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Help end multiple sclerosis

To the editor: 

I was born and raised here in Halifax County, and I have actively joined the movement to end multiple sclerosis. Every hour someone is diagnosed with MS, a chronic and unpredictable disease of the central nervous system for which there is no cure.  

Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and stops people from moving…therefore, interrupting their lives.  Many have trouble imagining what their lives would be without the ability to move, but I know the effects of MS. A little over three years ago, I was diagnosed with the disease, and my youngest son, Evan, was diagnosed five years ago at the age of 19.  Both of us have suffered from exacerbations this past year.

March is National MS Awareness Month.  I encourage people to join the movement to end MS and help people with MS move their lives forward.  It’s easy to get involved.  It only takes a few minutes to make a difference in the lives of the millions of people worldwide who live with this disease and its effects.  

During the week of March 10-14, Halifax County Middle School, where I teach eighth grade English, will observe MS Awareness Week with daily activities sponsored by the school’s SCA.

Monday, March 12, is Hat Day.  Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to wear their favorite hats for a $1 donation to the Central Virginia MS Walk.

On Thursday, March 14, students and staff at the middle school are going to wear the orange in observance of National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness.  Why don’t you wear orange as well?  And tell people why. 

Friday, March 15, teachers will be encouraged to, once again, wear orange, and they will be allowed to wear jeans for a donation to the Central Virginia MS Walk.

In addition to these activities, daily announcements will be made sharing facts about Multiple Sclerosis, and orange wristbands will be sold at lunch.  Awareness is imperative. 

There are some simple things you can do, too:

Visit to learn more about MS.

Tell 10 people that March is MS Awareness Month and ask them to tell 10 people they know.

And most importantly, my husband, Paul, Evan, our son, and I will be walking in Walk MS:  Richmond 2014 on April 26.  If you would like to sponsor us, it would be greatly appreciated.  We walk not only for me and our son but for the countless others battling this disease.  Every donation, big or small, will go directly to the Central Virginia MS chapter to help fund research and provide for the needs of MS patients.

Research is vital in finding a cure for MS.  Please become involved in MS Awareness and help move us closer to a world free of MS.

Thank you,

Karen Shelton Smith



Good news

To the editor:

This week’s Time Magazine cites several reasons for vegetarians living longer. The article was prompted by a report in American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine that a vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure, a key factor in risk of heart failure and stroke. 

The Mayo Clinic notes that vegetarians are at lower risk for developing diabetes, another factor in heart disease. Indeed, an Oxford University study of 45,000 adults in last year’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease.

Moreover, researchers at California’s Loma Linda University, examining records of 70,000 patients, concluded last year that a vegetarian diet protects against colorectal and other types of cancer. 

It’s no wonder that a 2012 Harvard University study of 120,000 people concluded that meat consumption raises the risk of total, heart and cancer mortality. A more recent six year study of 70,000 patients at Loma Linda found that vegetarians have a 12 percent lower risk of death. 

The good news: each of us can find our own fountain of youth by adopting a meat and dairy-free diet. An Internet search on “vegan recipes” or “live vegan” provides ample resources.


Gary Veitzmann



‘Wondrous power of prayer’

To the editor:

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

 James 5:16

When we come to the end of all human devices, there is a great untapped reservoir of power available to us.  It is the power of prayer.

The wonders that have been wrought by God through the intercession of His saints would fill so many volumes that the libraries of the world would scarcely be able to contain them all.  Individuals and organizations, who accomplish much for God, are frequently found on their knees.  The Word of God charges us to “always pray and faint not.” 

Our county and towns have a great opportunity to come together and pray.

On May 1, The National Day of Prayer will be held at Halifax County High School.  We can come together as a body of believers uniting our hearts and spirits to pray for our nation.  Let’s all come that night with our hearts and cry out to our God that He would heal our land.

Rev. Jack Stewart

Pastor, Grace Baptist Church



Not good

To the editor:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke about cutting our military from 500,000 to about 450,000. The military would be the smallest it has been since pre-World War II days. He claims this would help some of our financial problems. 

This doesn’t sound good to me. We need our military as strong as it can be at this point in time. There are just too many countries and factions that would love to see us destroyed. 

At the same time countries such as China and Russia are increasing their military numbers by a great margin. 

Isn’t that interesting? 

In the book of Revelation, both China and Russia are mentioned in the battle of Armageddon.

Paul DuPont