Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Country star Clay Walker who has Multiple Sclerosis encourages others to "Stick with It"

(Clay Walker talks about loving with MS)

(CNN) -- As a country music recording artist, as an entertainer and especially as a husband and father, life can get hectic. I realized early on the importance of having a routine to manage such a busy schedule.
But my body kept giving me "reminders" earlier in my career that something was just not right. In the mid-'90s, I started to experience tingling and numbness on my right side along with facial spasms. I hoped they would pass, but symptoms continued to appear all too frequently.
After a battery of tests, I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of multiple sclerosis. My diagnosis came when I was 26. It surprised me to learn that of 400,000 Americans with MS, many are diagnosed between ages 20 and 50, like I was.
I kept wondering, "Why me? Why now?" My career was progressing, and there were many positive things going on in my life: I had just recorded my fourth album and was celebrating the birth of my first child.
So this country boy decided he was not going down without a fight. With support from my family and friends, I realized that I needed to stop dwelling on being diagnosed with a chronic disease, and instead focus on finding a groove. To do that, I had to develop a routine to manage my condition, which helped me look forward for the first time since being diagnosed.

Parkinson's disease didn't stop Rich Clifford from walking in space...

(Rich Clifford in his own words...)

(CNN) -- It had been a little more than four months since completing my second space shuttle mission, STS-59, on the shuttle Endeavour.
I was finishing my annual flight physical at the Johnson Space Center Flight Medicine Clinic. The words from the flight surgeon were as expected: I was in great condition with nothing of note. Then I asked the doctor to look at my right shoulder because my racquetball game was suffering.
He asked if I had pain. I told him I wasn't in pain, but my right arm did not swing naturally when I walked. This comment must have set off some alarm, because he observed my walk down the hall and quickly said he would take me downtown to the Texas Medical Center the next day.
I remember saying, "I don't believe we can see an orthopedic surgeon that quickly." He merely noted that we were going to a neurologist.
Little did I know that next day would change my life so quickly. The neurologist spent five minutes with me before saying that I had Parkinson's disease. He added I would have to undergo several separate tests to prove that I didn't have some other neurological disorder. Parkinson's disease is diagnosed by the process of eliminating other possible diseases.
After several tests, the diagnosis was confirmed. This was December 1995.

Ryan Chalmers pushes his wheelchair across the country 3,300 miles to build awareness for the potential of all persons with disabilities...

(Ryan Chalmers, who was born with a birth defect called spina bifida, an incomplete closure of the spinal his own words.)

(CNN) -- I started playing sports at a young age and gravitated toward wheelchair basketball and track.
In college, I decided to focus primarily on track and pursue my dream of going to the Paralympics. With the support of a great coach and team, I was selected as a member of Team USA and competed in track at the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.
On Saturday, April 6, I embarked on the most challenging journey of my life. I left Los Angeles, heading toward New York City in my racing wheelchair -- a 71-day journey of 3,300 miles.
While I didn't know what to expect or how my body would react to the demands of "pushing" the equivalent of two to three marathons a day, I knew one thing for sure -- I'd get it done. I committed to Push Across America as my way of giving back to Stay-Focused, an organization that has significantly impacted my life.
Stay-Focused offers a SCUBA certification program for teens and young adults with disabilities. I met Roger Muller, founder of Stay-Focused, in 2005, and was given the opportunity to learn to SCUBA dive.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

8 year old Samantha Brownlie writes a book on hearing loss so that others will better understand what it means..."On the outside you see a little girl that's 8 years old, but on the inside there is a good strong heart. And I believe I can do anything, as long as I believe in myself."

By 8 year old Samantha Brownlie
Hi, my name is Samantha. I'm 8 years old. I have an older brother named Sean. Me and my family live in New York City. I go to P.S. 3 in Manhattan.
Sean and I were born with hearing loss. We both wear hearing aids. It's not that hard to get used to wearing hearing aids. All you need to do is think of good things and then you put it in your ear and you hear better. That's all there is to it!
My mom or dad used to put my hearing aids in but now I'm old enough to do it by myself.
I really like my hearing aids because I can hear so much better with them. I used to wear one hearing aid and now I wear two. They are pink and blue!

