Hope of a Cure for Sickle Cell

In the midst of the pandemic and protests and political mayhem, the grim news can be overwhelming. But there’s wonderful news, too. Remember the gene-editing technique, CRISPR? A year after gene-editing, a woman with severe sickle cell disease feels great. This success signals hope of a cure for Sickle Cell disease. Sickle Cell Disease According to the Centers for Disease Control, Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. A healthy red blood cell is round. It travels through our blood vessels, even the tiny capillaries, and delivers oxygen to all parts of the body. When a person has SCD, their red blood cells become hard and sticky and shaped like a farm tool called the sickle. These abnormal cells get stuck in small blood vessels. This clogs blood flow. It can cause mild-to-severe pain and many serious problems like strokes. These cells also die early, causing anemia. There are three common types of Sickle Cell and three rare types. Some people carry the trait (they have half the genetic material that causes the disease). If two people with the trait have a child, they have a 50% chance of passing on the trait and […]

Hope for that Helpless Feeling

Are you in a hard place right now? Feel like you’re stuck? Helpless and Hopeless? There is hope for that helpless feeling. Don’t Diminish Your Feelings You know you’re not alone. And in your heart of hearts, you believe your hard place isn’t anywhere near as hard as those of people of color or police officers or medical workers or even some grocery store clerks. And that’s part of the problem. Other people having hard times in their lives doesn’t negate your troubles. Your troubles still disrupt your life. Cause you pain. Troubles in trying to write or not being able to go to the movie theater or being unable to visit your loved ones are painful. But they aren’t really the problem. You focus on a smaller problem. Because you feel helpless. You cannot cure COVID or right the wrongs of racial inequality. And you cannot heal the rage and the hate and the hurt of the world. You wish you could. And when you realize you’re not in a position to help, You feel impotent. Helpless. Paralyzed. Trauma Trauma affects you mentally and physically. You say, wait—I’ve not experienced the trauma—I’ve just watched it on television, YouTube, Twitter, […]

Love & Hope in the Pandemic

It’s good to see so many posts and articles praising and thanking our frontline workers. But there are many more examples of love and hope in the pandemic. Let’s look at a few. Row Venice Female gondola rowers in Venice — who are all part of a nonprofit organization called Row Venice — deliver groceries to the elderly and those who cannot shop for themselves. They also volunteer for local farmhouses, delivering organic produce and other products to the elderly and immunocompromised. Follow them on their Instagram account. PPE for Healthcare Workers A start up company, Augment Bionics, used to 3D print affordable prosthetics. Now the company prints PPE for healthcare workers. They need help to continue this effort. If you can afford it, visit their GoFundMe page. Caremongering Canadians, Mita Hans, Valentina Harper, and others started caremongering (a new word) on Facebook. . They wanted to turn scaremongering around into a positive. And they have. There are dozens of these Facebook groups performing acts of kindness for one another. You can search for caremongering and your city in the Facebook search bar. If you don’t have a group near you, why not start one?  Hand Sanitizer One of the many items […]