Tumor wasn't cancerous

I wanted to thank you so much for printing the lovely article on my son Brian Borges. He was so excited to see himself in the paper and to see him get excited about something is so rewarding!

I wanted to point out a clarification; even though Brian's tumor was devastating in many ways, it was not cancerous. Also, I am hoping to bring to your readers' attention to a fact we learned while at UCSF for his first surgery: Children with multiple birthmarks (usually three or more) tend to be prone to get these brain tumors! Brian's tumor was so large that it caused a lot of trauma to the brain even after being taken out. If it was taken out when it was much smaller, his full recovery chances would have been much higher.

If my family had been aware of this fact, the possibility of Brian contracting Posterior Fossa Syndrome could have been greatly reduced. Instead, his recovery chances are unknown.

The doctors don't know how far he will be able to return to normal. Thank you for letting me voice our concerns, and I'm hoping it can save a child somewhere. — Laura Borges, Eagle Point

Drug czar's fallacy

"Marijuana is the drug most often linked to crime in the United States, according to U.S. Drug Czar" reads the first sentence of a story in the Mail Tribune May 24. This deception in context reminded me of H.L. Mencken's review of "Alcohol" by Dr. Henry S. Williams in September 1909:

"The doctor's statistics are overwhelming and his conclusions on their face seem to be perfectly sound; but, like all students of tables and percentages, he is often unable to see the facts for the figures. He proves, for example, that 50 percent, more or less, of all criminals are devotees of the stein and goblet, and he seems to conclude therefrom that alcohol is responsible for 50 percent of all crime. A moment's reflection will show the fallaciousness of this. The same mode of reasoning, indeed, will prove that alcohol is responsible for 50 percent of all poetry, 60 percent of all philosophy, 70 percent of all prose fiction and 99 percent of all music." — Michael Dawkins, Ashland

Cuts affect children

Seems to me many things being cut affect children. The special advocates of CASA, who are there to help the children who really need it. The Extension Service, 4-H, the library, our cuts in the schools and many more are being taken from the children.

Instead of doing this, why don't some of the politicians take a cut in pay to help the children? Our commissioners make $96,000 a year or more — how often do they work? They are not the only ones who could take a pay cut, we could start with the president and work down. Think of the money we could use for our children's schools, food programs, etc. Instead of making the working people take wage cuts, start out with the top dog.

I'm retired and I still want our children to be taken care of; we had a lot more than the children now in personal attention. — Judy Westcott, Talent

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