Monday, October 29, 2012

Global Healthcare

It's election year here in the US, and the Affordable Healthcare act is one of the key platforms that the cadidates argue about. Now this act isn't about research, or improving treatments; it's about health insurance. Don't get me wrong, it's very important to have health insurance so that health care can be affordable and so that everyone has access to preventative and long term care, not just emergency care.
Today, 26 years after Chernobyl, the nuclear disaster is still taking it's toll. The area around the site is still off limits due to high radiation, but the fallout in a large area around the zone of exclusion is still affecting new births. The rate of heart defects alone in babies is 8 times the normal level. Birth defects, including limb deformities, cerebal palsy, epilepsy and cognitive defects and delays are at extremely high levels. In Belarus, many of these children end up in orphanages, and later in adult asylums, simply due to the high financial burden of raising such a child. These asylums, health facilities and orphanages are poorly funded and use medical technology and techniques never seen in the developed world because they are so old and inhumane.
In this documentary, filmakers split between Belarus and Ireland, where an international foundation works to improve the lives of these children through surguries and treatment in Ireland, plus volunteers to travel to Belarus. Here, in part 2, they show how tonsillectomies are performed on consious children without anisthetic .
This type of care, seen as inhumane and ancient in many first world countries, is commonplace in poorer countries. Our healthcare system may have some difficulties, but it is nothing compared to these countries, where children die from lack of a simple operation, or have them performed without anisthetic. Remember your blessings.

Team Ariel

Tonight, please keep Ariel in your thoughts and prayers tonight as she bravely battles on against rhabdo.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall Winter

It is almost Halloween, and I've been back from fall break for two weeks. A few updates:
Sorry I haven't been writing much. Life has been hectic with midterms, projects and some rather interesting (read: difficult to fully understand) concepts.
We had our first major snowstorm/ snow fall here in Salt Lake City on Thursday. While it's mostly melted here in town and at the U, the mounains have a nice cover of snow. It's simply beautiful. Ski season isn't too far off.
Today was a Pre-med outreach event up at the medical school, and I have now seen my first cadaver (well, 18 of them). Very interesting. I got to see both normal cadavers, as well as most of the major systems, lung cancer, metastic melanoma, and implanted pacemakers, ports and dialysis equipment.

Monday, October 15, 2012

CureSearch walk: updated

It's been a few weeks since the Salt Lake City Curesearch Walk that i participated in, and here's the current numbers:
I personally raised $175, with the help of family, friends and some gift matching from corporations. Thank you so much for everyone who donated. I also roped a friend into coming, which was pretty awesome.
The Salt Lake CureSearch walk raised $168,427 as a whole, thanks to over 3000 participants and many donors.
But wait, if you've been a slow poke it's not too late to donate. You can donate to the walk's page at, although no telling how logn it will be there. You can also donate by mail to
CureSearch for Children's Cancer
440 E. Huntington Drive Suite 400, Arcadia, CA 91006
or cut out the middle man and donate straight to cure search at