The boy who stole Marilyn’s heart

Journalist Marilyn Berger and her husband, Don Hewitt, who created 60 minutes

Longtime TV and newspaper journalist, Marilyn Berger, recently lost her husband, Don Hewitt, (creator of 60 Minutes) and she became a first-time mother at FOF.

Traveling in Ethopia with the humanitarian doctor whose biography she was writing, Marilyn saw “a small and very beautiful, young boy with a seriously deformed back.” She arranged for the doc, Rick Hodes,  to examine the child. After the exam, he turned to Marilyn and said: “You just saved a life.” The boy had a life-threatening illness.

“Well, you know what that means?” Marilyn thought. “You save a life. You’re responsible for it.” Rick arranged for the boy to have a complicated surgery, and Marilyn suggested it be performed in NY so the child could learn some English while he recuperated.

“My husband was very ill when he met the boy, but together, we decided we could never let him go,” Marilyn recounted. “As a result, he is still with me, going to school in NY, and I hope to see him through college.

“This is not a sacrific on my part. He has brought enormous joy into my life. The only sacrifice for me is getting up in the morning to get him to school,” Marilyn joked.

What a lucky little guy. What a lucky Marilyn.

Note: Marilyn told her story when she accepted a Women of Distinction Award at a luncheon I attended for the New York Chapter of The Arthritis Foundation.

Marilyn’s book, This Is a Soul (Harper Collins), is coming out in mid April. It sounds like a must read.

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