Letters to the Editor

In their corner

I guess by now we’ve all seen, and maybe had our hearts broken, by television ads for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and its crusade to help children fighting cancer.

The most affecting of the ads, to me, is the one that shows a kid of about 10 or 11 tough-talking about his illness.

“It’s a serious thing,” he says, “and you can die from it.”

From the expression of determination on his face and his attitude, it’s plain to the viewer that it’s just not a part of this kid’s emotional vocabulary to acknowledge he can die from the illness, although the sparse and wispy hair on the top of his head suggests he’s already gone a couple of tough rounds against his opponent.

Because of my financial circumstances, it’s just not in my budget to contribute money to St. Jude’s. And I feel bad about that, because if I had the money, I’d give it. Gladly.

But that kid is part of what gets my otherwise lazy butt out of bed at 6 a.m. every other Sunday morning to drive over to the local Red Cross and donate platelets. Platelets are the component of blood that augments healing, and they’re especially valuable to people enduring chemotherapy or radiation treatments. A donation of platelets doesn’t cost me a cent.

I’m betting on that kid to win his fight by a knockout. When he does, I want to have the emotional gratification of knowing I was in his corner.

Carl Schultz, Johnstown