Letters to the Editor

A Sincere Thank You To All

Dear Editor,

To the Chief Delehanty, the Winthrop Community and so many more;

With Thanksgiving just past it seemed only right that I send this long overdue thank you to my wonderful community of Winthrop.

On September 3, 2019 I experienced every parent’s worst nightmare.  My daugh-ter went missing for 16 hours (although it felt like 16 months).  To this day I have nightmares of that day and I am still shaken to my very core just thinking about what could have happened.

This letter is to thank all those people-friends, family and strangers alike that moved into action to find my daughter.  From the moment I reported her missing,  Chief Delehanty and his team immediately went to work contacting agencies, the media and anyone else they thought may help to get their work force in place to find her and return her safely to my arms.   Although I was paralyzed with fear over the safety and well being of my daughter, I felt that everything in their power was being done to bring her home. Chief Delehanty kept me informed of all that was being done at all times.

It doesn’t stop there.  Once the Winthrop community found out what was happen-ing, they, too, sprang into action.  There were search parties, Sr. Jane had a prayer group saying prayers and Mackenzie’s coaches and other friends were sending me supportive messages, Katie from Masstart and the superintendent of schools were in the background doing all they could. People I don’t even know were out helping to look for her or praying for her.

Special thanks to Officer Mary Crisafi who stayed with me throughout the day-keeping me informed on what was being done, trying to keep me calm, keeping the news people at bay and even praying with me. And of course, my friends, the best friends a person could have-running to my side as soon as they heard and keeping me sane in an impossibly insane situation or keeping my son as far away from the drama as they could.  There are way too many people and agencies to mention and I am sure, if I tried, I would forget someone which I would never want to do.

I pray that no mother, father, grandparent ever goes through a day like I had on September 3rd.  They say it takes a village to raise a child. I just know that on Sep-tember 3rd, I was glad that village was Winthrop.

My words can not express the eternal gratitude my heart feels over all the love and support my family received both then and now.  No act was too small whether you were with me or working the sidelines.   Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I love you all!

Pattie McGrath and Mackenzie and Shane

On Youth Vaping

Dear Editor,

Vaping by youth has become what the U.S. Surgeon General calls an epidemic and many people are working to find solutions.  I’m asked frequently what can be done to turn the tide, and now new resources are available to educate youth and help those who want to quit vaping. 

Sadly, many youth are unaware of the facts about and the dangers of vaping.  To help, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health developed a campaign designed for youth found at mass.gov/vaping.  It provides facts and materials for young people that compare vapes and cigarettes:  both put nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals in their body and both are highly addictive and dangerous for young people.

The vaping epidemic has led parents, schools and youth-serving organizations to struggle with how to help youth who are addicted to nicotine and want to quit.  Now, two new free programs, This is Quitting powered by truth®and My Life, My Quit, are available to help Massachusetts youth become nicotine- and tobacco-free. 

Quitting vapes or other tobacco products can be hard. Here are some ways you can help young people get the support they need:

• This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709.  In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

• My Life, My Quit has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Young people can call or text “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help. or sign up online at  mylifemyquit.com.

• Visit teen.smokefree.gov for tools and tips.

• Encourage young people to ask their school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult for help.

• For more information, young people can visit mass.gov/vaping.

• More information for parents/adults is available at GetOutraged.org.

Talking with young people about vaping is essential—youth need to know that vaping is harmful and that help is available for those who want to quit.  Visit GetOutraged.org to learn more or contact me at or [email protected]

Edgar Duran Elmudesi

Metro Boston Tobacco-Free Community Partnership

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