The Baltimore Sun

Cancer vaccine study already works miracles

Congratulations on the space and resources The Baltimore Sun gave to Stephanie Desmon for her huge series on Dr. Leisha Emens and her cancer vaccine ("Sun special report: The trial of their lives," Oct. 12-Oct. 17).

I've come to know Dr. Emens very well, and I've had the opportunity to climb several mountains with her through the Climb for Hope program.

She climbs in the same manner she approaches a cure for breast cancer - with immense hard work, determination, a measured yet steady pace and an ever-present smile.

In the Jewish religion, we often quote a Jewish sage, Rabbi Hillel, who once said, "To save one life is as if you've saved the entire world."

We don't yet know the full results of Dr. Emens' vaccine study, but we do know that there are women who are part of the study who faced almost certain death and who are still able to spend precious time with their loved ones on this Earth. That's a miracle.

Those of us at Climb for Hope have worked extremely hard to donate hard-earned money to the study because we see what hope it gives to women that it may help save one life.

If we do that, it will be as if we save an entire world.

Ms. Desmon captured Dr. Emens' compassion and concern for her patients, and we're glad that so many people now know the amazing researcher and mountain climber we have come to admire.

Andrew A. Buerger, Baltimore

The writer is the founder of Climb for Hope and publisher of the Baltimore Jewish Times.

One vote for Bush, as worst leader ever

Historians will have a hard time deciding whether Andrew Johnson or George W. Bush should be labeled the worst president the United States has ever had.

It is true that Johnson undermined much of the progress Abraham Lincoln worked so hard to achieve in the Civil War by allowing Southern whites to institute slavery-like black codes.

But in eight years, Mr. Bush turned the peace and prosperity President Bill Clinton left him into horrible war and terrible economic chaos.

It is a tough choice, but I vote for Mr. Bush as the worst president in U.S. history.

Vincent DeMarco, Baltimore

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