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I don’t know if you follow Carla Zilbersmith’s blog. It’s not an easy read. She’s very clever and talented and funny, a brilliant writer, the kind of person you like and admire a lot, and she’s dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which in the UK we call motor neurone disease (MND). She writes about this in all the moods that strike her, but never self pity. Never. This is how she begins her most recent post. It’s entirely typical:

I was in the hospital last week. I went in with completely unrelated symptoms, but was diagnosed once there with walking pneumonia. At the very least, this is an ironic diagnosis for somebody who can’t walk. At best, I believe I have an ADA lawsuit on my hands. Rolling pneumonia, fine. Boogie-woogie flu, maybe. But not walking pneumonia.

She’s made a calendar with other ALS sufferers:

Just in time for the holiday season comes a calendar that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and inspire you beyond measure. Thirteen models with ALS in various stages in the progression of the disease have donned their sexiest garb (or in some cases have shed their garb) to show you that we are willing to bare our bodies for a cure!

The calendar’s theme for 2010 is the silver screen. ALS models reenact memorable moments from such movies as Basic Instinct, Braveheart, Risky Business, and Cabaret to name a few. Each picture prominently features the medical equipment of the model in question.

The models in this calendar range in age from 23-69. We are both male and female. We are grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents of children too young to lose us and we are children too young to be lost. We want to show the world that people with ALS are just like them and that ALS can strike anyone anywhere. We want to help ALS-TDI raise badly needed funds for ALS research. Here’s how you can help: Buy this calendar. Buy ten! Give them to friends and family and tell them about us.

And I tell you about this because Carla says I must:

You guys have to get off your butts and order the calendar. You also have to send the link to all of your friends. Even if they just read your e-mail and don’t buy the calendar, the way I typically read chain e-mails and break the chain, they will still know something about ALS.

Check it out here.

Carla has also released her latest and last album, Songs About Love, Death and Wings. Check it out here.

Here’s a track:

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