One of the original Rosie the Riveters, Otto has been installing rivets on cargo plans for 70 years. Today, at 93, she’s earning close to $40 an hour.
“When I go to heaven, I hope God keeps me busy!” she told the Los Angeles Times.
Story continues after photo.
Elinor Otto appears on NBC News’ ‘Today’ show.
Otto was newly single with a young son to support when the Rosie the Riveter movement began during World War II, according to the LA Times.
She joined the war effort with her two sisters.
“We were part of this big thing,” Otto told NBC News. “We hoped we’d win the war. We worked hard as women, and were proud to have that job.”
But days after the war ended, all the women were let go. Otto still had her son to take care of, so she tried working in offices but hated being still for too long.
She found another aircraft assembly job in San Diego, where she worked for 14 years until she was laid off. A year later, she secured a position for Douglas Aircraft at a C-17 plant where she’s been working ever since, the New York Daily News reports.
Otto continuously inspires her co-workers, family and friends with her roll-up-your-sleeves attitude.
She may even outlast the plant itself. Boeing plans to continue production of C-17s until late 2014 but after that the future is uncertain.
“I’ll be the one that closes the door,” Otto told NBC. “I’ll be the last one there.“
The discovery of these genetic variants, which is detailed in a study in the journal Nature Genetics, brings the total number of known genetic risk factors for the disease to a total of 110.
Individually, each genetic variant is only responsible for a very small risk for multiple sclerosis. But when taken together, the 110 genetic variants “explain approximately 20 percent of the genetic component of the disease,” according to a news release on the finding.
“Describing the genetic underpinnings of any complex disease is a complicated but critical step. By further refining the genetic landscape of multiple sclerosis and identifying novel genetic associations, we are closer to being able to identify the cellular and molecular processes responsible for MS and therefore the specific biological targets for future drug treatment strategies,” study researcher Jacob McCauley, Ph.D., of the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said in a statement.
Researchers used technology called ImmunoChip to identify the genetic variants. They analyzed DNA from 50,794 healthy people and 29,300 people with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is a condition where the immune system attacks the protective sheath around the nerves, leading to nerve deterioration, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the nerve damage. While there is no cure for the condition, treatments can help to slow its progress.
I thought I’d take this opportunity, as my body ejects the cancer cells and recovers for the next round of chemotherapy, to discuss how different people have reacted to being told I have cancer. Like responses to chemo, everyone’s experiences are different. Of course, these are my experiences; but I believe they contain universal truths.
If you are in a relationship with a caregiver then they will continue in that capacity for the duration — you are in good, loving hands. If you are not in a relationship with a caregiver you need to understand that the person you fell in love with may not change into someone who can nurse you back to health. It doesn’t mean they love you less, it’s simply who they are. It may be difficult to understand, but the person you chose to share your life with is the same person — you are the one who has had a change of circumstance. Let them be themselves; continue to love them for who they are; don’t try to make them into someone they are not; and you will both be happier for it.
I don’t have any biological children, so I don’t have any familiarity for this area. I’ll defer to others to comment on their experiences in the comment section below. What I will say is that having been a child I know that the love for a parent is strong — never forget children love you, unconditionally.
I had an interesting relationship with my mother prior to notifying her that I had cancer (my father passed many years ago). I’d call her and she’d talk about herself, never once asking about me. It was when she was in her late 80s that I told her I had leukemia; then she never talked about herself until I asked, and only briefly — she wanted to know everything I had done since we last spoke. It completely changed the dynamic of our relationship in that she became both a friend and a nurse to my patient. This change made our times together before her passing that much more rewarding; and, while I may not like to, I have my leukemia to thank — a silver lining.
We grow up together and then we part, some farther than others. What I would suggest we all remember is that our siblings have their own lives and families; and the distance in multiple factors (age, miles, etc.) impacts the manner in which they respond. Some will be selfless, while others will resort to still being a sibling within the hierarchy of the family. If you can understand this then you can handle how they will behave, from denial (since they don’t want to think they may also get cancer due to any hereditary factors) to taking over (usually an older sibling, which can be a blessing and a pain). But let them live their lives as they, too, need to live with your cancer in the best way they know how.
