Saturday, 1 December 2007

Greg Parent book

Today is World AIDS Day, as it is every Dec. 1, and it is one of the many days veteran Toronto Sun Family members think of Greg Parent.

Greg, one of the numerous 1970s Windsor Star imports who shined at the Toronto Sun, didn't have AIDS, he had a hereditary heart defect that claimed his father, his first son, Adrian, 9, in 1983, and eventually himself on April 9, 1986, at 38.

But in 1985, while writing medical columns for the Sun, Greg wrote The AIDS Phenomenon: A Medical Mystery, a well-researched paperback published by Canada Wide Publications.

AIDS was in its infancy in Canada, having recorded its first AIDS death in 1982. But with the assistance of health officials, AIDS agencies and Glenn-Stewart Garnett, then editor of Canada Wide publications, Greg authored a book that was praised for its scope.

Greg's credibility as a medical writer/author was boosted considerably with the book's introduction by Dr. Alastair Clayton, a federal government researcher who chaired a 1980s Health and Welfare Canada ad hoc task force on AIDS.

Besides being a reporter, columnist, author, father and one sly poker player, Greg was a helluva nice guy who left us much too soon. He died a month after his second son, Hartley Graham Parent, was born.

AIDS, a plague Greg wrote about 22 years ago, remains a world-wide medical crisis that has evolved from a male "gay" disease in the 1980s to a widespread killer of women and children.

World health officials estimate 39 million men, women and children are living with HIV, with 7,000 new cases being diagnosed daily and 6,000 deaths each day.

Those numbers would leave Greg incredulous.

No comments:

Post a Comment