Archive for the ‘HOPE AND INSPIRATION’ Category


One of the many problems with the Lyme disease bacteria is that when under attack, they can coat themselves with a biofilm. Think ‘getting slimed from ghostbusters…


…in fact:
“A biofilm is any group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other and often these cells adhere to a surface. Biofilm is a polymeric conglomeration generally composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) which may also be referred to as SLIME (although not everything described as slime is a biofilm).” wiki
Is this mucous-y armor-y biofilm strong? Strong enough to withstand the antibiotics used to kill them and tadpole biofilm has even been found intact from the Miocene era so, yeah. Lyme disease bacteria can morph back and forth into this armor-like biofilm when attacked and remove it when it is going about its normal (destructive) life cycle. In fact, antibiotics like doxycycline, the standard treatment for Lyme disease, actually trigger the bacteria into producing this biofilm armor.

“The culprit behind Lyme disease, which is a bacterial infection, is spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The antibiotics proven to kill this form of bacteria are doxycycline and amoxicillin. However, Borrelia burgdorferi can be found in morphological forms, including spirochetes, spheroplast (or L-form), round bodies, and biofilms. When conditions are considered unfavourable for the bacteria, it morphs into the dormant round body, then hides in a biofilm form. When conditions are favourable, however, it can shift back to its spirochete form.”
So what’s a Lyme disease sufferer to do when THE TREATMENT essentially STRENGTHENS the antibiotic resistance of the PATHOGEN?
A new study shows there is increased hope for Lyme disease sufferers. The use of Stevia, a common sugar, has been fond to destroy the biofilm. Taking STEVIA and ANTIBIOTICS will destroy the biofilm and the bacteria more effectively:

“Subculture experiments with Stevia and antibiotics treated cells were established for 7 and 14 days yielding, no and 10% viable cells, respectively compared to the above-mentioned antibiotics and antibiotic combination. When Stevia and the three antibiotics were tested against attached biofilms, Stevia significantly reduced B. burgdorferi forms. Results from this study suggest that a natural product such as Stevia leaf extract could be considered as an effective agent against B. burgdorferi.”

“Stevia Kills Lyme Disease Pathogen Better Than Antibiotics, Study Confirms – http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/01/25/study-finds-stevia-kills-lyme-disease-pathogen-better-than-antibiotics/



Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. It is also called rebirth or transmigration, and is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence.”
“In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.”
“The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian religious belief that, after being put to death, Jesus rose again from the dead. It is the central tenet of Christian theology and part of the Nicene Creed: “On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures”.

“Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a grotesque but sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.”Frankenstein's_monster_(Boris_Karloff).jpg

Humanity has always been fascinated by resurrection – bringing the dead back to life.  The references are plentiful and many will cry out that science should not mess with the great barrier of death for it is absolute and divine and we should not mess with nature.  But, are life and death truly black and white?

Perhaps not.  The “Lazarus syndrome, also known as autoresuscitation after failed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is the spontaneous return of circulation after failed attempts at resuscitation. Its occurrence has been noted in medical literature at least 38 times since 1982.”

Are there shades of gray between the absolute states of life and death?
Miracle Max: It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What’s that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.
Perhaps Benjamin Franklin was only half right: “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes

Death, it seems is not as final as we once thought.  But, can it be done?  Scientists have been given the green light to try:
“By implanting stem cells in the patient’s brain…they hope to reboot the brain and jump-start neural activity. The result could be people coming back to life.”

On a serious note 

The above pics and quips aside…
this work is monumental and can have huge ramifications to the treatments of chronic and terminal disease, brain disorders and more.  Many people would like to classify AGING as a disease which we need to study, treat and conquer and scientists around the world are making great strides in their efforts.  Maybe one day soon we will also classify DEATH as a disease which we need to study, treat and conquer.  Let’s keep an open mind and support the discovery of new methods for treating disease. 





