Day 161- L.A. Times

It was a long day, to say the least. Yesterday, when viewing my post published in “Hispanosphere,” I took the time to read comments that had been posted in regards to what I wrote. While a few were supportive, others were just absolutely outrageous and off-topic. My feelings went from shock, to anger, to then, actually laughing at all this. But it took me some time to process the reality that some would actually find my chosen topic of spina bifida awareness to be something less than positive.

I was accused of “rambling all over the place,” because of my very brief reference to the disaster in Haiti. I only made this reference as an example of Americans uniting for a cause, which I guess some readers failed to grasp.

Some attributed what causes spina bifida to purely environmental factors, which, as of yet, I believe to be unfounded claims. Genetics plays a key role in having a child with spina bifida, and it would be unwise to jump to conclusions.

Yet others said I was “complaining” of my surgeries, and that I should be “grateful” for my supportive family and adequate healthcare. How dare they be so patronizing as to suggest how I should feel, when they have no inkling is to what I have been through? I replied, in a detailed comment, to all of these ludicrous remarks, stating (in reference to the latter) that I am, in fact, grateful for what I have, but that I don’t believe that any individual’s struggles should be taken lightly.

You can read my remarks, and see the rest of this circus at:

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_hispanicaffairs/2010/02/latina-on-a-que…

Indeed, one of the higher points of my article being taken apart and spat back at me was when a person who had initially been criticizing my article for its lack of scientific data (which, obviously, was not the main idea behind the article!), apparently Googled the condition and did a fabulous copy-paste job with some information for pregnant women with a child with spina bifida. Clearly, I had gotten to him.

After commenting on my own post, and addressing each of these misguided individuals, I felt better, almost triumphant, that I had kept my cool while setting them straight.

I don’t pretend to know exactly what any one person is going through, and I certainly do not appreciate others pretending to know where I’m coming from. If you truly want to know, read my blog. That’s what it’s here for.

But, enough for now. I wanted to tell you that I will be writing to several publications (or maybe sending them one mass E-mail, as I did before) to raise awareness. Despite yesterday’s incident, I am a firm believer in the power of the press, and I want to take advantage of that power that the media holds so dear. So, next up is the L.A. Times, another respected national newspaper. Also, the city of Los Angeles has a very high Latino population, so I’m thinking a connection can be made between their many Hispanics and the high incidence of spina bifida among Hispanics.

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That’s what I plan to do for the next few days. Please stay tuned for “Day 162” later today. Sorry about not blogging last night, but I helped my friend Sandy celebrate her belated birthday, so I made it to bed around 1:30, and crashed, fast asleep.

Once again, I ask you all to show your support for the people of Haiti by visiting www.cnn.com/impact, where you will find many ways to help.

God Bless you all,

Laura 🙂

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