Last year when I was still wearing one hearing aid I wrote a book called "Samantha's Fun FM Unit and Hearing Aid Book." I wrote it to explain why I wear a hearing aid and an FM Unit in school. And I also made the book for kids or adults that have hearing loss too. I want them to feel the same way about their hearing aids that I do!
My book is also about how to take care of hearing aids, how to use them and how to change the batteries, recharge the FM and tell the teacher how to use the transmitter.
On the cover of my book, I drew pictures of me and fun things like my scooter, my FM transmitter, candy and a Nintendo DS game.
My parents inspired me a lot because they have always told me that I should be proud of who I am and just be myself. Many people including my classmates and teachers don't know that much about hearing loss. I thought if I made a book with pictures it would help them understand hearing loss better and answer some of their questions.
On the outside you see a little girl that's 8 years old, but on the inside there is a good strong heart. And I believe I can do anything, as long as I believe in myself.

22 year old fashion blogger Henrik Silius doesn't let Muscular Dystrophy cramp his style...

If the fashion industry has an award for heroes, Henrik Silvius should get a nomination.
Muscular dystrophy may have the 22-year-old Dane using a wheelchair, but that doesn’t stop him from diving into the crowded sea of fashion blogging. Spending his days blurring the line between masculine and feminine fashion norms, Silvius is luring hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic readers to his Where Fashion Is Fashion Is blog.
At first blush, Silvius’ opinion on clothing might seem somewhat eccentric. For instance, he’s been known to combine the flare of leopard prints or fluffy furs with  otherwise banal black men’s suit or a printed t-shirt.  He’s not afraid to sport a pair of thick gold earrings, carry a Prada purse or sport a chunky bright necklace.
“A lot of men are afraid of looking too feminine or not getting the standard of the macho ideal,” Silvius said in an email interview. “Come on, we are living in 2013 and we’re way past the caveman style…in the shallow world of fashion, I’m sure that clothes are the uniform with which we conquer the world.”

William Johnson follows the message from his fortune cookie right into his own pot of gold and wins $1 Million in the lottery...

While at dinner with his wife last week, William Johnson cracked open a fortune cookie to find a message inside that read: “You will soon come into a lot of gold.” The Southwick, MA resident took it as a lucky sign and the next day purchased a lottery ticket – a Massachusetts Millionaire Mania instant game from the Mass. State Lottery.
Johnson held onto the $10 ticket for several days before playing it. When he finally did scratch the ticket, he was thrilled to see that a lot of gold did indeed await him in the form of a $1 million prize.
Johnson selected the cash option on the prize and received a one-time, lump sum payment of $650,000 (less taxes). He and his wife plan to take their time in deciding what to do with the cash windfall, but are thinking that they may like to buy a lake house.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

True Hero: Memphis quarterback Jacob Karam goes out of his way to make the days of kids with cancer a little better by showing up on his own time unannounced at local hospitals...

The first thing to know about the video in this story is that nobody at the University of Memphis knew about the video in this story. Not until it went viral and people all over saw footage of the quarterback, the piano and the precious little girl singing beside him.
See that big guy sitting there? His name is Jacob Karam. He plays quarterback for Memphis. He just showed up Monday night at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and started playing.
People within the Memphis athletic department, who normally are the ones to arrange this sort of thing, didn't arrange it. They didn't even know about it. They just sort of found out, like the rest of us did, after the family of the little girl sitting next to Jacob Karam posted the video on Facebook. The video went viral, as wonderful videos tend to do.
"That's how I heard about it," said Ron Mears, an assistant athletics director who oversees public relations for Memphis football. "Someone showed me the video."

