She Can Do This Too

Beverlye Hyman Fead was diagnosed with 4th-stage metastasized inoperable leiomyosarcoma in September 2002. She’d already gone through a bout with cancer (it runs in her family; her grandmother, mother, and two sisters succumbed to the disease) and felt the treatment being offered – three weeks of chemotherapy followed by stomach surgery to remove tumors and resection her stomach, after that, more chemo – would kill her, so she sought an alternative. She found one. Her original doctors gave her two months to live if she opted not to follow their recommendations, but her new doctor, surgical oncologist Frederick Eilber of UCLA Medical Center, suggested hormone blockers in lieu of surgery. Dr. Eilber’s theory is that hormones play a major role in creating the tumors and that blocking those hormones might be an effective method of fighting the cancer, or stunting the growth of the tumors. He was right.

Beverlye still has cancer, she freely admits, but says she lives well with it, playing tennis, hiking, visiting her grandchildren, and living a full and rich life in spite of the tumors, which, though smaller, continue to reside in her stomach.

Two years ago, Montecito Journal featured Beverlye in a cover story, which was the first public exposure of her ordeal and also of her then just-released first book, “I Can Do This: Living With Cancer, Tracing a Year of Hope.” The book has sold well and has made something of a celebrity of Beverlye, particularly among other cancer patients. Ms Fead has given talks at prestigious medical universities and has traveled extensively, addressing small (and large) crowds of doctors, patients, family members, and caregivers, offering hope and humor.

Continuing to look forward, Beverlye is about to release her second book, co-authored with her 8-year-old granddaughter Tess, and tentatively titled either “Tess and Me,” or “Nana, What’s Cancer?”

When asked by her second-grade teacher to choose a title for her first book report, Tess chose her grandmother’s book, “I Can Do This.” Tess’s mother, however, thought it inappropriate, because Tess’s classmates “don’t know about cancer.” That’s when, Beverlye reports, Tess called and suggested they write about cancer for kids. “Tess and Me” is a conversation between a grandmother and her grandchild, “with some drawings in it, also by Tess,” Beverlye, an accomplished artist, says.

“Next,” she adds, “my husband, daughter, son-in-law, and Tess, are going to Washington D.C.” Beverlye, along with Judith Meyers, has been selected as a legislative ambassador by the American Cancer Society to represent Santa Barbara at a national gathering called “2006 Celebration on the Hill.” There, she’ll promote an agenda that includes a Tobacco Tax Initiative, Colorectal Screening Bill, and other health-driven reforms. Topping it off, Beverlye has been nominated by Lois Capps to receive the California 2006 Excellence in Cancer Awareness Award for her work in “promoting cancer issues and encouraging other patients and their families.”

To learn more about Beverlye and her unusual yet effective cancer treatment course, visit her website:

Ward Connerly for RITA

There were only 85 or so attendees at RITA’s (Research Issues and Take Action) Flag Day Luncheon at the DoubleTree last month, but the event garnered front page attention in the following day’s Santa Barbara News-Press, which featured a remarkably even-handed article written by News-Press staff writer Anna Davison. Guest speaker Ward Connerly delivered a stern Flag Day “talk” to his audience, and what a talk it was.

For a little levity, he began by reading some “scary headlines” from 2029 that he picked off the internet, such as: “Ozone created by electric cars kill millions,” “Baby conceived naturally; scientists stumped,” “George Z. Bush says he will run for President,” “Postal Service Raises Price of First-Class Stamp to $17.89 and Reduces Mail Deliveries to Wednesdays Only,” and “Florida Voters Still Having Trouble With Voting Machines.”

Connerly then asked, “Are there any Democrats here? If there are,” he said, looking out for raised hands [RITA is a Republican women’s club], “all we ask is that you repent and be saved. Because, without you, we’d never know that we’re right.”

Connerly, whose visit was facilitated by semi-retired MJ publisher James Buckley, revealed that he became a Republican in March of 1969 following a meeting with the Gipper. “I didn’t agree with everything [Reagan] said,” Ward recounted, “but the very next day, I changed registration from a ‘decline to state’ to Republican.” He said he joined because Reagan convinced him that the GOP “was dedicated to the fundamental principles of freedom, personal responsibility, and respect for the individual.”

On Immigration

Ward suggested, however, that, “If I were to make that decision today, my friends, I’m not so sure that I would etch my name in as Republican… Never in my life,” he continued, “would I have expected that we would have to convince a Republican president – and a Senate controlled by Republicans – of the wisdom of protecting the borders.”

He admitted that “we – all of us” – have looked the other way as we got ourselves into “this mess,” but added that, “getting serious about the border is where it all begins. Then, we can begin to wrestle with the question of who gets in line and all the rest of that.”

