Madison - Cynthia Joy Laitman died on February 19, 2010, from brain cancer, surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1938, the first daughter of Molly and Sidney Laitman. A buoyant and youthful spirit, Cynthia believed that anything was possible. After graduating from Queens College in 1959 with a degree in biology, she worked for Sloan-Kettering and Massachusetts General Hospital before moving to Madison in 1972. While raising two daughters and working full time, Cynthia wrote " DES: The Complete Story," which remains one of the definitive works on the subject. She went on to build a long and productive career as a medical writer, working for the University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery, the National Wildlife Health Center, the World Health Organization, and as the managing editor of the Annals of Surgery. She was especially proud to earn her Ph.D. in Medical Communications at the age of 63. In her final years she became a committed activist to a host of progressive causes, most recently helping to found and serving as the director of TeleTruth Wisconsin. She was a passionate advocate of human and animal rights and social justice, and a fearless opponent of corporate greed and the abuse of power in government. In 2007, Bill Moyer's Journal "shadowed" her for a day as she went about lobbying the Wisconsin legislature as a grassroots activist fighting for consumer protection against huge corporate interests. She will always be remembered for her warmth and generosity, her wit and brilliance, her exuberance and unflagging optimism, and her great big heart. She set a rare example of courage combined with compassion that inspired everyone who knew her. Her life and her legacy is a blessing to all of us. She is survived by her beloved family: her daughters Kate Orenberg and Rachel Charlan, son-in-law Herb Charlan, grandchildren Cecelia Charlan and Wyatt Charlan, sister Judith Laitman and a half sister, Lillian. She was preceded in death by her parents Molly and Sidney Laitman. The family is profoundly grateful to all of Cynthia's wonderful friends whose devotion and support gave so much comfort and joy throughout Cynthia's illness and before. Funeral services will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Spreedway Rd, on Monday, Feburary 22, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. with Cantor Deborah Martin officiating. Burial will be held at Forest Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations to Doctors w/o Borders, PETA, ACLU, or Democracy for America.
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