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Author Recounts His 'Journey With Leprosy'

'Squint' book cover

Jose P. Ramirez Jr. had been sick for years before a Mexican healer told him he had "a disease of the Bible." He was 20 when he was diagnosed with leprosy, known as Hansen's disease, in 1968.

The illness uprooted Ramirez from his large family, his high-school sweetheart, and his home in Laredo, Texas. State officials ordered him to seek treatment at the U.S. Public Health Hospital in Carville, La. — the only leprosarium in the continental United States.

Ramirez has written a new memoir about his battle with Hansen's disease. Squint: My Journey with Leprosy is an epic story of family bonds, faith and stigma. Ramirez shares his journey in an interview with host Jacki Lyden.

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