Someone reminded me that most stem cell treatments and immunotherapies aren’t FDA approved or covered by insurance in the USA.
This is true, but…
we’ve known about the rampant capacity for stem cells regenerating/regrowing finger tips since the work of Dr Illingsworth in the early 70’s. Children under 8 regrew their fingertips unassisted. That was their natural stem cells in their own bodies regenerating the distal phalanx, blood vessels, skin, nail, etc. but our natural healing system is not FDA approved.
We’ve known about bone marrow derived stem cell treatments in the form of bone marrow transplants for Leukemia/blood cancers. They regrow the patients immune system and are approved and have been used successfully in the USA for 60 years.
We know of stem cell treatments recovering patients from many chronic and terminal diseases successfully around the world for over 2-3 decades but that is only outside of our country and medical system for what I think are probably obvious reasons.
We know immunotherapy, like the 2 bubble babies cured and out of bubbles in 2001 and the Cuban originated lung cancer vaccine has been working for decades and treated thousands successfully but that is years from getting approvals here.
Sadly, as you said, many of these treatments – which merely expand on and accentuate the natural regenerative capacity and natural immune response capacity of the human body – are not covered by insurance or FDA approved.
I guess the only question I have is:
If these treatments have worked years to decades everywhere else they are used…
Is this a failing of the treatments or of the FDA and insurance…

Only you can decide.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Edison

“All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.” – Tesla

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter—for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way.” – Tesla

Innovation in the Treatment of PTSD



Time to change our perspective on PTSD treatments

Quite often, advances in treatment modalities are not from new drugs or new techniques but rather, from:

  • redefining our definitions of disease
  • redefining existing treatment methods
  • redefining our definition of recovery

Here’s one such example where the common convention of “in-person therapy sessions” for PTSD is modified by the simple removal of the “in-person” and replacing it…with teleconferencing.  Such a small change to you and me but it makes a significant difference to the patient and…isn’t that the true end goal?

For veterans who may have difficulty attending in-person therapy sessions to treat post traumatic stress disorder, a recent study has shown that treatment through video conferences, or “telemedicine,” can be just as effective.

Many individuals in need of PTSD services live in remote areas around the world where mental health care tends to be scarce. Traveling great distances in order to access this specific type of care is not always ideal, especially for those who already suffer from mental health problems, and it can also be a financial burden. Providing telemental health technology to individuals who would otherwise not be able to experience PTSD treatment is easing these burdens.

Offering both clinical and educational services, telemedicine utilizes communications technology in support and healthcare when distance becomes an issue. These services can include clinical assessment, psychotherapy (for individuals or groups), cognitive tests, and even general psychiatry.

Compared to prolonged exposure therapy conducted in the homes of patients, telemedicine yielded extremely similar results in terms of effectiveness. While some may argue that in-person treatment allows for a more personal, realistic style of therapy, statistics have shown that those who received the same treatment via video screens had similar levels of improvement.

Despite these results, therapy provided through the internet is among the most disputed forms of telemental health services available, due to the previously mentioned fact; it is less personal. Doctors and therapists have feared that their lack of physical presence allows for the patients to react negatively without control, though studies have proved otherwise.

An extremely important consideration in working with those who suffer from PTSD is establishing a sense of safety and comfort, which may prove difficult without actually being in the room. Tools and techniques that therapists have used in order to combat this obstacle include pre-treatment orientation sessions, utilizing fax machines or email to share documents and paperwork, and questionnaires allowing room for criticism or feedback.

Regardless of the criticism, the results of this study prove that there are very little differences in the outcomes of both in-person treatment and telemental treatment. This could change how mental health services are provided on several different platforms, as well as offer new ideas in the treatment of such problems.

For more, visit BennWillcox.co!

Source: Innovation in the Treatment of PTSD


In HEALTH AND WELLNESS, HOPE AND INSPIRATION, Uncategorized on January 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm. – Florence Nightingale

By 2030, Hospitals May Be a Thing of the Past

  • Predictions from the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council, Melanie Walker, say we’ll soon enter a post-hospital world due to advances in personalized medicine, health monitoring, and nanotechnology.
  • New and evolving technologies in medical science convince Walker we’ll live in a society not dependent on hospitals by 2030.


