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A GPB Production

Martha in Lattimore

The first thing you notice when meeting Martha Mason is the bright yellow iron lung that encases her body and helps her breathe, just as it has since 1948 when, at age 11, she contracted polio. She has lived most of those days in Lattimore, a small town located in southwestern North Carolina. At first the image and sound of the iron lung is distracting, if not shocking, but soon after talking with Martha, the massive, metal cylinder becomes inconsequential because it is so greatly exceeded by her spirit. Her personal story has long inspired her friends and neighbors, but Martha has been a private person for many years. This film tells Martha’s story in the context of Lattimore, the little town that has nurtured her throughout her life.

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