Reader letters, March 12

Mar 11, 2014

Prayer produced a miracle

To the editor:

To all who have given continued prayers for our sister, Denise, who was diagnosed late last year with stage 4 ovarian cancer, I must give you praise and hope this will “motivate”  to rely on God and prayer when they hear our story.

After the cancer diagnosis, Denise was advised by her oncologist to quit her job, go home, make final arrangements and let the doctors keep her comfortable as long as possible.

She was unable to have surgery or radiation due to the widespread cancer involvement and was not encouraged to undergo chemo. The doctors told her it would only slow down the cancer because it was so severe.

Denise’s prayers asked for “God’s will” to be done, whatever the outcome.  We asked our church, family, friends, anyone we knew or met to pray for her.  And pray you did.

She made the decision to have four chemo treatments, which she completed in early February.  Denise had a P.E.T. scan Feb. 27, which resulted in both the oncologist and  radiologist telling her they had never in their entire medical careers seen anything so amazing. The scan showed absolutely no cancer cells.  Denise gave praise to God, as we all did.

A planned surgery was scheduled and done March 5.  During an extensive four-hour surgery, the oncologist-surgeon told the operating techs if she had not been on the case since day one, she would not believe what she was seeing. There was no sign of any cancer and the “larger than grapefruit-size tumor” was completely gone.

Denise will have a long recuperation period with always having to be checked for a recurrence of the cancer.

I feel with all my heart and soul, that God heard everyone’s prayers and answered them.  Dennis and I want to thank each and every person who held Denise up in prayers.  There are no words to tell how much this means to us.  I only ask to have this miracle story of “God’s love” be told and passed along to everyone, especially those who prayed for Denise.

We are truly blessed to have such precious friends. I know I have a great God who listens.  If there is ever a doubt about prayer, I hope this resolves it and shows you the way.

Jo and Dennis D’Eramo

Fines Creek


Uncle Carroll will be missed

To the editor:

I was 28 years old when my Dad died at the age of 78 in 1990.

He was in the food business, a self-taught chef.  I can remember watching him work, falling in love with his dedication, passion, and work ethic he brought to his job each day.

I guess this is why I have been successful in my own food business endeavors, mostly with Coffee Cup Cafe.

My dad never owned his own restaurant and he was very strict when telling me, “Follow the recipe!  Someone went to a lot of trouble coming up with it!”  I am doing it my way—I own the restaurant and I write the recipes!

Several years later, after moving to Canton, in the Beaverdam community, I met a man by the name of Carroll Best.

He was introduced to me as “Uncle Carroll” by his nephew, so “Uncle Carroll” it was.  I followed this man around Beaverdam, falling in love with his dedication, passion, and work ethic as he farmed the land.

I learned how to drive tractors, how to work in the hay field, how to grow and work tobacco, how to build fence, how to raise hogs, how to grow vegetables, and most importantly, how to be there for your neighbor.

I must admit that it was the hardest I have ever worked in my life.  But, Uncle Carroll made it fun.  We all worked hard and we all laughed hard.  What wonderful days!  He loved us all and he never had to say it, he just always made sure you could feel it…and we all did.

My Uncle Carroll passed away quietly, sitting in the cab of his tractor, watching his cattle on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.  I will never be able to find the words to describe my sadness, so, I won’t try.

But, as I reflect on my life here in Canton, living in the Beaverdam Valley, it occurred to me that, as I followed my father’s footsteps through the food business, I am now following Uncle Carroll’s footsteps through farming.

I love growing hops, I love teaching others about hops, and I will continue to grow hops with the same, love, dedication, and passion that I learned from Uncle Carroll.

And, as usual, I will do it my way. Thank you for everything you did for me, Uncle Carroll.  I am a much better human being for knowing you and I will miss you so very much until we meet again.

Heidi Dunkelberg


Pancake breakfast was a success

To the editor:

On Saturday, March 8, Jonathan Valley Elementary School hosted a pancake breakfast at the Maggie Valley Club.

This event was a team effort. Brenda O’Keefe (Joey’s Pancake House) donated not only the food (famous pancake mix) and beverages for this event, but Brenda also flipped pancakes in the kitchen.

The Maggie Valley Club provided their dining room/kitchen for this event, plus a few of their staff members to help make this a success.

Jonathan Valley Elementary School staff helped cook, serve and clean up for this successful breakfast. All proceeds from this breakfast went directly to the school.

I personally want to thank all those involved for making this a successful breakfast, as well as all those who purchased tickets for this fantastic breakfast.

It is my understanding the school hopes to make this an annual event. If they do, I for one, will purchase tickets for the breakfast next year.

Ron Rookstool

Maggie Valley

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