Union Democrat staff

Alive and well

To the editor:

Please, oh please, let me clear up some musical misinformation: The Leftovers Band is alive and well. We have been entertaining at most Tuolumne County senior facilities, including Long Term Care and many Veterans Day celebrations. We practice on Friday mornings at the Senior Lounge and Friday afternoons are open to anyone who wants to join us.

The Leftovers get their name from its members being involved in different music groups through the years. There are six very talented members in the band, and we are still rockin'.

Flo Griggs

Sierra Village

Insensitive, offensive

To the editor:

The opening statement in the Oct. 27 Addictions & Answers column was insensitive and offensive.

Bill Manville stated: "I saw something appalling in one of The Junction stores this morning - some mom, pushing her 10- or 12-year- old daughter in a wheelchair. The kid was so fat she'd dislocated her hip and couldn't walk."

Is it acceptable for Mr. Manville to be so judgmental and disrespectful of a mother and child, and then to write about them this way? Is his intention to shame the child, condemn the mother, or mock them both? How could anyone call a mother and child appalling? And then to say "the kid was so fat ...," as if her weight is the cause of her accident.

This young girl, whom I do not know, is a child. Perhaps there are struggles that cause the extra weight beyond the implied high fructose corn syrup addiction. Perhaps there are metabolic issues or other causes for the weight and dislocated hip.

I am offended by his irreverence and harsh judgement. The issue here is compassion, or lack thereof.

I would like to invite Mr. Manville to revisit how he writes about our community. Like I said, I do not know this child or her mother, but they are part of my community. They deserve respect just like everyone else.

Sally Arnold RN, MA psychology


Urgent need

To the editor:

Last month, the passing of actor Patrick Swayze and NCAA President Myles Brand, brought pancreatic cancer into the national spotlight, yet many people don't fully realize the severity of this disease and the urgent need for early detection methods and effective treatment options.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in our country and the most lethal among cancer killers. Seventy-six percent of patients die within the first 12 months of diagnosis, and the five-year survival rate is just 5 percent.

Last week, Sonora Mayor Ron Stearn presented a proclamation designating November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to Sonora resident Don Foster, who is now battling the disease, and to a member of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

As November nears, and we commemorate National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, now, more than ever we must know it, fight it, end it.

It just doesn't make sense that the most lethal of the cancer killers receives so little attention and funding for research. Pancreatic cancer has been overlooked and under-funded for too long.

I lost my fiance after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1999. There were no effective treatment options then, and the same is true today. I volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, because it has a nationwide network of people dedicated to advancing research, supporting patients and creating hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer. Please join us at: www.pancan.org and learn how to know it, fight it, end it.

Rebecca Mackover,

volunteer media representative

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network