Anita Vitullo's comments on Deborah Gerner

Misty faced death every day for more than 11 years, not like we all think occasionally and abstractly about it: but like an ever-present weight pushing her to go faster, better, stronger. She had to do something about the imminent possibility of death every day to keep it at bay, whether it was food, medicine, travel, or just a positive outlook. She was very pro-active about her disease.

So instead of postponing her travel to Palestine last Christmas until after the elections, she made the unbelievable decision to get on a plane only hours after brain surgery in order to make maximum use of her vacation time to continue her research. She knew she couldn’t postpone anything because the clock was always ticking loudly in her head.

We had a brief email discussion about weaving her valiant physical and psychological struggle with breast cancer into a book that would combine her famous Misty Updates with the subtext of her ongoing work on Palestine --- a struggle that she also faced in a pro-active and positive way. She mulled it over a bit, perhaps out of politeness, but she was not convinced. She didn’t want the attention, worried about the editing process, never intended it for mass circulation, etc.

Always the professional, she sought to keep the personal and the political on separate tracks --- even though what I have learned from her friendship is how it is the same spirit that infuses both, in a wonderful blend of personal purpose and passionate politics.