Throwback Thursday – March 2023

Week 9 - March 2 | Alexander Disease

Throwback Thursday - Alexander Disease Throwback Thursday - Jauna - Alexander Disease

Years ago, Toni Ramon’s young son Juanma was diagnosed with Alexander disease, a rare and devastating condition. She turned her grief to action, and raised more than $1.3 million to support Alexander disease research at the Waisman Center. Read the family’s story from 2008 here: Photo 1: The Ramon’s with then-director Marsha Mailick, PhD, and Alexander disease researcher Albee Messing, VMD, PhD. Photo 2: Young Juanma visiting the Waisman Center in 2008.

Week 10 - March 9 | Ludell Swenson / Augmentative Communication

David Lamers, Gregg Vanderheiden, and Ludell Swenson (front)

#TBT – Ludell Swenson, pictured below, was an advocate and a pioneer in the use of augmentative communication. Swenson – who had cerebral palsy – had been a patient of the Communication Aids and Systems Clinic (CASC) for most of his life, participating in early research that revolutionized the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Photo 1: David Lamers, Gregg Vanderheiden, and Ludell Swenson (front) Photo 2: Ludell Swenson reading a news story about his coummunication device, Photo 3: Ludell in later years. Read: Remembering Ludell Swenson. #Waisman50years

Week 11 - March 16 | Ethel Waisman Tarkow

Ethel Waisman speaking at WC Opening Ethel and Harry Waisman (right) Ethel Waisman Tarkow (1917-2016)
Ethel Waisman and Family

#TBT – The late Ethel Waisman Tarkow was a great supporter of the Waisman Center, along with her family. Ethel was married to Harry Waisman, MD, PhD, for whom the Waisman Center was named. A lifetime member of the Friends of the Waisman Center, she and her second husband Harold Tarkow, PhD, were active members of the Waisman Center community. Photo 1 – 1971: Ethel with Harry Waisman (right) at the groundbreaking for the building that would bear his name. Photo 2 – 1973: Ethel speaking at the opening of the Waisman Center. Photos 3 & 4 – 2013: Ethel Waisman Tarkow, alone, and with her family at the Waisman Center’s 40th Anniversary Gala. #Waisman50Years

Week 12 - March 23 | Harvey A. Stevens Art Collection

Harvey Stevens Stray Cats Art - Field of Suns

#TBT The Harvey A. Stevens International Collection of Art by People with Developmental Disabilities was initiated in 1976 by Harvey Stevens, the Waisman Center’s first administrator. The gift of a single piece of art, Amor Perfeito, from a friend in Brazil, inspired Stevens to start the collection. We share Harvey’s vision that the collection encourages individuals of all abilities to express themselves and expand their world through art. It inspires the children and families who come through our doors every day. #Waisman50Years
Look for our #FineArtFriday posts each week highlighting some of the more than 200 wonderful works in the Stevens collection.

Week 13 - March 30 | Renata Laxova

Renata Laxova Renata Laxova, MD, PhD
#TBT – Renata Laxova, MD, PhD, was a clinician, geneticist, educator, advocate, and researcher at the Waisman Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Laxova was instrumental in establishing the master’s in genetic counseling training program with founding director Joan Burns. The training program was among the first of its kind in the United States and Laxova served as its first medical director, a position she held for more than 20 years. She was particularly interested in the causes of intellectual and developmental disabilities, prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders and birth defects, cancer genetics, and — above all — the relationships between medical professionals and the patients and families they serve. #Waisman50years