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updated 09/07/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Annette Funicello's account of her battle with multiple sclerosis (PEOPLE, Aug. 17) elicited an outpouring of affection and sympathy.

ANNETTE FUNICELLO
I remember two years ago at the Orange County Fair watching Annette and Frankie Avalon perform. We had all aged—everyone except Annette! She is living proof that it is possible to be famous and yet genuine at the same time. I admire her honesty in dealing with multiple sclerosis and sharing her personal down moments as well. Thank you, Annette, for all those wonderful years and memories. I, along with all your fans, pray for a happy ending to this story.
CATHY HAAS, Irvine, Calif.

As one of the many who have multiple sclerosis, I was saddened to see that Annette Funicello had joined our ranks. But she was so right when she said that you shouldn't let MS stop you from doing as much as you can. MS is inconvenient but not deadly! You may not be able to run around like you used to, but your head and heart still work as well, or maybe better.
KATHLEEN KELBY, Fullerton, Calif.

I was diagnosed with MS in 1990 and experience many of the same symptoms Annette does. The disease is frustrating, but the worst part is that most people immediately jump to the conclusion that well bean invalid. Life with MS is not easy, but with certain adjustments it is surmountable. Thanks, Annette. Spread your story and educate the public. Your voice speaks for all of us with MS.
PATRICIA MCCLINTIC, West Seneca, N.Y.

I am a 29-year-old woman who has suffered with MS for the last five years. The reality is, you can't beat this disease. You can only learn to live with it in a positive; manner, with the hope that one day a cure will be found. I hope that Annette will use her position as a celebrity to promote awareness and generate interest for research for this often overlooked illness. There is much ignorance about multiple sclerosis.
MYRNA ESCOBAR, Miami Beach

When I was a little girl, I watched The Mickey Mouse Club faithfully and dreamed of being just like Annette. As a teenager, I saw every beach movie made. I wanted to romp on the beach with Frankie Avalon, just like Annette;. I still haven't seen the beach, much less romped with Frankie. But now that I'm forty-something and no longer daydream of being just like Annette, what happens? I end up with MS—just like Annette. Good luck, Annette, and God bless you!
LINDA RQDGERS, Jonesboro, Ark.

MICK & JERRY
Just what is it that these beautiful women see in Mick Jagger? They certainly can't say it's his warm, caring, sincere personality or dashing good looks! If he weren't a famous rock star, the young blond babes he finds so irresistible wouldn't give him the time of day. Face it, girls, if you passed a hitchhiker with his looks, you'd speed on by!
NANCI HARKER. Ames, Iowa

Jerry Hall knew what she was gelling when she took up with Mick Jagger. She should be understanding of his imperfections and simply relax and enjoy all his many good qualities: intelligence, charm, wit, good humor, the love that he has bestowed upon her and their children, and his great musical talent. Mick needs a woman's unconditional love, not the hypocritical whinings of a has-been model.
THERESA KOSCHNY, Falls Church, Va.

Poor Jerry Hall!?? You'd think a gal from Texas would have had more horse sense. At least get married legally! Didn't her mama ever tell her that Rolling Stones gather no moss?
CAROL LAUGHTON
Colorado Springs

It's sad that Jerry Hall has experienced such heartache, but it's more pathetic how Western civilization condones older men dallying with females their daughter's age and looks upon any woman past 30 as disposable, like an old, used pair of shoes.
JANICE DUDGEON, Dearborn, Mich.

CHATTER
I couldn't help but laugh when I read Waylon Jennings's and Willie Nelson's comments about Billy Hay Cyrus. You make it in music with your voice and your looks, and those two guys have neither. What's their problem with Billy Ray? Is it his triple-platinum album? Or that he knows what a razor and shampoo are for?
BOB ATHERTON, Centerburg, Ohio

Every man I know has testosterone problems when it comes to Billy Ray Cyrus. You guys are sounding like us gals when we said way back when that Madonna sounded like Minnie Mouse on helium and would be a shooting star. Face it, guys: Billy is not only an awesome hunk but the boy also has beaucoup talent. Don't you hate it when that happens?
CAROLYN TATE, Mountain Home, Ark.

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