Michael J. Fox
God bless you, Michael J. Fox. My mother had Parkinson's disease, and my cousin has it. Your courage to come forward and create a national discussion about the disease has given me and my family hope that Parkinson's will begin to receive the attention it desperately needs.
Kathy Hayes, Santa Maria, Calif.
I devoutly hope that Michael J. Fox and all Parkinson's patients will soon find victory over the disease, but even if he had to work in a wheelchair, Michael would remain one of the best and most beloved in the business.
C.M. Kerns, Dallas
When I learned that Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's disease, I was jubilant. Not because he has PD. I too have Parkinson's—I was diagnosed at 34 and have lived with it for 12 years—and I would not wish that on anyone. I was jubilant because Michael can help me and so many others by educating the public about the disease. He can bring pressure on the government to make funds available for research to find a cure.
Jan Brown, Marietta, Ohio
Michael J. Fox and I are very close in age. I grew up watching him, and though I aged, he seemingly did not. I had a severe crush on him and was envious when he wed his beautiful wife. Now, myself married and the mother of two, I can still say I'm envious of Mrs. Fox. Michael has shown why he is and will always be a very special man.
Mary Vedella, Colts Neck, N.J.
My grandpa has been suffering from Parkinson's disease for almost 35 years. Through the years I have watched this disease rob him of his abilities to walk, speak, and feed and bathe himself. It is very hard to watch someone you love face this kind of battle. I was touched by Michael J. Fox's positive attitude toward his diagnosis. I think it is a real tragedy, however, that people don't recognize the devastation of a disease like Parkinson's until a celebrity is the victim.
Jennifer Colin, Grand Rapids, Mich.
I have just started a new job, live alone and cannot let it be known that I have Parkinson's. I am also an early Parkinson's. This is not just an old person's disease. I hope Michael chooses to be a spokesman and help raise money and awareness. There are many young people who are working, athletic and want to be active and independent. Michael, if you are willing to lobby for us, I will come out of the closet and be an activist as well.
Thank you for bringing special attention to the plight of young Parkinsonians. My husband was diagnosed four years ago at the age of 36. We too have children who don't understand their daddy's problem, except that he has a shaky hand. Every piece of literature I read addresses the problems of the typical, older Parkinson's population. It was inspirational reading about another couple dealing with exactly the same things we do.
Terry Sanders, Indianapolis
My husband and I are expecting our first child and had considered naming him after Michael J. Fox's character on Family Ties. Reading of Michael's courage, optimism and enthusiasm for life has strengthened my desire to do this.
Laura Alford, Frisco, Texas
Thank you for the feature of Paul McCartney's favorite pictures of his late wife, Linda. I always admired Linda—as a photographer, a musician and, most important, as a woman who didn't just talk about the things she believed in. She did something about them. The constant, unnecessary criticism aimed at Linda always amazed me. But she didn't let it stop her. The love between Paul and Linda was visible, their true partnership and support of each other an inspiration.
Beth Carrignant, Millbury, Mass.
In 1969, millions of young girls imagined being married to the fantasy Paul McCartney. Linda had the courage to marry the real Paul McCartney, making her the most envied and hated woman alive. Sadly, we became blind to the simple yet extraordinary beauty of her person and her art. Thank you, Paul, for allowing an undeserving public one more look.
Robin Edwards, Grants Pass, Ore.
I was beginning to think we lived in a day and age when sport stars only thought about money, power and sex! I was humbled to read that not only did Doug Flutie take a $700,000-a-year pay cut so he could be with his family more, he donated his $25,000 signing bonus to charity! Selfless acts like this are few and far between these days. I pray that my daughters will one day meet a young man with Doug's outlook on life, family and responsibility. Little Big Man? I think not. Doug Flutie is a giant!
Mark Wurtzbacher, Marietta, Ohio
I hope for ecology's sake that Marion Donovan did not help "put cloth diapers behind us." There are still plenty of mothers and grand-mothers who believe in the cloth diaper. Anyone who practices recycling knows that disposable diapers are the scourge of the universe. They never go away, clog the landfills and stink up the air. So don't mark Mrs. Donovan for sainthood. She may have been clever, but she left us a terrible legacy. Carolyn Holley, Port Huron, Mich.
I am so tired of people condemning Jack Kevorkian. We are not his judge, jury or his God. Who are we to judge him or his "victims"? Who are we to say these "victims" must live with a pain we can't even imagine? As long as individuals are competent to make their own decisions, who are we to say they can't? It seems we treat our suffering pets with more compassion than we do our fellow human beings.
Sarah Congdon, Clawson, Mich.
On March 24, 1997, my mother, Janette Knowles, ended her life with Dr. Kevorkian's assistance. Mom had ALS, like Doug Youk, but she had the bulbar palsy type that robbed her of her ability to swallow, chew, speak, kiss or lick her lips long before it paralyzed her. Every single day, somewhere, a doctor turns off a ventilator or withholds treatment and a patient is allowed to die. The only difference between Dr. Kevorkian and the other doctors is that in his case the patients make the decision, whereas with the other doctors, the family usually does.
Susan Miller, Live Oak, Texas
On Aug. 19, 1998, my mother died from ALS. During her last days, I prayed to God to stop her suffering. The last five days of her life she went into a coma and lingered. Do I believe in euthanasia? You better believe I do! We have many other rights in this country; why not the right to decide when your own suffering should stop?
Amy Cable, Hartville, Ohio
I am the unidentified woman who held picket signs outside Matthew Shepard's funeral. You published a bunch of letters scourging me, to which I would like to reply. You failed to mention that outside the funeral there were scores of clamoring homosexuals using the event of death to promote the homosexual agenda. Why do you go into a group gasp because we used the same event to oppose that unholy lifestyle? I am the mother of nine children, and a practicing attorney. My children are happy, well cared for and being raised to fear and obey God. Unlike what you would like to portray, I am not irrational and I harbor no personal hatred for any man. I have studied the scriptures since my youth. When your readers parrot the lie "God loves everybody," even as they damn me to hell forever, they are mistaken. Read Romans 9. God hated Esau before he was born or had committed any sin. God's hate is not a base emotion like human hate. It is His divine dealing with mankind, some to love to heaven and some to hate to hell. The Bible says God has given homosexuals up to a reprobate heart, which demonstrates his hate for them. Unrepentant practicing homosexuals have no interest in God and cannot claim His love so long as they live that way.
Shirley L. Phelps-Roper, Topeka, Kans.
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