Dr. Lance Fogan presents Dialogues on disABILITY

Friday, August 14 @ 7 pm.

Born and raised in Buffalo, with big dreams of being a veterinarian, plans soon changed however for California resident and neurologist, Dr. Lance Fogan.   “I always wanted to be a veterinarian,” states Lance.  “When I was in 8th grade, I read all kinds of books about veterinarians, and I sent letters out to veterinarian schools.  They all said I needed large animal experience on a farm.” Arranged by Cornell University’s Veterinary School, the “city boy” from Buffalo spent the summer between his sophomore and junior year in high school on a farm just 60 miles from his hometown.  It wasn’t quite what Lance had expected. “I didn’t like the farm, and I didn’t like working with large animals,” states Lance. “It just wasn’t for me, so I thought…medicine. When Lance returned from the farm in 1957, he began working after school at a cancer research facility in Buffalo where he operated the cigarette-smoking machine.   From then on, it was all about medicine.

Lance joined the Future Doctors of America club and after high school, attended the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he majored in Anthropology and Linguistics.  “While I was in medical school, I had some opportunities to travel all over the world to primitive places,” states Lance.  “I had found a doctor in New Guinea.  I wrote to him, asking if I could come for the summer.”  In 1964, Lance traveled to the tropics of Papua New Guinea for two and a half months, followed by several other medical trips all over the world.

A board certified neurologist, Lance practiced general clinical neurology full time at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Panorama City.  Lance worked with Kaiser Permanente for 26 years before retiring in 1997.  He continues to share his love and knowledge for medicine with others, teaching medical students and resident physicians as Clinical Professor of Neurology at the UCLA School of Medicine.

In March of 2013, Lance released his book titled “Dings,” a novel chronicling the struggles of an individual dealing with undiagnosed epilepsy.   Sandra Golden’s world is falling apart. Her son, Conner, is failing third grade. He doesn’t complete class assignments, he forgets to do his homework and he ignores teachers’ instructions. Disturbing, too, is that he has even started to wet his pants again. Psychologists suggest that the boy’s inattention at school may be caused by stress and worry for his soldier-father, Sam, who is serving in Iraq. As she struggles to keep the family together without her husband’s support and income, Conner’s behavior and grades seem to improve. But life doesn’t improve for the family even after Sam comes home. Sam is drinking heavily and has a short temper. Her husband is not able to provide the emotional support Sandra needs to help her son get back on track at school. One night Conner has a convulsion. Doctors initially believe it was brought on by his high fever, but mother’s intuition worries her—is there more to the story?

Subsequent referral to a neurologist results in a shocking diagnosis that will change the family’s lives. They learn of Conner’s unspoken mysterious symptoms: occasional blank out and confusion episodes and unfounded fears, with hallucinations of smelling foul odors. Follow the Golden family on their clinical and emotional journey in dealing with Conner’s epilepsy. Learn about epilepsy as the neurologist teaches the family about the condition Conner shares with one percent of the population—three million Americans.

Dings is available as a paperback at the Museum of disABILITY History bookstore and online at store.museumofdisability.org. Lance Fogan will be present at the museum on August 14th at 7 pm for “Dialogues on disABILITY.”







We recently received this neat You-Tube post from a UB Professor who assigned a visit to the museum as part of her course work.  One of her students responded to the visit by creating this short video.  I hope you enjoy it.





Museum of disABILITY History Featured in “Homework Hotline Move to Include”

The Museum of disABILITY History docents and curator were interviewed for three “Homework Hotline Move to Include” segments. Homework Hotline is a live, statewide call-in show where kids receive help with homework problems right on the air. The hotline has teamed up with the Golisano Foundation to promote inclusion for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Click here to watch the videos.

Aired: November 19,2014 (Charles  Degraffenried)   http://www.homeworkhotline.org/mti/assistive-technology

Aired: January 21,2015 (Maria Bell)   http://www.homeworkhotline.org/mti/institutionalization

Aired: January 14,2015 (Israel Cruz)  http://www.homeworkhotline.org/mti/americans-disabilities-act


The Museum of disABILITY History will now be open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10:00am-2:00pm on Saturday! Please stop in for a tour of our unique collection!


The highly anticipated “Abandoned Asylums of New England: A Photographic Journey by John Gray” is now available for purchase at the museum store! The book offers the work of photographer John Gray, who has captured the final throes of the once majestic monuments of medical treatment. This photographic journey into the world of urban exploration documents the state of some of New England’s storied temples of control, treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with disabling conditions.

The Museum of disABILITY History provides a historical context for these asylums that heightens the degree of entropy into which these feats of architectural grandeur have fallen. From the gigantic Kirkbride campuses to the airy tuberculosis hospitals, Gray’s photography reveals through its compositions the poignant echoes of the lives lived, and sometimes lost, at these disappearing asylums. Click on the Museum Store tab and get your copy today!