Letters to the Editor for Oct. 21, 2013

Published: Monday, October 21, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 6:47 p.m.

Benefits of massage

Massage Awareness Week is celebrated nationally Oct. 20 to 26. I wanted to take this opportunity to let area residents know that the Florida School of Massage, right here in Gainesville (you know, the one with the hands on U.S. 441), is also celebrating its 40th anniversary in the coming year.

We started our first students in the fall of 1973, graduating our first class in the spring of 1974. Incidentally, the Florida State Massage Therapy Association is also celebrating its 75th anniversary in the coming year.

The citizens of Florida can be proud of their longstanding commitment to the support of massage therapy as a valuable health benefit. We see the support of our local community every day in the students attending our program as well as in our professional and student clinics where we have provided thousands of massages to the public for four decades.

Thank you, Gainesville!

Dar Mikula,


Florida School of Massage

Pleasant experience

I recently had surgery at North Florida Regional Medical Center so was required to spend the night in the hospital. It was the most pleasant stay I've ever experienced in a hospital (and I've had a few). My private room was spacious and attractive. The nursing care was superb. I had two nurses caring for me all through a most difficult night. Thanks, North Florida Regional for this excellent quality of care!

Elizabeth Adams,


Love and care

I am writing this letter because my 5-year-old son Joshua was declared to have no brain activity Oct. 12 at 12:25 a.m. I wanted to take the time to pause and send my gratitude to the staff at UF Health Shands for the incredible work they did and the compassion they showed to our family.

I know doctors are knocked all the time for their soft skills, but I will praise the ones I encountered at UF Health and Shands PICU on the 10th floor for the rest of my life for making these last days of my son's life so wonderful.

Thank you to the entire team for a job well done under such a strenuous situation. The Fletcher family truly appreciates them. If anyone out there can help us, please shower the staff with gifts for the love and care they treat all of their patients and their family.

Ian Fletcher,


Make a difference

What if we could personally participate in research that might help determine factors that cause or prevent cancer?

Area residents have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in cancer research this month. Enrollment for the American Cancer Society's third Cancer Prevention Study will take place Oct. 22 and 24 at North Florida Regional Medical Center. You can find enrollment locations and times at www.gainesvilleocalacps3.com.

Individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are eligible to enroll. Participants will fill out a comprehensive survey packet about health history, provide a small blood sample and give a waist measure. Participants will periodically be sent a follow-up questionnaire for the next 20 to 30 years.

If you aren't eligible to participate, you can still make a difference by telling others about Cancer Prevention Study-3.

Cara Newby,

Area executive director,

American Cancer Society

Work of the U.N.

The Gainesville chapter of the United Nations Association observed U.N. Day on Oct. 10, joining thousands of others around the world and America. The theme for the observance was “Why the world still needs the U.N. and how the U.N. needs the world.”

Among the many participating in the program were representatives of Gainesville's three Model United Nations Clubs from the University of Florida, Santa Fe College and Eastside High School. It was gratifying to learn how well-informed these young adults were in regards to world issues pertaining to the U.N.

About 130 people attended the program, including representatives of over 30 like-minded organizations. They were informed of the U.N.'s work in global health, energy and climate, women's rights, human right's development, and progress in peace and security.

Taraneh Darabi,

Past president

UNA-USA, Gainesville chapter

Wonderful day

A huge thank you to Emily Pridgen, owner of Bouncin' Big in Newberry, for hosting a free morning of bouncing fun for families raising deaf and/or blind children in North Central Florida. Last month, 22 families met at Bouncin' Big to meet old friends and to make new friends. They also had a wonderful opportunity to share stories and exchange their challenging experiences. Their children were able to enjoy each other's company within a safe, fun-filled and air-conditioned environment. It was a wonderful day for everyone!

David Linn,

Rehabilitation specialist,

Blind Services

Teresa Donaldson Thomas,

Parent adviser,

Florida School for Deaf & Blind

Good Samaritans

Last February, I was reminded of the reason I live in Gainesville. While waiting for a red light to change, I heard a crash and said a prayer for the person hit. As my car went up into the air and down into a ditch, I realized the person was me.

Injured and unable to call for help, I wondered who would come. I didn't wonder for long. A gentleman working at Greenbriar Terrace Townhouses came and offered assistance. He helped me exit my car since the gas tank had been hit. Additional help came from residents. Someone brought a chair while someone called for help.

While I don't know the names or remember the faces of these good Samaritans, I will never forget their kindness. I want to thank them for their help and for reminding me that Gainesville is a wonderful place to live.

Kathy Black,


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