High schoolers form club to reach out to lonely classmates, form meaningful human connections

This is exactly what we need right now! As reported here, a club started at a Florida high school to reach out to lonely teenagers has caught on nationwide. This club is really improving the lives of teenagers who otherwise might fall prey to loneliness or depression. Some students have found it so impactful that they are continuing to spread the club even after their high school years are over.

To start a chapter of this club or something similar at your local school, go to https://www.wedinetogether.org/.

 

 

 

 

 

Boy Born Without Arms Competes in Archery Tournaments

With the help and support of his family and coaches, Dylan Black, who was born without arms, competes in archery tournaments.   Through the donation by a local business of three prototypes of plywood and PVC pipe that mounted the bow and allowed him to use his mouth to pull back and shoot, the 10-year-old now has a bow he can use in tournaments.

As reported by his local paper, Dylan says, “I wanted to show other people that just because you were born different doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”

His dad summed up his feelings well:  “It would’ve been easy for us to walk in and they don’t know what we can do for him or how we’re going to make this work and just leave it at that and not put a whole lot of effort into it. If that had happened, you couldn’t find fault in that because I wouldn’t have known or come up with something like that. They’ve been tremendous and very supportive. A lot of where we’re at right now, they deserve a lot of credit for that.”

Three cheers for community, ingenuity and persistence!

Right Place/Right Time: Stars Align to Save a Man’s Life

The stars aligned to place emergency Nurse Midwife and all-around Navy badass Erika Schilling on a ferry with a heart attack victim, where she saved his life.  She received a well deserved honor for her heroic actions, although we are sure this is not the only life she has saved. So very proud of my friend.

If you want to restore some confidence in fate and the beauty of humanity, read the article and watch the video clip here.

 

Zika Virus Virtually Eradicated in the U.S. and Has Declined Dramatically in South and Central America

In the summer of 2016, public health experts were on high alert due to the rapid spread of the Zika virus, which has now been proven to cause birth defects and other health problems  in infants. But now as the calendar turns to 2018,Zika is virtually eradicated in the contiguous U.S. and has fallen dramatically in the Caribbean and South America.

Scientists are of mixed views as to what has contributed to the decline. While there has been a dedicated effort to improve mosquito spraying and even breeding of mosquitos to compete with Zika-carrying mosquitos , this article postulates that the decline is most likely due to a”herd immunity” phenonemenon. Meanwhile several efforts are underway at developing a vaccine, expected later this year.

 

 

Simple Device May Save Countless Lives!

This simple device- Lifevac – claims to be able to save a choking person when the Heimlich Maneuver doesn’t work.

The device uses a patented air release and vacuum technology to pull a lodged item from a person’s windpipe. It is simple to use-according to the product’s website, you can even use it on yourself.

If it works, so many children, adults and elderly will be saved by keeping one of these in every school, restaurant, business and home.

 

Photo from https://lifevac.net/blog/

Note- this is not an endorsement. I have never sold, owned or used the product.

Prince Harry Finds Love and Builds Multicultural Royal Family

Such happy news from the UK! As you will no doubt have heard by now, Prince Harry is engaged to the lovely American actress Meghan Markle!

Cheers for young love! It is inspiring to think that if they choose to have children, those children will be both U.S. citizens AND in line for the British throne. What a wonderful and loving symbol they have so quickly and inadvertently become for love and multiculturalism in Britain.

Double amputee runs a month of marathons, reaches goal of inspiring himself and others

Marine Corp veteran Rob Jones, who had both legs amputated after being wounded in Afghanistan, ran 31 marathons over 31 days in 31 different cities.

All month long, he was joined by other runners along his journey. On Saturday afternoon, the 32-year-old finished his month of marathons at the Lincoln Memorial with several dozen supporters showering him with cheers.

“I decided I would create this story of a veteran that was wounded and thrived from it. I think I accomplished that mission,” he said.

(Photo: Sean Dougherty, USA TODAY NETWORK)

Breakthrough in Gene Therapy is Already Saving Lives

As reported by NPR, a child in Europe who was born with a rare genetic disorder was on the verge of death until gene therapy reversed the disease.

In this disease, children are born with a flawed gene that prevents the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, from binding to the inner layer. This can cause excruciating blisters to form all over these children’s bodies.

The child needed more than 60% of is skin to be replaced. Doctors had decided it was a lost clause when his doctors learned of researchers in Italy who were experimenting with a new treatment for this disease. Michele De Luca and colleagues at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia were genetically engineering skin cells to repair the genetic flaw.

De Luca used a virus to insert a healthy gene into cells taken from the boy’s skin. Some of those cells, stem cells, multiply indefinitely. So De Luca was able to grow entire sheets of engineered epidermis, which were shipped to the hospital in Germany.

The treatment worked and the young boy is now doing well.

Around 25,000 people in the U.S. suffer from this same excruciating and debilitating skin condition (epidermolysis bullosa) and an estimated 500,000 worldwide.

This is such great news for those sufferers and their families. And the area of gene therapy is an area that holds so much promise for further development to treat a variety of serious and chronic conditions.

 

Purpose + Impact MULTIPLIED — “Healing Land & People”

Recognizing an epidemic in Ohio’s forests as well as its communities, the North Central Ohio Land Conservancy Inc. is working to end both. The NCOLC works to protect land using conservation easements and land dedications, ensuing the protection of plant life and building and maintaining hiking trails.  Recognizing that “many of our donors give out of their compassion for people as much as much as for love of the land,” the organization’s Healing Land and People initiative is using its work on land conservancy issues to also help end the cycle of drug abuse in the surrounding community.

The initiative enlists recovering drug addicts to help cull out an influx of invasive plants in Ohio forests. For the last 7 months NCOLC has employed a recovering heroin addict who spent 10 of his last 22 years in prison, along with his son and his daughter, who is also a recovering addict. They say the work bonds them as a family and gives them a purpose, as well as a meaningful alternative to spending their time on drugs or in jail.

Check out the story and option to donate at https://richlandgives.razoo.com/story/2017ncolc.

 

 

 

In a Major Victory for Individual Liberty and Equal Rights, Women in Saudi Arabia Will Be Allowed to Drive!

Women in Saudi Arabia are celebrating the news that they will be able to drive, bringing the country in line with the rest of the world and  allowing women greater individual freedom, autonomy and ability to work. Saudi’s King Salman has issued a royal decree, and the policy will go into effect in June 2018.

As reported by CNN, the current ban means that women have to arrange for- and often pay-a driver for vehicle transportation. Besides being a major hassle, this takes up a large amount of money that they could otherwise spend on their children’s health or education. As one Saudi woman said, “I live in a country that I can’t explore. I’ve always wanted to explore the kingdom’s coasts… I can’t take someone I don’t know to drive me to these places and my brothers are too busy to take me on long trips.”

Under the new policy, she hopes that “life will be faster,” more spontaneous and more adventurous. One campaigner for the change has said: “Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop.”
Photo tweeted on Tuesday by Manal al-Sharif, one of the women behind the Women2Drive campaign in Saudi Arabia. In 2011, she was jailed and received death threats for posting a video of herself driving.