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President Kennedy Backs March of Dimes Campaign

Jan. 12, 1962 - President Kennedy borrowed a dime today to help promote this year’s March of Dimes campaign. The President posed for photographs in his office with Debbie Sue Brown, 5 years old, of Clarkston, Wash., national poster child for the drive to raise money to fight crippling diseases. A photographer asked Mr. Kennedy if he would put a dime into a March of Dimes coin collector brought along with Debbie Sue. “If I can borrow one from one of you gentlemen,” the President said with a laugh. A dime was produced by a public relations man for the March of Dimes Foundation. The President then handed the coin to Debbie Sue to drop in the box for him. Debbie Sue is afflicted with a crippling disease known as Spina Bifida. She was born with an open spine and wears braces on both legs. The President held Debbie Sue at his knees as he sat in a chair next to his desk. She smiled as he gave her a few playful pats and told her she was “a very good girl.” Debbie Sue’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jack C. Brown, stood by during the proceeding.

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