Mayer cancer center marks its fifth anniversary

April 30, 2003

The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource and Image Center celebrated its fifth anniversary Thursday with testimony by founders and cancer survivors and tours of its tiny, homelike facility on Cedar Lane.

"I always tell people it's the one board I'm on for an organization that I wish would go away and not be needed," said Darlene Miller, a cancer survivor and one of three "tri-chairs" of the center's advisory committee. "In the meantime, it's just a little jewel in the community that we'd like to have people know about."

The center includes a library, a fully equipped beauty salon, a private room for makeovers and fittings for prostheses and a kitchen. There is a shelf for children's books about cancer and grief.

"It's very small. But part of that is why it works. It's not clinical. I think we've counted, in visits alone, we've gone over the 5,000-visit mark," Miller said.

Wigs in a variety of colors hang from a hat rack in the salon; hand-crocheted blankets, knitted hats, handmade pillows and gift baskets sit, waiting to be distributed to cancer patients and their families. A volunteer hair stylist waits for clients.

"When you're first diagnosed, you're so overwhelmed that you're worried about your medical treatment; you're not so worried about your spirit. And I think that what Claudia Mayer helps you do is take care of your spirit - and your hair," Miller said.

- Fay Lande

Youths show opposition to war, support for troops

Maggie Tepe, 11, and Brandi Fritsch, 12, led the second leg of a peace march from Baltimore to Washington on Sunday. The girls, who walked about 1 1/2 miles from Elkridge toward Laurel, shared the $170 prize for the slogans they wrote in a contest sponsored by Judy Colligan of Harper's Choice.

The challenge was to combine support for the troops in Iraq with opposition to the war.

Maggie made a banner lettered with the slogans she and Brandi submitted: "Patriots for Peace" was Maggie's slogan; "Yes to our Troops * No to War" was Brandi's.

"Judy Colligan explained about the contest, and so did Leslie Salgado [of the Howard County Friends of Latin America] and the girls received applause," said Maggie's mom, Heather Tepe. "They actually led the march down Route 1 with the banner that Maggie had made, with my assistance. And it was a beautiful day for it."

About 50 people participated in the march co-sponsored by the Baltimore Anti-War Coordinating Committee and many other groups. Its theme was "The Cost of War Is Paid by the Poor." Marchers who came from Baltimore were fed at St. Stephen's A.M.E. Church in Elkridge by the Howard County Coalition Against War, which also found beds for marchers Saturday night.

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