The video shows that, in addition to being a pretty good amateur quarterback, Jacob Karam is a very good amateur piano player. Once he hears a song, he can play it -- no sheet music required. It's one of those amazing gifts some people have. Karam has a few others, too. He graduated with highest honors from Texas Tech in 2 1/2 years and then transferred to Memphis, where he threw for 1,895 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2012.
Karam also has a soft spot for kids like Breanna Bercegeay -- friends call her Bree -- the 11-year-old girl in the surgeon's mask sitting next to him. Last month she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and soon she left her home in Geismar, La., to begin receiving treatment at St. Jude. In Memphis. Where Jacob Karam plays quarterback.
"I'm part of a big Lebanese-Catholic family," Karam said. "The founder of St. Jude, Danny Thomas, was Lebanese -- and we were raised to support St. Jude. It's almost part of our heritage. When I transferred to Memphis, it was icing on the cake that I could help out at St. Jude."

Kidnap victim Amanda Berry makes her first public appearance by surprising a concert crowd at the RoverFest in Cleveland...

CLEVELAND (AP) — One of three women held captive in a Cleveland home for a decade appeared at a public event for the first time since her rescue, a day after her abductor pleaded guilty in the case.
Amanda Berry made a surprise appearance at the daylong concert RoverFest in Cleveland on Saturday night, walking on stage with her family and waving at the cheering crowd. Wearing sunglasses and dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt, Berry smiled broadly while acknowledging the applause, but she didn’t address the crowd. The rapper Nelly called Berry back to the stage after his music set.
The appearance came a day after Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver, pleaded guilty to 937 counts in a deal that will send him to prison for life without parole, plus 1,000 years.
Berry, now 27, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight disappeared between 2002 and 2004 when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They escaped in May when Berry kicked out part of a door and called to neighbors for help.
Berry told a police dispatcher in a dramatic 911 call: ‘‘Help me. I'm Amanda Berry. I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years, and I'm, I'm here, I'm free now.’’
Castro, 53, who was arrested and jailed shortly afterward, was accused of raping and beating the three repeatedly. He also fathered a 6-year-old daughter with Berry, authorities say.
The women didn’t attend the court proceeding but said in a statement that they were relieved by the conviction and looking forward to the end of the legal proceedings.
Berry and the other women said she had accepted a ride from Castro, who had remained friends with DeJesus’ family and attended vigils over the years marking her disappearance.
Castro was accused of restraining the women, sometimes chaining them to a pole in a basement, to a bedroom heater or inside a van. The indictment included two counts of aggravated murder related to accusations that he punched and starved one of the women until she miscarried.
Earlier this month, the three women offered thanks on YouTube for emotional and financial backing they've received since going ‘‘through hell and back.’’

Pro golfer Hunter Mahan walks away from a $1 Million dollar prize to witness the birth of his daughter...

(CNN) -- PGA star Hunter Mahan chose family over work this weekend, and though it may have cost him more than $1 million, he sounds ecstatic.
"What a whirlwind of a day," Mahan tweeted Sunday morning, "but I'm happy to announce the birth of my daughter Zoe Olivia Mahan born at 3:26 am. Thanks for all the support!
"Both Baby and Mom are doing great. Thanks to all to my sponsors who appreciate what's important in life and all my fans for being Awesome!" he added in a second tweet.
Mahan was halfway to his sixth career PGA Tour tournament victory, with a two-shot lead after Friday's second round of the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario.
But after receiving a call early Saturday that his wife, Kandi, had gone into labor, he withdrew from the tournament and flew home to Dallas to be present for the birth of the couple's first child rather than continuing to pursue the $1.008 million first prize.
"Kandi and I are thrilled about this addition to the Mahan family, and we look forward to returning to the RBC Canadian Open in the coming years," Mahan said Saturday, according to PGATOUR.Com.

Mahan has made more than $2.3 million already in 2013, with four Top 10 finishes this year, including a tie for fourth place at the U.S. Open and a tie for ninth place at the British Open over the past two months, says.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Ironman competitor Richard Peck gets his fuel from his younger brother Chris Peck who has Down's Syndrome...

Richard Peck goes to extraordinary athletic measures to compete in several Ironman events each year -- all for his younger brother, Chris, who has Down Syndrome.
Peck, 48, raises money and awareness for the National Down Syndrome Society, or NDSS. He says, in the HooplaHa video above, that he's inspired to compete because his brother has never let Down Syndrome limit him.
"My brother has the same hopes, wishes, dreams, desire to be included in things that I do, that my sister does, that my parents do, that you do," Peck said.

