New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Tuesday, May 30, 2000 — HERALD-ZEITUNG — Page 7 A 1Around Town
Support welcomed by mom of Down syndrome girl
DEAR ABBY: My letter is in response to “Hurt in Pennsylvania,” who wanted her daughter judged on her merits rather than on her Down syndrome. I, too, am a mother of a daughter with Down syndrome, and I felt bad for “Hurt” — not because her daughter has Down syndrome, but because she failed to recognize those who were obviously attempting to empathize with her, and she is reacting with disdain. I felt bad that your response to her was that her letter “said it very well,” because I don’t share your view.
It is not easy to accept a disability in any child. Down syndrome children ARE similar in many respects; however, that doesn’t take away from their individualism. “They” ARE “all so sweet”!
Most people are afraid of the unknown, and when people try to ease someone’s pain or “grieving” (as she put it), they shouldn’t be alluded to as “insensitive jerks.” Our tolerance for others should not be conditional on our own inability to cope. Perhaps it helps others deal with their obvious discomfort to “share their experiences with individuals who have Down syndrome.” I, for one, am grateful for all the many people who come forward and offer their love and support since our daughter’s birth, even when the attempts are less than perfect.
My daughter is now 19, has graduated from high school and holds a job. There are still difficult things to deal with, but she has affected more people’s lives for good than I would have ever dreamed. —ANNA’S MOM, DIANN STEWART, LAS VEGAS
DEAR DIANN: I’m pleased that your daughter, Anna, has achieved her many successes. However, the message that “Hurt” was trying to deliver is that it’s rude to discuss someone’s disability during a casual encounter. I printed her letter because I hoped it would cause people to think about how such comments might be received. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: “Hurt in Pennsylvania” should be grateful her daughter wasn’t bom in the ‘40s, as was my brother — who is 52 this year and doing just fine, thank you. She is fortunate she has not had people ostracize her for having a “mined” child, as my parents did. A “Christian” minister to whom they had gone for counseling actually told them they had given birth to this “Mongoloid” boy because they had sinned! Other mothers wouldn’t let their children play with my brother and me for fear they would “catch it.” We were an Air Force family, and in the ‘50s we were accosted on the street in Wiesbaden, Germany, by a man who told us he didn’t want to see this “abomination” on the public streets, and we should immediately have my brother put away! (Well, at least he didn’t say “put down”!) In high school and college, I was told by young men that they would date me, but not to expect anything further (like love and marriage), because they didn’t want “retards” for children. People like me and my family have worked for the past 50 years to educate the public, and if I am approached by well-meaning folks when I’m out with my brother, they are received politely and are liable to get a brief lecture on Down syndrome, along with the fact that it is a tragic genetic accident, and NOT hereditary. — CHERI THROOP,
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
VFW Ladies Auxiliary 11050 special project chairwoman Michelle Estrada and auxiliary president Tina Medina present Cookie Barboza with the cystic fibrosis blanket.
Annually the VFW Ladies Auxiliary State President
selects a cause she feels deserves our attention as an organization and community. This year’s president, Betty Odom, has selected the disease, cystic fibrosis, to concentrate our efforts toward.
VFW Auxiliaries around Texas will give away monies and time to various organizations and facilities that fund or support research or patient care of chil
dren with cystic fibrosis. The local George A. Garcia Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post Ladies Auxiliary 11050 sponsored a raffle to raise funds for the state president’s special project. One item was raffled, a throw blanket with 65 roses. Auxiliary individuals purchased this item from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The “65 Roses” story is as follows:
“65 Roses” is what some chil
dren with cystic fibrosis (CF) call their disease because the words are much easier for them to pronounce. Mary G. Weiss became a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1965 after learning that her three little boys had cystic fibrosis. Her duty was to call every civic club, social and service organization seeking financial support for research. Mary’s 4-year-old son, Richard, listened closely to his mother as she made each call. After several calls, Richard came into the room and told his mom, “I know what you are working for.” Mary was dumbstruck because Richard did not know what she was doing, nor did he know that he had cystic fibrosis. With some trepidation, Mary posed the question, “What am I working for, Richard?” “You are working for 65 Roses,” he answered sweetly. Mary was speechless. She went over to him and tenderly pressed his body to hers. He could not see the tears running down Mary’s cheeks as she stammered, “Yes, Richard, I’m working for 65 Roses.” For 34 years, 65 roses have been used by children of all ages to describe their dis-
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary met for a business meeting May I, with 29 members present. A Wurstfest booth chairman is still needed for this year’s fundraiser. Contact Marcia or Faye if interested.
Initiation of five new members took place at the social meeting on May 15. Officers for next year are president, Faye Gallion; vice president, Adelene Row; madam conductor, Ruth Hardaway; madam chaplain, Charlotte Kennedy; madam secretary, Carol Dietel; outside guard, Sue Wittenbom; inside guard, Bea Soechting; treasurer, Bernice
Ebensberger; trustee, Doe Garrelts, Pat Shirley, Barbara Montanez; Mother of the Year, Sue Heinemeyer; Woman of the Year (state) Barbara Alves; Special Person Award, Carolyn Matykiewicz; Plain OI’ Member, Marsha Kiesling.
Barbara Alves reported on the Auxiliary receiving a grant of $500 to be applied to laige print books or audio tapes for a library in the community. This year’s recipient will be Kirkwood Manor. Sick and Visiting reported on Marge and Guy Garrott, Marcia Hudson, Helen Busch, Gene Schertz (husband of
Wanda) and Velma Mitchell. Maxine Perry sent a thank you to the Auxiliary for the many cards she has received. Sunshine Committee chairman Florie Busch, read a thank you from Priscilla Kastner for her mother. Bingo Kitchen reports were given by Carolyn Matykiewicz for Community Service and Adelene Row for Jimmy Durante.
Bernice Ebensbeiger reported on the end of the year results for the Bingo Kitchen fund raising. Fourteen local and out of state charities were recipients of more than $8,400 generated by the Bingo Chairman and volunteers.
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ease. But making it easier to say does not make cystic fibrosis any easier to live with.
Congratulations to Kookie Barboza, the winner of the CF throw raffled on March 21. The Auxiliary thanks all who bought
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17 Farm areas 19 Immature
Predator encing swords 21 Kind of pool
23 Singer Horne
24 Divided country 27 Cozy place
30 Maureen Dowd’s works
32 To the — degree
33 Nursery item 37 “Sesame Street"
40 Makes late
45 Brief stay 48 Flower part
51 Fountain treat 55 Oarsman
57 Shopping —
58 Author Ingalls 60 For a song
64 Detective Pinkerton
65 “Goodbye, Henri”
67 Traffic sign
69 Fr. holy woman
PREVIOUS PUZZLE SOLVED
Bridge expert Purchases — shoestring Melody Country addr.
8 Solar —
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28 Confidence game
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31 Like some sleeves
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43 Bambi’s mom
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47 Cager Michael
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56 Magician s stick
57 Type of missile
58 “Now I — me down to sleep"
59 Boxing great
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