Team Pop 2017
At mile 4, I started undoing one of the safety pins that held my race number to my “Team Pop” shirt. It was hot. I was tired. I felt done. I would simply pull off my number and sneak away from the race. My car was just across the street from that particular spot on the course. Would it matter if I bailed now? My intent had been sincere. My energy and motivation at that moment were sapped.

But I thought about Pop, who I had met only that morning before the event. Kenny’s dad. Grandpa to Jess and Ken’s 6-month old. Mrs. Morris’s husband. I convinced myself that the overheating misery I was experiencing was nothing compared to the fatigue and illness Pop has been going through as he battles lymphoma. Or the anger and frustration Ken has dealt with watching a parent battle an invisible opponent like blood cancer. And the courage I witness in my own mother as she faces lung cancer head-on.

I re-fastened the safety pin and told myself this was not going to be my induction into the quitting hall of fame just because the run felt hard. Fighting cancer is hard. And so is watching it from outside the ring as a grown child, like Ken & Jess, who only recently became parents themselves.

The conversation that took place in my head included a reprimand to myself with the reminder that this event and this day were not about me. Not in the least. The mental reaming involved a laundry list of thrashings that included the recognition that my ego was getting in the way of why I had come out to be part of Team Pop in the first place.

I thought about standing with my hand over my heart while the national anthem was played before the race and how emotional I felt knowing that Kenny had pulled together a large group of folks who wanted to show their support for him and his dad. I thought about how competitive I am with myself and how at this stage in my life I do not need or even really want the accolades or trophy that come with being first or fastest. That being healthy and strong and able-to are reasons enough to toe the start line and cross through the finish chute. Not an option for Pop right now.

Waiting to cross the finish line with Ken and others from the team he organized made me feel grateful and humble. The smile on Pop’s face, and the appreciation he showed for everyone who had gathered to support and honor him was powerful. The story Ken and Jess saw of their lives only a year ago did not include Pop having to suffer with blood cancer and maybe sooner than later miss out on holding, playing with and passing on wisdom to their child.

Kenny’s effort to do something so tangible to honor his dad, including surrounding him with so many people channeling positive energy in his direction, has to have converted into some sort of healing power, at least for now. I am grateful for the personal awakening that occurred by doing something good for someone else. And I still have not checked the times or results from the race.

I do know that that the lofty goal Ken set of raising $10K for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society was met and will support research and science to help find a cure. That, by far, is the best prize I have ever seen on the podium of any 10-K.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. These are the types of cancer that can affect the bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes or other parts of the lymphatic system. Their mission: cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Funds raised support lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provide free information and support services.

Running for Pop. Fueled by hope and love. Camaraderie. A cause. Distraction from what cannot be controlled. Purple passion. Spirit. Thanks, Kenny. Thank you, Pop.

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Sunset Florida 2017“I am what I am because of who we all are.” Ubuntu, a South African philosophy, accepts that we are all part of something larger. It’s time to embrace the challenge of helping individuals, families and caregivers whose lives are impacted by a chronic health condition get access to the resources they need. Now. Yesterday.

Disabling short-and long-term conditions cross all social and economic demographics. Every individual and family deserves support and access to resources that help ease the burden of living with or caring for someone with a disabling medical diagnosis.

We have to step up our efforts to figure out how we can assist people and caregiving families with getting help when they are faced with the challenges created by a loved one’s declining health status.

Many of our communities, including where I live, do not have the resources in place to connect individuals and families to a network of experts and professionals who will help them maintain independence and dignity as they address the medical, economic, social and emotional challenges of managing someone’s health.

Alan Jette, PT, PhD argues that it is crucial that caregivers and caregiving families be given information and support to fulfill their roles and responsibilities while also maintaining their own health, financial security and well-being.

He also highlights that “while we must acknowledge that there is the potential for economic and emotional hardship on family caregivers, there are many positive outcomes, too. These include enhanced confidence on the part of the caregiver, lessons in how to deal with difficult situations, and closer personal relationships with the care recipient.”

Jette enlightened me with the alarming fact that one in 7 Americans has a disability when I read his editorial in the February 2017 Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association. That knowledge, combined with the fact that  20% of the population (72.8 million people) in the U.S. will be 65 years of age or older in 2030, means that the number of people living with a disability will continue to grow.

