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Reader praises Dan Goddard story PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dorothy A. Ortner   

Dear Editor:

I wish to express a simple but profound three-fold thank you to Dan Goddard, Jes-c Brandt and The Holyoke Enterprise. To you, Dan, for telling your story of living with paranoid schizophrenia. You told the good news and the bad news, the victories of your life as a person and the steps you’ve taken to learn to live with your illness.

Thanks to you, Jes-c, for your sensitivity in reporting Dan’s story. At the same time the article gave evidence of your pushing for the underside of Dan’s illness and how his own habits deterred him from reconciling with his condition.

Others, both individually and as a community, were a part of both the good and the bad news in Dan’s journey with mental illness. You educated simply and briefly about paranoid schizophrenia while you told Mr. Goddard’s story.

In the recent past, one could hear others in a muted tone say, “She has cancer” not knowing exactly where to put the blame. Cancer was, therefore, mysterious even murky. That is not the general attitude about cancer any more, even though there is not yet a cure.

As a society we have many miles to go in openly accepting both mental illness and a person with mental illness as we now accept the reality of cancer and a person with cancer.

This is an issue that we, members of a small, familiar community, can address and make positive advancement in our knowledge about mental illness and in the quality of our relationships of support. It is refreshing and a cause of great joy for me that The Holyoke Enterprise featured Mr. Goddard’s story and on the front page of the July 1 issue!

Dorothy A. Ortner