Home 1 2 3 11 12

Me and My Money…a child’s story of diabetes

M&M Cover 300 small

Copyrighted in 2012, Me & My Money…a child’s story of diabetes, took two years to write…

From birthing thoughts, jotting ideas, typing a manuscript, carrying a daily journal, contacting an illustrator,  building the manuscript, proofreading and editing again and again and again and…you get the idea…this dream came to fruition.  It had do be done.  There is no other book like it — as far as my research goes — that reflects, mimics, or encourages diabetic children, T1Ds.  The book is now available to the general public in paperback form.  Celebrate!!

Submitting to a marketable world with a targeted audience, networking, promoting, speaking, through the main character, Kali with her dog, Money, brings attention to the increase of diabetes in animals – up 300% this past decade!

Through the wonderful insightfulness of illustrator Amy Pichly-Meyer who is responsible for the clarity of expression with the cover design, along with all 37 colored  illustrations, this book was built for you.  I am thankful for her friendship and abilities.

Briefly, the main character, Kali, is presently a fourth grader.  She was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of two.  Her rapid growth with blooming and wizened independence results from learning how to take care of herself.  Wayne, a best friend, knows her very well and together they embark on adventures through Wayne’s hobby, their separate and shared responsibilities, mutual friends, and more.  But Kali cannot forget her special pack!  She must carry this with her everyday, everywhere.

This book, along with the recent publication of Me & My Money Too…a child’s story with diabetes, are tools to understanding this disease.  Minute-by-minute self-care is introduced and forthcoming in this illustrated, easy-to-read chapter book, 104 pages long, appropriate for 8 years olds and available at Amazon.com in paperback edition as well as Kindle e-readers.   Local bookstores carry copies as well as local libraries with requests.  Please enjoy the following Chapter excerpts…

Chapter 1, Book One

Due to keeping up with my chores, I occasionally have some change in my pocket.  That’s because my parents give me a weekly allowance that I can spend when I want.

“Make sure you spend wisely,’ Dad says.  I’m not quite sure what “spend wisely” means, but I think I do okay with what I have.  For instance, one of my friends from school, Wayne, asked me to go to the hobby store one Saturday afternoon.  Because it is school summer vacation time, we could go almost any time, depending on our parents.  However, Saturday’s are best.

Wayne and I go way back, to kindergarten.  He is the only red-head kid in our whole grammar school, never mind our fourth grade.  He’s a full blown carrot top with thick hair in wavy curls.  This makes him real easy to spot in a crowd.  The girls in our class like Wayne more than the boys do.  I think this is because he has good manners and is polite.  It is either that or his clear sky blue eyes that sparkle.  Even his eyelashes are orange, matching his hair.  Most girls I know like blue eyes.  I never thought about it much.  My eyes are dark brown to match my light brown and blonde streaky hair.

Wayne is a pale looking kid.  Most of the time, the only color on Wayne’s face is because of his tannish-brown colored freckles.  I swear, if he didn’t have freckles, he would be white as a ghost!  I tease him about that, pretending that I can’t see him sometimes.  We laugh.  He blushes all red and pink.  It’s funny to see.  Wayne is shorter than I am — for now.  He teases me about my long brown hair — so flat, so straight and thin.  “There’s nothing to your hair,” he tells me as he quickly flicks it in the air.  “You don’t even have to brush it.  Your hair just hangs there off your fat head,” he often tells me as if I need to be reminded. 

I think Wayne is jealous of my straight hair.  Brushing his hair is a struggle because it is very thick.  Mine is a lot easier because it is stick straight.  He hates when his mother brushes his hair because “she always pulls it out of my head,” he told me one time.  “And you have a chubby little pug-nose.  Not like my pointy one at all,” he compares.  “But you get a tan in the summer.  I don’t tan, I burn.  It’s awful,” he explains.  That is true.

One summer that I remember, his mother covered his face and arms with white suntan lotion so  he wouldn’t get burned while playing with me in my back yard.  He looked so funny.  That stuff made him smell like the beach.  I laughed at him.  He didn’t like that.  And after a while, the suntan lotion disappeared.  But we stayed friends.  He wears that stuff all the time.  Sure, I use it too, but when I forget to rub it on my skin, I don’t get too worried.

“I guess you look like your father,” I told him because I think he does.  “I look like my mother,” I said.  And that’s okay with me because my mother is beautiful.  My Dad’s okay looking — for a Dad.  Sometimes he has a moustache.  Mom told him to shave it off because it made her sneeze when they kiss.  Eeeuu!  Sneezing and kissing, yuck!

“Kali,” my mom called up the stairs.  “Wayne is on the phone for you.”

“Okay.  Thanks.  I’ll get it up here,” I told her.

“Hi Wayne.  Wassup?”

