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Dr. Carson in Clarkston

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March 27, 2013 - Dr. Ben Carson is planning to visit his hometown of Detroit in a couple weeks the trip includes a speaking engagement in Clarkston, April 12.

Dr. James O'Neill of Clarkston is looking forward to meeting the world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon.

"Very much so, I'm excited to meet him when he comes to town," O'Neill said. "Dr. Carson is a very accomplished person. He's for things, not against things."

Carson is known for successfully separating twins conjoined at the back of the head in 1987, the first and only time that has been accomplished, as well as the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical conjoined twins in 1997, and the first successful placement of an intrauterine shunt for a hydrocephalic twin.

More recently known for his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., Feb. 7, he will give a speech and answer questions at Fountains Golf & Banquet, 6060 Maybee Road, 7:30 a.m., Friday, April 12.

The presentation is hosted by Birth Choice Pregnancy Resource Center of Independence Township, with Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette as master of ceremonies. Admission is $250.

Brenda Savage, executive director for Birth Choice, is looking forward to hearing his views on healthcare without government reliance, bringing personal values into professional life, and building community support for all life.

"Dr. Carson is the ideal person to lead this conversation with his peers," Savage said.

When they learned Carson was to speak at the Covenant Community Care fund raiser in Detroit, April 11, Birth Choice used some contacts with Covenant to request a talk in Clarkston.

"Here, it's all about life, not anything negative," O'Neill said. "I can't thank them enough for their work."

At first, it was to be an exclusive event for physicians, members of the medical community, and local pro-life leaders, but that requirement was relaxed and now it is open to the public.

O'Neill agrees with Carson's support of health care savings plans as an alternative to Medicaid and other government programs, which Carson mentioned in his National Prayer Breakfast speech.

"When I first saw him, I thought, 'he's one of us,'" O'Neill said. "He's an extremely talented person with an interesting background. He's from here."

With Obamacare set to take effect next year, now is the time to discuss how to deal with it, said O'Neill.

"There's going to be a lot of trial and error to go through a lot of people aren't happy with it, but rather than fight, we can shape it and make it work. Medicine is too important," he said. "No one should lose their home or businesses over health care, but you should be responsible and take care of yourself."

Carson's high media profile will help get the message out, which will benefit Birth Choice, said Dan Fuller, Clarkston Council, Knights of Columbus.

"He has a fabulous message," said fellow Knight, Kevin Wisely. "If he gets people to listen, that's a good thing."

"He's the kind of person who looks at medicine as a privilege, to take care of people," O'Neill said. "He's a person of the people who understands medicine and recognizes the problem. He respects human life from conception to natural end of life. He's a person we should listen to carefully."

To reserve a seat or for more information, call 248-620-5353.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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