Patch Adams, M.D.
6855 Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22213
October 28, 2001
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
October 28, 2001
Dear Governor Ryan:
My name is Patch Adams, M.D. - I was portrayed by Robin Williams in a movie with my name on it. I include an old article-to show I've lived a life in service to others and for justice. For almost 40 years I've been the friend and confidant of people in prison and mental hospitals. (I was hospitalized three times in 1963.) It has numbered many hundreds of people.
Three years ago I began a deep correspondence with C. Rodney Yoder confined at Chester Mental Health Center. We have exchanged at least 60 letters and more than that number of phone calls. I feel I can call him my friend. I am distressed that he has been held so long for a minor offense.
He is angry. It is clearly normal to be angry if one is held in captivity against their will and against sound legal reasons. I am fully confidant that he is not a danger to others- I would stake my reputation on it. For some reason (please help me understand them) he is detained. He is poor and unable to afford the kind of legal help that would get him quickly released. Were he wealthy he would be released.
His efforts on his behalf are so impressive to me, His self education and outreach have staggered me. Clearly, if he were psychotic he could not have done this relentless effort. I feel such a deep, lonely sadness in him that nothing seems to help. At times, I must pump him up because he is discouraged. He has a child. He is so ready to work and be productive in our society.
If you have any humanity - - you will give him a chance, Please, walk a mile in his shoes. Imagine how angry you would be if you were unjustly held for 10 years.
He is ready for release. I will help him and be a friend for him when he is released.
I exhort you. You hold the power to do a great deed here-to save a life.
If I can be any help-I'd be willing to come there and meet with you. Please, for justice and a man's life, he has paid his debt many times over. Please save his life.