“Hey.  Can you come to the train store with me today or what?  I’m looking for a certain model train engine and I think the Viking Hobby Store will have it.”

Well, I have no particular interest in model trains, so I knew I wouldn’t buy anything but I would go along with him anyway.  This is a wise decision.  After all, he is my very best friend.  Very best friends do things for each other whether we need to or like to or not.  It was Saturday morning anyway.  Cleaning my room could wait until I got back.  I was thinking, planning.

“Mom, Dad, is it okay with you if I go to the hoppy store with Wayne today?  He thinks he found the perfect train engine for his set.  He wants me to go and help him check it out.”

“I don’t mind.  Is your room picked up?” Mom asked.

“Not all the way yet, Mom,” I replied.  “I can finish when I get back.  All I have to do is fold my clothes and put them away.  A load of my socks and some t-shirts are still in the dryer.”

“Well, all right.  Did you ask your father?” Mom wanted to know.  “And don’t forget to take a snack and some juice boxes with you.”

“I know.  I already have a pack of peanut butter nabs in my sack with some water.  I don’t know where Dad is.  I thought he was in the kitchen with you.  Maybe he’s in the garage.”

“Okay,” continued my mother.  “If you don’t see your father on your way out, I’ll tell him.  If you do, please remind him that we’re going shopping today.  Oh, are you and Wayne taking your bikes or walking?”

“I think we’ll walk.”  And out the back door I went.

Chapter 2

Wayne lives four houses away from me.  I took the short-cut over to his house through a wildflower field.  I often come here to pick my mother some flowers.  I like to pick flowers for her.  There are all kinds of wildflowers in this field: yellow ones, pink ones, purple ones with yellow centers.  I don’t know the names of these flowers, I just know they are pretty and Mom likes them.

After I met Wayne on the front porch of his house, we proceeded to walk to this particular ‘train store’ as he calls it.  It is really a hobby store that has lots of other things of interest besides trains.  I’ve been in there with one of my older cousins.  She was looking for some particular, special types of paint brushes made with camel’s hair.  I thought that was cool — paint brushes made out of a camel’s hair!  There are small glider planes in this store with hand-held motor devices; there are different kinds of wood burners and wood carving tools; there are even lots of different colored rubber fish bait things — lures.  I liked those because they are shiny, squishy, and they squiggle.  Things that would attract a fish — go figure!  Wayne had been going on about a certain model train engine he saw in here a while ago.  It took him weeks and weeks to save up his allowance money to buy it.

“Hey, before we walk too far, is your insulin pump filled up?” Wayne asked.  “I hope it doesn’t beep like crazy while we are out.  I would hate to have to leave early so you could fix it.”

“Yes, it’s fine.  I filled it up with insulin yesterday morning and changed the needle site.  We are good to go!”  I planned this on purpose.  I knew he would ask.  I am diabetic.  Wayne knows.  Among many other things, I do take care of myself and my diabetes.  I have to test my blood sugar levels many times each day.  Diabetes is a disease that causes me not to digest food properly.  Because of that, I wear an insulin pump.  I used to have to take insulin shots before I got the pump.  Having the pump is much easier.  An insulin pump squirts insulin into my body, automatically, a tiny bit at a time.  A “squirt” is maybe the size of a pencil tip or the size of a period at the end of a sentence.  My parents had to give me insulin shots before I learned to give them myself.  I still keep syringes handy, in case the pump breaks down for whatever reason.  This is called having “Plan B” which is important. 

Read more of Kali’s young life with diabetes in “Me & My Money…a child’s story of diabetes.”  Available at Amazon.com.

Law & Computers, 1994

This paper, now historical, was a required research paper at El Camino College in Torrance, California.  The credits received were toward my Associate Degree in Legal Assistant studies.  My main purpose to present it here is to highlight present students – and other interested parties – to know, acknowledge, and appreciate what “it was like back then,” 1994.

I. INFORMATION HIGHWAY

“The “Information Superhighway” is a vision of the idea that eventually all homes and business will be connected electronically and that all sorts of information will be available for downloading into your home or office.  Exactly how this information will be delivered remains a major topic of debate. With faster networks on the horizon, more connections between networks, and more services available, there is no question that new applications will change the way we use information ‘at the office’ as well as at home.  Currently, traditional providers, and public utilities, are vying for the right to provide the lines that will deliver this kind of information.  Nationwide computer networks will impact business long before they enter every home.

“Already more than 50 percent of office workers in the United States use computers and nearly half of the PC’s in the United States are now connected to networks.  All sorts of information is now available through corporate networks.  It ranges from a simple email to schedule management, and on to more complex procedures such as management of transaction date and information handling.

“Most major companies could not operate without computer systems.  Executives have realized managing these computer systems is a important as the managing of their manufacturing facilities or their products.

