Archive for Thursday, September 27, 2007

Letters to the Editor

September 27, 2007

To the editor:

I would like to thank all the wonderful people associated with Neighbors Helping Neighbors who worked on my home. In the cold rain last Saturday morning, more than a dozen people helped trim bushes, repair my porch, re-installed my sump pump and literally dug a ditch around my garage.

In an age where youth are often viewed negatively, I can't say enough positive things about the youth of Baldwin First United Methodist church who helped. Their adult helpers, Chris Lawrenz and Sean Moore, deserve a huge thank you for working and supervising the youth. A special thank you to Ron and Linda Wright as well.

Leland and Carol Milroy deserve a big thank you for accepting my application and working with my crazy time schedule. There were even people who helped that I don't know! It was truly a neighbor experience and one that I appreciate a great deal.

Michelle Swain
Baldwin City

To the editor:

For the past 1 1/2 years, my young son Lane has been fighting a very difficult battle, a battle that no one, especially a 2 year-old-boy, should face. Before he was 9 months old, my Lane was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer that takes the lives of many children each year. In 16 months he has experienced multiple rounds of chemo therapy, numerous surgeries and fought many infections caused from low immunity. We recently found out that Lane has won his battle. This brings us so much joy. Sadly, however, many children lose their lives to cancer each day. Something needs to be done to reduce, or even eliminate, childhood cancer. This would save children from having to fight for their lives and instead let them simply enjoy their youth.

On March 19, 2007 Senators Jack Reed and Norm Coleman took an important step in the fight against childhood cancer by introducing the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act 2007. I am writing to request that your readers join me as advocates for this important bill. Write Congressmen and encourage them to become a co-sponsor of The Conquer Childhood Cancer Act 2007. This bill authorizes $30 million annually for five years to support biomedical research in pediatric cancer.

Everything now known about childhood cancer has been learned through research. Had my son been alive and diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago, most likely he would not have survived. Through research, however, treatment has been improved, which has led to more and more children living a full life. We are so thankful that Lane received the treatment he needed to survive. There are many children, however, that are still losing their battles. Much more research is needed to help improve treatments and find cures.

The funding from this bill will allow pediatric oncologists to investigate the most critical questions about childhood cancer and to translate these findings into better, less toxic treatments. While there has been a lot of progress in finding cures, cancer remains the leading cause of death due to disease in children. For instance, the survival rate for children with neuroblastoma, the type of cancer my son battles, is less than 50 percent. Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies, and this is just one type of pediatric cancer. In addition, the incidence of childhood cancer has been increasing every year for the past 25 years. These statistics are alarming and shows that additional research is necessary.

Pediatric cancer research will save lives. Right now, somewhere in the United States, there are seven children that are fighting for their lives and will not live to see tomorrow. I urge you to take a few minutes to write your Congressmen and help children and families who have been or will be faced with this terrible disease. Each day approximately 46 children, the equivalent of two entire classrooms of children, are diagnosed with cancer. We must try to reduce this number. Children are our future. Every child deserves a chance to live a full life, maybe even become a future leader. Please join my efforts to try to get The Conquer Childhood Cancer Act passed. Do it for my son and the many other children that are facing the hardest battle of their lives. You never know, it could potentially save the life of your child, grandchild, neighbor or friend.

Kara Cunningham
Baldwin City

To the editor:

In the last several weeks, not to mention months or even years, Baldwin City has had numerous problems with power "outages". It seems as though if the wind gets above 5 miles per hour or if it sprinkles for more than 6 minutes, the power goes off. Or maybe the squirrel ran across the power line put too much stress on the line. Whatever the cause, the schools, businesses and people who work from their homes, this has become a major inconvenience, not to mention an annoyance. With today's technology, one would think these happenings would lessen or almost become non-existent. On the contrary, they have increased to the point where this is almost a daily occurrence. There must be too many "smoke" breaks down at the power department or the manual needs to be updated. Baldwin City administrators, please find a staff or a way to keep the power on in our city.

Mike Everett
Baldwin City

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