7/17 Letters to the Editor

Cancer patients need more support As a cancer caregiver, I've experienced firsthand how the mental and physical side effects of treatment can take a toll on one's quality of life. As doctors focus on the cancer treatment itself, comfort and concerns such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath and anxiety are frequently overlooked.That's where palliative care can help -- a growing field of specialized medical care that improves the quality of life of patients and their families by focusing on symptoms of treatment for a serious disease, such as cancer.Palliative care is a big change in health care delivery, and it works in favor of the patient. Yet, thousands of patients who are suffering from the side effects of treatment have no idea that palliative care is available to them and can help them relieve their symptoms and focus on getting well.Our elected officials have the power to improve the lives of cancer patients like my family members and friends by making treatment of pain and other symptoms standard practice during the course of care. Last week, as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I joined cancer survivor Jo Martin and Miss Marion-Polk County, Nicole Crane, in asking U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader to co-sponsor legislation that gives patients more control, makes sure that their symptoms are properly managed, and provides better coordination between their doctors.Cancer will touch everyone in his or her lifetime. Our lawmakers must take this opportunity to expand access to palliative care so patients and their families can have that extra layer of support when they need it most.Kay GravenDallas Local contributions benefit food bank I want to say thank you to the Dallas community for its wonderful support of the Dallas Food Bank.My husband, David McGuffey, was a huge advocate in the effort to feed the hungry in our community. In fact, he could see no reason any one of our neighbors should lack nutritious food, even in hard times.He worked tirelessly to support the food bank volunteers and for more than a decade organized the annual Trinity Dallas Food Bank Golf Tournament. David made sure the golfers had a great time, prizes and a delicious lunch provided by the Trinity volunteers. The proceeds of that event represent the largest cash donation of the year for DFB.The 2013 Trinity Dallas Food Bank Golf Tournament is planned for Saturday, Aug. 10. Individuals and teams can sign up to play by calling Trinity Lutheran Church at 503-623-2233. If you're not a golfer, there are many opportunities to help out. Businesses, families and individuals can sponsor a hole to help defray the overhead costs of the event. Businesses can also contribute prizes and individuals can call the church to volunteer.One more opportunity to help DFB is quite simple. The David McGuffey Fund for Dallas Food Bank is established at the Wells Fargo Bank Dallas Branch. Visit or send your contributions any time during the year and they will be put to work purchasing food storage equipment in his name.I hope his efforts will inspire all to support this worthy organization filling the most basic need of any community -- feeding the hungry.Barbara McGuffeyDallas Children's theater production a hit Congratulations to everyone involved in the Mid-Valley Community Children's Theater presentation of "Arthur & Guinevere" on Saturday.I attended the evening performance and was so impressed by everything I saw. All the many, long hours put into this production clearly paid off.Kudos to Rob and Barbara Harriman and every single person who had a hand in bringing this play to life -- all the many volunteers who worked on sets, costumes, rehearsals and all the many other behind-the-scenes tasks.Congratulations to the actors who all did such a great job. I am so very proud of you all.What a great asset to our community.Krist ObristMonmouth

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