Terminally ill co-creator of the "Simpson's" television show Sam Simon vows to give away his fortune..."I get pleasure from it. I love it."

Called both "brilliantly funny" and "mentally unbalanced" by Simpsons co-creator Matt Groening, television writer-producer Sam Simon, 58, has become known throughout Hollywood for his philanthropy since leaving the iconic animated series in 1993 (he retained a highly lucrative executive producer title). A Stanford grad who grew up in Beverly Hills and Malibu -- and rose in the industry at a young age to become the showrunner of Taxi at 24 -- Simon confesses, "I don't know," when it comes to estimating his charitable donations to date.
His contributions include founding the Malibu-based Sam Simon Foundation (worth nearly $23 million as of 2011) that rescues the hungry (humans -- but with vegan foods only) and strays (dogs, of any variety). His other pet charities include PETA, which in February thanked him for his support by naming its Norfolk, Va., headquarters the Sam Simon Center; international nonprofit Save the Children; and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a global marine conservation organization. His contributions led it to name one of the four ships in its fleet of vessels, used to hinder whaling and illegal fishing, the M/Y Simon in 2012. He also turned a Malibu spread into a canine haven that rescues dogs from kill shelters and trains them as companions for the deaf.
Five months ago, the nine-time Emmy winner -- whose post-Simpsons projects have included directing (The Drew Carey Show), hosting (the short-lived poker reality series Sam's Gamefor Playboy TV) and consulting (currently on FX's Anger Management) -- was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. He confirmed during a May 16 WTF With Marc Maron podcast that he was given the prognosis of three to six months to live and that he will donate nearly all of his sizable Simpsonsroyalties -- which he has said earn him "tens of millions" annually -- to charity. (Simon's marriages to Jennifer Tillyand Playboy Playmate Jami Ferrell were childless, or child-free, depending on your point of view.) "I think it's really nice for him that he's doing it now and he gets to see the results of his philanthropy," says Tilly. "He really does have a passion to survive, and the longer he's on the earth, the more good work he can do." On July 1, Simon spoke frankly to THR about what goes on in the mind of someone who has much to give but not a lot of time to give it.

Waitress Jennifer Shaw finds $5000 in an envelope - returns it...

What would you do if you found an envelope filled with $5,000? The waitress at Mercer's Steak and Seafood on Wilmington Island returned it to the customer who lost it.
"It was definitely shocking," says Jennifer Shaw, the waitress at Mercer's. "It was mostly one hundred dollar bills, but there was one hundred that was broken up out of it."
Shaw tells WTOC a group of gentlemen who seemed to be reuniting had been sitting at the table, and she found the money when she went to clean it.
"I mean you dont really know what to think at the moment. My knees where actually shaking once I realized exactly how much it was. I immediately did not keep it out in the open. I put it in my apron and continued on to my other table that i was taking care of," says Shaw.
Knowing exactly who the money belonged to, Shaw said she could do nothing but return the envelop to its rightful owner.
"I could tell that this was not just money that they did not need. This wasn't just five dollars to them. This was like $5,000 that it would be to me," said Shaw.
The owner of Mercer's tells us he is proud to have such honest employees working at his restaurant.
"Very rarely do people lose things in a restaurant facility like this, but when it happens it makes you feel wonderful that our staff are trust worthy," says Mark Egan.
The customer did reward Shaw with $100 for returning his money.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Mystery men pick up the tab for 500 free coffees at Tim Horton's Coffee for the second time in a week...

For the second time in Alberta this week, a man has walked into Tim Hortons and slapped down cash for the equivalent of 500 large coffees for other customers.
First it was in Edmonton on Monday, and today it was in Calgary at the Crowfoot Tim Hortons in the city's northwest.
The mystery donor gave the store almost $900 to hand out free coffees to those behind him in line.
Crowfoot Crossing manager Kelli Urquhart said the man had heard about someone buying coffees for people in Edmonton and wanted to pay it forward.
"We've been through so much here with the floods and everything else, and he just wanted to get some good spirits going here in Calgary," she said.
"I had just heard this morning about the Edmonton one and I thought that was amazing, but then to have someone come into this store and do it here — again, it just blew me away."
Urquhart said the man wanted to remain anonymous.

