Thirteen-year-old Julia Edwards a seventh-grader at Akron's Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts is doing all she can to keep her friend's spirits up and to stay in touch. Including a letter to me.
You see, Julia's best friend, 11-year-old Danisha Jones a sixth-grader at Akron's Perkins Technology School is scheduled for spinal surgery Friday at Akron Children's Hospital.
Understandably, Julia is very worried.
According to Julia's mother Karen Edwards, Danisha is expected to be in the intensive care unit for approximately two weeks after the surgery.''
She has a long convalescence ahead.
''She's a wonderful girl who wants to grow up to be a teacher,'' Edwards said.
Right now, in addition to soliciting prayers from everyone for her friend, Julia is interested in someone donating a laptop and high-speed Internet access for Danisha to use during her recovery ''so she can keep in touch with her friends'' and maybe play a few games.
Interested in helping? Please give me a call at 330-996-3567.
Former Akronite Brad Southwood now of Royal Oak, Mich. is back in town this week, squiring around his new best friend.
How else would you
describe someone who made it possible for you to still be alive?
Brad an Ellet High School graduate who received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron received a bone marrow transplant on Oct. 25, 2001, from Tommy Larsson of Sweden, not only a total stranger but also, as fate would have it, a perfect match.
''His bone marrow was harvested in Sweden and delivered to the Cleveland Clinic within a 24-hour period,'' writes Brad's mother, Carol Southwood of Akron.
''The transplant was a success. Brad has completed two marathons since his illness and has raised over $12,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society . . .
''Brad and his wife, Jennifer, honeymooned in Europe and spent four days in Sweden with Tommy Larsson and his wife and two young children in April '06. They all bonded and had such a good visit that the Larssons decided to travel to the U.S. to meet Brad's extended family,'' Southwood wrote.
So Brad and Tommy, 34, also will celebrate the sixth anniversary of the bone marrow transplant. What a wonderful reason to celebrate!
And there's this.
''Not only did Tommy's generous gift save our son's life, his wife, Helene, has also been a bone marrow donor twice!,'' Carol Southwood added.
And she also gave this important plug for the National Bone Marrow Registry:
''I recently spoke with the Bone Marrow Registry and learned that 'typing' is now done with a cheek swab instead of a blood draw, and in most cases stem cell collection through a special blood donation procedure has replaced the invasive procedure of bone marrow collection through the hip bone.
''The National Bone Marrow Registry needs more willing persons to be included on their rolls. There is an especially great need for minorities and persons of mixed genetic backgrounds. More people on the registry equals more lives saved!''
Bill Martin benefit
Co-workers, neighboring police and fire departments, 911 dispatchers and friends of Bill Martin a 911 communications specialist with Bath Township are rallying around him in a huge show of support at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Masonic Lodge in Bath Township.
Bill was recently diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare cancer of the lymph nodes, causing immense pain throughout his body. ''Bath 911 . . . a day for Bill Martin'' an auction, raffles and food is designed to help Bill financially with his medical bills and living expenses in the days, weeks and months to come.
''Bill had calmly guided Bath residents through all types of emergencies for 22 years,'' said Sue Fodor, Bath communications specialist and event coordinator.
''He has touched many lives in Bath Township and Summit County. He has given so much to the community and to the department, and now we are asking for your help to give back to him in his time of need.''
Monetary donations may be sent to: Bath Fire Department Inc., c/o Anne Motz, event treasurer, Bath Township Administration Offices, 3864 W. Bath Road, Akron, OH 44333.
Any auction items other than cash may be dropped off at the Bath Fire Department to Assistant Chief Tim Gemind between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. For more information, please call 330-666-4007.
Got carpentry skills, a servant's heart and a little time on your hands?
The Chapel needs you to sign on with its other volunteers to help with Hurricane Katrina relief building in Mississippi.
''The Chapel completed six houses last year and worked on repairing another 13,'' writes Karen Padrutt, a spokeswoman for The Chapel.
''The team will set up base camp in Long Beach, Miss. Work will commence in November as the first wave of workers readies home pads or pilings that homes will be built on. Many more volunteers will be arriving from December to March, helping through each phase of the building. Some will stay for a week, two weeks, or a month, while others will stay until March. In December, 25 eager teen-aged boys, The Chapel Boys Brigade, will give up their Christmas vacation to head south and rough in the houses.''
To find out more, please call Clint Robbins at email@example.com or call 330-666-4372.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.