“Well, the legal profession is no different.  Legal Assistants/Paralegals are entering the legal profession in a time of exceptional turbulence.  It is a place of opportunity as well as risk; a necessary phase of the system’s adjustment to new challenges.  The future of Paralegal work in litigation is high technology — legal database research, computerized litigation support, and general office administration computer skills.  If the much-hyped “information highway” is constructed, then cable television will own the high-occupancy fast lane.  The fiber-optic networks now being assembled in most areas by the companies that bring you Cable News Network and the Discovery Channel are by far the best conduits for information

A. FIBER-OPTIC NETWORK

“The fiber optic industry has rapidly transformed the way the world send and receives information.  Optical fiber, first discovered in the early 1970’s, holds a large percentage of the communications links installed my major long distance carriers and local telephone operating companies.  And these companies utilize fiber optic cable.

“Made from fine strands of glass that can bend and flex, optical fiber is used to transmit consumer telephone traffic by pulses of light.  Thinner than a single human hair yet stronger than steel, optical fiber can carry thousands of times more information that conventional copper wire, and just tow optical fiber can transmit over 24,000 telephone conversations sumiltaneously.

“Because it is smaller and weighs less than copper, optical fiber utilizes less space and is easier and less expensive to install.  The material is also immune to electromagnetic interference, and telephone conversations transmitted over optical fiber are virtually impossible to tap.

“As the 21st century nears, fiber optics has begun its trek into the next major frontier: fiber to the home.  Ever-increasing demands for the latest, fastest, and best communications technology will make fiber optics a technological necessity.  Applications of fiber optic technology already in use in the home and office include high-definition television (HDTV), home banking, shopping and tax services, rapid computer graphics transmission, videophones with high-quality images, a new generation of home and office security systems, and extended data-communications services.

“Optical fiber can carry a lot, and we are not just talking bits and bytes!  Taken in bulk, it would take 33 tons of copper to transmit the same amount of information handled by a half pound of optical fiber.  Tapping into a personal computer connected to an optical network brings the office to your fingertips.  Interactive video networks make it possible to shop and bank from home, rent a movie without setting foot in a video store, or check out the current stock market reports over the TV.  And there’s more!

B. CABLE SYSTEMS

“Videoconferencing at your personal computer, computer-aided designs for engineers and subcontractors along with “virtual reality” games are coming in the next few years via your local cable system.  Most likely with new dictionaries containing these new words and phrases!

“The Legal Assistant profession SHOULD NOT miss out.  This whole theory is a worldwide spider web of neurons that will cost billions.  For eight unregulated years from 1984 to 1992, the Cable industry raised subscription rates and boosted profits by not hiring enough employees to handle the growth.  After consumer complaints, the industry was re-regulated in 1992 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Yet with this happening, rate rollbacks made the health of the cable industry bad.  Problems include high debt levels, the huge cost of system modernization, pending competition from telephone companies, and direct-to-home satellite services must-carry rules that force cable systems to tie up precious channel capacity by obligating them to transmit obscure as well as popular local broadcast stations, and the FCC-mandated rate caps that threaten to limit cash flow and access to credit lines.

“All in all, if these companies should lose the will or the wherewithal to build the electronic expressway, the days of computer-aided design and virtual-reality games over cable will remain fictitious.  The traditional office is changing fast, thanks to rapidly evolving workgroup applications and new communications technologies.  For years, people have been talking about the “office of the future.”  In many ways, that future has arrived.  New software, new hardware, and new means of communications help us work together.

C. CYBERSPACE

Cyberspace is electronic communicating: electronic communications involving the usage of a computer and a modem.  It means almost anyplace computer users are “online.”  This term was originally coined by William Gibson in his novel entitled “Neuromancer” to represent a universe of interlinked computers, a sort of futuristic Internet.

“What is a Modem?  A telephone hookup that allows computer operators to send message via their telephones to a receiving computer.  Cyberspace basically involves new forms of expression such as the discussions that take place in CompuServe (page 6).  For example, on Internet “newsgroups” or the conferences on online services such as America Online and CompuServe, a hundred people may each contribute a few lines to a discussion.  A main concern was copyright protection in that it protects expression, not ideas or facts.  For instance, information in a telephone book or a weather summary can be freely used.  On the other hand, the expression used in an essay on telephones or a creative explanation of weather systems is protected by copyright even though the underlying data and ideas are not.

“What does owning a copyright on an expression mean?  Simply, that no one else can copy, distribute, display or adapt that expression without the copyright owner’s consent.  This consent may be give for free, for a fee, or on the condition that an appropriate attribution be given.  It is always a good idea if you send material into cyberspace to explicitly state the conditions for its use and reproduction.

