According to a zoo news release, Keo, who was 55, was the zoo’s first chimpanzee and arrived in Chicago in 1959 at the tender age of one. Since then, the geriatric chimp fathered 11 offspring.
Keo had an advanced heart disease that was impacting his quality of life, the zoo said Monday, which prompted the difficult decision. He “will be missed dearly.”
“Keo was an incredibly special individual,” Maureen Leahy, the zoo’s curator of primates, said. “His long, rich life is a testament to the wonderful care he received here as well as the veterinary advancements that have been made in the past five decades.”
Kevin Bell, the zoo’s president, added that Keo “inspired joy and countless memories in those who shared time with him at Lincoln Park Zoo.”
The median life expectancy for a chimpanzee is almost 32 years — so to say Keo lead a full life is putting it lightly. You’ll be missed, pal!
Watch Keo in action, munching on cake and generally being a pretty jolly fellow, at his 50th birthday party in 2008:
Pups of all shapes and sizes were invited to hang ten for the chance to win various awards, per the event’s website. And yes, every furry contestant walked away with a PAWticipation Medallion just for joining in on the fun.
Health insurance saves lives. One study in Health Affairs estimated that if all Americans had health insurance, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths each year. Based on population estimates, that would be 300 lives saved in a city of one million each year.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, goes into full swing with the health insurance exchange sign up starting October 1, and it mandates all Americans to get health insurance. While this provision, has no direct impact on those of us who are on Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, it is a game changer for over millions of uninsured Americans who will have to make a decision: to buy or not to buy health insurance.
My answer is simple. Buy. And here is why.
First, no one can deny you insurance. In the hospital, I saw a diabetic woman who had a foul infection in the pelvis, something which could have been managed at an earlier stage with simple antibiotics and fungal medicine, yet her response to my questions of why she did not have insurance was “I could not get insurance due to my diabetes.” No longer are preexisting illnesses a reason for insurance company to deny you coverage.
Second, illnesses do not look at political preference. It does not matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, you favor Obamacare or don’t favor Obamacare, getting health insurance is not about your ideology, rather it is about your health.
Third, illnesses and traumas such as a car accident, a cancer, or a skin infection do not do a wallet biopsy to see if you have enough money or an insurance card prior to striking. A young man with a staph infection in an elbow wound at a site of a previous fracture has no insurance. With charity care and a prolonged payment plan — much like a college tuition repayment loan — he is improving.
Fourth, when the uninsured get insured — everyone who have private insurance benefits. Let me explain. There is a common misunderstanding that lack of insurance will lower health care cost and save everyone money. That is not true. By one estimate, those who have insurance pay eight percent or some $1,100 of their premium each year towards the care for those who do not purchase insurance.
Fifth, getting health insurance can help you avoid declaring bankruptcy. One healthy self-employed friend in his 50s with a car and a house decided to stick it out without health insurance, until he began to develop chest pain and needed heart surgery. Each year two million people declare bankruptcy due to medical bills — it is the number one reason for bankruptcies, more than credit card bills and unpaid mortgages.
Sixth, the money spent on health insurance is well spent. A 40-year-old person with an income of $29,000 would have to pay $125 dollars per month for a bronze coverage health insurance or $195 a month for silver coverage with subsidies. This is as much as a pack of cigarettes or two Starbucks tall coffees each day.
Seventh, health insurance even if never used buys you one thing which is priceless: peace of mind. We will not be young and invincible forever, but we don’t want to be old and in poor health.
I don’t know any doctors who would not encourage their patients to get health insurance. I wish the cancer patient, the diabetic patient and the heart disease patient had. If you trust your doctor with your life, you should trust his or her advice. Get insurance and encourage your family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances to get health insurance.
For more by Manoj Jain, MD MPH, click here.
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But while still living in Utah, Sierra watched her little boy become violently ill from the chemotherapy — Landon suffered nerve-damage in his legs, nausea that led to vomiting dozens of times a day, intense pain and at one point went 25 days without eating following the treatment, according to CNN.
“Around the clock, he was usually on liquid morphine, Ativan, Promethexane,” Sierra told CNN back in July. “And it just really didn’t seem to be helping.”
Feeling like her family “didn’t have anything left to lose” she looked into medical marijuana treatment. She moved her family to Colorado Springs, Colo. to benefit from the state’s marijuana laws and started to give Landon liquid forms of both Cannabidiol, or CBD, and Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.
“Within four weeks we could see the improvement,” Sierra told KRDO.
Users of medical marijuana have said that THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that is associated with the “high” sensation, can also be an effective pain killer as well as inhibit feelings of nausea.
And research from a pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco suggests that CBD, the non-toxic, non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, could actually stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer.
Sierra swapped chemotherapy for cannabis therapy and has seen her son return to his old energetic self and his cancer go into remission. Her decision to use medical marijuana as treatment for her son’s cancer has raised some eyebrows in the traditional medical community — so much so, that one Colorado doctor reported Sierra to Human Services for refusing chemotherapy for Landon.
