EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 17, 2013

Editorial: Some cheers, some jeers for recent newsmakers

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CHEERS to Donna Judge, who brings an uncommon strength to her battle against cancer.

Judge, of Haverhill, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. It was unexpected, shocking news and Judge was crying hysterically as she told her husband.

“He said I kept saying, ‘I don’t want to die,” Judge told reporter Sara Brown. “I don’t remember that at all. I guess I blocked it out.”

Judge endured eight rounds of chemotherapy and a mastectomy. But four years later, she again was diagnosed with the disease.

Judge is now on her fourth diagnosis of cancer.

Judge, 44, a teachers aide in the Haverhill school system, has endured chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries, including bone resection and chest wall and lymph node dissection. She is now in a clinical trial at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Judge has fought through depression and hair loss but has pressed on with the support of family and friends.

“It has been an interesting ride, for sure,” Judge said.

Judge has kept a positive attitude throughout her cancer fight. Before her first diagnosis, she had started karate lessons. She is now working on her third-degree black belt.

“It’s a great outlet and stress reliever,” Judge said. “Sometimes, it’s good just to hit things.”

Judge has learned some things about herself, too.

“I’m stronger than I thought I was,” Judge said. “I say what I mean and mean what I say. I don’t care if people don’t like me now. If they do, great. If they don’t, I don’t have time for them anymore. Time is precious.”

It is difficult for many to imagine the struggle necessary to beat cancer once, let alone four times. Judge provides a truly inspiration example of inner strength and endurance. We wish her the best in her latest fight and pray for her ultimate victory over this disease.

JEERS to undercooked hamburgers.

A Derry police officer got an unpleasant surprise when he stopped at a local McDonald’s for his weekly treat, a double Quarter Pounder hamburger. But after Officer Rob Moore took a few bites of the burger, he thought it tasted funny. When he looked inside the bun, he found that one of the two beef patties was completely raw.

“It was absolutely disgusting,” Moore told reporter Alex Lippa. “I just couldn’t believe what I was just served.”

What’s worse, Moore does not believe he was served a raw hamburger by accident. Moore said he believes it was intentional.

“I was the only one in the drive-through line and I was in full uniform,” Moore said. “After I pulled up to the window, the teenager there gave me a look. I don’t really believe this was just an accident.”

Moore finished his shift but was sick at home all that night and the next day. He called the manager of the McDonald’s to complain. The manager apologized and later Moore received a call from the franchise owner.

“They told me they had this video and the kid knew it wasn’t cooked,” Moore said. “Then they said they were looking to fire the kid who made the burger for unsafe food practices.”

Owner Emile Haddad would not confirm whether the employee had been fired.

“We take matters regarding food safety and quality very seriously,” Haddad told Lippa. “We are currently investigating this matter and working to resolve any potential issues.”

Moore said he is usually careful about what he eats and drinks.

“If I’m doing a traffic detail and someone hands me a coffee, I’m not going to drink it,” he said. “Who knows what someone could put in it?”

It’s unfortunate but necessary that, as a police officer, Moore has to take such precautions. There are a lot of sick people out there.

It’s bad enough that police officers have to worry about people shooting at them or trying to run them over with cars without having to wonder if some clown thinks it would be funny to do something unspeakable to their lunch.