II. WAYS A LEGAL ASSISTANT CAN HELP MAKE OUT LEGAL SYSTEM FAIRER< FASTER, CHEAPER, AND MORE ACCESSIBLE

“According to Working Woman Magazine, the Legal Assistant/Paralegal position has been near the top of the national job-growth chart and plans to stay there for at least 10 more years!  Paralegals are an attorney’s right hand, preparing cases for court by researching facts and precedents, obtaining records and summarizing depositions.  Presently, entry-level salary is $21,000 0 $25,000; mid-level, $25,000 – $40,000; supervisors and specialists $45,000 – $75,000.  Having the knowledge, intelligence and background of computer literacy and its presently growing and developing communication factors will make the Legal Assistant/Paralegal even more marketable!

“As expressed in a local newspaper, The Press Telegram of October 18, 1994, “Computer are taking over the workplace, the classroom, even the home.  And unless you speak their highly complicated language, you could be left out in the technological cold.”

A. LAW ON COMPU-SERVE

ONLINE = Computer + Modem, whereas a modem, as defined by the New Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, is “a device used in radio detection that converts data to a form that can be transmitted as by telephone to data-processing equipment, where a similar device reconverts it.”

CompuServe is accessible with any communications software.  It also has its own software: CompuServe Information Manager, which is available for Windows.

“CompuServe is the granddaddy of the major commercial online service; it has been around since 1979.  Owned by tax-preparing giant H & R Block, CompuServe has grown into a worldwide online service.  CompuServe’s primary clientele is lawyers and much of its law-related material is by and for lawyers, but non-lawyers can still find useful information and even get some free legal advice.

“When a Legal Assistant connects to CompuServe with his or her own communications software, they will encounter a rather cumbersome text-only interface — no button, icons, graphics, or pull-down menus.  And a mouse cannot be used.  Instead, an operator navigates through a seemingly endless series of numbered lists, or by typing “GO” commands (for example GO LAWSIG) to go to a particular area or “forum.”  “Forums” are special interest areas where the operator can find discussions and libraries of downloadable files on a particular topic.  Each forum divides its message and file libraries into a dozen or so subtopics.  This makes it easier to find discussions and files of interest.  And, CompuServe Information Manager provides a graphical user interface to most of CompuServe’s services, allowing a Legal Assistant to point and click to his or her destination.  Not only is this easier than trying to remember cryptic commands or wading through lists, it also lets the user compose and read e-mail and do some browsing off-line, without incurring connect time changes!

“The very active Legal Forum (GO LAWSIG) is the best place to find law-related files and discussions.  THe Legal Forum’s discussions and file libraries are divided into 14 sections, as follows: GENERAL [0], Computer/Tech Law [1], Attorney Wanted [2], Law Firm Economics [3], Legal Research [4], Software/Automation [5], Lawyer To Lawyer [6], Related Professions [7], LAW STUDENT [8], ***HOT TOPIC 888[9], MUNICIPAL PLANNING [10], Demos, Vendors [11], SUPREME COURT [12], and Bar Room [14].

“Hundreds of people weigh in with their opinions on issues ranging from estate planning to gun control.  The majority are lawyers, and although you don’t have to be one to join in, most of the discussion groups are not all that fruitful for non-lawyers.  Sometimes, however, people  ask legal questions in the forum, and sometimes they get answers.  As with forums of this type, the quality of this free advice varies, just as the quality of lawyers does.”What sets CompuServe’s Legal Forum apart from legal forums on other services is the size and breadth of it library of downloadable files.  There are more than 1700 law-related files to choose from, with dozens of new ones uploaded by forum member every week.  The forum’s library is divided into the same 14 sections as the discussions.  Among the more useful files in the Legal Forum’s libraries are: the full text of newsworthy Supreme Court cases (Library 12); Word-processing templates and macros for automating legal pleadings and documents (most are for WordPerfect 5.1 or Word for Windows 6.0 – Library 5); Windows Help files containing the complete text o The U. S. Constitution; The U. S. Bankruptcy Code and Rules; Federal Rules of Evidence; Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Library 4); Articles about the law, especially intellectual property (Libraries 0, 1, 4, 10 and 11); Countless applications and macros designed to help legal assistants and lawyers keep track of documents and billable hours (Libraries 3, 4, and 5).

“One particularly useful feature on CompuServe is the ability to read the contents of downloadable text-only files on screen, without having to download them.  You can browse through files, particularly articles, and decide which ones you want to download and store on your hard disk!

CompuServe Pricing.  The standard price is $8.95 per month, which includes unlimited connect time to “basic” services.  Accessing the forums mentioned, will cost an addition $9.60 per hour ($0.16 per minute) at 9600 baud or $4.80 per hour ($0.08 per minute) at 2400 baud.  Call 1-800-848-8199 with your modem to sign up.

“Once you are a member of CompuServe, you can download Information Manager directly.  Type GO CIMSOFT and follow the directions once you get there.  It cost $10 to download, but you get a $10 credit toward you connect time charges.

