WE OPENED our mailbag not long ago to find a letter from longtime subscriber Raymond Dueck of Arborg, Man. "Thank God for Reader's Digest!" Mr. Dueck wrote. "It saved our little daughter's life."
In our January 1984 issue, in "News From the World of Medicine," we carried an item about a new treatment for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome (SCIDS), a rare and lethal immune-system disease that leaves its victims unable to resist infection. Infants who have SCIDS and are not kept in sterile environments usually die within the first year of life. The item reported that Dr. Richard O'Reilly and his team at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York had developed a procedure that led to successful transplantation of bone marrow from an unmatched donor. (Bone marrow manufactures cells essential to the immune system.)
"My wife, Martha, and I had had two children who died of complications related to SCIDS," Mr. Dueck wrote. "When Martha became pregnant a third time, we read every article we could regarding SCIDS. Then the January 1984 issue of the Digest brought us the welcome news about the bone-mar-row transplant, and our anxiety level went way down.
"Renee was born in March, and shortly after her birth we were told that she too had SCIDS. We had already decided that in the eventuality of that diagnosis, we would go to the New York centre. We flew to New York in May for further tests. When those confirmed SCIDS, we arranged to admit Renee in June 1984.
"During the night of July 26-27 she received bone marrow donated by her mother.
"Today Renee is the healthiest, liveliest, most beautiful little girl anyone ever saw!"
A beloved child's health has been restored. And we at Reader's Digest are gratified to have been of service.
We know from this and many other letters that our articles often have an impact on your lives in a variety of ways - that you have found in them the resolve to quit smoking, the inspiration to make it through a family crisis, the chance to get involved in an issue of the day. Whenever we have been useful to you, we are delighted to hear about it.
- THE EDITORS