Archive for April, 2012

Donate Life

April 29, 2012 2 comments

April is National Donate Life Month, but any one at any time can register to donate life and volunteer to help the cause. In many states, you can sign up for organ donation when you vote, renew your license, or sign up online.  Be the hope, register and/or volunteer to spread the word about organ donation.  For further information, please visit any of these sites to register: Donate Life America, The National Network of Organ Donors and the US Government’s Health and Human Services site at

Despite continuing efforts at public education, misconceptions and inaccuracies about donation persist. Learn these facts to help you better understand organ, eye and tissue donation:

Fact: Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.

Fact: All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased.

Fact: When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information, not your financial status or celebrity status.

Fact: An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.

Fact: There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.

-Donate Life America


Great Strides in Parkinson’s Therapy

April 28, 2012 13 comments

Photo credit to Google Free Images

Last  month, the United States Senate declared April: Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, and organizations including the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and a host of others listed here in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke were able to receive a much needed boost in getting the word out about Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

For those who are not familiar with the particulars of this dreaded disease the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation offers a fact sheet; and for those of you who are all too familiar with the disease from your own struggle, or you know family or friends who have it – then you know the battle and the need for hope.

In the past few weeks, a family member of mine found this hope in the form of physical and speech therapy. Obviously, this is not a cure, however it is amazing to me the change that is occurring to him.  After a chat about his day, I noticed he was much more excited and vocal than usual.  He spoke about exercising in a bike-like contraption with a monitor overlooking him which offered views of Switzerland.  I was later told this is Giger MD Therapy.  I was incredibly impressed by not only the way he felt after his morning of biking, but how great our conversation went that evening.  In the past, he was too tired or just not feeling up for a good old yap.  It was then the plot thickened, and I found out about Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT).  In short, these two methods made a change I never thought could happen; as many know, PD patients do not usually get better since it’s a disease that just takes away a little or a lot each and every day.  It doesn’t happen often you have the chance to share good news, and so I pass onto you hope for you and your loved one.  Please share this hope.

For everything this disease has taken, something with greater value has been given–sometimes just a marker that points me in a new direction that I might not otherwise have traveled. So, sure, it may be one step forward and two steps back, but after a time with Parkinson’s, I’ve learned that what is important is making that one step count; always looking up.

Michael J. Fox, Always Looking Up