Connerly assailed the idea of official documents being printed in languages other than English. “We encourage this fragmentation of American culture when we do that,” he warned. “If you want to speak Spanish or any other language in the privacy of your own homes, that’s fine, but in the public domain, I think we ought to be encouraging one culture,” he said, opining that, “if you come to this country, you ought to prize it sufficiently that you will adapt to it and not expect it to adapt to you.”

On Race Relations

Changing subjects, Ward recalled that John F. Kennedy had said that race has no place in American life or law. “And now,” Connerly lamented, “it seeps out of every pore. It isn’t critical that a black kid sit next to a white kid in order to learn,” he stressed. “The important thing is that the kid learns.” He believes “forced integration” is the chief culprit in the erosion of the quality of education that many black children receive. He stressed that black people will continue to be perceived as “inadequate” as long as affirmative action programs hold sway in the land, and that until such programs are eliminated, the black population will be seen as “wards of the state, recent victims of slavery.”

In Michigan, Connerly is promoting a Civil Rights Initiative similar to California’s Prop 209, which he successfully headed up. The initiative reads: “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public education, public employment, or public contracting.” The Initiative will be on the Michigan ballot in November. So far, however, automakers are lined up against it, the University of Michigan is opposed to it, as is big labor, the NAACP (Detroit has the largest NAACP chapter in the nation), and the press. “We can’t even get a decent story on us,” Connerly confessed, and worried that with all those groups aligned against his effort, it may not pass. Even Dick De Vos, a conservative running for governor, opposes the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.

On Politics and Purpose

“Would you ever have believed that a Republican would oppose that pledge?” he asked rhetorically, noting that the same words from his initiative are an integral part of the Republican national platform. He wondered how Republicans anywhere could oppose such wording, suggesting that “we have somehow lost our way about the values that made us Republicans.”

He urged those in attendance not to just have an ‘R’ behind their names; to have it there “because they believe in something.” That they should dedicate themselves to certain beliefs and make them happen “every day of our lives.” That there was nothing to be gained by walking away from those values.

While downbeat about the political parties and their lack of both leadership and vision, Connerly concluded that the U.S. “is a great nation,” albeit beset with a host of problems, some of which have the ability to pull the nation “down into the abyss.” The only way to avoid that free fall, he said, “is that there be warriors and guardians of freedom who will protect it. They are not to be found in the political process,” he continued, “because there is too much fear that ‘I may not get elected or re-elected.’ It’s not going to happen in the major institutions like the press, because they’re biased generally. It’s only going to happen by individuals like yourselves who coalesce around an organization that has values and are willing to defend those values.

“That’s why we’re Republicans; thank God for us,” he concluded, receiving a genuinely heartfelt and sustained standing ovation, after which he answered a number of questions on immigration and race.

And Baby Makes Three

Oliver and Holly (Pagliei) Merrick announced the birth of a brand new baby girl at Cottage Hospital on July 13th. The little angel arrived at 7:57 pm, weighed just under 7 pounds, and measured 19.5 inches. A final decision has not been made on her name, but it has been narrowed down to two choices: either Camden or Maile Kai. Oliver explains that a maile is a flower given by the Hawaiians to someone who is either going on a trip or coming back from a trip. It’s a “good farewell,” or “welcome home” gesture, he says. The “Kai” is Hawaiian for “water” or “place.” Camden is not a family name, but both parents like the sound of it. Oliver, who was born in Hawaii, is the son of longtime MJ office manager Christine Merrick.

Silverhorn Strikes Again

Not only are ten of Silverhorn Jewelers’ pieces on display at the Shanghai Museum, including the exhibit’s centerpiece, a tiara of faceted Tanzanite on 18-karat white gold called “Queen of Kilimanjaro,” but Gems & Gemology magazine chose another of Silverhorn’s designs for the front cover of its latest issue.

To illustrate the lead article on the rare Paraiba Tourmaline gemstone, editor Alice Keller chose a Silverhorn parrot broach-pendant crafted by Silverhorn’s jewelers. The eye of the parrot was fashioned from a seven-carat Paraiba Tourmaline, while its feathers are composed of 119 Paraiba Tourmalines, all set in platinum and 18-carat white gold and accented with diamonds.

Silverhorn, founded by Mike and Carole Ridding 30 years ago, is located at 1155 Coast Village Road.

That Makes Five

Patrik "Piano" Maiani, who offers a free keyboard to a deserving child for every house he sells, recently sold his fifth house. Patrik, born in Montecito, has been a real-estate agent for less than two years, and is currently with Re/Max.