As the world of medicine is increasingly changed by biology, technology, communications, genetics, and robotics, predicting the outlook of the next few decades of medicine becomes harder. But that is exactly what Melanie Walker of the World Economic Forum does, and she predicts a bright new future for healthcare.

Walker is the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council on neurotechnology and brain science and has been a doctor for the past 20 years.

“Nearly 20 years ago, when I graduated from medical school, the world of healthcare was dominated by breakthroughs in the field of biology,” Walker said in the article. “But, that is changing quickly because biology is being eaten by robotics and genetics as we evolve deeper into the networked age.”

The lynchpin of Walker’s predictions is the increasing adoption of new healthcare technologies, not just in hospitals but in homes. In fact, she says the rise of personalized medicine means we’re moving from hospitals to “home-spitals.”

We can already see these trends playing out. Many of the biggest diseases are largely vascular, and better understanding is making them more predictable and preventable. Accidents are likely to fall with the advent of automation and driverless tech and regenerative medicine is already stretching the lifespans in the most advanced countries.

Improvements in health monitoring will also make doctor’s visits rarer since they’ll acquire health data from your smartphone. And scanning technology will one day create devices that combine spectroscopy, magnetic resonance, and radiation in an all-in-one scanner.


The trend also points to less intrusive and more automated surgeries and operations. Microbots will perform surgeries from inside your body and ingestible robotics will diagnose or operate on you before they dissolve.

There’ll also be an end to organ waiting lists. Advancements in 3D printing have made great leaps in printing artificial organs, bones, and even tissue.


One day, instead of getting prescriptions from your doctor, brain implants may read your symptoms and beam them directly to the smartphone. It will then print out a custom set of drugs to address the root of your problems.

Advancements in genomics will also ensure you know which diseases you’re most likely to get so you’re prepared or even able to edit them out of your genome.

This isn’t a prediction designed to be 100 percent as new advancements and discoveries are made every day. Rather, the predictions help set us on a path to advance the regulatory structure to accommodate future advances and get funding towards the right fields to achieve this vision.

Thomas Gray lived six days, but his life has lasting impact

In ALL ARTICLES, HOPE AND INSPIRATION on March 31, 2015 at 9:47 am

Thomas Gray lived six days, but his life has lasting impact

Sarah Gray reacts to research information about the donated retinas from her son, Thomas, who died at six days old in 2010. Callum, 5, Thomas´ identical twin brother, plays during the visit to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Sarah Gray reacts to research information about the donated retinas from her son, Thomas, who died at six days old in 2010. Callum, 5, Thomas’ identical twin brother, plays during the visit to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Sarah Gray reacts to research information about the donated retinas from her son, Thomas, who died at six days old in 2010. Callum, 5, Thomas´ identical twin brother, plays during the visit to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Gallery: Thomas Gray lived six days, but his life has lasting impact


When she found out early in her pregnancy that one of her identical twins would die at birth, Sarah Gray began a five-year journey that culminated last week in Philadelphia.

She had to carry the sick baby to term in order to protect his healthy twin. And she also looked into organ and tissue donation.

“Instead of thinking of our son as a victim,” she said, “I started thinking of him as a contributor to research, to science.”

On March 23, 2010, Thomas and Callum Gray were born at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. Callum, perfect, was five pounds, 10 ounces. Thomas, four pounds, was born without part of his brain. His mother nursed him, diapered him, cradled him.

He died after six days – five years ago on Sunday. Within hours of Thomas’ death, his eyes and liver were recovered and sent – along with umbilical cord blood from him and his brother – to researchers.But that wasn’t the end of it for Sarah Gray.

She often wondered – what became of his eyes, his blood, his liver?