Cancer is the ultimate decider of who your true friends, or angels, are. In our lives we are lucky if we have a few best friends who, when the cancer chips are down, are there without having been asked. We think we know who these people are, but the wonderful thing about having cancer (I know, somewhat of an oxymoron) is the joyous surprises of love your friends will shower on you in both big and little ways. It’s as if a ray of sunshine pierces your heart each time an offer, a mention, a meal, a smile, a call, an email comes your way. The simple act of asking, “How are you?” is a radiant sunrise given so effortlessly, yet promising so much.
I would ask that you also forgive those friends who seem to disappear. I had two such friends who, once I told them I had leukemia, never called me again; and this after I had been there for them during their recovery from being run over by a car and a divorce. But I can’t blame them, for I was the one who chose to be there for them during their time of need. We each deal with adversity in our own way, and this is how they chose to deal, or, as the case may be, not to deal, with my misfortune. Be prepared for this and you will be a stronger person in the end. And don’t be afraid of letting these people go no matter how much you may think you love them or have invested in them, for if they truly love you they will come back. (I know, sounds like releasing that butterfly slogan. Be prepared for them not to come back.)
People who we meet and interact with on a limited basis may surprise you upon finding out you have cancer. There are people you won’t know well who have a need to be helpful — let them. There are people who are good friends of your friends who will rally around you in support of that friend — embrace them. There are people who will observe silently from the sidelines — help them. There are people who make offers with all good intentions but no follow through — forgive them.
And then there are people from your past (near or distant) who may reach out offering encouragement, providing a moment of uplifting pleasure from their simple act of having contacted you — be ever thankful.
They don’t want to know anything; and if they know something, the less they know the better — for the company. You need to bear in mind that it is the company for which you work. If you receive health care from your company, all the more reason for the company to not want to know about your health. But tell your boss as soon as you know you have cancer; give them as much information as you have because you will need them, the company’s health insurance, when the time comes.
My bosses, for the most part, were supportive in our discussions; but they would never broach the subject with me — I had to initiate any conversations either verbally or in writing. What you need to realize is that they are doing their job, as you should be doing your job. It may seem cold and harsh, but it is the reality of the workplace today — do not hold it against them.
And yet here you’ll find people who care and don’t have an issue by asking you, from time to time, how you’re doing once they hear you have cancer. People you pass in the hall will display concern for your wellbeing — totally unsolicited — as they, too may have experienced cancer in one form or another during their lives. These are the same individuals you may have worked with for years or only briefly who suddenly take a keen interest in you — hold close those that do.
During the cancer journey you will come across many new faces. Some will become your angels and friends for life, while others will be looking to you for direction and information, and still others may dismiss you as being condescending. Don’t ignore the strangers you encounter as they are looking to learn, seeking how to be brave, wanting to know more without acknowledging it. For, yes, we all want to have the knowledge, to be empowered — they simply may not know it yet. Please note that those who may condescend have their own issues they are trying to cope with — let them be.
How you react to being told you have cancer, and how you deal with it on an ongoing basis, is as individualized as snowflakes. My advice is to not blame anyone, especially oneself — it isn’t productive. You might begin by reviewing the many self-help books and guides, as well as alternative routes to take. Learn as much as you can about your individual cancer, and then begin the process of educating yourself on how best to continue with your life with cancer. This takes many forms, from the food we eat, to where we live, to whom we have around us, to options for healing with herbs and meditation as well as the medicines you will be prescribed. No one told me I couldn’t try something if it had even the remotest chance of it making me feel better. But do ask your health care provider first as some things have been clinically proven to be harmful to the type of cancer you may have, and they will know.
If your cancer was brought about due to negligence or work related practices, it is understandable that you will be upset with the responsible party. I ask that you remember that anger does not make you healthier — it actually serves to make you worse. First and foremost — be good to yourself.
As for me, I still feel disoriented and confused from time to time, along with short-term memory loss where I can’t remember names and details combined with an inability to concentrate or focus for long periods — what I call chemo brain; fatigue is a constant, while my fingers tingling has lessened. During this entire cycle I have had nasal congestion and cough which appear to be lessening. And the other side-effects I experience dissipate as I get closer to the next round of chemotherapy — at least they have so far.
Timing: Oct. 7 through Oct. 12, Cycle Three (3) of chemotherapy.
