The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Letter to the Editor: Chemotherapy is No Joke

2 min read

The following letter was written in response to “Top Five Ways to Lose Weight With Minimal Effort” (Feb. 21, 2008, The Bullet:)

Dear Editor:

In response to the article, “Top Five Ways to Lose Weight With Minimal Effort” printed in the Feb. 21 issue of the Bullet, it saddens me how uneducated a university student can be.

Millions of people in the world are currently fighting cancer.  For some, the fight will be successful, for others, it won’t be.  As of June 2007, 218,659 people were living leukemia.  It is not, as mentioned in the article, possibly caused by an “Atkins Low-Carb South Beach Idiot Diet.”

Leukemia, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, is a “malignant disease of the bone marrow and blood” and is “characterized by the uncontrolled accumulation of blood cells.”  Leukemia affects both children and adults.  My cousin was one of the children.

Watching someone battle the effects of cancer, and lose, is something that no one should ever have to experience.  I, however, have experienced it.

I’ve seen the wasting away of a twenty-year-old, I’ve gotten the calls that the disease has won, and I’ve seen the looks on the faces of every person in a hospital waiting room because they know that the end is near.

For people fighting cancer, chemotherapy is their hope.  It is the one thing that may save their lives and for someone to make a joke out of its’ very debilitating side effects is not only wrong, it is sad.

It occurs to me that while the writer of this article, Mr. John Sheridan, may have never experienced the effects of cancer through family, friends or even himself, other people on this campus have.  They have lost parents, siblings, friends and other family members to cancer and I’m sure like myself, they do not appreciate opening their school newspaper to see that someone has decided to call chemotherapy a weight loss plan.

I can only hope that Mr. Sheridan will never experience cancer and its effects.  However, one might suggest that the next time he is thinking about a way to get a byline might he try visiting the cancer ward of a children’s hospital and seriously rethink his so-called weight loss plans.

Gracie Hart is a senior.