The scenario that lies ahead is not all bad. If we commit to the challenge, sense of satisfaction and purpose associated with helping individuals and caregivers find solutions to their difficult situations, we all benefit. Interconnectedness. Ubuntu. It’s a good thing.

 

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Plants to End Polio is a web-based initiative to raise awareness about Rotary International’s participation in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the goal to end the spread of this vaccine-preventable virus by 2018.

This is my mother’s story about her memory of a childhood friend who had polio in the 1950s: The Chaplain’s Daughter, by Ann Burruss.

Gardeners and plant lovers can order bulbs from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs  for both Spring (late summer blooms) and Fall planting (think daffodils!).

At no extra cost to the buyer, 25% of the purchase is donated to End Polio Now when Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation is selected.  That donation is matched 2:1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  An $80 purchase results in a $60 contribution to help eradicate polio.  And to think the purchaser was going to order bulbs anyhow!

Photo by Jack Cast

 

NASA SpaceX Rocket Launch

The strategies for recruiting patients to your clinic are similar to those used by professionals who identify and secure potential donors in fundraising efforts. Brenda Cressey, in an article about capital campaign funding for The Rotarian, mentioned these key points:

Identify potential consumers of your service in your geographic area: who may need physical therapy?

  1. Cultivate a relationship: get in front of potential patients (who also have family, friends and acquaintances) who may need physical therapy. Let them know what is unique and special about your clinic: immediate scheduling of appointments, robust exercise programs, individually tailored treatment plans, and specialty services.
  2. Solicit those prospective patients and referral sources: request that they ask for you or a colleague, specifically, to be their physical therapist. Ask that they recommend you personally. Be bold in reminding consumers that in most cases they do have a choice in who they select as their physical therapy provider.
  3. Remember to thank the patients that chose you to be their provider of physical therapy services. Thank the folks who refer patients to you. Remember that every relationship has played a role in where you are today as a successful clinic manager and physical therapist.

So, like successful fundraising campaigns, physical therapy practice management demands vigilance in recognizing that potential consumers have many choices. And what will set them apart, much like what sets capital donors apart in the organizations to which they donate and support, will likely come down to a relationship that the patient, or potential patient values: you and your skills as a physical therapist and practice manager.

Photo from NASA SpaceX 

 

POLIO IMMUNIZATION IN LUCKNOW

Konnie Huq in Lucknow during the November Immunization days in Northern India..India has been engaged in a campaign to eradicate polio in India which target the high-risk area of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar with polio immunization drives every 2 month (photo Jean-Marc Giboux)

Meet Colleen, polio activist, Rotarian, front-line team member who has traveled to India & Nigeria to vaccinate children to protect them from the devastating polio virus: Colleen Bonadonna.

Plants to End Polio supports Rotary International efforts to eradicate polio.  When you designate Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation through Bloomin’ Bucks, 25% of your purchase will help End Polio Now.   For every dollar we raise, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation doubles its contribution to the cause.

Plant plants.  End polio.  It’s that simple with this partnership with the internationally acclaimed Brent & Becky’s Bulbs.

PolioBillboard

To learn more about post-polio syndrome, read this blog from a physical therapist.

Plants to End Polio is a Gloucester Point Virginia Rotary Club project to raise awareness and funds to help eradicate polio as it lurks in just two nations: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We partnered with Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Bloomin’ Bucks program so that when you select Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation, 25% of your sale is donated to End Polio Now.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match every dollar donated to End Polio Now 2:1.

Check out this post for hints on growing beautiful bulbs indoors any time of the year!

 

polio1950s

Photo from the Roosevelt library collection.

“We must fear a resurgence of this dreaded disease.”~ Peggy Bowditch

Read Peggy’s story here.

Join Gloucester Point Virginia Rotary Club as we raise awareness and funds to help eradicate polio as it lurks in just two nations: Afghanistan and Pakistan.   Plants to End Polio is a project where we partnered with Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Bloomin’ Bucks program so that when you select Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation, 25% of your sale is donated to End Polio Now.  Unfortunately, the “shop” is closed for the season but will re-open in January.  In the meantime, please help us spread the word.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match every dollar donated to End Polio Now 2:1.

Check out this post for hints on growing beautiful bulbs during the dreary winter months.