Man Has Mixed Feelings About Having Disease Named After Him

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Vol 37 Issue 30

Dome-Home Sales Somehow Manage To Dip Even Lower

AUGUSTA, ME—Despite already negligible figures, sales of geodesic-dome dwellings somehow managed to drop even further in the second quarter of 2001, Alternative Homes magazine reported Tuesday. "Last year, I sold just one dome, to some hippie who'd inherited $80,000," Augusta dome-home-kit salesman Bruce Wyner said. "I figured, hey, it's his money." Geodesic domes are currently the worst-selling alternative dwelling in the U.S., followed closely by the yurt.

New Robert Altman Film Released Straight To Special-Edition Director's-Cut DVD

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Super Sunday, the latest film from acclaimed director Robert Altman, will be released straight to special collector's-edition director's-cut DVD, Daily Variety reported Monday. The film, which follows the parallel stories of 14 separate Super Bowl parties in different parts of the country, is slated to hit video stores Nov. 30. "Altman buffs rejoice: This never-before-seen director's cut features 77 minutes of additional footage not included in the theatrical non-release," Criterion Collection spokesman Tim Page said. "Also included are special commentary tracks from Altman, screenwriter Anne Rapp, and some of the film's stars, including Julianne Moore, Tim Roth, Lili Taylor, Matthew Modine, Michael Murphy, Bob Balaban, Martin Mull, Henry Gibson, Teri Garr, Jeff Goldblum, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Danny Aiello, Robert Downey Jr., Ned Beatty, and Lyle Lovett."

Julia And Benjamin: Say Goodbye To The New Camelot!

Item! Why is it that the best-looking couples never stay together? Megastar Julia Roberts and ethnically ambiguous actor Benjamin Bratt have pulled the plug on their three-year relationship. All accounts indicate that it's an amicable parting, but I'm sure if you scratch the surface, you'll find something unseemly. But should we scratch? I mean, on the one hand, it's my job to report the juicy Hollywood facts that matter to my loyal readers. On the other, here are two lovely people who have never done anyone any harm and are going through a difficult time. After agonizing over this for hours, I've decided that the right thing to do is let them have their privacy. When it's time for them to open up, I'm sure they will.

Jesse Helms' Retirement Plans

After 29 years on Capitol Hill, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) recently announced he will not seek a sixth term in 2002. What are Helm’s retirement plans?

Community Rallies To Save Eyesore

HUBBARD, IA—Hubbard residents came out in force Monday to protest the planned Sept. 1 demolition of an unsightly, 1930s-era silo to make room for a halfway house and library. "This rusted, structurally unsound monstrosity is part of our shared heritage," said Save Our Silos president Ivy Case, handcuffing herself to the eyesore. "Tearing down this dilapidated, dangerous hulk would be like tearing the ugly heart out of this town."

The OxyContin Epidemic

OxyContin, a powerful prescription painkiller whose effects have been compared to heroin's, is being abused by a soaring number of drug addicts. What do you think?
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Man Has Mixed Feelings About Having Disease Named After Him

CHICOPEE, MA—In the three years since Dominic Quinn was diagnosed with a previously undetected gastrointestinal disorder, he's become a household name. Yet, for all his notoriety, the 44-year-old Chicopee claims adjuster remains ambivalent about being the Quinn behind Quinn's Disease.

The semi-proud Quinn takes pills for his eponymous disease.

"I suppose it's an honor," Quinn told reporters Monday. "I mean, how many people get something named after them? Then again, it'd be nice if I could have somehow gotten the notoriety without having to suffer from a disease."

Quinn's Disease, believed to afflict one in every two million Americans, is a non-fatal genetic disorder that impairs the parts of the brain that control alimentary and digestive functions. Symptoms include severe gastrointestinal distress, esophageal inflammation, and constipation and gaseousness. In certain cases, a narrowing of the colon and extreme impacting of the bowels can result, with the pressure becoming so great that a violent hemorrhage of blood and fecal matter occurs.

Quinn's ailment makes it necessary for him to submit to round-the-clock medical surveillance and a grueling regimen of thrice-daily enemas and anti-constipation drugs. In addition, since his March 1999 diagnosis, Quinn has undergone 11 operations to clear his large intestine of densely packed, highly toxic waste matter.

Given the choice, Quinn would prefer to derive fame from other aspects of his life, such as being a devoted father and husband and a skilled potter. Quinn is particularly proud of having spearheaded a 1987 effort to preserve and restore an 18th-century farmhouse near his home that was slated for demolition. But the public seems unanimous in its opinion that none of these accomplishments are as noteworthy as the colon-obstructing disease that bears his name.

"I heard that Lou Gehrig had a problem with ALS being named after him," Quinn said. "He was always telling his wife, 'You know, I was a completely disease-free pro ballplayer for more than a decade before I started to show even the slightest symptoms.' Boy, can I relate. Except, at least Lou Gehrig's Disease is also referred to as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. They've never even given my condition a scientific name. It's just Quinn's Disease, and that's it."

Continued Quinn: "Sometimes, I wish I'd contracted a syndrome instead of a disease. Syndromes are often given descriptive names like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I begged the doctors to reclassify my disease as a syndrome and call it, say, 'Anal-Blockage Syndrome,' but he refused because, technically, a syndrome is defined as a group of various symptoms that culminate in an abnormality. Mine is not an abnormality: I just can't shit properly."

Nevertheless, Quinn remains hopeful that, by giving the disease a human face, he has helped raise awareness of Quinn's Disease, increasing the likelihood of a cure.

"If my pioneering example can help one day eradicate this terrible disease, it will have all been worth it," Quinn said. "But until that day comes, I'm just Nicky Quinn, the exploding-feces guy."

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