The Grays had received a thank-you letter from the Washington regional transplant organization, telling them their son’s corneas had been sent to the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston, and his liver and the cord blood to Duke University in North Carolina.

Two years later, on a business trip to Boston, Sarah Gray called the eye institute, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

“I donated my son’s eyes to your lab,” she said on the phone. “Can I come by for a tour?”

The receptionist said she had never had such a request. “I’m not sure who to transfer you to,” she said, “but don’t hang up!”

The next day, Gray met James Zieske, the institute’s senior scientist, who told her “infant eyes are worth their weight in gold,” because, being so young, they have great regenerative properties. Thomas’ corneas were used in a study that could one day help cure corneal blindness.

Thirteen more studies had cited that study. Gray felt a new emotion: pride.

Before leaving, she bought a Harvard T-shirt for Callum, and decided she was going to go with the whole family to North Carolina, where Thomas’ liver and the cord blood had been sent.

Zieske also wrote her: “Your visit helped to remind me that all the eyes we receive are an incredibly generous gift from someone who loved and cared about the person who provided the eyes. I thank you for reminding me of this.”

A few months later in 2012, the Grays went to the Duke Center for Human Genetics in Durham, N.C., where even though the twins were identical, scientists found epigenetic differences in their cord blood, research that could one day help prevent Thomas’ fatal defect, anencephaly.

Sarah Gray bought Callum a Duke T-shirt.

The couple then drove down to the road to visit Cytonet, a biotech company that had used their baby’s liver in a trial to determine the best temperature to freeze liver tissue.

Already in the nonprofit public relations field, Sarah Gray became director of marketing for the American Association of Tissue Banks.

Her mantra has become donate, donate, donate, and not just for transplant, but also for research. Even if nobody asks you – doctors are often uncomfortable when a child is dying – bring it up yourself, she says.

At a conference last summer, by coincidence, Gray learned that the Old Dominion Eye Bank in North Chesterfield, Va., had shipped Thomas’ retinas to Philadelphia.

She couldn’t believe she’d never known this. She immediately wrote to the researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who used the donation in her efforts to cure retinoblastoma, the most common form of eye cancer in children.

Two days later, Gray got a reply from Arupa Ganguly, who runs the lab and is a genetics professor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

“It is almost impossible to obtain normal retina from a child,” Ganguly wrote. “The sample from Thomas is extremely precious for us.”

Ganguly sent Callum a Penn T-shirt.

They arranged to meet last Monday.

First, Sarah, Ross, and Callum Gray went to the National Disease Research Interchange in Center City, which Sarah Gray calls “the Match.com of science.” The interchange connects hospitals that supply organs and tissue with researchers who request it.

“This seems to have brought you a lot of peace and joy,” Bill Leinweber, the interchange’s president and CEO, told Sarah. “You’ve been such a strong advocate for research and such an eloquent spokesperson for the value of research.”

After a visit there, the Gray family went to Penn to meet Ganguly and tour her lab.

Sarah Gray saw the marbled composition book in which the receipt of retinas was logged on March 30, 2010, the 360th specimen to be received. They became “RES 360,” short for Research 360.

“Is this the log book?” she asked. “Oh, my gosh.”

Gray ran her index finger over the cursive of Jennifer Yutz, the lab manager who recorded the entry.

“Ross, look at this! Med 360!”

Her husband took a look. Callum, then 4, hugged an inflatable Godzilla as tall as he is, a gift from Ganguly, bouncing it on the lab floor.

“Wow,” Sarah Gray continued. “Can I Xerox this?”

“We have a copy for you,” Ganguly said.

Penn also gave the Grays a copy of the Fed Ex packing slip confirming arrival, which Sarah Gray said she would “treasure like a war medal.”

Thomas’ retina tissue is so rare, so precious, Ganguly and her team are still saving some of it for future research. Ganguly’s staff led Sarah Gray into the hallway, where a refrigerator, innocuous and ordinary, stood across from student lockers. Yutz unlocked it.

