After delivering her baby brother, 12-year-old Jacee Dellapena decided she wanted to be an OB-Gyn. These dreams are not so uncommon. For 24-year-old Montana Brown, realizing her dream of becoming a nurse doesn’t seem simple at all. A two-time cancer survivor, Brown decided she would pay it forward in the very hospital she was treated in.
When she was 2 years old, Brown was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of childhood cancer of the connective tissue. She underwent chemotherapy for a year at the AFLAC Cancer Center.
Brown had gone into remission, only to later find out, at the age of 15, that her cancer had returned. The same nurses that cared for her 13 years prior were once again by her side. Brown has since expressed her deepest gratitude for their compassion.
“The nurses here, as great as they were when I was 2… they were extremely loving and caring and compassionate. And, just the love they showed me and my family in our time of need just really helped me,” she said. “It helped me want to become as kind and as caring and as compassionate as they were for me.”
Brown has come full circle and is now a pediatric oncologist at the AFLAC Cancer Center. I suppose that sometimes, the best way to pay it forward is to have a look back.
In the midst of tragedy, celebrities have been using their fame to give back to struggling communities. With big guns like José Andrés cooking up a storm for hurricane survivors, Hollywood stars have a lot to prove. However, one familiar face on top of his philanthropy game is Leonardo DiCaprio. After a stint saving African lions, Leo teamed up with on-screen flame Kate Winslet to save a cancer patient.
“I phoned Leo and I said, ‘Do you think we could do a charity dinner or something?’” Winslet [said]. “And he said… ‘Come with me to St. Tropez, to my big fundraiser for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation,’ which is back in July, ‘and we will auction off a dinner with Jack and Rose.’”
The Titanic stars raised $1.35 million for patient Gemma Nuttall, who lacked $98,000 in funds for treatment. The new mom underwent chemotherapy just weeks after birthing her daughter. The film giants are also sending Nuttall to Germany for further specialist treatment.
“I just want to say thank you so much for all your hard work and [helping] me being able to have my treatment that I really did need,” Nuttall said… “You saved my life and I just want you to know that.”
If Leo and Kate can save the silver screen from a rise in awful B-movies, surely a life is no big deal.
Nothing compares to the heartbreak of a cancer diagnosis. Every year, 12.7 million people fall victim to bad news, of whom 7.6 million don’t make it. Though breakthroughs such as personalized vaccines have been gradual, nonprofits have been helping to ease the pain of chemo. And, of course, nothing beats the support of family and friends. To help recovering leukemia patient Bridget Kelly feel at home, hundreds of neighbors welcomed her back to school.
“Her classmates wanted to let her know, ‘You were out for 15 months, but we absolutely did not forget about you,” [said] Kristin Healy, a school parent who helped organize the gathering.
The 8-year-old, diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia in 2016, underwent chemotherapy for 88 days. Bridget’s then-3-year-old sister acted as donor for her stem cell transplant. For over a year, the bright second-grader caught up with studies at home. The massive welcoming committee was more than well-deserved.
“It was almost overwhelming,” Bridget’s mother, Megan Kelley [said]… “She felt so special and so welcomed after such a long and hard road.”
Understandably, surviving the trying condition is every patient’s ultimate goal. Life is just a little less bitter with a hand to hold.
It’s startups like ChemoCars that ease everyday difficulties for struggling cancer patients. Though burdens have mitigated over the years, for some, there isn’t much of a light at the end of the tunnel. Still, women like Heather Mosher can make the best of a bleak situation. The 31-year-old married beau David Mosher only 18 hours before her passing.
“I saw her sick,” [said] Mosher… “I saw her in a lot of pain and she didn’t give up until she married me. It is so humbling that someone could love me like that.”
Mosher proposed to his wife over the holidays of 2016. Five days later, she was diagnosed with a quick-spreading cancer, which caused her health to deteriorate. Despite the verdicts, friends and family promised Heather joyous festivities.
“I was with her every single day at the hospital that week, and I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate,” [friend Christina] Karas said. “… I just had to get into wedding mode because my heart was in ‘losing my best friend’ mode. I just thought, ‘For Heather, I’m going to do this.”’
