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A Ticket for Trouble at Home

Reader Juan Martinez nominated another word he feels is spinning out of control: "community."

"Over the years, I've observed this word woven into the most unlikely contexts by political activists," he wrote. "It all started innocently enough with Latino and black communities. Later I heard people speak of the labor and religious communities. That was OK. Soon after, someone mentioned the business community. After that I heard on the radio the military community."

_____Children's Campaign_____
Washington Post columnist John Kelly is raising money for the Children's National Medical Center, one of the nation's leading pediatric hospitals. You may make a tax-deductible contribution online anytime between Nov. 29th and Jan. 21st. Thank you for your support.
_____By John Kelly_____
Old Friends and Familiar Strangers (The Washington Post, Apr 20, 2005)
Meeting the Microscopic Enemy (The Washington Post, Apr 19, 2005)
Answer Man: At Home in the Cemetery (The Washington Post, Apr 18, 2005)
Tales From the Haunted Accountants (The Washington Post, Apr 15, 2005)
More Columns
_____Live Discussions_____
John Kelly's Washington Live (Live Online, Apr 22, 2005)
John Kelly's Washington Live (Live Online, Apr 15, 2005)
John Kelly's Washington Live (Live Online, Apr 8, 2005)

Juan says this is "stretching the poor word way beyond recognition. But the final straw came while listening to a radio discussion about war aims, when someone mentioned the 'terrorist community.' "

I'll be sure to bring this up at my next meeting of the columnist community.

Running (and Driving) for Caroline

During my campaign for Children's Hospital last winter, I told the sad story of Caroline Peabody, a 15-month-old from Bethesda whom doctors weren't able to save from an aggressive brain tumor. Though Caroline never stood a chance, her mother, Lisa Peabody, was grateful for the care she received at Children's, even in the face of such daunting odds.

The anniversary of Caroline's death is April 29, and the last 12 months haven't been easy.

"With grieving, it isn't straight uphill," Lisa told me. "It's up and down. It's like a sand dune: I climb it and I climb it and my legs ache and I get here and, glory be, I'm at the top. But it's a sand dune, so I slide back down."

On May 1, Lisa, her husband, Chris, and their kids, Danny, Megan and Lydia, will be among thousands of people gathering at Freedom Plaza for the Cassidy & Pinkard Race for Hope 5K. Organizers hope to raise a million dollars for the Brain Tumor Society.

For those who prefer long drives to short runs, Lisa and Chris also are helping to organize a charity golf tournament to raise money for brain tumor research, April 29 at Blue Mash in Laytonsville. (For information on either event, go to www.curebraintumors.org.)

Lisa and Chris learned about last year's race just 11 days after Caroline passed away. They were determined to run it, and in the process their team, Peabody Tumor Trashers, raised $46,000.

"It's fun," Lisa said of the race. "It's filled with people who have a passion for saving the sick. And then there's a lot of survivors there in wheelchairs, people fighting to make that walk one more year. Maybe they jogged it last year and this year limping it and they're wondering if next year they're going to be in a wheelchair or not be there at all."

My e-mail: kellyj@washpost.com.

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