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Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

To the over­whelm­ing gen­eros­ity of the Elk­ton High School Class of 1984, which has come to the aid of one of its mem­bers who fell ill with an ex­tremely rare can­cer. Ris­ing Sun-area res­i­dent Tim Pick­eral is one of fewer than 100 known cases of Mandibu­lar Clear Cell Odon­to­genic Car­ci­noma, a can­cer that at­tacked his jaw­bone, in med­i­cal his­tory. He was left un­able to work and left fight­ing a disease dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand, but Pick­eral’s class­mates heard of his story through so­cial me­dia and be­gan or­ga­niz­ing help. An ini­tial bake sale raised $4,000 for the fam­ily of six to get through the early stages of Tim’s fight. Now the Class of ‘84 is or­ga­niz­ing a much larger ben­e­fit fundraiser at the Nauti Goose restau­rant in North East from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 22. “I’m just in awe, just so grate­ful,” Tim told the Whig. We are too, and ku­dos for the class help­ing one of its own, decades af­ter they left the halls of their alma mater.

To the news that two years af­ter Mary­land al­most lost fed­eral money be­cause of poor en­force­ment of laws pre­vent­ing the sale of tobacco to mi­nors, com­pli­ance has im­proved in both the state and the county. Dur­ing fis­cal year 2016, only 9.1 per­cent of stores checked in the county were non-com­pli­ant com­pared to 27.3 per­cent in fis­cal year 2014. At the state level, the non-com­pli­ance fig­ures dropped from more than 31 per­cent to just 13.8 per­cent. Pre­vent­ing youth smok­ing may seem like a small goal com­pared to other is­sues con­fronting our com­mu­nity, but pur­su­ing a gen­er­a­tion of health­ier and wealth­ier in­di­vid­u­als will re­duce the cost of health care in the fu­ture. Cig­a­rettes are a costly bur­den on many fam­i­lies and those costs in­crease dra­mat­i­cally when con­sid­er­ing the im­pact of treat­ment of dis­eases like lung can­cer or chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary disease, COPD. Ku­dos to those who check IDs at the regis­ter.

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