Unselfish act to help others could use more support
Each year the Multiple Sclerosis Society hosts the MS Walk 4-miler in Juneau, Anchorage and Soldotna. It is going to be held here again in Soldotna on Saturday.
MS never meant much to me until my lifelong best friend, Dr. Greg Jack, was diagnosed with this disease. Suddenly I was paying close attention.
This was my friend who was a picture of health and a talented athlete. He was our senior class valedictorian and also a high school "McDonald's All American" basketball star. He received a full-ride athletic scholarship to the University of Washington where he played four years of varsity basketball for the Huskies while studying for his medical degree. He attended medical school in Baltimore and received an ophthalmology degree from Johns Hopkins University.
He had just opened his practice when he was struck down quickly by a disease that continues to baffle doctors around the world. I mention his background, because people that are this successful and talented simply don't get MS ... wrong!
MS is often called a designer disease, because it seems to be tailored differently for each individual. Greg suffers from the most common symptoms: blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue and even paralysis to name a few. These challenges can be permanent or in some cases come and go. Shortly after opening Papa Murphy's last December, my wife Sue and I met a women named Barb Ann Johnson. Through the course of many conversations with Barb about fund raising and other things, we began to talk about Greg. Not long after, Barb expressed an interest in participating in the MS Walk in Greg's honor to encourage him.
I thought it was a great idea and called Greg, who was amazed that Barb would do this for him -- especially since she also has MS and certainly has days when she can barely walk herself. And so here we are a day away from the MS Walk and the number of people sponsoring Barb are few. We have pledge sheets in Papa Murphy's to sponsor her and business is good. Hundreds of people every day see her request for help in this fund-raising effort. Why are so few people interested in contributing to help find a cure?
I am sure they are just like me. I didn't know about the disease until it struck close to home. Barb was so discouraged the other night because of the lack of sponsorship, while driving home she received a ticket for ever so slowly rolling through a red light. Of course, that didn't make her feel any better.
Let's give her some help, folks. She is doing this to help Greg and countless others. All sponsorships go to fund research for Multiple Sclerosis. In the spirit of helping others less fortunate and community involvement, I would like to challenge every business on the Kenai Peninsula to match my $100 sponsorship for Barb's walk on Saturday. Please stop by Papa Murphy's and pledge your support. Please don't make her wear herself out going door to door before the walk even begins.
Jim Nelson, Papa Murphy's Proprietor, Soldotna
Will prison issue get fair hearing if mayor has made up his mind?
In the May 3 Peninsula Clarion there was a statement "Borough Mayor Dale Bagley was in Juneau on Wednesday to help ensure smooth sailing for the legislation," (referring to the prison bill).
I believe this may be part of the frustration of some of the borough residents. How can we have any assurance of a fair, detailed analysis of all aspects of this prison issue when the mayor, who is a trained, professional real estate agent (trained to sell land and houses without regard to social impact) appears to have his mind made up on this issue?
That's why this issue needs a full public discussion of all aspects and impacts to the community and then a decision made by the voters, because it is the voters who have to live with the results of their decision.
John Ossowski, Soldotna
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