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All Things Amish > Amish Illnesses

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message 1: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments I have a really random question, and I hope that maybe someone can answer it.

I have noticed in reading Amish fiction now, that sometimes one of the characters falls ill, and it seems fairly often that the author writes that the character has Multiple Sclerosis.

I was wondering if it is just that the books I've read have happened to randomly have that in common, or if the Pennsylvania Dutch are more likely to have M.S.

I ask too because my Grandfather is 100% Pennsylvanian Dutch (his older sister was the last in our family to wear the Amish dress) and he has suffered from M.S. for over 40 years now, so it is something close to my heart.

Camille


message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brand (pixieauthoress) I've never encountered this in an Amish book, but it sounds like an interesting topic to discuss. Which books did this come up in?

I think it's very probable that Amish communities would be more prone to certain illnesses if it ran in their genes, due to lots of intermarrying between different families and second and third cousins, etc. This happens a lot when families stay in one area and don't move - I know that there are a lot of people in Fife (where I study) that are lactose intolerant and it's attributed to the smaller gene pool. Likewise, my home area has a higher than average level of people who are on the autistic spectrum and its probable that this is a similar issue.

Perhaps someone with more knowledge can shed some light on whether there are certain illnesses that are common in Amish communities?


message 3: by Barbara (last edited Jan 28, 2011 04:31PM) (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1570 comments Mod
I don't think I've encountered MS in the books I've read so far either. I did find this article when I googled Multiple Sclerosis and Amish Fiction:

http://www.academon.com/Essay-Amish-H...


message 4: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments Thanks so much Barbara! Maybe it really is the random assortment of Amish books I've read but I think in at least 3 of the books one of the Amish characters has had M.S., and I know that I tend to notice it due to my grandfather.

It definitely makes sense that a smaller gene pool could lead to some recurring illnesses, so thank you for sharing that article with me.


message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (goodreadscombarbara_beers) | 1570 comments Mod
I'm curious, do you remember which books they were?


message 6: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments I remember that a character's father was diagnosed with MS in a book that I read. It was a book in a series but I cannot remember which one yet.


message 7: by Camille (new)

Camille (camlovesraptors) | 802 comments I cannot remember either, but I remember a book like that too in a series where the character's father had M.S.


message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (atimetolove) | 99 comments Diane U wrote: "I remember that a character's father was diagnosed with MS in a book that I read. It was a book in a series but I cannot remember which one yet."

Diane U wrote: "I remember that a character's father was diagnosed with MS in a book that I read. It was a book in a series but I cannot remember which one yet."

You may be thinking of When Strawberries Bloom by Linda Byler, the second in the Lizzie Searches for Love series. Linda is Old Order Amish and such a delightful writer and a friend. The father in the above book is diagnosed with MS. I hope you'll try her series. The first is Running Around...Lizzie is SO funny in that book.


message 9: by Diane U (new)

Diane U (djuseless) | 1411 comments Too funny! That's the book that I was thinking it was too! I could not check because I had it in paperback since I reviewed it for FSB Media and I have passed them onto my hubby's aunt to read and share.


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