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updated 10/07/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/07/1991 01:00AM

Readers are as delighted about Ann Jillian's unexpected pregnancy as she is (PEOPLE, Sept. 16). Many wrote of their own experience with breast cancer and credited Ann's courageous example with having helped them see it through.

ANN JILLIAN
Every now and then you remind me why I subscribe to your magazine. Your cover story on Ann Jillian is one reason. After everything Ann and her husband, Andy Murcia, have been through, there is nothing more enjoyable to hear than the fact that they are going to be parents. God has certainly given them a very special gift, and Ann has shown all women everywhere that life does indeed go on.
MARISA E.ALLEN, Shawnee Mission, Kans.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 22 back in September 1986, just two months shy of my first wedding anniversary. For some strange reason, my mom kept that one issue of PEOPLE (Aug. 19, 1985) in which Ann Jillian told her story about breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and went through six months of chemotherapy. I became pregnant six months after finishing my last chemo treatment. The doctors felt that I should wait at least two years to become pregnant—but God must have felt differently. My oncologist, who was supportive, checked me monthly throughout my pregnancy. Our beautiful daughter, Katura Rae, was born very healthy. Seventeen months later, our son, Cortland Michael, was born, also beautiful and healthy. I breast-fed both children with my remaining breast. Since my diagnosis of cancer, I have felt close to Ann Jillian, even though she doesn't know I exist. I wish her and her husband and their baby all the best.
ERIN E. DOVE, Bloomsburg, Pa.

Ann Jillian would be "relieved" to have a C-section? Cesarean section is major surgery and should only be done when the mother or child is in danger. It should never be considered an easy way out. Having had one, I can tell Ann and Andy that my experience was three to four weeks of excruciating pain, restricted mobility and headaches from the anesthesia, which is far worse than short-lived vaginal childbirth pain. It's hard to enjoy your newborn when you are recovering from major surgery.
CHRISTINE K.OLDHAM, Redwood Valley, Calif.

In January of this year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ann Jillian has been my inspiration for these past eight months, and I hope and pray that in six years I can look back and say that I, too, am a cancer survivor. I am thrilled for her and her husband. She deserves such wonderful happiness.
NAME WITHHELD, Duluth, Minn.

ANIMALS
The story about the annual pigeon slaughter in Hegins, Pa., was disturbing, even apart from the obvious cruelty to the birds. Do the townspeople realize they are teaching their children that it's okay to maim and kill captive, helpless animals for pleasure? At the very least, this gory event gives Hegins and the Pennsylvania Dutch country a bad name.
GRETA L. MOHON, Norman, Okla.

I am a member of the NRA and support hunting and shooting events. But this "annual gunfest" in Hegins, Pa., is despicable. There is absolutely no reason to slaughter 5,000 pigeons, even if the event does raise money for charity.
TANYA MARIE SCHROEDER, Hillsboro, Wis.

Citizens of Hegins, Pa., may think that nothing should interfere with their "cherished tradition" of shooting birds released from cages, but the majority of people in this country do not agree. Such animal cruelty cannot be tolerated. The state of Pennsylvania should ban this barbaric practice. Until that happens, residents of other states should think twice about doing business in Pennsylvania.
LARRY KAISER, Dexter, Mich.

Regarding the man with the T-shirt that read KILL THEM ALL! LET GOD SORT THEM OUT. Great idea, but how come he's still standing?
S. McCLOSKY, Albany, N.Y.

MARKY MARK WAHLBERG
Congratulations, Marky Mark! He reaffirms my belief that there is still hope for my generation. He realized he was on the "verge of ruining his life," so he took a dream and made it happen. With a newfound bond with his brother and a diploma in the works, the only way is up. And as for his challenge on finding a girlfriend, where can I apply?
SABRINA NOLAN, Anaheim Hills, Calif.

UPFRONT
If there is a more selfish, uncaring woman in Georgia than Jodie Pope, I'd never care to meet her. I realize that the child the Moores have raised is "biologically" hers, but biological rights pale in contrast to the fact that Melvin has been loved, taken care of and raised by the parents who adopted him eight years ago. Come on, Jodie, stop feeling sorry for yourself and give a little thought to what you are doing to that innocent child. Even if you have no compassion for what the Moores are going through, you surely must have an idea of how devastating it would be for Melvin to lose the only family he has ever known.
JUNE SNYDER, Coldwater, Ohio

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