Wedding planner Erica Ota gives Jen Bulik, a bride with terminal cancer, a dream wedding...

A wedding planner will make a final dream come true for a San Jose bride this Saturday.
Jen Bulik and her boyfriend, Jeff Lang, were looking at wedding rings in December when Bulik developed a cough she couldn't shake.
"I went to the doctors a couple times and they diagnosed me with pneumonia," she told NBC Bay Area. "I mean, I'm 35, so they weren't thinking it was something else."
But in January, Bulik was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. In June, she was told she had four to six months to live.
"When I heard that, I said, 'Let's get married,'" said Bulik. "Because I wanted to focus on life."
Bulik and Lang planned a simple backyard barbecue until a friend logged on to a message board for wedding planners and posted their story, asking for a miracle. That's when local planner Erica Ota stepped in.
"Honestly, I didn't event think twice about it," Ota told HuffPost. "We have the opportunity to do something extraordinary for someone else almost every day, but we get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we don't see them. I wanted to do something extraordinary."

Alfred Morris's 1991 Mazda perfectly represents him as a person and a professional football player..."It just keeps me grounded, where I came from and all the hard work for me to get to this point. So that's what helps me."

Despite earning over $700,000 and establishing himself as one of the top running backs in the NFLlast season, Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris has no plans to get rid of the 1991 Mazda 626 that he drove from Florida to Virginia for his first NFL training camp last summer.
“Actually, Mazda has her," Morris said from Redskins training camp on Thursday. "She’s getting refurb – Mazda is going to make her like new, like she came off the floor on ‘91. They actually just took it, so we’re going to switch cars while they’re doing it. They said it would take about 6–8 weeks to do it, but they’re going to totally refurbish it, so I’m happy about that… They’re just (refurbishing) it so that it can run for about 20 more years."
Morris proudly parked the economical compact amid a players' parking lot dotted with luxury SUVs and pledged that his kids would one day drive the car.
"One day, my kids are going to drive that car. If it breaks down, I'm gettin' it fixed. That's just how I am," Morris told the team's official website.
At the time, Morris was smart to not upgrade his vehicle. As a sixth-round pick, Morris received a $123,100 signing bonus and, at the time, had only earned $45,882 (before taxes) of his $390,000 non-guaranteed base salary. Morris would go on to rush for 1,613 yards, second only to Adrian Peterson last season, and score 13 rushing touchdowns, establishing himself as the Redskins' top running back and one of the better backs in the league entering 2013.
Between his signing bonus ($123,100), base salary ($390,000) and performance-based pay bonus ($211,431), Morris had $724,531 in on-field earnings in 2012. Along with some increased job security, Morris easily could have plunked down some cash on a new car. Instead, he's sticking with the plan to keep the Mazda 626 and one day hand it down to his kids.
It's pretty cool that Morris is sticking to his word and it's very smart of Morris to remain thrifty while playing on his rookie contract. We're not as sure that Morris' kids will agree with these decisions.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

The Secret Billionaire - Chuck Feeney plans to give ALL of his billions away before he dies - "I want the last check I write to bounce"

An Irish-American billionaire who kept his philanthropy secret for 15 years has given away $7.5billion (£4.9billion) - and plans for it all to go to charity before his dies.
Chuck Feeney, 82, wears a $15 Casio watch, travels in coach, does not own a car is a self-confessed 'shabby dresser' and sensibly made his children work their way through college.
He has given away 99 per cent of his fortune to health, science, education and civil rights causes around the world through his Atlantic Philanthropies foundation.
Feeney, who still has a sizeable $2million left in the bank, made his money from duty free shopping and quietly began giving his money away in the 1980s.

