The Columbia County Spotlight hears from the parent of a young father with leukemia in this week's reader mailbag.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Commercial solicitations will not be accepted as letters to the editor. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity.

'Be the Match' and save lives

The young man in the Be the Match Foundation advertisement is my son, Andrew. [Ed.: This advertisement appears in the Spotlight's print edition May 27, 2022.] He is 36 years old, and is married with a 3-year-old daughter.

Andrew has recently been diagnosed with leukemia, and the only cure is to receive a transplant from a compatible blood stem cell or bone marrow donor. Fortunately, we were able to find a compatible donor through the Be the Match Foundation, but not everyone is so lucky.

Please help others like Andrew fight this disease by texting ENDCANCER to 61474, and joining the Be the Match registry.

Mike Herdrich, Deer Island

Exercise may be best treatment for depression

During the pandemic, depression rates skyrocketed.

Many people today suffer from occasional or ongoing depression symptoms. This Mental Health Awareness Month is a good time to care for your mental health.

Many depression treatment options are available, yet the easiest and best may be your two feet.

Duke University concluded that exercise could be as beneficial to those with depression as a course of antidepressants. In their famous SMILE (Standard Medical Intervention & Long-term Exercise) study, it was found that "a brisk 30-minute walk or jog around the track three times a week may be just as effective in relieving the symptoms of major depression as the standard treatment of antidepressant medications." The study concluded that exercise "is associated with significant therapeutic benefit, especially if continued over time."

Consider making regular exercise, even simple walks, a new habit. Or maybe offer to go on walks with someone you love who is dealing with depression. It may just be the best medicine.

Y. Pritham Raj, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer, Active Recovery TMS

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