Letters to the Editor, week of June 20, 2012

Information on disabled sports program

Reading the full page of information about the Can We Talk? session in the Jewish Light got me to wondering how much information will be shared about special needs individuals having opportunities in the St. Louis area for physical fitness activities. Unfortunately many general sports activities tend to exclude special needs individuals. Yet sports challenges can have considerable beneficial psychological effects on such individuals.

There are programs in the St. Louis area that appear to be not at all well enough known. I have been involved for a number of years with the Gateway Disabled Ski Program at Hidden Valley in Eureka/Wildwood where the Monday night “sit-down” program combined with the Thursday night “stand-up” program covers most special needs from people coming in wheel chairs to sight and hearing impairment, autistic individuals and those with developmental problems. This program existed independently for 25 years but was recently integrated into the St. Charles based Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA). The latter has a multiple sports program year-round with appropriate challenges for many special needs individuals. 

Beth Shalom Cemetery ad

Some at the Jewish Community Center are already aware of DASA since there have been special DASA basketball activities at the Millstone Campus. 

For any of your readers interested in finding out more about DASA, please visit www.dasasports.org or call 636-477-0716.

Ernest Wolf, Ladue

Pancreatic cancer research legislation

Cancer is a disease that affects millions and can be devastating, but due to progress in medical technology, most forms of cancer can now successfully be treated. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about pancreatic cancer. 

Only six percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive five years. This must change. 

The good news is that it can. Congress is currently debating the Pancreatic Cancer Research & Education Act. The legislation will require that the National Cancer Institute draw up a long-term comprehensive strategy to address pancreatic cancer with a focus on increasing the current survival rate.

The goal is achievable, but Congress must act. On June 26th, citizens from around the country will unite and call on members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to help bring an end to this deadly disease (visit www.knowitfightitendit.org for more info). 

Jennifer Bernstein, Creve Coeur