Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blue Food Dye And Spinal Cord Injuries

There is an old joke that asks, "What color does a Smurf turn if it is choking?" Now, what happens to a lab rat whose spinal cord is damaged, when you infuse the same blue food dye they use in M&Ms and Gatorade into that rat's blood system? The answer: it turns Smurf blue!

The rats get some functional return, but they turn blue. However, this is a good news/good news story. The first good news is the rats' spinal cords get healed to varying degrees. The second good news is the blue color eventually goes away.

In a recent interview,
lead researcher Maikn Nedergaard, from the University of Rochester Medical Center, told ScienceNews' Rachel Ehrenberg. "It could be [as simple as] you drink blue Gatorade on the way to the hospital."

You can read the entire article from gizmag.com by clicking here.

The article ends with this paragraph which I really like: "Here's hoping that this simple technology shows similar results in humans, and that it makes it through into clinical use around the world as soon as possible. Any treatment that can reduce the severity of spinal cord injuries stands to vastly improve the quality of life for victims, and for such little expense this seems like an enormous breakthrough."

I have always said science is amazing; and eventually they will find a way to cure spinal cord injury. I never would have guessed drinking blue Gatorade in the ambulance on the way to the hospital would be part of the equation!

Any comments?



Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Young Protegee

In my last post, I introduced you to young Severn Suzuki. Now, I want to share another youngster who has found his talent at an early age. His name is Quinn Sullivan and is now ten years old.

My friend, speaker, author and fellow blogger, Earl Hipp, has an excellent blog on man-making and is focusing on helping men to mentor young boys on their journey to manhood. You can learn more about Earl, and read his blog by clicking here.

Today, he posted this two-year-old video of Quinn Sullivan playing blues guitar with the legendary Buddy Guy. I want to share this video with you to show how another young person has found his amazing talent at an early age. Watch the passion Buddy Guy puts into mentoring this young boy. After watching this, see if you don't agree with me that Quinn has real talent:

I wonder if he will be the next Johnny Lang?

As always, I welcome your comments.



Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Ago Today

Eight years ago today everyone in the United States claimed everything changed and it will never be the same. I don't believe it anymore. We have all heard the phrase, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

friend posted this video a few days ago, and I saw it on my Facebook Home Page. Twelve-year-old Severn Suzuki gave this speech at a United Nations Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992. What I find amazing about it is, it could be given today and nothing has changed in seventeen years!

Check it out:

Young people can often put things in such a simple perspective you cannot argue with them. I believe Severn did just that! How can one argue with her points?

She has grown up to be an environmental activist, speaker, television host and author. According to Wikipedia, " ...
she has spoken around the world about environmental issues, urging listeners to define their values, act with the future in mind, and take individual responsibility." You can read more about her by clicking here.

Listening to her reminded me of young, Dalton Sherman, whom I wrote about in my October 1, 2008 post. You can read that post and watch his speech by clicking here.

Like Dalton, Severn found her passion at an early age. Now, she's almost thirty and is making her passion her career. I can certainly relate! It is great fun to watch young people develop into adults. I love it!

There are two things going on here:

1. The content of Severn's speech
2. Finding your passion

I look forward to your comments.



Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Still Believe In Tomorrow

As my regular readers know, I got hurt September 3, 1971, thirty-eight years ago tonight. I talk about that night in every speech. When someone asks how long I have been disabled, I tell them it was the night my life changed forever, my first life ended and my second life began. When nurses, lab technicians, therapists and doctors' receptionists ask me, "Date of injury onset?"

I reply, "9 - 3 - 71." I know it was an instant in time that has affected many peoples' lives besides mine. If you are reading this, chances are pretty good you are one of them.

It is always a melancholy day, and today is no different. I decided to write about my feelings in hope it will be a therapeutic session to share them. Forgive me if I don't lie on the couch, because then I could not type.

Shortly after my accident, a friend gave me the poster pictured here:

Click on the image to enlarge:

That quote, "I still believe in tomorrow." became my slogan, my mantra, and one of my goals. It was part of the lyrics to a song that went, "I still believe in tomorrow, though my life means nothing today." I felt that way many days, and especially in the middle of countless nights when I couldn't sleep.

There were many of those feelings of, "Why me?" "When will I wake up from this bad dream?" "What's going to happen next?" "What did I do to deserve this?" and many more thoughts like those.
I had many, many questions, and still do. It's just today, the questions are different. I have found answers to many of my questions, and there are others that remain unanswered. I am guessing many of you can empathize with those thoughts.

One day in Sioux Falls, a doctor took my family to the waiting room and told them my life expectancy was nine years. I guess he was wrong. I believe I am still here because I'm not done yet. I believe we all have a reason for being, and I also believe we need to find that reason. Some of us do, and some do not. I feel fortunate to know I have found mine.

I have a friend whom I have known for close to thirty years and she told me once she was glad she didn't know me then because she would not have wanted to go through that time. She said it would have been too painful to witness knowing me before my accident, to adjusting to everything I had to address from seeing me with the Crutchfield thongs in my skull like in this picture, to watching me lose sixty-eight pounds, to witnessing me struggle through my rehabilitation in the months after my accident.

Some of you were at the game, some of you have only known me since I became disabled, some of you only know me from hearing me speak and/or reading this blog, and some of you have never met me.

I welcome your comments, especially if you were at the game or knew me in 1971. Please let me know your memories and thoughts. Who knows, it may end up in the book? After all, that is the purpose of this whole blog.

There, I feel better. Thanks for reading.