Welcome to U.S. 1’s annual Survival Guide issue, in which we reprise stories from the past year and gather together listings of resources that we hope will assist you as you prepare your business and personal lives for the new year.

This year our theme is creativity and innovation, and the challenges of fostering those traits in a business environment. The excerpt from Curt Carlson’s book on that subject was discovered by Barbara Fox. Many of the other insights have been gleaned from previous Survival Guide sections of U.S. 1.

With this issue we wish you a healthy, prosperous, and creative new year.

To the Editor

Regarding the article by Wayne Cooke in the December 19th issue entitled "Fighting a Disease and Rethinking a Life".

The story told by Mr. Cooke was an extremely moving and uplifting one. Cancer can happen to any one of us and one day we may be in his shoes. However, I wish to point out that Mr. Cooke’s "cancer saga" for the typical American was more of an exception than the rule.

Mr. Cooke has been blessed by having his loving wife nearly always by his side. He has also been blessed by a very highly educated and financially successful family and friends network.

I say that his story was not typical because Mr. Cooke has the economic means to be able to afford the necessary cancer therapies as well as the socioeconomic/educational background where all the correct research was done on his part and "all the right questions were asked." He was able to access the best cancer doctors this nation has to offer as evidenced by his journey to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

In the "real world" the vast majority of Americans do not have access to the resources that Mr. Cooke has. For many English may not be their first language. Often, those stricken with cancer may have a loved one or family member who is there to help but is strangled by the frustration that they cannot take time off from their job without losing pay to join their loved ones during those extremely critical consultations with the cancer specialists. I am referring to the middle class – people who are simply struggling just to make ends meet.

I thank Mr. Cooke for writing his article and I truly wish him the best but please be reminded that his "story" is more of the exception than the rule.

Dean Christie

Delran, NJ

Correction: The caption for the Helping Hands photo on page 15 of the December 19 issue should have referred to the efforts of the staff at Creative Marketing Alliance, not Creative Management Associates.

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