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EARTH HOUR 2011

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Don’t forget - Earth Hour is tomorrow 3.26!

 

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights.Following Sydney’s lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008.

 

Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26, 2011 from 8:30p.m. to 9:30p.m., at participants’ respective local time.

LAST DAY OF SEPTEMBER

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Can you believe it’s the last day of September? Did you notice any gold ribbons during the month of September to bring awareness to Childhood Cancer?

The following is a letter written by a DIPG mom from Hinton, Oklahoma. Caleb Spady, a wonderful eleven-year-old boy, lost his brave fight against DIPG. His mom, Kim Spady, wrote the following letter.

Visit Caleb’s website at https://www.carepages.com/carepages/KeepingUpWithCaleb.

 

The end of September is approaching and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month has passed, largely unnoticed by society. The rush to shower us with pink in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month is reminiscent of the crowding away of pumpkins and scarecrows by Christmas trees and snowmen. Except there’s no pushing gold aside. The way is clear for pink.

Even the American Cancer Society — the outfit that professes to represent all cancers and provide support for everyone affected by the disease — the organization for which we all come together and raise funds by holding a Relay each year — has chosen not to recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Go to www.cancer.org and what do you see? The banner at the top of the page is pink and touts the ACS’ commitment to fighting breast cancer.

Of course, I, among all people, am grateful for the focus of so many foundations and researchers on breast cancer. I know I wouldn’t be looking at a future that is likely cancer free (or free of breast cancer, anyway) without the research and the focus on breast cancer during the past decade.

Still — I’d rather have my son. What if the focus that remains on breast cancer was turned to pediatric brain cancer? I know millions of women are affected by breast cancer. But almost all of them are effectively treated.

Only thousands of kids are affected by brain cancer. But many — perhaps most — of them die. This is so politically incorrect, I am hesitant to write it. But, as I write, I am without breasts and sans colon. And one son short a full house. If anyone can speak to this issue, I think I can.

I am grateful for the pink that signals the arrival of October in our day and time. I just wish there was a wave of gold — more in terms of funding for research, but also in terms of awareness — to usher in the pink. If you are reading this, you know. You have traveled this tragic journey with us and you are aware of the impact of pediatric cancer on families. Will you spread the word to someone who doesn’t know today? Send an e-mail. Copy this to your blog, your faceook, your twitter. Write a letter to a corporation or a legislator. Or to an editor.

Christine Reid, a colleague and fellow OCU Law and Hatton Sumner alum is editor of the “Kingfisher Times and Free Press”. She was astonished at the lack of attention given to childhood cancers and wrote a fabulous article on this subject earlier this month — for which we are most grateful. Here is an excerpt:

September is a disease awareness month, which you probably recognized by the gold ribbons displayed on all the corporate advertising on TV and in magazines and the special media reports. What’s that? You haven’t seen any? That’s because, for some reason, this class of diseases attracts hardly any public attention. If I said “pink ribbon,” you would have immediately thought of breast cancer. “Red ribbon” might be a little trickier, but eventually you would have come up with heart disease. But the gold ribbon is nearly invisible. It represents childhood cancers. Today, as you read this, the equivalent of a classroom full of children will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., more than 12,400 a year. About 4,000 child cancer victims will die this year, making cancer the number one disease-related killer of children under 14. While 75 percent of childhood cancer cases are curable, for some forms, a cure remains illusive. Only one new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use over the past two decades. For some of the rarest, but most deadly, childhood cancers, no new treatments have been introduced in more than three decades. For every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS, 15 children are diagnosed with cancer, yet available funding dollars designated for research are vastly disproportionate: $595,000 for each AIDS victim and only $20,000 for each pediatric cancer victim. Federal funding for breast cancer research is more than double that for all 12 major groups of pediatric cancer combined. Those statistics are staggering, particularly here in Kingfisher County where we can superimpose the faces of so many amazing children over those raw numbers: Zach, Morgan, Colby, Logan and Shaelyn are just a few that come to mind. Those portraits in courage, whose resilience and tenacity – sometimes against all odds – have inspired us all, make it even more important that our gold ribbons are not invisible this September.

 

For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/n64s4u

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PEDIATRIC CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

If you ever listened to my show, you would have heard me speak many times about DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.) This is a inoperable brain tumor that afflicts primarily children.

