Health

A Story of Determination and A Boy’s Dream Come True

When Aiden, who has type-1 diabetes, was 8 years old, he heard about service dogs who can monitor glucose levels.  Incredibly, these dogs can sense low glucose levels 30 minutes before a blood meter can pick this up.  These dogs cost $15,000, but Aiden wasn’t deterred and started saving one penny at a time.  After four years he had put away $6000 in coins.  Then a local news station picked up on his goal and unwavering determination.  The story went nationwide and donations poured in to make up the remaining $9000.

 A chocolate Labrador named Angel has been trained for the past year and recently passed all her tests, while Aiden followed Angel’s progress with videos and pictures.  Angel flew in on SouthWest, and “Aiden is over the moon,” said his mother.  “He was on pins and needles waiting for her.”  She said that Angel will give her peace of mind, particularly at night, when it comes to testing Aiden’s sugar levels.  Angel’s presence also gives Aiden a new sense of independence.

 

Good News Counts,

 

Marty

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Missouri Mission of Mercy hosts yearly free dental care event

The Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM) is a large scale dental clinic that runs a yearly event which gives free oral healthcare to patients of all ages who cannot otherwise afford care.  In 2013 MOMOM donated over $960,000 in free care!  They had 1,777 patients come in that weekend, and had over 1,000 volunteers help.  This year the event will be held on the campus of St Louis University May2-3rd.  To find out more information, go tohttp://www.modental.org/.

 

Have a great day, and let the good news be yours,

Jeremy

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New vaccine clears monkeys of HIV equivalent

New research published on nature.com shows promising evidence for a future vaccine for HIV.  In the study, monkeys were given a vaccine developed from the cytomegalovirus (CMV).  Later, they were infected with the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) which is a more deadly form of HIV found in monkeys.  The vaccine completely cleared the virus from over half of the monkeys.

Prof Louis Picker, from the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at Oregon Health and Science University, stated: "It's always tough to claim eradication - there could always be a cell which we didn't analyse that has the virus in it. But for the most part, with very stringent criteria... there was no virus left in the body of these monkeys."

Researchers are now discussing the possibilities of human testing.

 

And that's what's good,

Jon

 

References:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12519.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24051860

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Two Africans students invent soap which protects against malaria

Moctar Dembele from Burkina Faso, and Gerard Niyondiko from Burundi, have invented a soap that repels mosquitos!  Their invention, titled "Fasoaop" is made from shea butter, lemongrass oil, and other secret ingredients.

"After using the soap, it leaves on the skin a scent that repels mosquitoes," said Niyondiko. "In addition, waste water products contain substances that prevent the development of mosquito larvae, because the sanitation problem in Africa is one of the causes of mosquito vectors of malaria."

Malaria is an essential issue to tackle.  In 2010, there were 660,000 malaria deaths, 90% of which occurred in Africa.  Most of the affected individuals cannot afford medicines and anti-mosquito creams.

"So we thought of a repellent and larvicidal mosquito soap which will be accessible and affordable to the majority of the population, seeing that soap is a commodity product and especially not going to add other additional costs to the population," says Niyondiko.

Their invention earned them the $25,000 grand prize in the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC).  This competition, created by Berkeley MBA students, is designed to help entrepreneurs from around the world create ideas with a positive impact.  Niyondiko and Dembele came ahead of 650 other competitors from over 40 countries.  This is the first time that an African has win the competition.

"It is a feeling of joy and pride for us and for Africa in general," said Niyondiko. "It also shows that in Africa we are not back(ward) and that Africa's problems can be solved by Africans themselves."

And that's what's good,

Jon

References: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/10/world/africa/students-invent-soap-malaria-fasoap/index.html?sr=fb071013soaphelpmalaria6p

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Doctors gain traction with fight against AIDS

Doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital say it is too soon to call it a "cure", but they have seemingly eradicated two patients of HIV.

How did they do it?  With bone marrow transplants.  The two patients had the virus for roughly 30 years.  They both developed a type of cancer which required a bone marrow transplant.  After the transplant, HIV was not detectable in either patient.  One patient has been seemingly HIV free for 2 years and the other for 4 years! 

Bone marrow is the place where new blood cells are made and is believed to be a reservoir for HIV.  Both of these patients have since stopped taking their anti-retroviral drugs.

"We have not demonstrated cure, we're going to need longer follow-up.", says Dr. Timothy Henrich.  "What we can say is if the virus does stay away for a year or even two years after we stopped the treatment, that the chances of the virus rebounding are going to be extremely low.

