Dear Readers: About six months ago, I received a letter from World War II veteran E.G. Jackson of Houston, stating that in 1945, he had been a soldier in the Battle of the Bulge. He said he had taken refuge in a bombed-out building where he found a New Testament with bloody thumbprints beside the inscription, "From the young people of Cyclone Union Church."
Mr. Jackson had been searching for 50 years to locate the soldier who had left the Bible there, but his search was futile. Finally, he prevailed upon me to ask my readers for their help.Hallelujah! Today, I received news from Roger Newton, a staff writer for the Bradford (Pa.) Era, stating that Mr. Jackson had narrowed the candidates down to two men from Cyclone, Pa. And since it was not possible to determine which of them had lost the Bible, he decided to return it to the church from which it came.
Mr. Jackson, and his wife, Nola, traveled 1,700 miles, from Houston to Cyclone, Pa., to present the Bible to the local church at a special service.
Thanks to you, my readers, the Bible is finally back "home." An interesting footnote: In his search, Mr. Jackson discovered 78 locations named "Cyclone." However, most of them were mountain peaks or reservoirs; only eight were villages, with populations ranging from seven people to 256 people.
Dear Abby: This letter is very difficult to write, but on the chance that it may help someone, please print it.
My husband died recently of metastatic melanoma. I learned much from that experience that I'd like to share with your readers.
First, if you are having a test done to determine if you have cancer, always get a second opinion - even if the results come back in your favor. My husband had a suspicious mole removed in 1991. The tests came back negative for melanoma, so we celebrated and forgot about it. Three years later, at the age of 48, he was dead.
Frequently I hear women talk about a suspicious lump on their mammograms. If the doctor says it's OK, great - but have another doctor take a look at it. Early detection is the key.
Second, understand that skin cancer can be deadly. If you notice any change in a mole (or a new mole), have it checked and removed immediately. And by immediately, I mean the next DAY, not next week or next month. Unless it is surgically removed very early, it is almost untreatable. No current chemo drugs have a good success rate, and it is resistant to radiation. It spreads fast and it spreads everywhere.
Finally, please take the threat of melanoma seriously. It is one of the fastest-growing cancers in our society because of the sun-loving baby boomers and the reduction of the ozone layer. And it doesn't strike just the old - it strikes people of all ages.
Thanks, Abby, for helping to spread the word. You may use my name.
- Laura Healey De Vos, Cincinnati
Dear Laura: Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your husband. And thank you for writing a letter filled with life-saving information.