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TitleFor Hope (1997) (TV Film)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityGeneral scleroderma scleraderma
DirectorBob Saget
CastPolly Bergen Henry Czerny Dana Delany Chris Demetral Lesley Ewen Sharon Monsky
NotesA bit of time is spent showing the victim has a job and a family and then we get to the nitty gritty. In this week's film she has scleraderma, and the worse sort. One can say "she" because this disease affects only women. In fact there's a lot of good information in this film and maybe it's best digested in a sweet drink. SHE is a single teacher and has a teenage son who is desperate to leave home. The son objects to her bringing back dates who sleep over. Her problems start with a stiffness in the fingers. Initially she is diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and by one doctor told to see a psychiatrist. Frustrated by what is happening to her she moves from Philadelphia to her parents in, I think, California. There she sees a new consultant ( a woman) who tells her she has systemic scleraderma. The lesser form results in hardening of the skin around the fingers and mouth but this more serious and fatal form affects the inner organs. There's no know cause, no cure and she's is told she has up another ten years of life. But she's determined to lengthen this. The best part of the film is when she visits what looks like the scleraderma institute and meets a woman there who explains to her the implications. This woman actually has scleraderma (Sharon Monsky) and is playing herself Putting aside my cyncism this is one of the more worthy examples of "disease of the week". Of course you guess when her brother's wife is going to have a baby she's going to die. Birth renews from death. And once again medical insurance is a problem, being English I have little idea of the impact of this. Though when we lived in France we had problems getting treatment for my daughter when she had appendicitus. This was because I was working sporadically (as a ditch digger) and didn't have insurance. Interesting argument from brother's wife who is only one urging her to let go and die and be released from the pain. See the excellent website at: http://www.newwave.net/~angelarose/Sclera.htm

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