Letters to the Editor

Kidney donor Theresa Welsh is visited by her son, Michael Campbell, after her donor surgery.
Kidney donor Theresa Welsh is visited by her son, Michael Campbell, after her donor surgery. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 23, 2013

Best gift ever

My husband and I just celebrated the 20th anniversary of my donation of a kidney to him ("First link in a chain of life," Nov. 17). We were in uncharted waters when all of this took place. So young, at age 42 and 38, respectively. But the prospect of loading my two then-toddlers into a car to head to kidney dialysis several times a week was simply not an option. I refused to believe that there wasn't a better way.

Unrelated transplants were new, and there was tremendous concern about the what-ifs. But for us, we just couldn't imagine our kids growing up with a sick dad, on a single income, and facing the devastation of medical bills.

Kidney transplants are far easier than most people think. You can live with one kidney, and I encourage everyone to think like Theresa Welsh, the Haddonfield pediatrician who donated her kidney to a stranger. You can help decide whether someone lives, as well as their quality of life. If I had another kidney to give, I would do it in a minute . . . for anyone.

Jeri Gutner, Doylestown, jerigutner@comcast.net

Serious stuff, voting

That Michael Smerconish would argue in a daily newspaper for extended voting makes his argument as ironic as it is idiotic ("Why so many roadblocks on the way to casting a ballot?" Nov. 17). After all, papers publish daily because news happens all of the time. Because news happens all the time, voters with rare exception should be forced to vote on the same day. Doing so is the only way to ensure that voters are fairly informed. Allowing voters to vote prior to an election, whether it's months, weeks, or days ahead, runs the risk that these voters will be less than fully informed. Voting as a civic duty needs to be taken seriously, not dumbed down.

Michael Hudson, Pottstown

Fresh flame, grief

This week, I was reminded how millions of us mourned together for days in front of our television sets after the assassination of President Kennedy. ("Nation stopped for funeral," Nov. 19). But I was 15 at the time, and my siblings and I also had a strong desire to say a more personal goodbye. My parents allowed five of us, ranging in age from 15 to 22, to drive from Upper Darby to Arlington National Cemetery on the evening of Nov. 25. In light of today's security, it is hard to fathom that we were able to park and find our way to the burial site only about five hours after the eternal flame was lit. I remember that we voiced concern and surprise that there was no guard, until our eyes adjusted and a guard became visible. Heartbroken, we whispered our goodbyes, and left to drive home.

Peggy Morrissey Pillard, West Chester, readalot8@hotmail.com

Vets' silent suffering

More than two million Americans went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and about 25 percent came back with symptoms of post-traumatic stress - that is 500,000. They are the residual wounded warriors whose pain and suffering is invisible to all but closest friends and family. They will continue to suffer for years, dependent on aid and assistance, many too debilitated to be productively employable. The public has heard of the trillion-dollar cost of these wars and the more than 4,000 dead and 35,000 physically wounded, but the psychically wounded continue to suffer. Let us not forget their sacrifice and pain when the nation considers future military escapades.

Ken Derow, Swarthmore

Pastor's courage

It is a sad commentary on our society that the Rev. Frank Schaefer was placed in the position of having to choose between his church and his gay son ("Pastor guilty in gay wedding," Nov. 19). Schaefer's courage and integrity are deeply inspiring.

H. Russ Decker, North Wales

Clearing the record

An editorial Wednesday stated incorrectly that local districts oversee cyber charter schools. Cyber charters are monitored by the state and regular charters by local school districts.

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