His generosity went unknown until 1997 and he even made charities keep the source of their donations secret because he did not want the attention.
Feeney's 'giving while living' philosophy inspired Bill and Melinda Gates to set up their charitable foundation as well as Warren Buffet's Giving Pledge, where some of the richest people in the world have promised to give away half of their fortune during their lifetime.
The fund has handed out $6.2billion in three decades and will close in 2020 once its last good causes have been chosen.
'People who have money have an obligation,' Feeney told Forbes last year. 'I wouldn’t say I’m entitled to tell them what to do with it but to use it wisely.'
Feeney, who was raised by Catholic parents in an Irish-American New Jersey neighbourhood during the Depression, preferred to use his influence and connections during his lifetime rather than letting his money be frittered away after his death.
'I became convinced that there was greater satisfaction from giving my money away and seeing something come out of the ground, like a hospital or a university,' he told the Financial Times last year.
'It just seemed logical to put the money to good use rather than putting it into a bank account and letting it accumulate and accumulate.'
He told Forbes: 'I concluded that if you hung on to a piece of the action for yourself you’d always be worrying about that piece. People used to ask me how I got my jollies, and I guess I’m happy when what I’m doing is helping people and unhappy when what I’m doing isn’t helping people.'

Jacob, an 8 year old blind and autistic boy, feels the rhythm of street guitarist Tyler Gregory...

An everyday performance turned into an extraordinary moment for street musician Tyler Gregory.
The guitarist was belting out a tune when he captured the attention of a young blind boy named Jacob. The 8-year-old boy, who also has autism, slowly approached Gregory and put his hand on his guitar.
Slowly, Jacob began bobbing his head as Gregory continued with the song, seemingly unphased by the boy's strong attraction to the beat.
But as Gregory later wrote on his website, the experience on that sidewalk in downtown Lawrence, Kan., was powerful enough to bring him to tears.
Unlike most kids that come up to me with curiosity, I felt so much energy coming off of him and I was completely overwhelmed. His hand on my leg was very powerful and about brought me to tears while playing. Not because he is blind or autistic.. but because of a connection I have never felt and one that is impossible to explain.
Jacob's parents posted the video to YouTube, where it has since received more than 600,000 views.
Touched by Gregory's tenderness toward their son, the family's message to the musician is simple: "Thank you so much for letting Jacob feel the music!"

In a show of solidarity with 2 year old cancer patient former President George Bush shaves his head...

(CNN) – Last week, former President George H. W. Bush had a full head of hair when he gave President Barack Obama a pair of socks. Today, it's gone, shaved to the scalp in solidarity with a young cancer patient.

According to a statement from a spokesman for the 41st president, Bush shaved his head after members of his Secret Service detail shaved theirs, meant to show solidarity with Patrick, the two year-old son of one of the detail who is battling leukemia.

Members of the security detail have already created a website meant to raise money to pay for Patrick's treatment. His last name is being withheld along with that of his father Jon.

At 89, Bush shaved his head this week after making a donation to Patrick's leukemia treatment. Bush and his wife Barbara lost their second child, Robin, to the disease six decades ago at the age of four.

According to the release, the security detail is also organizing a motorcycle benefit run next month that will ride through the Maine countryside and host a lunch and silent auction to raise money for Patrick's treatment.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

14 year old middle school student scores a perfect score of 2400 on the SAT's...

Vivek Jain woke up his 14-year-old son, Varun, one early morning in early July. "Varun, you got a perfect score on your SATs," the father said.
The sleepy teenager simply said "Wow," and fell back asleep.
"If anybody in the United States can get a perfect score in middle school, it has to be Varun," his father told ABC News.
In an indication of how rare it is to get a perfect 2400 score on the trio of tests that make up the SATs, only 360 students did it in 2012. More than 1.6 million students took the tests that year.
And those students were in high school. Jain, who will be a high school freshman this fall, was in eighth grade when he took the tests.
Jain did not stress over the test. His father reminded him the night before that he was to take the exam the following morning. Only then did he start preparing for the math, writing and critical thinking segments.
Just a few days before the SAT was administered, Jain took the AP Calculus BC exam, a course usually offered to the most mathematically advanced high school seniors. Jain took the course online in a month.
He is also the highest scoring point guard for his school. He plays the sitar and the violin. He has trophies for chess and debate. He won a scholarship from John's Hopkins University to take classes at a community college. He goes to the movies and plays video games with friends.
"I tell him, 'Varun, this is a gift for you,'" Vivek Jain said. "He realizes that because we have seen quite a few geniuses here and there, but they only have a gift for one thing. Varun has an ability that is so well rounded."
Varun Jain hopes to use his talent in the computer science field. His father says he wants to do "something technology related that improves peace in the world and makes everyone thrive."
He is expected to graduate early and then move on to one of his top choices for colleges, either Harvard or MIT.