Despite a bittersweet end, Heather is proof that good things can come of the most tragic of circumstances.
2017 has been a year of breakthroughs in medicine. From 3D printing brain tissue to the accidental discovery of origami organs, it’s been smooth sailing for the science world. A group of doctors from the University of Rochester Medical Center saved not only a music teacher’s life, but also his music function.
“Removing a tumor from the brain can have significant consequences depending upon its location. Both the tumor itself and the operation to remove it can damage tissue and disrupt communication between different parts of the brain. It is, therefore, critical to understand as much as you can about each individual patient.”
Substitute music teacher Dan Fabbio was suffering from a tumor near the center of his brain. Neurosurgeons used a brain mapping program to treat Fabbio and studied the patient for six months. In order to ensure that the operation was a success, Fabbio played his saxophone directly after surgery.
“It made you want to cry. He played it flawlessly and when he finished the entire operating room erupted in applause.”
While my saxophone-playing skills may be parallel to that of a squealing pig, it’s good to know that this musical genius got to retain his.
The Placebo Effect is a powerful one, and it takes place mainly in the mind. The sugar pill can “heal” a variety of ailments, as long as the patient believes that the pill is anything but sugar.
But there is something new about the Placebo Effect:
Scientists have been studying this incredibly complex interface in great detail over the past 15 years, and they’re finding that sugar pills are stranger and more useful than we’ve previously imagined. The new science of placebo is bringing new understanding to why alternative treatments — like acupuncture and reiki — help some people. And it could also potentially allow us to one day prescribe smaller doses of pain drugs to help address the opioid crisis currently ravaging America.
In particular, there is more than one effect – hence “The Placebo Effects”:
There is no one placebo response. It’s a family of overlapping psychological phenomena.
Discover the 6 different placebo effects, and how they can now be used to achieve the goals the patient wishes to achieve, instead of just dismissing it as being ineffective. After all – the patient does get better, and that’s what’s most important to him.
With a plethora of existing conditions and viruses, the need to improve healthcare systems never stops. As hospitals and clinics are not always readily available to the majority (or perhaps we’d prefer an apple a day to keep the doctor away), app empire Swype has raised $8.5 million for Xealth, a web platform connecting patients and doctors.
Founded in May 2016, Xealth is a cloud-based digital platform that allows doctors to prescribe digital treatments such as instructional videos to patients.
“Healthcare’s just such a big challenge for the U.S. right now,”
“It felt like that big problem for all of us was worth attacking, and it seemed like it was also well poised to get disrupted digitally,”
The main issue lies in third party vendors, whose digital tools cannot be shared by doctors if they are not integrated with their hospital system.
Xealth is basically a connective tissue that lets hospitals and vendors hook up through the cloud and bypass all that work.
Xealth also tracks if patients are completing tasks [prescribed by doctors].
Doctors can easily keep tabs on patients and make sure they are following the instructions given to them. After all, we all know that one guy who never follows the regime.
While Xealth isn’t going to replace physical consultations, it is predicted to have a great impact on users. Xealth endorses other services such as shared decision-making programs and collation of patient data.
Developers are always looking for ways to make healthcare more accessible to the everyday smartphone user. The FitBit specializes in monitoring one’s daily steps and heart rate while Fooducate recognizes eating habits. It’s safe to say that Apple is determined to jump on the health-junkie bandwagon.
According to at least two sources in the know, Apple envisions creating a system that would enable patients to store vital health data… so it could easily be shared at the patient’s discretion with their doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers, on command.
Apple is tackling the longtime healthcare issue of data sharing between patients and doctors.
The same problem Apple is trying to solve in creating this iPhone-based healthcare data system is something the healthcare industry has been grappling with for years now. Patients often find that their healthcare data can’t easily be shared with or between their doctors — even despite today’s increasingly digital landscape.
How effective can this new system be?
Apple does have one key advantage: the majority of healthcare practitioners use iOS — with over 1 billion Apple devices currently active around the globe.
Lately, Apple has been taking major leaps towards improving the everyday lives of users in areas of finance, education, and health.
Do you think Apple is revolutionizing the healthcare industry?