The Associated Press
Monday, May 7, 2001; 6:04 PM
WASHINGTON –– President Bush on Monday honored two parents diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, presenting them with awards for coping with the illness while raising children.
Bush gave plaques to John Maher, 43, a father of two from Longmont, Colo.; and Cyndie Swafford, 44, a mother of three from Dayton, Tenn. They were named mother and father of the year by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Maher was diagnosed with MS in 1992, and toured the White House on Monday in a wheelchair. Swafford was diagnosed in 1998. Though she was confined to bed for part of last year because of MS, she said she has no visible symptoms now.
The president led the winners and their families on a tour of the West Wing, including the Oval Office. "I told him our lifestyle had changed, but my relationship with each of my children had not changed," Swafford said.
Maher gave Bush a baseball signed by the Colorado Rockies, and Swafford gave him a jacket emblazoned with the logo of the Chattanooga Lookouts minor league baseball team.
The National MS Society
named Bush governor of the year in 1999, said organization spokeswoman
On the Net:
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/
© 2001 The Associated Press