October 25, 2013

It Says So Right Here

Everyone knows you can't always believe what you read, but sometimes even official documents aren't a path to the truth. This week we have stories of people whose lives are altered when seemingly boring documents like birth certificates and petitions are used against them. And a family wrestles with a medical record that has a very clear, but complicated diagnosis.


Host Ira Glass tells the story of man in Florida named Lanail Hudson who it turned out wasn't actually Lanail Hudson. He had stolen Lanail Hudson's identity and had been using his name for decades. And even after he was caught and incarcerated, he refused to tell authorities what his real name was. (6 minutes)
Act Two

What Are You Doing for the Test of Your Life?

Huntington's Disease is a progressive brain disorder. There's a wide range of symptoms, but in the worst cases, people who have it can end up losing physical control of their bodies, sort of like Parkinson's Disease, and can also have mental symptoms that are like Alzheimer's or schizophrenia. If you have a parent with Huntington's Disease, you have a 50-50 chance of getting it. In this audio diary, a woman named Kelly has decided to get tested for the disease. Her mother has Huntington's and several of her family members have either been diagnosed, or are showing symptoms of the disease.

Paige Cowett of WNYC produced Kelly's audio diary. The story is part of a project called “The Antidote." There's more information about "The Antidote," and a video of Kelly and her niece Kayla, at the WNYC website. (12 minutes)

Act Three

There's a Signed Line Between Love and Hate

Producer Ben Calhoun tells the story of Josh Inglett. Josh was a college student from Portage, Wisconsin who was appointed to the Board of Regents for the University of Wisconsin system. Josh was everything you'd want in a student who was going to fulfill this role. That is, until Governor Scott Walker's administration discovered something on Josh's permanent record that they considered a problem. (28 minutes)