Dr. Henrich states that the virus could still be hiding inside brain tissue or the gastrointestinal track.

Timothy Brown, aka the "Berlin patient", is thought to be the first individual cured of AIDS.  He received a bone marrow transplant from a rare donor who was resistant to HIV.

Dr. Michael Brade, the medical director of the Terrence Higgins Trust, stated that even though it is too early to say a "cure" has been found, "the case suggests that what happened to Timothy Brown, the Berlin Patient was perhaps not a one-off".

And that's what's good,

Jon

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DJ inspires everyone with his astonishing weight loss

Papa Joe Aviance hit #6 on the Billboard Magazine Dance Charts with his song “Last night a DJ saved my Life”.  What should have been a happy moment, turned out to be a reality check for Papa Joe when he saw the music video playing on MTV and VH1.  Watching himself in the video, he couldn’t believe how big he had become over the years. 

“I was 450 pounds—I was two cheeseburgers away from diabetes or high cholesterol,” recalls Aviance. “I had been big for pretty much all of my life, and I was sick of hating myself. It was now or never.” 

It got so bad at one point that he recalls drinking a two-liter of mountain dew every day, and at the same time, the local drive-thru employees knew him by name. 

“I cleared everything out of my fridge that was going to get in the way of me losing weight—cookies, candy, sodas,” he says. “I was only going to drink water or unsweetened iced tea, and no more fast food.” 

Joe had the right attitude though and began walking daily and doing his best to eat better.  Times were rough for the artist at the time, so he had to figure out a way to eat on a strict budget.  A friend told him about the local 99-cent store, and Joe was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of healthy foods to choose from.  

“Oatmeal, raisins, nuts, bananas, apples, oranges, bell peppers, spinach, salad dressing, tuna fish, eggs… I was shocked. I was blown away,” recalls Aviance. “It was a huge savings. I literally spent no more than $50 a week on food.” 

After 18 months on his strict diet, Joe had lost an astonishing 250 pounds!  Joe spends his time these days traveling the country encouraging and inspiring people of all ages to live a healthier life.  With a little determination and motivation, anything is possible. 


Have a great day, and let the good news be yours,

Jeremy

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Harvard study shows meditation can positively alter DNA

Most of us could guess that meditation improves relaxation and lowers blood pressure, but to change DNA?!  Woaah, now that's wild!

"Researchers at Harvard found that meditating for just eight weeks dramatically alters gene expression, “turning off” hundreds of genes conducive to the onset of disease while “turning on” hundreds of genes conducive to health." (Journal of Scientific Exploration)

The study went on to say how meditation extends an individual's lifespan.  "...meditation seems to extend lifespan at the cellular level through the action of telomerase, an enzyme that repairs telomeres, the endings of chromosome that provide a biological marker of how long a person will live"

No wonder people have been doing this for thousands of years :)

And that's what's good,

Jon

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Superheroes visit children at WakeMed Hospital

Kids at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, NC got a surprise visit from superheroes!  Batman, Spiderman, and Ironman scaled the walls, washed the windows, and brought smiles all around.  Additional superheroes visited children inside the hospital.  The superheroes came to the rescue in place of the usual workers at Scottie's Building Services.  Simply awesome :)



And that's what's good,

Jon

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Kindergarden teacher donates kidney to student

Teachers have been and always will be superheroes who help shape the future for their students.  This is especially true for Nicole Miller, an 8 year old at Mansfield Christian School who recently received a kidney donation from her former teacher, Wendy Killian.

Wendy learned about Nicole's condition in a parent-teacher conference.  Wendy was inspired to be a donor because her son previously received a blood platelet transfusion.  It turns out that Wendy was a perfect match for the kidney donation!

The two had the successful procedure completed at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, OH.

"I thought it was a great thing to do," Wendy's husband said said. "God puts you in certain situations for a reason."

And that's what's good,

Jon

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Michelle Obama shows off dance moves for health campaign

The First Lady got down on the Jimmy Fallon show with a hilarious "dance off" to promote good health.  She faced off with Jimmy Fallon who was dressed as a woman.  The dance episode was called "Evolution of Mom Dancing" and it show cased moves including "Go Shopping, Get Groceries", "Raise the Roof" and the famous "Sprinkler".

The First Lady was promoting her "Let's Move campaign".  Watch the First Lady getting down, it's awesome:




And that's what's good,
Jon
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