March 31, 2003 12:00 PM

Joan Linden

Thank you, PEOPLE, for your article on Joan Lunden and her surrogate Deborah Bolig. I have been a surrogate mother twice, and it was wonderful reading such a positive story about surrogacy. There aren’t words to describe the feelings we surrogate mothers have when we see our couples with their new baby for the first time. It’s just as rewarding for us as it is for the intended parents. We help to create a family and they have their dream come true.

Gina Shapley, BRIDGEVILLE, DEL.

Given the thousands of unwanted children who need adoptive parents, not to mention the well-documented problems of overpopulation, Joan Lunden’s decision to hire a surrogate so she can have her fourth and fifth child at age 52 is breathtakingly selfish.

Wayne Savage, WASHINGTON, D.C.

I would hardly call Joan Lunden’s inability to get pregnant at age 52 a struggle. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it infertility. I appreciate that she wants to share her story, but let’s face it, surrogacy is an option for the very rich, not for the people who truly struggle with infertility.

Cristin Pozniak, ASHBURN, VA.

Joan Lunden is 52 years old, has a handsome husband 10 years her junior, three daughters and a successful career. Yet she feels the need to be a new mommy at this point in her life? Ms. Lunden will be 65 years old when those babies are entering their teens. It never fails to amaze me that women who seem to have it all always want more.

Phoebe Peczkowski, SPRINGFIELD, OHIO

Thank you, PEOPLE, for telling Joan Lunden’s incredibly happy story, and for highlighting her wonderful surrogate too!

Pam Benziger, OAKDALE, CALIF.

Gastric-Bypass Surgery

I am one of the thousands of Americans who in 2001 underwent a gastric-bypass operation. While I believe it is important for those pursuing this procedure to do research and educate them-selves, it is just as important to know the risks involved. Surgery is a tool, not a cure-all, and when done by a competent surgeon, the benefits can far outweigh the risks. I went from a size 20/22 to a size 8, lost 100+ lbs., have never experienced any loss of hair or malnutrition. I did say goodbye to osteoarthritis and hello to a whole (albeit smaller) new me!

Tracey Cuppett, HERSHEY, PA.

Having had gastric-bypass surgery last June, I can say without reservation I would do it again in a heartbeat. For those of us with medical issues, there is no choice. We can die from them or take the bull by the horns and help ourselves. I am still in the process of losing and, yes, there have been issues to deal with, but all in all I consider myself pretty lucky.

Joel Kagan, HIGHLAND PARK, ILL.

Andrea Wright

Andrea Wright can show that she is proud of her southern heritage without wearing T-shirts that display the Confederate flag—a symbol of oppression for thousands of people. Students can’t wear T-shirts to school that promote violence, so why should she be allowed to wear something that promotes racism and hate?

Cory Willis, PORTSANILAC, MICH.

Martin Andrews

Martin Andrews [a kidnap victim] is clearly a remarkable man, and I such a frightful past. Richard Ausley is a monster who should be locked up in his own box for his remaining days. I pray that Mr. Andrews finds success with his lobbying efforts and that felons like Ausley will be confined to treatment facilities.

Cathy Ostermueller, METUCHEN, N.J.

Picks and Pans

After waiting months for the return of Six Feet Under, I can’t believe your reviewer ruined the season opener by disclosing not only that Nate lives (which we pretty much guessed) but that he married Lisa. Don’t you know the meaning of the word spoiler?

Anne Masterson, NORWICH, CONN.

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