"Dementia Dogs" - help to give patients their lives back.

The role of the service dog has expanded immensely over the last few decades. Years ago, service dogs were used only to assist the blind. But these days, dogs have been trained to help with everything from hearing to mobility. And now, service dogs can add dementia-assistance to their resume, as several dogs in Scotland have recently been trained to help patients with the disease - with astonishing results. 

How can a dog help a person diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia? 'Dementia dogs' can be trained to remind their owners where their clothes are, which medicines they should take, and even raise an alarm in case of an emergency. 

"Dogs love routine. They love that predictability," said Helen McCain of Dogs for the Disabled in an interview with BBC News. "By using that hook, we can then teach the dog to actually sort of remind people by the sound of an alarm to go and get the medication at the allotted time of the day." 

The idea to train dogs to help patients with dementia was the brainchild of students at Scotland's Glasgow School of Art. Working together with Alzheimer Scotland, Dogs for the Disabled, and Guide Dogs Scotland, they developed a plan to train two dogs for 18 months to assist patients with dementia. And so far, the results have far exceeded expectations. 

Marc Fucarile is the last person injured at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 to finally leave the hospital...

BOSTON (AP) — The last hospitalized Boston Marathon bombing victim hobbled gingerly on crutches and stopped to hug nurses, therapists and two rescuers before he got into a waiting car that took him home Wednesday, exactly 100 days after the attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
Marc Fucarile lost his right leg above the knee, broke his spine, as well as bones in his left leg and foot, ruptured both eardrums and suffered severe burns and shrapnel wounds when the second of two bombs exploded near him and a group of friends who were at the finish line to watch another friend complete the run. Two other people in his group also lost right legs.
Fucarile’s relatives, doctors and therapists joined two of his rescuers at the lobby of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to say farewell as he headed home for the first time since the April 15 bombings. He has made 16 trips to the operating room for a total of 49 surgical procedures.
‘‘Today marks the 100th day of me in the hospital, not being able to spend the night with my boy or fiancee. You know, it’s been tough,’’ he said as his 5-year-old son, Gavin, stood next to him and giggled happily.
Fucarile, a 34-year-old roofer who wore a ‘‘Boston Wicked Strong’’ T-shirt, said going home does not mean the end of an arduous and painful medical journey.
‘‘I, like many other survivors, still have more surgeries and other procedures to go through,’’ he said. ‘‘I'll be needing prosthesis and adaptation for the rest of my life, like many others from that day.’’
His fiancee, Jennifer Regan, joked that the family got a front-load washer and dryer so he can do laundry from his wheelchair.
‘‘No, it means the world, just the simple things that . you sort of brush aside, maybe, in your everyday life — like family dinners, you know what I mean,’’ she said. ‘‘Gavin hasn’t had his dad home for dinner in 100 days ... yeah, I'm excited, it’s really good.’’
Fucarile was unable to bathe, dress himself, walk or even transfer himself to a wheelchair when he arrived at the rehabilitation hospital eight weeks ago. He is now able to do that, including walking on crutches.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Courageous 11 year old Bailey Moody battles back against bone cancer by making a radical decision to have a rare amputation surgery so she could continue playing sports...

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - At 11, Bailey Moody is already a bit of a comeback kid. Last summer, facing bone cancer, the Johns Creek sixth-grader made a pretty radical decision. She chose a rare amputation surgery because it was her one chance of playing the sports she loves.

