updated 04/14/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/14/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT
"Patrick Swayze has love, support and prayers on his side"
Crown Point, Ind.
I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick when my daughter performed in a recital at his mother's dance school. He was backstage telling all the little girls how pretty they looked in their costumes and wishing them luck. He is the quintessential gentleman and clearly a devoted husband. We are all praying for him to beat this disease.
Simi Valley, Calif.
My mother battled pancreatic cancer for 2 1/2 years after her diagnosis. She survived for so long (which with this diagnosis is an anomaly) because she was driven and optimistic. She didn't live like she was dying. To Patrick Swayze I say, there is hope. I'd like to tell him to keep fighting, have a positive outlook and cherish the ones he loves.
Toms River, N.J.
I have lost five members of my family to pancreatic cancer. We need to raise our voices as advocates and demand more research dollars from Congress. We can also fund research directly through the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org). We desperately need to develop methods for early detection and, ultimately, a cure.
Stephanie R. Davis
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
The small ranch that I lived on had an environment that saved my foster daughter, who was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder. She was an angry 9-year-old who regained control of her life by training her dog and her horse. Time spent grooming, cleaning and feeding was a time of quiet communication with unconditional love from her four-footed friends. Now at age 14, and going to high school next year, she is a socially adjusted young lady.
As a wife of a deployed soldier in Kuwait, it was a nice surprise to see pictures of Jessica Simpson serving and entertaining the troops in my husband's company. It was refreshing to see smiles on the soldiers' faces, given their circumstance. For my husband and the troops, it was a memorable event.
Regarding former New York Governor Spitzer: An old adage reworked is appropriate; time wounds all heels.
Lindsay Lohan checked into rehab twice before she was 21. Now she is pictured at a club with her 14-year-old sister Ali. Whether or not Ali was drinking isn't the point. She's underage and still very much a little girl. She should be home eating popcorn and hanging out with friends. She has no business going anywhere near a club.
DEBATE OVER AUTISM
Most readers voiced sympathy for the Polings from Athens, Ga., who are the first family to receive the promise of a financial settlement and an acknowledgement that vaccines contributed to their daughter Hannah's autism symptoms. But others wondered if the disorder was brought on by the sheer number of vaccines Hannah received. Carlotta Tutor writes via e-mail, "My heart breaks for the Polings, but nine vaccines at once for an 18-month-old?" Terry Poling responds that she was assured that giving multiple vaccines was safe. (According to Dr. Harry Keyserling, a pediatric infectious-disease specialist, "It's common for children who have gotten behind in their vaccines to get this many at one time.") Since the article ran, Terry and Hannah's dad, Jon, have been overwhelmed with support. "People say they are proud of us for being a voice for the autism community," says Terry.
In our March 31 issue, we should have said the Princess Belle gown is yellow and the Princess Aurora dress is pink.