Inside were hundreds of 1.5 milliliter tubes – smaller than cigarette filters.

Yutz pointed to two.

“There it is,” Yutz said.

“Oh my gosh!” Gray said. She couldn’t touch them. The tubes were frozen at minus-80 degrees centigrade (minus-112 Fahrenheit).

“It’s the RNA isolated from the retina tissue,” Yutz said.

Call it what you will, that was a piece of Thomas Gray, her son.

Ross Gray has long supported his wife’s journey.

“It helped her get over the loss,” he said. “It was part of the healing process, seeing that there’s still research going on five years after. His life was worthwhile. He’s brought a lot of good to the world.”

“The way I see it,” Sarah Gray said, “our son got into Harvard, Duke, and Penn. He has a job. He is relevant to the world. I only hope my life can be as relevant.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20150329_Thomas_Gray_lived_six_days__but_his_life_has_lasting_impact.html#ASIBfjvkMHBMos7Y.99




On this day, July 4th of the year 2014, let us remember why we are celebrating and what we fought for.




IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

In HOPE AND INSPIRATION on May 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

Tuesday 18 May 2010 – by: Beverly Bell, t r u t h o u t | Report

Jonas Deronzil from Verrettes has been farming since 1974. Like small producers throughout Haiti, his meager income from corn, rice and beans is threatened by new competition from Monsanto. (Photo: Beverly Bell)

“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day…

via t r u t h o u t | Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds.


In HOPE AND INSPIRATION on December 31, 2009 at 12:08 am

Shane recently received his first Repair Stem Cell treatment for Spinal Cord Injury.

He has this to say…

Hello All,

First, let me begin by wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays for all my friends of faith. Regardless of our individual beliefs, we all cling to hope of a better world and brighter futures for our children. Nowhere has this been more obvious to me than right here at the treatment center. I have been attended to by Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Different people of different faiths have all provided different services but with one common goal of rendering the best care for their patients. I am not about to deliver a sermon to anyone…God knows that I’m poorly qualified to do this. With the Holy season of Christmas fast approaching, it’s just something I’ve noticed. Now some quick highlights and I’ll close with my Don’t Be Stupid tag line.

The highlights:

I got my latest spinal tap this Friday. Unlike the other time, the Dr. had a difficult time inserting the needle into my spine. This time, they moved pretty quickly in the process of administering the valium. They did not wait until I was completely out. I was groggy, but awake…somewhat anyway.  So, each time the surgeon would begin, I’d flinch and tighten my back and compress my spine. When this happens, it reduces the gap in between the vertebrae. This kind of makes it hard to accomplish the task without forcing it. I am sure that they did not want me to come all the way here just to go home in a wheelchair. Well it took four attempts, but finally, success.  When the delayed drugs wore off…you can imagine the back pain I had.

With 3 more injections to go, I’m deliberating whether or not to go via the spinal tap method.  We are all still adjusting and are adapting well. They really do try here and take their time explaining everything. One more thing I’ve noticed, the docs here are all polite and humble. Back in the US, I have run into more with a God complex than the healers they’re supposed to be.  This is a society that’s run for the most part by the govt. You will not become wealthy as a doctor here. If you choose to be a doctor in this country, your doing it purely for the passion of helping people…at least this has been my experience.

We continue to get new folks arriving every day. I do my best to meet them all. They come from all parts of the world. All of them are seeking the keys for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have become a motley group of sorts…and i don’t mean the glam band from the 80’s. Yes, I was a fan. Now, that we’ve got another Shane confession out there, we can move forward. This place is more like Ellis island, with hundreds of families seeking one thing…much in the same way that so many immigrants sought a new future and freedom from persecution from their places of birth to our shores. Here at this place, many come seeking freedom from their physical limitations and afflictions.

Sadly, much like the story of our nation; some will not find the answers they seek or the relief they want. But the hope, the promise is enough for many of them to risk all that they may have for the children. You know, it’s giving me a new appreciation for my parents and all the familiarity that they left behind, the risks taken so that their children may have a chance at a brighter future.