"I just knew that this is what I wanted, I wanted to play sports, I wanted to be able to keep up with my friends," Moody said.

But keeping up got much harder in the spring of 2012, when Bailey's right leg began throbbing.
"So, we took her in, had it checked out, they did an x-ray.  That was on a Sunday, I got a rather frantic call from our pediatrician Monday morning, and she's normally calm, steady.  And she said, 'I think Bailey has a bone tumor,'" said Tiffany Moody, Bailey's mother.

Bailey, then a fourth-grader, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer in her lower right thigh, and knee.

"I realized this is a big deal and I might not be able to save my leg," Bailey said.

Tiffany Moody said, "The thing with bone cancer is you have to get the tumor out.  You can't just do chemo, or radiation and get rid of it that way. The tumor has to be removed."

"So I prayed about it and then I heard the options, and they were really hard options," said Bailey.

Bailey's right leg would have to be amputated above-the-knee. But she didn't want a metal joint replacement or a prosthetic knee. She wanted a rare surgery that would radically re-design her leg, turning her foot and ankle into her new knee.

"And the first time we saw it we both said, ‘We are not doing that to our child.'  And that's most parents, that's their reaction. Because it just looks so shocking," said Tiffany Moody.

But not to Bailey. 

Star NASCAR engineer Richie Parker thrives despite having no arms..."I don't know there's a lot in life ... that I'd say I can't do. Just things I haven't done yet."

The fact that Richie Parker can ride a bike doesn't sound impressive -- until you see him do it. Same goes for the car repairs he makes using power tools.
Parker was born without arms, a disability he's overcome time and time again, ultimately leading him to his job engineering chassis and body components forHendrick Motorsports, NASCAR's most winning organization.
"Based on his resume, I knew he could do the things that I needed him to do, it was more a question of how,” Rex Stump, engineering manager at Hendrick, said of Parker in a segment that aired on ESPN Sunday.
Just like every other hurdle in his life, Parker found a way, placing the keyboard and mouse on the floor, then operating both with his feet to build custom high-performance automotive parts. The entirety of the ESPN segment traces the evolution of Parker's can-do attitude for accomplishing a wide-range of tasks, including opening a refrigerator door to creating a system to help him drive a car.
More than that, his story has also inspired countless others, not the least of which is Magic Johnson. After watching the ESPN segment, the retired NBA star tweeted, "Richie Parker's story proves that you can do anything you set your mind to. We should all stop complaining and giving excuses."
Or, as Parker says, "I don't know there's a lot in life ... that I'd say I can't do. Just things I haven't done yet."

"Be Strong" - Mynra Malveaux is fighting back and sharing her story about ALS disease in order to help and inspire others...

(Suzanne Malveaux is the co-anchor of CNN's international news program "Around The World" and the daughter of Myrna Malveaux)
(CNN) -- With the tap of a toe or the blink of an eye, those with ALS are redefining what it means to be alive.
I have to admit it took some time to come up with that line and believe it -- to have that kind of positive outlook on this nasty deadly disease and the future.
Just a year and a half ago, my mother, Myrna Malveaux, 69, was healthy. Our family's matriarch, she was the one who was the life of the party, the trusted confidante but town crier of all family secrets, the glue that held my father, me, and my three siblings together.
When I was told she had ALS I honestly didn't know what it was. But then my sister described it to me over the phone and I had to pull over the car. It's a fatal, fast-moving neuromuscular disease that would paralyze my mother limb by limb. First robbing her of her ability to swallow, then speak, move and breathe.
When that reality set in, I spent many nights in my home, crying on the floor. What enabled me to get up was that my mother accepted her fate with a strength and grace I'd never seen before. In anyone.
When she began choking on her food, losing her ability to swallow, she got a feeding tube.
When she lost her ability to walk, she got a motorized wheelchair.
When she could no longer speak, she picked up a word board and started spelling out her conversations, still telling my father what to do.
And finally when she lost her ability to breathe, she got a tracheotomy and ventilator to stay alive.
Which is why the notion of what it means to be alive, for me, has completely changed.