Linda Ballard

Linda Ballard

THE month of May is designated  a “color me purple” month from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Cystic Fibrosis affects the lungs and the fight for breath virtually turns the patient a bluish- purple in times of distress. The allergens and viruses found in the springtime can make living a harsh reality.  And just because the end of the month is drawing near doesn’t mean the fight is over, in fact it’s just the opposite for those who suffer and their families who attempt to breathe for them.

There has been much progress in the last few years with medical research – new companies blasting through with a medicine called Orkambi, a medicine that does not cure damage already done, but helps prevent further damage and less hospital stays for the patient.

“A new drug is to be released in early 2020,” said Holly Burke, Sr. Developmental Director at the local headquarters in Tyler.  “Everybody in the CF community is excited. We are calling it the Triple Combo and the closest thing to a miracle cure as possible.”

“Eighty-five cents of every dollar go toward research and we have really made great strides in the last couple of years in working toward a cure,” she continued. Fifteen percent of donations go toward grants and other needs. If you are concerned about donating on the Facebook sites you can donate directly to national headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. The national headquarters can be found online at

Tyler is your local chapter for East Texans. To give to the local chapter, visit Join their 65 Roses Club for monthly donations at the same link.

Also, The Great Strides Walk is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundations largest annual fund raising event. Walks happen all over the country. The Tyler walk will be Sept. 28 at Bergfield Park.

University of Tx Health Science Center in Tyler continues to be noted for their CF Clinic and respiratory wing. The recent buy-out of ETMC will enhance their move forward with CF patients.

While 60 years ago, most children with cystic fibrosis did not live long enough to attend kindergarten, thanks to the Foundation’s research and care - people with CF are now reaching milestones that once seemed impossible such as attending college, getting married and having families of their own.

Former Kilgoreite and my grandson Billy Ryan Williams is just one CF patient who has benefited from the love and support of this community over the years. KNH staffers have participated in the Great Strides Walk. He was diagnosed at the age of 2 and was given a life-term of 12 years.  He is currently 25 years-old and we are now aiming hard  for 40 and beyond.  If you have a family member diagnosed with CF, I have further information available to you – I can be reached at the KNH office or you can call Holly at 903-944-7931.

May is just one month set aside for CF recognition, but for families dealing day-by-day, your donations will help see the cure on the horizon.

TWO MEMBERS  of Boy Scout Troop 319 of Overton-New London were recognized Thursday for their Eagle Scout projects benefitting Overton Municipal Park. Overton Mayor C.R. Evans Jr. formally proclaimed in City Hall  on May 17 as Aaron Pirtle and Josh Davis Day, honoring the scout’s establishment of three picnic tables and a foot bridge in the park.

Eagle Scout rank requires, among other accomplishments, a pre-approved community service project. The scouts planned, designed, raised funds, purchased or arranged materials, supervised construction and completed the projects.

“These young men added new picnic tables and built a new bridge to the children’s playground replacing the one blown over in a storm,” Evans stated. “They went through the required city building codes, filled out the necessary documents and made the right measurement for the handicapped accessible rail on the bridge before carrying out these projects. They are a wonderful addition to our park.”

THE FLAGS have definitely been “on the fly” lately in Overton according to Jeannie Barber, ONLCC vice president.

“You know the Rotary puts out the flags for every flag-event holiday,” she said. “We had such a horrific wind on Tuesday, the flag in front of the Rose Coach broke loose from the pole and went flying on its own. Rhonda McPherson from Insurance One saw it and brought it to the Chamber office. I now have it in the meeting room. But, then Debbie Brown at the Overton Elementary called to say they took their flag down because the bracket was wallowed out and the way it was whipping around by the wind they were afraid it would fly out and hit a car, or worse, yet, a person! So, even though it’s not March and ‘kite flying’ weather, the flags seemed to be getting flying lessons,” she laughed.

Yes, the countryside is dotted with the red, white and blue in honor of Memorial Day. Have a happy and safe day. Take a moment to reflect on the reason behind that extra day off.  In the meantime, May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or 903-984-2593.



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