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Tom Batiuk has wins hall of fame award

From E&P is news that Tom Batiuk has won the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Hall of Fame Award for using his Funky Winkerbean character, Lisa’s, battle with cancer. The story of Lisa’s battle with cancer will run through next October.

Community Comments

#1 William Nebel
March/4/2007
@ 4:33 pm

I hope this gets to Tom Batiuk. I have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and really appreciate your visual images of the internal/external battle. Thanks for giving me a focusing point!

#2 Jane Hall
May/10/2007
@ 6:45 am

I have not walked in Tom Batiuk’s shoes, but do work in a cancer treatment center in Indiana. I have been reading his comic strip for a long time, following closely Lisa’s battle with breast cancer. While I want to be entertained by comics, and want Lisa to live, I also appreciate how he has presented her illness and the way she handles it through his daily strip. He maintains the humor of the comic strip with diginity. Sometimes I feel like Lisa and Les are my neighbors. Powerful stuff. My best thoughts and prayers to Mr Bartiuk.

#3 DK
May/14/2007
@ 11:10 am

I TRULY HOPE EVERYONE THAT IS A VICTIM OF CANCER AND PAIN READS THIS. I KNOW THERE ARE FEELINGS OF HOPELESSNESS. I PERSONALLY HAVE LOST 6 FAMILY MEMBERS TO CANCER. I WAS INTRODUCED TO AISMAX. WHAT? BACK IN AUGUST OF ’06, SOMEONE SHARE IT WITH ME. ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER WAS FOUND OUT TO HAVE CANCER. I GOT AISMAX FOR THEM. IN NOVEMBER 06 TO JANUARY OF 07, THE TUMOR HAS SHRUNK! THEY ARE STILL ALIVE TODAY. – – PLEASE, THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF. SHARE IT WITH MOVIE STARS, PUBLIC PEOPLE, CARTOONISTS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS. – – AISMAX – – PLEASE TRY IT FOR THREE MONTHS. SEE WHAT YOUR DOCTOR SAYS AFTERWARDS. – – MANY OMIT CHEMOTHERAPY AND JUST USE AISMAX. THEY ARE ALIVE TO TELL ABOUT IT! – http://MAIN-TARGETS.COM/AISMAX-FOR-LIFE.htm

go there…. it may save you too.. I hope so!

Not a sales pitch, but a real life story and prayer that everyone at least tries it.

#4 Brigette Newberry
July/4/2007
@ 8:06 am

ACKKKKKK Tom B.better not kill off Lisa. NO, NO, NO.
For those of us undergoing the same treatment we look to her as a hero- as an icon. She needs to live. We need her to.
Brigette Newberry

#5 Merle Elliott
July/23/2007
@ 3:14 pm

Hello were you or Chuck Ayers in Vietnam around 1971 in the Americal Division 196infantry Brigade at firebase Maryann?I WAS IN THE 198TH

#6 Karen
July/24/2007
@ 2:16 pm

I have read this comic for years. I, too, feel the characters are part of my personal neighborhood. I am a breast cancer survivor and feel Lisa’s story has been handled with a lot of feeling and care. I really don’t want to see her die. This character is so strong.

#7 Joyce Shelley
September/17/2007
@ 2:25 pm

I cut out and framed Lisa’s beginning fight with cancer. My sister was going thru cancer at the same time. I made a scrap book as I thought it was so encouraging

#8 L Beech
September/24/2007
@ 11:27 am

Killing Lisa off is a HUGE mistake. But soap operas are always bringing back the dead, so I’m sure Batiuk can find a way after every newspaper in America has pulled “Funky”.

#9 Cathy Scott
September/30/2007
@ 5:54 am

I have been blogging on the site to post your feelings about Lisa’s death and mine are not so much about that, but about how I believe Mr. Batiuk is spreading fear. We fear what we don’t understand and we don’t understand cancer. Scientists don’t understand it.

Cancer touched my world nearly 30 years ago when my best friend’s father died of it while we were juniors in high school. It hit her hard–and neither of us were equipped to deal with it. My mother and brother have been battling different stage 4 cancers for 2 and a half and 3 years, respectively. I was my mother’s primary caretaker for 2 years before I had to move her to assisted living. Over the past few years, I have seen several miracles. They may not be the ones I wanted when I wanted them, but they are miracles non-the-less.

Mr. Batiuk wrote that grief is the price we pay for love, and this is a story about how you do that. I’m sorry Mr. Batiuk–but the joy and bliss that love gives me far outweighs its grief. And yes, I have known grief–only too well. I also disagree with his view that ours is a cold and indifferent universe, but it explains his thought about grief being the price we pay for love.

The greatest love story–and one that death can no diminish–is the story of Jesus–and it’s a true story–unlike Lisa’s.

As a former journalist, then a retired military officer, I believe in freedom of the press–as long as it doesn’t jeopardize national security or the safety of our troops. I believe in freedom–we can read his comic strip or not, voice our opinion if we’re inclined, and try to get others to voice their opinion, especially if it’s in agreement with ours. That’s democracy. I also believe in love. I love my mother and brother dearly, and my goal is to give them my courage, faith, hope, and love–especially when they are most in need of it. I don’t believe in spreading fear, nor do I believe in burying your head in the sand. In fact, I believe in life-long learning. I have educated myself on this disease, but I am learning so much more about life now.

