Martin Goren, a former banker and owner of the Homewood Deli who was a tireless advocate for people with multiple sclerosis, died Wednesday of the disease at Union Memorial Hospital. He was 55 and lived in the Tuscany-Canterbury section of North Baltimore.
While in his 30s, Mr. Goren began noticing blind spots, which later were diagnosed as the first symptoms of MS. Within 10 years, his body had been taken over by the disease.
"He was deprived of the use of his entire body. He could not move even a finger and was confined during the last decade of his life to a bed," said Louis Berney, his brother-in-law, who is director of media relations for the University of Baltimore.
"Yet his mind never lost its sharpness nor its great wit. Friends and family marveled at how he was able to remain so enthusiastic about life," he said.
From his bed, Mr. Goren campaigned on behalf of MS patients for greater rights at the state and national levels. He continued to dictate articles for the Multiple Sclerosis Society Newsletter until his death.
Born and raised in Forest Park, he was a 1962 graduate of Forest Park High School, where he was an outstanding lacrosse and baseball player. He also starred in athletics for the Lancers Boys Club.
"On the athletic field, he ran with the grace of a gazelle, and was known for his tremendous natural athletic ability as well as his fierce determination to win," said Mr. Berney.
In 1970, Mr. Goren earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University. Later, he was manager of the Eastern Avenue branch of First National Bank.
He owned the Homewood Delicatessen on St. Paul Street, which was a popular destination for Johns Hopkins students and Charles Village residents.
He remained an avid sports fan via television, said family members.
Private services were planned.
Mr. Goren is survived by his wife of 15 years, Kay Berney; two sons, Justin Goren of Philadelphia and Gavin Goren of New York City; his mother, Dena Shemer Goren of Pikesville; and two brothers, Homer Goren of Delray Beach, Fla., and David Goren of Washington.