I have followed the stories of many children suffering from this horrible cancer, only to see them ultimately lose their battles and earn their wings. There is currently no cure for DIPG and it hasn’t received nearly the attention it deserves. I ask that you please take a few moments to learn more about this childhood killer and see what you might be able to do to help find a cure.

There are many websites that you can visit to learn about DIPG, meet some of the children in the DIPG community and share your support.

www.justonemoreday.org

www.icouldbeyourchild.org

 Andrew Wayne Smith is one of the courageous children I have followed for quite some time. He’s a fighter, that’s for sure! Below is a blog post written by his mother, Sandy Smith. Their story will touch your heart, as it has mine. You can visit Andrew’s caringbridge site to read more about his story:

www.caringbridge.org/visit/aws

 

 WRITTEN BY SANDY SMITH, MOTHER OF ANDREW WAYNE SMITH

At one time I lived what many would consider a fairly normal life.  I was consumed with my family, my home, with my children’s spiritual, academic and musical development.  My oldest son Stephen began to read long before he reached kindergarten.  My daughter Charis picked up the violin and began to play at the age of two.  We were consistently involved in the services and activities of our church.  By the time Andrew was born, our routines were established; he fit nicely into the fourth bedroom and into our lives.

I worked to keep the house spotless, to cook meals my husband would enjoy, and to educate my children at home.  I enjoyed teaching the teen girls’ Sunday School class and spending time with the ladies of the church.  I arranged our schedule so that my children regularly practiced piano along with violin, viola or cello, and I made it possible for Stephen and Charis to participate in an award-winning children’s choir.  We enjoyed playing games and sharing meals with friends, and I walked daily in an effort to take care of myself.  I shopped at the local grocery store, frequented the town library with all three children, scheduled regular doctors’ appointments, and dreamed of the future…until one fall afternoon when everything changed.

I will always look back at October 25, 2007 as the day our lives were turned upside down.  For over a month 6-year-old Andrew had been struggling with symptoms we thought were related to a virus.  We ended up in the local hospital Emergency Department that afternoon, and by early evening we were advised of CT scan results.  “There is a large area of swelling in the brainstem.”  After a pause the physician’s assistant continued, “We suspect a mass.”  The next morning we met the pediatric oncologist and learned that Andrew has a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a rare and deadly inoperable brainstem cancer.  We walked into the hospital an average family; within 24 hours we were thrust into the world of pediatric cancer. 

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to reflect upon the past two years of our lives.  I am grateful that we are still a family of five.  Most children with Andrew’s particular cancer are dead within a year of diagnosis.  I have friends who have buried their children.  I know a little girl who leaves messages on the white board in the garage for her sister in Heaven, a little boy who rides his bike to the cemetery to visit his brother’s grave, and a young couple who eagerly look for notes left for them by their daughter before she died.  When I think of Andrew’s first grade year, I think of radiation treatments, steroids, and the 24 hours he spent on life support.  I feel at home among bald heads, puffy cheeks, and little children attached to I.V. poles.  I read medical abstracts on brainstem glioma research, have assisted several families with tumor tissue donation after the death of a child, and am working with some state officials on the wording of a childhood cancer awareness resolution.

Just as most do not know that the gold ribbon has been the symbol of childhood cancer since 1970, people would not guess by looking at me that my youngest child is among the one in 330 who will develop cancer by the age of twenty.  I blend into the crowd in a restaurant, but our living room resembles a pediatric intensive care unit, and we check into the local hospital for chemotherapy every three weeks.  I look like the average shopper in a grocery store, but my son is one of over 12,500 children diagnosed with cancer every year.  My husband preaches on Sunday mornings, studies during the week, and gets up in the middle of the night every night to attend to the needs of an 8-year-old who has lost the use of the left side of his body.  My ten-year-old daughter will enter fifth grade this month; she has befriended three little girls who are battling cancer, and her heroes are the nurses who dedicate their lives to caring for children like her brother.  My thirteen-year-old son enjoys reading and lives with the knowledge that we don’t know how long his brother will continue to beat the odds.

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is one of the most deadly forms of pediatric cancer.  It is shocking to note that treatment for this particular brain cancer has not changed in more than 30 years.  A conservative estimate is that between 15 and 20 children die of DIPG each month, yet very little research is being done to try to combat this horrific killer of our children.  Visit www.justonemoreday.org to learn more, including how you can help.

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.

Visit www.JustOneMoreDay.org to find out how you can help the cause.