I am very disappointed that the American Cancer Society gave Mr. Batiuk an award. I imagine it’s because he is spreading awareness about cancer–but I don’t believe it’s a positive awareness. Too many people have written in about the fear his strip is spreading. If Batiuk wants to make a difference in the world, he could talk about the following, to name a few:
– The fact that Lisa can’t get a procedure performed because her insurance won’t cover it.
– Her husband could lose his job and become her caretaker and she’d lose all her insurance.
– Her husband could then become depressed and they could both become homeless.
The possibilities are endless.

If you want to know how to love and how to grieve, read God’s Word–it’s in there. As it says, there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. I thank you for the opportunity for letting me speak, but I will be now be silent. But because cancer has affected me so personally, I will pray for everyone who has it or has had it, as well as their family members. And may peace be with you.

#10 MAG Backus
September/30/2007
@ 9:01 am

Having lost five family members to cancer, being a two-plus year cancer survivor, and a hospice nurse I see the good, the bad, and the ugly of this disease from all angles, miracles included. From what I see, the fear of something comes from the lack of knowledge and understanding surrounding a topic, and in this case cancer. Fear also feeds on unresolved issues and anger in one’s life, the lack of hope, faith, and belief in something that can carry you through the hard times (for me that is God).

It is hard to watch (or live through) cancer patients fighting the illness, working through their fear which isn’t a one time thing, making and going through individual treatment decisions, worrying about their loved ones, looking at their unfinished life….and then have people who are full of fear, direct it â??head onâ? to the cancer patient. It is interesting how many loved ones I see jump right in, feet first unable or unwilling to face the reality of what is happening. They become very self-focused because of the fear. The din is so great the loved one cannot or will not talk about it, and certainly not take any responsibility for it. The pain and confusion this adds to the patientsâ?? already difficult picture is large. Often it is an expectation that the cancer patient or their caregivers take responsibility for all of it and then forgive every hurtful word, action, and thought, without any discussion. No matter how â??well intentionedâ? the loved ones believe they are they need to step out of the fear that they hide behind and become part of the solution not add to the problem. Illness is a very complex journey that can be long and arduous enough, without the added weight of fear from others.

Truth this comic strip is not a TRUE story but it allows for conversation, a look into the harsh reality of the disease and to some degree lets us to look into the eyes of our own fear and try to deal with it. Much of what Tom Batiuk has touched on is just a tip of the iceberg but the discussion it generates can be very helpful in dealing with life, fear, and illness.

#11 joe
October/7/2007
@ 2:25 pm

i would greatly appreciate if this note could be passed along to mr tom batiuk..!!
10/7/07

dear mr tom batiuk

i am a 70 yr old gentleman and have enjoyed your two comic scripts for a long time….
from the start i felt that i resembled ” crankshaft ” in many ways and could certainly relate to his unique personality…

then i began seeing the issues of lisa moore living thru her cancer ; i was in awe of how closely lisa and my departed wife gail resembled each other…it was as if you had picked my brain of all the memories of that time in my life…!!
i was so taken by your courage to show the world how cancer affects each of us…and the scarifces one goes thru…!! and how greatly you treated it with such dignity…!!

my story is as such…
it was in 1964 i fell in love with a lovely 19 yr old lady like lisa..her name was gail…when she was 13…she had been diagnosed with a terminal cancer known as hodgkins desease…in medical areas it is known as a young persons cancer with a very low remission level…her doctor dr don sutherland at the time was one of the few doctors specializing in it….he had taken to gail like a father rather then a patient/doctor…it was easy to love gail for she was not only beautiful…she was an extremely intelligent person…in 1965 , with her being 20 and me being 27…in spite of the fact of knowing she had the terminal cancer and even with dr sutherland advising me not to do it..i married her…
we had our daughter the very first year..and like lisa…gail fought her cancer like the champion that she was…for the next 4 years she was in and out of hospitals about every 3 months…she had th courage of a lion….for in that time , there was not that much known as to how to treat it…in her last year alive and with one of the last ditch efforts to save her…she was to injected interveinously with the world war 1 mustard gas….the results were fruitless and on july 31, 1970 we lost her…i had promised that i would raise our daughter alone and not put her off on to our parents..for which i did…!!
being that i was in a high profile buying position with a major national retailer….gails story was written in the company organ..and i had many friends tell me that i should write a book about gails and my life…but just about the time that serious consideration was being given…the movie ” love story ” was released…..so gails story was never published…!!
but by your publishing the story of lisa…in a way…you published the story of gail !! i applaud you for taking on such a delicate issue and giving it the realism..even to the point of lisa’s goodbye ..what class..!!
i often tell the story about gail..and ALWAYS make it a point to say…GOD BLESSED ME with one of his angels…for she without doubt changed my life for the better…
yes…i am sure there will be those who will not like you for esposing such a serious topic with the results of lisa dying in a comic strip…but as a christian ; i wish to thank you for showing the joy of trials that is so overlooked….as described in the book of JAMES…they should read it…!!
dear sir…you touched my heart…!!….GOD BLESS YOU..!!

kindest regards
an admiring italian gentleman from dallas , texas
joe v.

#12 Richard P. Fornari
October/12/2007
@ 11:31 am

Dear Mr. Batiuk:

I am an 81 year old male. A year ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. As of now, I feel great. I have been on oral chemo for a year.

I have been following your comic strip, Funky Winkerbrean, for a long time. I must say that I was shocked to see the trauma of breast cancer displayed on the comic pages. It didn’t disturb me personally, but I felt that it may have distressed others with cancer and the many children who read the comics every day.

One generally reads the comics for a good laugh and not to be depressed.

I read how much good that your pioneering efforts have done in raising money for research and education and raising the level of awareness of breast cancer and that’s a very good thing. But I wonder if by writing a series of articles on cancer apart from the comic section, would still have produced the same results

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