Letters to the editor - 1/11/03

January 13, 2003

Increase awareness of amyloidosis

To the editor:

I would like to see an interview done on "amyloidosis." I realize this disease is hard for doctors to recognize but there are those who have treated amyloidosis in this area. This is a disease in which a protein forms insoluble fibril deposits, causing organ dysfunctions. Twenty different fibril proteins have been described in human amyloidosis.

There are several types of "Amy," but the one that is prevalent in this area is "familial." The only treatment for this is a liver transplant to stop progression. Therefore organ donations are so necessary. "Primary and AL" forms are associated with any of the main organs of the body and are mostly treated by a chemo series and or stem cell transplant.

In our support group there have been four with "primary" amyloidosis, three of whom have died within the last two years. Our only "primary" case is waiting for a kidney transplant.


We have had 11 cases of familial amy. Three have passed away and three have had liver transplants. The rest have had too many health problems or the doctors did not recognize "amy" soon enough for transplants, although research is a continuing process.

An interview with those who've had transplants would be interesting to let others know when and how they were diagnosed for "amy" and their treatment of an organ transplant. Another man, in his mid-30s and still working, has amyloidosis and is in the program of evaluation for a transplant.

The others could tell how they are coping with this progressive crippling disease, their needs and problems that must be taken care as time goes on.

There are more people affected in Hagerstown area who we know of, but who do not attend the group. I will be glad to give you more information if you would call me at 301-797-7415. Please look into this disease.

Elinor Smith


Port-a-johns aren't authentic either, are they?


o the editor:

One wonders why William Watson bothered to show up at the 140th Antietam event (see Re-enactment smacked of wrestling - letters, Sept. 20). Didn't he know that the opposing armies wouldn't be firing live ammo at each other? Did he expect to have the Cornfield ripped to pieces by cannister shot and exploding shells, and fence rails at Bloody Lane leaping and twisting crazily from artillery blasts?

He writes of the "outrage among those of us who take our historical interpretations even moderately seriously." Does he mean that we should have eaten green corn and green apples and drank dirty water so that we could have brought on the "quick step," and rather than marching anxiously to battle, we should have been dashing out of ranks to get behind the spectators and relieve our diarrhea-churned innards, then grasp up corn cobs, husks, and leaves rather than make use of toilet paper in the port-a-johns?

Should the event organizers have provided muddy, bacteria-infested, contaminated water, instead of clean drinking water, in the interest of "historical fact?" Was there not enough real dust to choke on, stirred up by the long tramping in columns of thousands of reenactors?

What was it that was not accurate enough for Watson? No real maiming and wounding? No real blood by the buckets? No real death of men, mules, and horses by the thousands? Not hot enough? Not dry enough? Scenarios too short? Burnside Bridge missing? What?

Watson goes on to state that the fault lies "not with the event organizers," then proceeds to take a gratuitous slap at the event's co-organizer, "no amount of spin control by Dennis going to alter the truth." The "truth" being, of course, that things didn't measure up to Watson's own particular view of realism.

We must conclude that William Watson belongs to that select group of chronic complainers who attend such events only to nit-pick, believing that they only are the true representatives of accurate reenactment impressions.

Until they start shooting and killing each other at their own exquisitely accurate events, Watson and his kind should restrict themselves to a study of the war to see how the Battle of Sharpsburg was really fought.

Re-enactor Preston E. Law

Great-grandson of Pvt. C.W. Law, 3rd Alabama,

- survivor of Bloody Lane Sept. 17, 1862

Catonsville alumni sought

To the editor:

Our Catonsville High Alumni Association is always looking for graduates from all years.

We meet the last Tuesday of every month, 7 p.m., at the Catonsville High School, 421 Bloomsbury Ave., Catonsville, Md., 21228.

FGor more information, interested persons should contact President John Harvey at 410-788-0693.

If you have any questions about this letter contact Pam DiPietro, publicity, 3101 Hayfield Dr., Ellicott City, MD 21042, 410-461-3054. Thank you.

Pam DiPietro

Ellicott City, Md.

Native American awareness is increasing

To the editor:

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