Local Voices: Jan. 2 edition

Letters to the editor for the Jan. 2 TribLocal print edition from Rolling Meadows, Niles, Glenview and Palatine.

First, a team

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently exclaimed, "Fix Wrigley now" (Page 1, Dec. 12).

Fans would answer, "Fix the Cubs now!"

Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows

Praising the pope

So Pope Francis is Time magazine's Person of the Year, beating out the likes of presidents, entrepreneurs and an outrageous attention-grabbing entertainer. Says something about humility, doesn't it?

Kathleen Melia, Niles

In the pope's shoes

This is in response to "Pope Francis misunderstands power of free market" (chicagotribune.com, Dec. 16), by Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg News.

Punnuru questions the pope's credentials in economics since the pope "is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher."

The most incisive analysis of the previous "Golden Age" came to us from Charles Dickens, not the then-economics experts who allowed the Irish famine rather than interfere with the free-market system.

Contemporary "smartest guys in the room" would do well to spend a few days in the shoes of a janitor, bouncer or fisherman while reviewing their John Steinbeck.

Margaret Sents, Glenview

Diabetes research

This is in response to "The Kid's Doctor: Know the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes" (Lifestyles, chicagotribune.com, Dec. 3), by Dr. Sue Hubbard. Having two young children with this disease, we spend a lot of time and energy acting as our kids' organs and advocating for diabetes research funding to cure it.

Over the summer, we took our son and daughter to Capitol Hill to visit U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Congressman Peter Roskam to talk about life with T1D and the importance of the Special Diabetes Program.

Our son was diagnosed with T1D when he was 1 year old; he has never known a day without finger pokes for testing his blood sugar or insulin injections. Our daughter was diagnosed this past year at age 4.

With two kids with T1D, we know it be an unforgiving disease that requires constant attention. If we let up, high blood sugar can lead to coma and low blood sugar can cause seizures. The risk of complications — like blindness, heart disease and kidney failure — hangs over our family constantly. Diabetes hangs over our country as well, costing $245 billion annually.

The article talked about environmental triggers of this disease, and I am pleased that the SDP is halfway done with a large-scale clinical trial of more than 8,000 children until age 15 to potentially be able to predict who will develop T1D, and help inform the development of vaccines and other prevention strategies and even suggest new possibilities for treatment. If we only knew what triggered our kids to get this disease, you can bet we would have done as much as possible to prevent it.

The SDP is also credited with the discovery of better treatments and life-changing technologies, including the artificial pancreas, to automatically control blood sugar and keep people with T1D safe and healthy until a cure for T1D is found. Some of this research is even happening at Illinois universities.

Brodie and Rachel Bertrand, Palatine