session. Speaking of his battle withe MS, Grout said: ″We’re working on a cure - the thing is to stay loose and don’t clutch.″

Mrs. Gearhart, who presented the president with a pen, said she was happy the visit provided them with an opportunity to give more people information about the fight against the disease.

The National MS Society is a 400,000-member voluntary organization established to find a cause and cure for multiple sclerosis.

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