September 11, 2012
Van Cliburn, terminally ill with cancer, is wheel-chair ridden and using an oxygen inhaler at all times. And yet, last Thursday, when his Van Cliburn Foundation in Fort Worth celebrated its 50th anniversary, he was determined to attend. Friends reported that Cliburn "loaded up on oxygen in advance," and he walked on stage, spoke briefly, and walked out. In all, it was an astonishing demonstration of purpose and will.