Many of the stories are downright tragic. There are victims of drowning, boating accidents, genetic conditions and others.  Some families seemed to be especially hard hit. There’s a Brazilian family here with not just one but three children that suffer from blindness and neurological issues that affect motor skills, speech, coordination and such. It has been emotionally draining for me with my swinging wildly from hope to despair and back again. One wonders what type of God would allow this to happen to the most innocent of his children. I don’t have the answers to this question. I believe it’s an individual quest with individual answers that will hopefully shed light prior to the end of our time here in this life. With most answers not crystal clear, we cling to the only thing that any of us really have…hope. Now I want to make my “don’t be stupid” point. What I should say is” “Don’t be like me.”

Prior to all this happening, I was always too busy to take more time with my wife, kids, family and friends. Work always seemed to come first, last and everything in between. It certainly was the case at my last place of employment. Nobody really knows what the future holds. So, don’t be stupid. When your spouse suggests that the two of you get away for awhile…do it. When your kids would like you home to have dinner with you, leave the office at 5 so you can fight traffic and be there before the food gets cold. When your family and friends need you in their times of need, drop what you’re doing and show up and help them thru their most difficult times. When your aging and at times…crusty parents want you to come visit, go do it. Do it no matter what the costs are from the professional perspective.

Now, I know that we all need to work and provide for our families. What I’m suggesting is that we take the time to conduct audits from time to time. Track how your spending your time and with whom. We men need to be weary of the breadwinner trap.  For me, the fact that I went to work to provide for my family, made me feel I was entitled to some things…right? The least of which was time for myself. You know, this is so much easier than the things my wife deals with everyday. The kids, doctors visits, countless trips to school because our lovable tornados left something at home…yet again, meetings with teachers…you Mom’s know exactly what I’m talking about. If at the end of your audit over 60 days, your raw objective data proves that your heavily tilted towards work…and your spouse is beginning to give you that  stare…then I suggest you look for work elsewhere.  If they try to make you feel guilty or question your commitment to the company, let me ask you.

Do you really want to work for anyone that does not support your concern for your family? Often these companies make stupid short term choices, take poor risks, and make bold and unrealistic claims to investors and bankers. And when the money people come to call in their markers, the employees suffer and the families suffer. No amount of money or stock options are worth losing your relationships with your spouse, kids an family…trust me, I came close to losing all of it. Now, if you’re fortunate enough to work for a company or boss that not only talks the talk but also walks the walk of family values and corporate governance, hold tight with both hands. What you have there is more precious than diamonds. I am not talking perfection but striving everyday to do right by the people that make any business run.

But you know…God is good. In spite of my mistakes, my family and friends have stepped in to provide moral, financial, logistical and emotional help. All of you have been extraordinary. Each time of this year Bob with Cross would encourage me to focus on my family, hug on the kids until they fought to get away and hug them some more, spend time with my wife and really reflect on what I have to be really thankful for. You know, I can’t really top that advice other than the fact I should have followed it much closer and sooner.

Take care my friends and loved one’s. Thanks for being in my life please continue to pray for all those that maybe suffering, our leaders and…As a favor to me, give your families what I struggled so hard to give…

Your time.

I will write again soon.



In ALL ARTICLES, HOPE AND INSPIRATION on April 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm
martin-luther-king-jr i have a dream

martin-luther-king-jr i have a dream

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.” Martin Luther King, Jr.



And as far as false hope, there is no such thing. There is only hope or the absence of hope-nothing else. – Patti Davis

Although “you feel tiny in the presence of a huge disease,” it is important not to lose hope, Davis said, noting that “interactions may be smaller, but you can still communicate” with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s.

Davis also criticized the Bush administration – Laura Bush in particular – for saying publicly to “not give Alzheimer’s patients false hope.”

“Hope is not false,” Davis said. “It just takes hope, sometimes just the hope of one person.” – Patti Davis

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