Letter to the editor | Remarkable research

October 17, 2013 

I want to express my gratitude to Penn State researchers and Dr. Jill Smith in particular for making significant advancements in treating children and adults with Crohn’s Disease.

A wonderful young woman who suffered from Crohn’s disease, Smith’s niece, passed away at age 23. But her life has endured in the profound way she motivated Smith’s research.

Smith could have no more practical effect in Crohn’s patients if she were an angel kissing away sorrows. But it is more than that. Angels do what they were created to do; humans do what they choose, sometimes at great personal sacrifice.

Have you ever received a treasured gift that you could not have acquired on your own, had no ability to pay for, nor could ever have received were it not freely given? It is a deeply humbling experience. Language fails us and only tears have the eloquence our hearts are compelled to express.

A safe, highly effective and inexpensive treatment (low-dose naltrexone) for children and adults with Crohn’s disease resulted from years of effort by researchers at Penn State and especially Smith, inspired by her niece. Thank you on behalf of many, many families.

Attending Smith’s Crohn’s presentation Oct. 5 in Chicago, and briefly expressing my gratitude before I had to leave was beyond joy.

I believe in you, Jill Smith, and my prayers are always with you. You are a remarkable person and Penn State is a remarkable university.

Rolland Myers

Oakwood, Ohio

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