The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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Our Readers Speak

April 2, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Documentary a slap in face of UBB families

A lot of people hoped Don Blankenship would just walk quietly away into the sunset. But once again he shows his true colors by funding a movie that portrays his rendition of the UBB explosion.

Never mind expert testimony detailing coal dust piles. Forget about his loyal worker who destroyed files before the investigation even started. And Blankenship has the audacity to stick to the “poor ventilation thanks to MSHA” story.

The release of this farce called a documentary is on the week of the anniversary of the explosion. This is just another slap in the face to the families of the victims. My uncle Kenny Chapman Sr. died that day. I was at the site with all the other families of this tragedy.

No one should ever have to experience the horror and agonizing eight-day wait to find out if your loved one is alive. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I would never want to see this movie.

If you want the real story, read the MSHA transcripts.

Vickie Donell-Williams


You can help a family needing organ donation

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) was founded in 1986 when residents of Bloomington, Ind., rallied around a toddler who needed a life-saving liver transplant.

In less than eight weeks, the community raised $100,000 to place the boy on the organ waiting list. But the child died before an organ became available. Those community volunteers, along with his parents, turned tragedy into triumph by using the funds they raised to help other transplant families.

That was the beginning of COTA.  

Since that time, COTA has assisted more than 2,000 patients by helping to raise funds for transplant-related expenses. COTA has built extensive volunteer networks across the nation in an attempt to ensure that no child or young adult needing an organ or tissue transplant is excluded from a transplant waiting list due to a lack of funds.  

COTA needs your help to make sure that tragedies, like the one that was the catalyst in founding COTA, are not repeated.  

Every day 18 people die waiting for an organ transplant here in the United States.  April is National Donate Life Month. Please register today to become an organ donor.  Then, encourage your friends, family members, neighbors and associates to take two simple, life-saving steps: register as an organ donor at or your state’s license bureau, and express your wish to be a donor to your family members.

You can do more. Find out how you can help a COTA family living nearby who needs your help by visiting Please log on today to see how you can give hope and make a miracle in your community.

Rick Lofgren

COTA President

Bloomington, Ind.

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