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Crowder Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor

Parotid gland cancer threatens, Medicare benefits continue to elude

Thank you for your support over the years. It has meant a great deal to my wife and me.

A few years ago, the doctor found a mass on my parotid gland. On July 5, 2007, the same day I celebrated my 52nd birthday, cancer cells were found on this.

Of course, this news was shocking to us. We just try to take one day at a time. We know that there are others going through situations like this. I felt like I should write this letter to let others know that you are not alone. We know that God is on our side and we will deal with this just as we deal with other problems.

The doctor gave the option to operate, but I chose not to because of having only one kidney along with other health problems. I would like to ask all of you for your prayers. I do believe that prayer does change things.

I would like to give you some information about my condition. The parotid gland makes saliva to wet the food in your mouth. It is shaped like a wedge and fits behind the back of your jawbone just in front of your ear. The saliva runs from the parotid gland and along a tube which opens into you mouth near your teeth. The nerve to all your face muscles runs through the skin near your ear and runs past the back of the parotid. If a swelling grows in the parotid gland, that part of the parotid has to be removed.

I would also like to add that I do not have Medicare benefits, but I need Medicare to help with other medical needs. According to the Social Security office, I do not qualify because I do not have quarters up on the system. I do believe this to be unfair because of my health problems and because I cannot work and will never be able to work. It seems I’m being penalized for something I have no control over.

/s/ Robert Crowder