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The master thief
  1. Julie Bradley
  1. Correspondence to Julie Bradley, University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute, 2015 North Jefferson Street, Jacksonville, Florida, US; jbradley{at}

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His came from the inside.

One of his own turned.

Insidious at first

Subtle, and easy to disregard.

Unseen, it was stealing

   Stealing balance

   Stealing deglutition

   Stealing memory

Forcing attention to its ravage

No longer able to ignore

It wanted


But not a complaint was uttered

Not an angry word said

As energy dwindled

Movements labored

Independence abandoned

And the steadfast body could no longer be relied upon.

Stolen by the Master Thief.

Though It took so much

It could not win.

Courage –

the rarest kind.


The body. Succumbed.

The spirit. Impenetrable.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.