B. LAW ON PRODIGY

“Prodigy was conceived by a partnership of two giants: IBM and Sears, Roebuck & Company.  Like its corporate partners, Prodigy is huge with something like two million subscribers.  It is the largest commercial online service that offers information a consumer can browse through along with files and software that can be downloaded.

“Prodigy has many services.  It provides news, weather, sports galore, U. S. Government economic indicators, user polls and bulletin boards.  The bulletin boards have been known to be difficult to use.  To get to them, the operator must click a series of buttons on a number of screens, and it can be difficult to find the bulleting of interest.

“An intensive index of Prodigy services can be searched by typing words that describe what you’re interested in.  Prodigy calls the terms in its index “JumpWords.”  When you type the JumpWord “Law,” Prodigy provides no matches.  Entering “Legal” gets results, though not what you might expect: Prodigy jumps you to a colorful, full screen ad for L’eggs., Hanes and Bali stocking and lingerie, complete with pictures of the companies wares!

“There is a well-hidden legal bulleting board, and here is how to find it: (1.) On the opening screen, click the Business/Finance button. (2.) On the next screen, click the button labeled The Office. (3.) On the next screen, click Office Board. (4.) From the Topic List you see, select “Legal & Govt. Matters.

“There are about 100 different subjects under the Legal & Government Matters topic on the Office Bulletin Board (also called the Home Office Bulletin Board).  But they contain very little discussion.  Only 160 notes had been posted in all of these subjects during the last six weeks, the period available to browse through.

“Although Prodigy provides little hard legal information, there are some good, law-related items.  The Court TV service contains several news stories on current topics and a bulletin board that lets you post questions to the host of “Prime Time Justice.”  You can also get a schedule of legal education courses aimed at lawyers which would also be useful to the Legal Assistant and other non-lawyers.

“Prodigy does connect to the Internet, but only to send and receive e-mail.  You can’t gte to any of the legal resources available free of charge from the Internet.  Therefore, Prodigy uses miss out on the opportunity to conduct legal research on this and rapidly growing collections of networks and databases.

Prodigy Pricing.  Prodigy users must install special software, available for Windows, DOS and Macintosh to gain access to the services.  Prodigy software is sold in stores for $20 to $50, but don’t buy it there.  You can get it free ($4.95 for shipping and handling) by calling Prodigy at 1-800-PRODIGY.  The kit you’ll receive entitles you to 10 hours of free use during your first month of service.  After that, it’s $14.95 per month for unlimited access to the basic features plus two hours of extra services such as stock quotes, company news, and airline reservations.  Extra services cost $3.60 per hour.  E-mail messages cost $0.25 each.  There are additional charges for downloading shareware.

C. AMERICA ONLINE

“As we have already read, being online is the ability to get information, any type of information, through a computer.  This costs money and takes skills not everyone has.  First, of course, you must have access to a computer and a modem.  Second, the most feasible way to get online information is to pay for a subscription to a commercial online service such as Dialog, CompuServe, America Online (where the rate per hour is about $3.50),  Lexis/Nex (the rate per hour averages $46.20) or West law.

“Although paralegals are not always involved in doing legal research, they need to be familiar with the online databases that are commonly used for legal research: LEXIS and WESTLAW.  Both are available as online services(meaning that you must dial into them with a modem for which you pay a subscription fee plus online charges).

“This simultaneous construction of the electronic “information superhighway” is a less obvious but equally serious threat to libraries and the free flow of information.  Much useful information is simply not available in conventional printed form.  It is now available only online, through a computer.  Existing books are being repackaged for sale to electronic form! But, being online certainly does help the Legal Assistant with research time and efficiency.  For instance, this would allow the Legal Assistant to get current legal information immediately without buying a lot of information s/he would not actually need and that would go out of date.  It would also be useful to get quick updates on changes tot he law.  And the electronic bulletin board would be used for people (Legal Assistants in particular) to post messages with comments, suggestions or questions.

“America Online offers far superior Internet access that includes Gopher menus and WATS searches to help find information in databases, mailing lists (discussion groups), newsgroups as well as sending and receiving e-mail.  And just in case you didn’t know, a “gopher” in computer land is an Internet term for an electronic search tool.  It locates topics, files, or documents that match a computer user’s interests.  By the end of 1994, America Online users should be able to transfer files and telnet (log on to remote computers from their own computers) on the Internet.

“To obtain information on American Online, or, to start your software, pull down the GO TO menu and select KEYWORD.  Then type LEGAL and then click OK.  You will go to the Legal SIG forum.  Open the Legal SIG Software Library.  You may have to click the “List More Files” button a few times and scroll down the list to find all the files.

“The key to using an online service is knowing how to log onto the service (each vendor has its own log-on procedures) and how to formulate the request using the right key words.  in this regard, the paralegal might do some of the same things that an “information broker” does, and as a result, in some cases, it might be cheaper to call a professional researcher than to spend time and money doing the research.  There is a wealth of information available at one’s fingertips through online services.

