Joel and Catherine Wolf’s story seems to underscore the contradictions of American medicine.
The Katonah couple worked as a top IBM research team that improved how humans interact with computers, and Catherine Wolf died this month after an extraordinary 22-year battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Joel Wolf described his wife’s fight with the rare neurological disease as unique. It gained notoriety because she lost the ability to speak and used her eyebrow to control a computer and communicate.
The high-tech breakthrough, however, is only part of what made her situation different.
Catherine Wolf’s lengthy struggle with the costly illness led to her advocacy for creating a single-payer or ‘Medicare-for-All’ system in New York and across the country, Joel Wolf said. She died Feb. 7, at the age of 70.