"You Get To Basically Be An Ass On Paper And Channel Your Twelve-Year-Old Self"
GL: Last year, I secured House's cane, which we auctioned off for over $8000. This year I got the ball -- what do you guys call that ball, the giant ball?
SM: They call it the Ball Of Unknown Origin (BOUO).
GL: Yes, we have an autographed BOUO.
SM: Wow, people have been clamoring for that in the forums. That'll be very popular.
GL: So a chance to obtain a one-of-a-kind item is coming up very soon, all for a good cause.
SM: And why is this cause so important to you?
GL: My wife and I went through a diagnostic mystery of our own about five years ago with our son Zeke. He was an extremely happy baby, always standing in his crib, greeting you with a smile when you came to get him in the morning. One day, the smile was still there but he was no longer standing. Instead, he was on his knees. After a few more weeks, he wasn't even on his knees any longer. He couldn't get himself up. His crawling slowed. He was obviously getting weaker. It took five doctors over four months before Zeke was finally diagnosed with a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. In the most basic terms, the lines of communication between the brain and the muscles break down, causing the muscles to gradually weaken over time. We were told that Zeke would never walk, that he would probably develop scoliosis, and that he would require spinal surgery. His muscle weakness would gradually increase, and it could eventually affect the most basic things like swallowing and breathing. Most painful of all was when we were told that there was no treatment, and no cure. A lot has happened in the last five years. Zeke is currently enrolled in a drug trial as doctors and researchers are developing the first ever treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Families of SMA helps to fund that research. We have never been able to use Spinal Muscular Atrophy in an episode of House because we always want our doctors to not only make the correct diagnosis, but to be able to do something about it. Our goal in raising money for Families of SMA is to get the medicine to the point where we can actually help these children and their families.
SM: And go bowling with Foreman and Cuddy at the same time! Or win an autographed BOUO...actually, do you know where that giant tennis ball came from? Maybe we can change it to a Ball Of Known Origin (BOKO).
GL: The funny thing is, in real life, it is a Ball Of Unknown Origin. I guess they got it for the pilot and some time during Season 1 -- there was only one; usually with props, you have multiples of everything in case something breaks or whatever, and there was only one of that -- it went missing. Somebody lifted it, maybe absent-mindedly, but probably not. Anyway, it went missing, and either there was a different prop master by that time or somehow nobody knew where it came from, and nobody knew how to get a replacement. So what ended up happening was -- because House needs that thing, he holds it when he's thinking -- the prop department ended up having to make matching Balls Of Unknown Origin because nobody could find where the original came from.