E. INTERNET

“Intenet is an “international interconnection of thousands of computers via ordinary telephone lines.  It is a complementary information source.  It has also been described as “the global network of computer networks” and has become the fastest growing communications medium.  Let’s see how WEBSTER’S measures up in their latest dictionary!

“The “NET,” as it is referred to, offers free access to government documents, statures and case opinions, as well as the opportunity to directly communicate with global and neighborhood colleagues.

“For the paralegal, the NET is an information research pool providing cost-effective access to a number of substantive resources, including documents and databases.

“This 25-year old computer system that most of us are just learning about can connect us to libraries, newspapers, universities, businesses, and customers!  Even our children!  The world is wired!  Internet began as a child of the Cold War: a headless, decentralized data network designed to function in the aftermath of an all-out nuclear attack.

“Mike Toner, in his Press-Telegram article of October 31, 1994, writes that “the doomsday network developed by the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency grew to include more research institutions with more diverse interests.  By the late 1980’s, it had been absorbed by the National Science Foundation’s NSFNET, an electronic backbone linking U. S. supercomputing centers, dozens of government agencies, and a rapidly growing list of universities.

“Then in 1991, the government ended restrictions on the use of the Internet for business and Congress decided to spend $2 Billion over five years on a major network expansion.  Phew!  This expansion is now known as the “information superhighway.”   The NEW BACKBONE, when completed, will be able to deliver a billion bits a second, roughly equivalent to an entire Encyclopaedia Britannica in six-tenths of a second!

“Let’s compare television.  It is, for now, something you watch.  And the telephone is fine for one-on-one conversations.  As defined by Mike Toner in the same article of October 31, 1994, “Internet allows individuals to interact, share, argue, preach, plead, court, annoy, or harvest information in a way the world is only beginning to explore.”

“Click, click and your commute to the library can become an electronic commute that can give you instant access to the library’s card catalog.  Geez, what paralegal would not have fun with this?!

“Already the demand and rapid growth has produced the electronic equivalent of gridlock, making destinations unreachable for hours at a time.  It’s a new frontier and we’ll see what evolves.

F. E-WORLD

“eWorld is Apple Computer’s new online service.  Anyone with a Mac, a modem, and a phone line can explore eWorld.  All new Macs come with eWorld software already installed.  If you have an older Mac, you can get the software for free from Apple by calling 1-800-775-4556.  There is a self-help law center that contains a discussion board where you can exchange tips on do-it-yourself law and discuss everything from legal reform to lawyer jokes.

“E-mail provides access to regional and international mailing lists.  But, to gain access to mailing lists, you must be connected to a provider such as America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy that presently offer limited Internet access, but are planning to expand their services.

III. CONCLUSION

“In researching this project, I have actually been fascinated with what I did not know.  Communicating through technology has advanced at the speed of sound.  Presently, I am glad to be back amongst the computer operators of my era, ready to tackle, obtain, and become up-to-date myself with what has been going on around me!

“All in all, I am able to partially explain (and educate) another interested party on getting started on the information highway and would like to share this information with you:

  1. Necessary Equipment: A computer, a telephone, a communications program, and a modem.  High-speed modems are recommended.
  2. Getting one: If you don’t have access through an employer or academic institution, you’ll need a personal account.  They come in two basic flavors: a dial-up shell account that connects your computer to one that is already “on” the Internet, and dial-up connections that make your computer a functioning part of the Internet.
  3. Shell accounts: The dozens of providers include: Delphi Internet — (800) 695-4005 with five free hours and monthly rates as low as $13.00 for four hours of connect time.  Netcom — (900) 501-8649, $17.70 a month for unlimited connect time.  CRL — (415) 381-2800.  $19.50 initialization fee plus $19.50 a month.  Pipeline — (212) 287-3636, which offers five free hours and easy-to-use Windows-style Internet services starting at $15.00 a month, plus local access and/or phone charges.
  4. Direct connections:  THese give users more control over Internet ventures and make it possible to use MOSAIC, a sophisticated software tool developed the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Champaigne, Illinois, that integrates text, sound, photos, and motion pictures.  The dozens of providers include Atlanta-based MindSpring Enterprises, Inc., (401) 888-0725, a small firm whose goal is to provide convenient and economical Internet access.  The firm sells a $35.00 custom package of freeware and shareware programs that have everything you need to get started and charge $15.00 a month (plus $1.00 an hour after 15 hours) for unrestricted Internet access.
  5. Software notes: If you like to do it yourself, you can download MOSAIC free from teh National Center for Supercomputing Applications, (217) 244-4130, but the program must be configured with other network software, most of it available free or at nominal cost.  Bundles of network software are available as “Internet in a Box” developed by Spry, Inc., and the “Internet Membership Kit” by Ventena Media.
  6. Major on-line services: America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy offer limited Internet access, but are planning to expand services.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Hopper, Commodore Grace Murray, United States Navy with Mandell.  Professor Steven L., Bowing Green State University.  Understanding Computers, © 1984, West Publishing Company, 50 West Kellogg Boulevard, P. O. Box 43526, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55165.
  2. Hussey, Katherine Sheehy with Benzel, Rick.  Legal & Paralegal Services on your Home-Based PC, © 1994, Windcrest/McGraw-Hill.
  3. Parker, Charles S. Understanding Computer & Information Processing, © 1992, The Dryden Press, 301 Commerce Street, Suite 3700, Fort Worth, TX, 76102.
  4. Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, © 1972, Simon & Schuster, New World Dictionaries, 850 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, 44114.

