With statements like "We've spent a lot of time eating pasta and red sauce" and "can't afford her usual two cups of coffee a day," it seems that our city officials are out of touch with not only the struggles of those on SNAP but those in the middle class as well.
It is astonishing to me that our city "planners" are complaining about "planning" their meals ahead of time; it is a fact of life for many Chattanoogans living on a budget.
Managing a food budget is a constant struggle for us all in this economy and I do not appreciate the way our city leaders seem to be making this week of "sacrifice" a game of seeing how hard it is to get by for many Chattanoogans. It is difficult; it is real; and it does require planning ahead. I appreciate what our city leaders are trying to do, but I do not appreciate our Mayor making light of my family's weekly pasta night. It is a fact of life for many of us, just as eating homemade sandwiches or leftovers for lunch every day is.
November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and I am proud to say that I 'Like the Fight' against the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Others in our community are also volunteering to make a difference in the outcome for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We are fighting alongside the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network whose mission is to advance research, support patients and create hope for all those affected by this devastating disease.
On Sep. 26, 2013 at 39 years old, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. I have always been very healthy, active, and had no signs or symptoms, until a stomach ache came the week before my diagnosis. There is no early detection for this illness, it truly is the "Silent Killer". I do not fit the profile of this disease. I am not obese, or diabetic, I have no family history of cancer, and I am not 60+ years old. Because of this, I felt compelled to reach out to my local affiliate and make sure that I do whatever I can to spread the word.
Knowledge is power. Before six weeks ago, I had no idea that this disease even existed, I had no idea the survival rate for 5 years is in the single digits.
I am now volunteering with the Chattanooga Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and will be participating in PurpleStride Chattanooga 2013 on Nov. 16, from 8 until noon at Renaissance Park.
Please visit www.pancan.org/fight to take action today.
CARLOS J. LEON JR.