“They are not only forcing me to do something against my will as a parent, they are forcing me to make my child sick,” Riddle said to CBS4.
Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States, according to Children’s Hospital Colorado. In a statement to CBS4, they write that 25 percent of childhood cancers are acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The survival rate for these patients treated at Children’s Oncology Group is over 90 percent and is attained with two-to-three years of chemotherapy.
Riddle says that no matter what people think about her decisions, the plain and simple truth is that marijuana has helped her son.
“As soon as we started taking the oil, his platelets have been a regular healthy person’s level and [doctors] can’t understand why,” Riddle told CNN.
As unusual as it may seem, the Riddle family is not alone in choosing medical marijuana treatment for a child with a severe illness. In 2012, then 7-year-old Mykayla Comstock of Oregon, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, made headlines for her use of medical marijuana to combat the side effects of chemotherapy.
The family of 6-year-old Charlotte Figi were the subject of a CNN documentary earlier this year regarding their daughter’s use of medical marijuana to help treat the debilitating seizures that result from her rare form of epilepsy.
Fast forward about 12 years. My husband and I visit an old friend, T. We proffer a fresh VHS recording of NOW on PBS. Bill Moyers lets that whippersnapper, David Brancaccio, interview a spiky-haired pixie: Irshad Manji. Manji is a Canadian TV producer and Muslim Reformist who wrote a provocative bestseller. She trumpets the legacy of Ijtihad, Islam’s tradition of independent thinking. Our friend T. had recently converted to Islam. She’s intrigued with Manji’s discourse. We give her the cassette so she can share it with her husband (who was born and raised in the Muslim faith). A few days later, T. tells us that Manji’s discourse inflames her husband’s wrath. Her marriage ends, yet T’s faith flourishes.
Truth is volatile. I’m grateful to all who pursue it. To that end, Fox and Manji helped me chart processes of integration rather than conciliation. I can criticize (even denounce) aspects of my faith, yet depend on the communion of saints. I am free to accept Jesus not only as my savior, but Satguru as well. And whilst wrestling the frailty of my faith, I marvel at how these two captain their all-consuming quests for truth and justice. They persist despite hostility, ostracism, and in Manji’s case, death threats.
Fox and Manji have something in common. They practice moral courage. Moral courage is speaking truth to power within your own community — for the sake of the greater good. Robert F. Kennedy said that moral courage is essential in the progress of civilization. As we witness environmental, economic and social collapses, we will practice moral courage or perish. While it’s right to publicize corruption via social media, marinating in its attendant outrage is useless, until we are morally courageous people who act from integrity.
Rebels with moral courage “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” which is also the highest expression of journalism, storytelling, science and satire. My latest fount of rebel inspiration is Moral Courage Television. MCTV profiles folks from all walks of life who exercise freedom of speech, critical thought, social responsibility and purposeful action. MCTV is the brainchild of that Canadian pixie, who may have changed her hairstyle, but still declares that asking questions is a basic human right. As a New York University professor, Manji created a signature curriculum on public leadership and moral courage. Download the syllabus, here.
Here’s how to practice moral courage:
1. Drop your neo-Nazi crew and buddy-up with a rabbi. TJ Leyden spent years recruiting for über-violent neo-Nazis. Then he woke up like Scrooge after a ghost-fest and dedicated his life to deprogramming unhinged white kids. The people he used to hate are now the same people who welcome him. TJ is in constant danger of mortal retaliation from his old gang, but he’ll tell you moral courage is the legacy he wants to bequeath his sons.
2. Show a little skin. When Internet trolls pressure Omnia Hegazy to cover up, she rocks a miniskirt. A Muslim singer-songwriter, she’s sometimes vilified for baring her heart and singing about women’s dignity. Omnia won’t give up her voice because there are too many girls denied their own. Artists take note: when anonymous people curse you to hellfire, it might mean you’re flashing moral courage.
3. Turn yourself in. Kenneth could’ve gotten away with manslaughter, but he freely chose to confess, serve hard time, and more important, serve his Brooklyn community. Criminal turned counselor, violent felon turned violence interrupter, Kenneth doesn’t run away from mayhem, he runs towards it. He won’t accept gunshots as normal and challenges everybody in the neighborhood, from grandmas to gangbangers, to act on moral courage.
4. Get sent to the principal’s office. Shelby was a mild-mannered high school student from Lubbock. Then she fell in truckloads of trouble for saying abstinence-only sex “education” was ineffective (because keeping kids in the dark about sex always makes them less curious). Shelby got her car windows smashed for wrestling the USA’s most conservative municipality and her own Baptist faith, because everything’s bigger in Texas, even moral courage.
5. Love that rebel in the mirror. Everyone needs inspiration on a regular basis (just like flossing, or you get that waxy apathy build-up). Follow @moralcourage on twitter and get your free subscription to Moral Courage TV, which spotlights rebel leaders who operate on behalf of their communities. The revolution is being televised. Tell us your rebel hero story at MCTV and #bemoralcourage so others get inspired, too.
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