Though no medical diagnosis has been made public, many readers are convinced that Princess Caroline's sudden hair loss is attributable to alopecia areata (PEOPLE, Sept. 30), a disease with which they are unhappily familiar. They urge anyone affected by this disorder to contact the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, whose address is provided below.
TROUBLE IN MONACO
Now that you've focused the spotlight on Princess Caroline's dermatological condition, you owe it to readers to inform them that there is help and hope for a cure to this obscure disease. The National Alopecia Areata Foundation funds and promotes research as well as offering support to sufferers. Their address is: National Alopecia Areata Foundation, P.O. Box 150760, San Rafael, Calif., 94915-0760. Telephone: 415-456-4644.
DAVID N. JAMES, Seattle
Princess Caroline's misfortune is good news for millions of people worldwide. Finally alopecia is front-page news! I'm a 34-year-old woman who has had alopecia universalis (complete hair loss) for six years, and I firmly believe that education is the single greatest weapon we have to combat the stigma of this condition and to encourage researchers to take this illness seriously enough to find a cure.
DONNA ASTOR-LAZARUS, Princeton, N.J.
Your recent cover featuring then-and-now photos of Princess Caroline was indistinguishable from those dubious publications whose covers I furtively scan as I wait to pay for my groceries. While Caroline's sudden hair loss may be newsworthy, PEOPLE'S sensationalistic treatment of it was a startling departure from its usual high standards.
CAROL DILSE, Scranton, N.Dak.
DR. JIM WITHERS
Your article brought tears to my eyes. This man should be applauded for his tireless efforts on behalf of those who so often don't have a voice—the homeless. For so long this country has simply treated them as somebody else's problem. It is wonderful to see someone who has taken his gifts as physician and healer to make a very important contribution to the improvement of the world.
Kimberly Barnes, Atlanta
Dr. Jim Withers is the prototype for what God expected of us all.
Terri RaFalik, Albany, N. Y.
Unselfish people are hard to find. I have never heard of the doctor, but the article makes me want to volunteer for his organization. Thanks for the good news.
JERRY SHOEMAKER, Pittsburgh
I grew up in a family of doctors who took midnight phone calls from sick patients and scared relatives without ever complaining. I just had my second child by C-section and was charged an additional $200 because I dared to require an "unscheduled procedure." I'm not at all sure my primary physician even knows how to return a phone call. Just when I began to believe that medicine has been taken over by doctors obsessed with seeing 15 patients an hour in order to offset the effects of managed care, I read your article on Dr. Withers. Where can donations to Operation Safety Net be sent?
JONI ADAMS, San Diego
Contributions may be sent c/o Mercy Hospital, 1400 Locust St., Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219—ED.
Let the "staunch conservatives" in the Republican party go back and read Barry Goldwater's autobiography Conscience of a Conservative, and maybe they will remember what they started out to be and failed to become. Honesty, courage and a determination to stick to his principles cost Barry Goldwater a presidential election. I joyfully see that he has not changed. This story epitomizes what family values are all about, and Ty Ross can well be proud of his grandfather.
JOELINE R. WEBBER, Sylmar, Calif.
I want to thank you for three very positive depictions of gay people. Your articles on Barry Goldwater's grandson and the two men who refurbished their dream house together really made my day.
DORIE CLARK, Northampton, Mass.
I guess you could call me homophobic, but two features on gay couples is a bit much in one issue. How about one a month? A year? A decade?
Tupac started his recording career in a studio I managed when he was a teenager. He had more opportunity to turn his life around than anyone else I knew in the ghetto, yet he still chose the gangster life. It is a sad day when we glorify him for anything other than what he was.
Yes, Mr. Shakur was a gangsta rapper, but he was also a politically aware and active individual who invested in the communities from which he came. There are many positive aspects of his life that have gone unmentioned and many people who have been unfair to both Tupac and those of us who have much love for him.
LOIS M. SAUNDERS-WEST, Pittsburgh
To the correspondent who criticized Camilla Parker Bowles for wearing black shoes with a white suit: Get a grip! The only thing wrong with Camilla's outfit is that she looks like a run-over gym shoe no matter what she wears.
SILVIJA A. MILLER, Springfield, Va.
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