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Thursday, October 17, 2019

My own experience as a kid: Bullying

I had big ears and I was skinny, an instant target. Many times my ears hurt from being flicked with pencils, my jacket drenched in spit, my mom had to hose it down. My dad told me to tune them out, and not to react. Well, I tried my best but one day I had had enough. A kid flicked my ear from behind, I instantly swung around and landed a solid left hook that dropped him like a stone, he had a shiner too. That was the last time I was bullied at school. I fought back and won, my parents paid for plastic surgery to have my ears pinned back, and long hair came in style.

Mark-Alan Whittle, Hamilton Mountain

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

LETTER: Parents, stand up for your rights during work-to-rule at school

When it comes to school strikes, I fondly recall when my disabled Son Logan went to public school, he had an Educational Assistant to help him in class. When the EA's went on strike, Logan was told he had to go home, he cried. I decided to correct the situation after getting permission from the Principal. I crossed the picket line and did the job myself, Logan and I were in the newspaper the next day. My advice to parents whose disabled children may be affected, stand up for your kids like I did. Your children have a right to an education, just like all the other kids in class.
Mark-Alan Whittle
Hamilton Mountain

Thursday, August 08, 2019


If the government was serious about curbing gun crime they should do the following: If you are caught with an illegal firearm, you should get 10 years in jail. If you commit a crime with it, you should get another 10 years, to be served consecutively with no parole eligibility. Problem solved.
(Sentencing reform is certainly part of finding some solutions)

Friday, August 02, 2019

LETTER: Cancer-free thanks to Dr. Hannah

Since I beat colon cancer, I have had a number of MRIs and body scans.
Over the years Dr. Wael C. Hannah, the top thoracic surgeon in the province, noticed a spot in my left lung that was growing. After numerous face-to-face consultations and a few using online software to talk live to the doctor, it was decided to get it out.
Robotic surgery pioneered by the Dr. Hannah was performed. I was patient number 62 for this state-of-the-art procedure.

He explained all the things that could happen, but I was optimistic and was booked into the hospital for four days. That turned into two weeks after my lung got punctured and a chest tube was inserted leading to a pump to ensure my lung didn't collapse.
A few lymph nodes got nicked, causing complications, including an infection that required daily antibiotic doses into an intravenous connection installed in my arm for this purpose.
My decades of smoking and working as a mechanic had taken its toll. My lungs were fragile.
Dr. Hannah was able to excise the two-centimetre cancerous tumour, leaving the rest of my lung intact. I spent another month with daily homecare supplied by St. Joseph's. I call it homecare plus. Every day I had the intravenous bag changed and my chest tube monitored. The nurses were competent and friendly When the chest tube was removed, I was allowed to drive again and a few weeks later the intravenous line was removed.
Now I'm on the mend and cancer-free again, so to Dr. Hannah, thank you for saving my life, allowing me to enjoy retirement in relatively good health.
For this, I am truly grateful.
Hamilton Mountain

Friday, June 21, 2019

Time for a new approach

RE: Drug addiction

I have pretty much lived my whole life in Hamilton, and never have I seen such levels of drug addiction and homelessness. When our consumption and treatment facility was opened I was watching closely, as I have personally bested a number of addictions to booze and narcotics. I hit rock bottom fast. I finally asked for help to get clean and sober, I've been that way for decades. Today the biggest stumbling block is the notion of informed consent, which means you can't force someone to quit taking drugs. It's time for a new approach so addicts have a fighting chance to survive.
Mark-Alan Whittle, Hamilton