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   Babe Ruth is sick...

an Icon passes away

     August 16, 1948

On August 16,1948 Babe Ruth passed away as a result of his two year bout with cancer.  The type of cancer Babe has is known as nasopharyngeal carcinoma.  This cancer starts in the upper back portion of the mouth.  It can be a very hard to diagnose this type of cancer and its cause is primarily genetic. 
Babe was a hero to millions for his exploits on the baseball diamond as we all know, but he was also a hero in the arena of cancer reasearch.  When Babe first started to suffer from the effects of his cancer in 1946 he was misdiagnosed on multiple occasions.  One of these misdiagnoses even led to three of Babe's teeth being extracted.
Finally in June of 1947 Babe met with Dr. Richard Lewisohn of Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.  Dr Lewisohn had been doing research on a anti-cancer drug known as teropterin.  However, it was never used on humans before and Dr Lewisohn told Babe this.  He also went on the tell Babe that the drug might even hurt him.  Babe said he wanted to help people, after he was gone, with the same cancer as his so that they might be cured.
Babe received multiple injections of the drug.  The drug only offered temporary relief for Babe but, he got his wish- an anti-cancer drug known as methotrexate was eventually developed.
So next time you think of Babe Ruth take a moment to remember that he was not only the greatest athlete to have ever lived but also a brave cancer pioneer who is still touching lives today.
                                                                                           - Dr. William Maloney
Listen to a secret recording of my grandfather at Cominsky Park in 1945
Belleville   News Democrat Editorial Page
                Written in 0ct. 3, 1921

Babe Taking batting practice on 25 anniversary of Yankee Stadium months before he passed.  The Chemo was working, his hair was dark again.

Babe and Dizzy Dean in 1948

Babe is looking frail.

Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium
                   April 27 1947
       Notice how white his hair is.
The reason his voice was raspy is because when they tried to operated on cancer they nicked his vocal cords.
Babe Ruth Day speech 1947 - Babe Ruth
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Aged and weakened in winter of 1947, he grabs a bat to pose with.

25th Anniversary of Yankee Stadium
                       June 13, 1948
Notice the color of his hair is back and he looks better. The chemo he had put him in remission for a short time.
At first my Mom was against her Dad laying in state in Yankee Stadium.  She felt they did not want him in life, so he should not be there in death.  But she did agree for the fans to say goodbye, it was the best venue for him. 
Lines of his fans wrapped around the stadium to have a last look at their favorite ball player.  They came from far and wide, every color and creed and  from all walks of life.
Grandfathers wanted grandsons to see my grandfather.
My grandfather's funeral was held at St Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

I held a Memeorial Mass for Babe in September of 2008.   My sister Ellen and I at the Memorial Mass for Babe.  Even though Hurricane Hannah hit right in the middle of the mass, we had a lot of people show up.   From the altar looking out at the pews, I saw, friends, fans and because of the rain, tourists, and the homeless!  Babe would have loved  it!  My love and appreciation to all who braved the elements to come.   Some as far as Boston!     

Procession to the Gates of Heaven Cemetary in Hawthorne NY.    My Mom told me there were people lining both sides of street all the way to Hawthore.  One person stood out to her.  The blind gentleman  with his dog. As the hearse went by with my grandfather's body, he tapped the dog on shoulder  with his walking stick and the dog went into a praying position.  

Fans at tomb vault
Not sure why he was laid in his final grave until October.  I do know Mom told me Babe wanted to be interred at Ferncliff which is up the road from Gates of Heaven and he wanted to be interred in a wall vault.  But it was not considered blessed ground by the church at the time.  Knowing mom, she was standing up for her father's last wishes.   
My mom chose this stone for her Dad.  Babe is in Section 25, and if you walk behind his stone over hill you will see Billy Martin;s rose quartze stone.  Billy Martin Junior told me that he chose this spot because he was close to his idol, Babe Ruth.  Here is my husband Andy standing by it.  My mom, dad, grandmother and her husband are all at Ferncliff.
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