Where the streets have no name…
Postcards From Lebanon: Part 1
Postcards From Lebanon: Part 2
Postcards From Lebanon: Part 3
Postcards From Lebanon: Part 4
Postcards From Lebanon: Part 5
Postcards From Lebanon: Part 6
Postcards From Lebanon: Part 7
Investments in the oil, gas and coal industry are starting to lose their value and will become a liability based on a major UN report released Monday. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2,000+page report confirms that Canada must keep more than 75 per cent of its fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
Forget peak oil. This is the era of Unburnable Carbon.
In the IPCC report summarizing more than 9,000 new climate research papers confirmed that only so much fossil fuel can be burned to keep global warming under 2C, the internationally agreed on cap. Written by hundreds of the world's leading scientists from 39 countries, the report also confirmed that half to two thirds of the 2C carbon budget have already been used up.
At the current 'burn rate' the remaining carbon budget will only last 15 or so years. And that's to have a 50 per cent chance of staying below 2C of warming. No scientist regards 2C as 'safe.' The heating will be wildly uneven and spawn extreme weather events beyond any ever experienced in human history.
What is the liability of companies continuing to produce and profit from their carbon stocks?
"It's the reserves of oil, gas and coal that props up the stock prices of the industry," said David Cadman, President of ICLEI, the only network of sustainable cities operating worldwide. More than 1200 cities in the network are on their way to reducing their emissions 20 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent reductions by 2050.
"This 'carbon bubble' is going to burst. What are the consequences for Canada now that we've tied ourselves to the fossil fuel industry?" Cadman, a Vancouver city councilor, told DeSmog.
At least 78 per cent of Canada’s proven oil, bitumen, gas, and coal reserves, and 89 per cent of proven-plus-probable reserves need to remain underground according to a 2013 study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
"Business-as-usual for the fossil fuel industry is incompatible with the need to keep the global temperature increase to 2 degrees C or less," said CCPA Senior Economist Marc Lee.
"We are in need of a ‘managed retreat’ from fossil fuel investments," Lee said in a press release.
Some of the first calculations about the size of the 2C carbon budget were published in the leading scientific journal Nature four years ago. That same year the first-ever Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change ended with a call to phase-out of fossil fuels.
The fact that carbon or CO2 traps heat from the sun was established more than 120 years ago. Burning fossil fuels, deforestation and other human activities puts additional CO2 into the atmosphere where it remains essentially forever.
It is hardly surprising — and is certainly not scientifically controversial — that additional CO2 in the atmosphere acts as insulation, trapping heat.
Humanity has already pumped out 531-billion tonnes of CO2 the IPCC confirmed. The resulting warming is now 0.85C and on its way to between 1.0 and 1.2C.
Add roughly 1-trillion tonnes of additional CO2 to the atmosphere and the blanket will be so thick the surface of the entire planet will heat up on average of 2C.
This heating, however, will not be even. The Arctic and the north will heat up 6 to 8C due to a process called Arctic Amplification. That guarantees the end of the Arctic sea ice in summers and major but unknown changes to the weather of the Northern hemisphere. It would also mean the end of the Greenland ice sheet, raising sea levels 7 metres over the next 1,000 years. Local effects on Canada's northern region will be profound from collapsing permafrost, increased flooding in some regions and fires in others. And in this new climate there will be major impacts on wildlife and vegetation.
And that's the 50-50 budget: With that much CO2 there is a 50 per cent chance of heating up more than 2C. And scientists acknowledge this budget doesn't include positive feedbacks like emissions from thawing permafrost that they know are draining the carbon account but not by how much.
Given the deadly serious consequences of blowing the budget, there is a high incentive to stay well under the budget cap. But the opposite is happening. Billions of dollars are being wasted by banks, investment funds and pension plans on the oil, gas, and coal industry's efforts to get more carbon out the ground.
None of this is theoretical. Lord Stern, the former World Bank chief economist, said on Sunday that the effort required to stay within the budget must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
"Delay is dangerous because greenhouse gases are accumulating in the atmosphere and because we are locking in high carbon infrastructure and capital."
Lord Stern told the Guardian that cutting carbon emissions "will be full of opportunity, discovery, innovation and growth," if there is sound public policy.
By Stephen Leahy, DeSmog Canada
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