Letters to the editor

“Cancer can strike anyone, at any time, at any age”

Dear editor

We are invincible! At least when we are young! At least when we feel we are in control of our situation!

Age and experience temper that feeling of invincibility. Happenstance beyond our control also tempers the feeling.

There are things that happen in life that serve as a “cold shower” of reality or in harder situations “a brick upside the head” that show how really “vincible” we are.

It is the latter situation that I want to share.

Danelle Durig graduated this past May with a bachelor’s in architecture with a minor in geography, a joyous conclusion to four plus years of work. Up until the very last week before commencement, most people did not know that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks earlier. She did not share this information with us for a variety of reasons, but primarily so as not to distract from the importance of the last weeks of studio and classes. She had every reason to believe early detection and treatment, while difficult, would lead to a positive outcome.

She obtained a summer internship at a firm close to her home in Niles with their considerate understanding that she would have to take some time off for treatments at the Cleveland Clinic. She received and accepted her offer to the graduate program at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, but knowing the schedule would be tight, enrolled for only eight academic hours, foregoing studio work until next fall. Dani celebrated her 24th birthday this past July.

The summer regimen of chemotherapy took a physical toll on Dani, but did not dampen her spirit. When classes started this fall, she was excited and ready to go, providing an “upside” attitude for those around her, acknowledging that classes helped take her mind off the stuff she had to put up with. The chemotherapy was not yielding as strong a result as expected, but surgery in October was going to be the light at the end of the tunnel.

The surgery itself was successful, but the prognosis for the cancer was not good. Radiology and additional chemotherapy was in order. As disheartening as this news was, Dani was able to take the best of the situation, commenting that this whole experience would make her a better architect, as she became profoundly aware of the obstacles that people with disabilities have to overcome, things that she would now be able to directly address.

The past three weeks of therapy were not good for Dani. The stresses were taking a significant physical toll. She was tired and in pain much of the time, but always looked at the next step as a step to beating the cancer, a next step toward fulfilling hers dreams of a life with her fiancé Mike and practicing architecture.

Now here is the brick. Danelle passed away, Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 24 years of age. She will always be remembered.

I am a nontraditional student by age. I have significant people in my life who have had cancer, a few no longer with us and a few who beat it and still live with the possibility of relapse. Yet even I have had trouble comprehending the fact that “cancer can strike anyone, at any time, at any age,” until now.

Tim Coerver

Architecture graduate student

Government has already spent too much on AIDS

Dear editor

World AIDS Awareness Day is recognized every year by liberals as a day for raising awareness of a disease that has killed more than 25 million people in the past 25 years. This Thursday is Kent State’s World AIDS Awareness Day. Kent State students are well aware of HIV/AIDS, but fortunately are too apathetic about just about everything with the exceptions of binge drinking, Scrubs and World of Warcraft to do anything about this pandemic. I would like to encourage all Kent State students not to take part in any advocacy, or otherwise meaningful productive actions, on World AIDS Awareness Day. If you support World AIDS Awareness Day, you support finding a cure for HIV/AIDS, and as the Bible says, HIV/AIDS is nothing more than a plague introduced by the heavens to clear the earth of sinners, drug users, homosexuals, and anyone who needs a blood transfusion.

I will also point out that the United States already has dedicated $15 billion during five years toward helping these people in other countries. Twenty percent of this money is specifically for prevention, but only 33 percent of this prevention money is for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage programming. Abstinence is as simple as it gets, with no language barrier. The simplest way to prevent AIDS is to prevent sex in third world countries. I suggest we spend the full $15 billion on abstinence.

Please do not support the PATHWAYS Act H.R. 1713, it would remove Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage programs from our international HIV/AIDS funding. The PATHWAYS Act H.R. 1713 would provide people with education and contraceptives. People in third world countries are incapable of learning, and condoms do not work. Please write to your congress person and do not support the liberal PATHWAYS Act H.R. 1713.

Sam Satura

Doctoral candidate, international politics