REFERENCES

The Press-Telegram: October 8, 1994 — “FCC ready to change cable TV pricing” by Jeannine Aversa, p. E1; October 10, 1994 — “Catching Up On Computers” by Rachel D’Oro; October 31m 1994 — “Election databases offer everything rom Assembly to Wilson” by Daniel De Vise, P. A1 & A6; October 31, 1994 — “Internet jam-packed with election data,” p. A1; October 31, 1994 — “Turn on, hook up and plug into THE NET,” pp. C6 – C12.

Working Woman, June, 1994; “Hottest Careers — The Best-And-Worst-Jobs For Women,” pp. 45 & 46.

PC Magazine, May 1994; “The Changing Office” by Michael J. Miller, pp. 112 – 128.

Vital Speeches Of The Day, August, 1994; “Law in a Time of Turbulence” by Mary Ann Glendon, Professor of Law at Harvard University, pp. 620 – 622.

FW Financial World, “Crossroads” by Russell Shaw, pp. 52 – 55.

PIRELLI Fiber Optic Cables, Reference Guide, April, 1993, provided by an employee of the Pacific Bell Corporation of Southern California.

Nolo News Legal & Consumer Information for Everyone, Summer, 1994: “Law on CompuServe” by Albin Renauer, pp. 18 & 19; and “Copyrights in Cyberspace” by Steve Elias, pp. 20 & 21; Nolo News Legal & Consumer Information for Everyone, Gall, 1994: “How the Online Revolution Threatens Libraries” by Steve Elias and Monica Jensen, p. 17; “Law on Prodigy” by Dale Mark Ross, PP. 20 & 21; and “Self-Help Law Centers on Internet, eWorld” by Alvin Renauer and Fred Horch, pp. 22 & 23.

Law Office Computing, Feb/Mar, 1994, “Connecting On The Internet” by Josh Blackman, pp. 68 – 73.

NOTE FROM AUTHOR:  I truly hope you enjoyed reading this blog.  It’s just as simple as that!  Thank you.  #buckroth.

“The Philosophies of Terry” By Theresa Viola Buckroth, 1929-2014

Originally typed in the Spring of 1987 for her Philosophy class thesis at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts,  my mother, Theresa V. Buckroth, had this to share…

“I could begin with “Once Upon A Time,” but this is not a fairy tale; rather it is a mixture of realities that could be made into a collection of short stories.

“My philosophy of life at times is that the planet on which we live or exist is a “scum ball,” covered with a compositions of cells in various shapes and forms.  The “living earth” being the giant cell, devouring, regurgitating constantly, swallows its own vomit.  There is a constant avoidance in all of us to admit to the constant decay surrounding us.  Rather, men mentally annul this, creating an instantaneous beauty in his psyche; fleeting even as it is being observed; gone, then recreated elsewhere in another self pleasing form.  The term for this is called “survival,” in which we lie and are deceitful to ourselves, thus enabling us to accept and tolerate our existence.

“Decay is constant.  Change is constant.  The cell will die and shatter to form new cells.  Metamorphically, how can something be new when it is made from something old?  Old is old – always.  Being born human has the same implications.

“Always having been a wonderer, never a doubter but a questioner, I go along, breathing the physical, which seems to always be out of tune with the mental.  This is in reference to aging.  Perhaps there is a connection in which both will terminate into an energy.  There is a belief that a soul leaving the body upon death shatters into atoms, ions and cations, to share themselves in the formation of new souls.  There is much to contemplate, but the cell does not allow the time.  If the cell did allot a period of time to the soul, spirit, or whatever its descriptions may be, it might be given time for research in limbo.  Perhaps it does, and the designer has allowed the means of escaping regurgitation via the soul.

