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Norman Cousins and Wellness Community

December 16, 1990

The article focusing on one aspect of the life of Norman Cousins ("The Positive Influence of Norman Cousins," Dec. 6) mentioned the relationship between Cousins and The Wellness Community. I write this letter to you so that all may know that without Norman Cousins there would be no Wellness Community.

Because of Cousins' words and deeds, millions of us learned of the connection between the mind and physical well-being. More personally, his were the words that laid the foundation from which evolved the concept of The Wellness Community, a program that would teach untold numbers of cancer patients to join with their physician and health care team in the fight for recovery. He instinctively knew and taught many others that such partnerships might--just might--have a beneficial effect on the course of the illness.

When The Wellness Community was in its most formative stage, it was Cousins who encouraged this medical layman to go forward and give it a try. I don't think I would have gone on without his support. He was also a source of continuing advice, counsel and inspiration, without which I'm not sure The Wellness Community would have survived.

HAROLD H. BENJAMIN

President, The Wellness Community-National

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