“You may think me pessimistic and too imaginative.  My preference in addressing myself is that of being realistic, with the “real” being a constant changing of blends.  Real is now, a second from now, or a split second from now, then it is no longer real.  Whatever it was, along with its definitions, becomes unclear, replaced, always waiting and wondering, wondering what the waiting is for.  As a Catholic, are you wondering where God fits into all of this (I presume you are)?  I wonder too.  Being told and taught that God “is,” neither makes me a believer nor a doubter.  It is often irrelevant to everything as a whole, but probable in parts.

“To know that I “am” has always been a constant amazement to me.  Why “me?”  To behave as I do, and think by being is a singular, is presumptuous, but there it is.  Avoidance of thinking a truth is not in my nature, but the questioning, not in question form per se, is always close to the surface of my being.  Acknowledging everything, all with reasons, accommodated by present, past and future events, is to me accepting what is, for what it is explained to be at that moment.

“How much the physical senses interplay with the physical energy (soul or spirit) is always under scrutiny; which is which, in play at a certain instance.  Each is called up for use, alternately or together, through circumstances.  Survival of the present physical would naturally call on the physical senses; but what of want for continuance after decay of the physical?  Do the physical aspects interfere with the intuition and exploration of the mind?  I believe that both the soul and the body play games with each other, both being a separation, yet together.  Each is real and unreal; termination of one (physical) is known; termination of the other (soul) is unknown, a theory.

“I have always played various ages, often having to escape into roles only to return, sometimes as if by force from a guide, not knowing a better word for it other than a conscience.  The mundane escape being often the unrealistic escape.  Dreaming, for example, is a form of escape where our mind takes us away from present awareness, often only for a few seconds, enabling us to become that which we may prefer to be at that instance.  Lengthy dreams may be interpreted as an intermission between life and death; a sample perhaps of what is in store for us after termination of the physical.

“This part of my philosophies were easy to convey (hopefully understood and properly interpreted).  It is in the examination of ones true thoughts and feelings, in consideration with other humans which is difficult.  It is thus, as policies and cultures are always changing, making opinions and theories difficult to convey for understanding and acceptance; whether it is to be “right” or “wrong” for that place in time.  Everyone wants to claim the acquisitions of truth and knowledge.  Once one appears to have accomplished some or all of a section of learning, the problem is where to utilize it so that it would be advantageous to all concerned.  For example, my philosophical views are a “mixed bag.”  There are many avenues for thought that are time consuming, especially when there is a continuation of new thoughts being offered for process.  In other words, where is a person most useful?  Advice often given is that one must look back into oneself and try to be truthful which is very difficult.  Also, it calls for self analysis, a dangerous approach for a novice.  Thus far, my philosophies emphasize the question of my “being;” it being without a definite definition.

“You asked for it (my philosophies), now you got it (them).  Now I will probably get “it” (your negatives and hopefully positives) for telling “it.”

“Here is my attempt at reasoning the culminations of “Terry Philosophies:” I was once a declared Democrat, uncomfortable in what I witnessed such as their inner self-destructive policies.  I became a Republican, trying to counter this, which is a small contribution toward attempts for the continuance of a balanced, “Democratic” government.  It was a difficult stand; advertising my beliefs in what I had learned.  Many close friendships became alienated from me as I became “different” in my thinking, none of which have been replaced.  Republicans are in the minority where I reside.  Perhaps I have become a “thorn in their side” by independently coming to my own conclusions (or, so I think I have).  In spite of their ignorance of me as I am, or would like to think of myself as being, I aspire no great super intelligence for problem solving.  I do care about all humans.  Having been reputed as being a humanitarian, I am yet to solve completely one humanitarian problem, not even on an individual level, my own included.

“Raised to be a conservative, perhaps classical in nature, in a middle-to-lower-middle social class, there are instilled beliefs that I find difficult to change.  A person is what they are born into including their religion and station(s) in life.  This being a near truth, it is almost impossible to change one’s course in life.  All classes being necessary for a cultural hierarchy, “equality” most likely will bring a smirk to one’s features, expressing a joke from within.  Evolution or Darwinism has demonstrated to us that we have millenniums to go before the possibility of reaching the plateau of equality.  Try stepping out of your “class” as I have and you will find that there is always the telltale clue of residue from whence you came.  Perhaps my naiveté shields me from many insults as I am incapable of recognizing them as such, but rather think of them as another persons’ views.  A constructive form of criticism sets me off [and toward] self re-evaluation.  I welcome this as I want to know how others view me.  I view myself differently from most others and do appreciate corrections if they prove to be positive on the whole.

“Roles I have played in life have been many.  Some of which I played without realizing it.  Most were accomplished by circumstance, not by choice.  Choice came into being only after the fact, e.g., when my mind became aware of the reality of my circumstances.  A constant learning process, never truly graduating like a classroom with numerous subjects being taught, all at the same time; each book page containing the unexpected.  More and more lessons to be learned, some never to be questioned because of fear in the answer; others to be questioned continuously in search of and for truths and knowledge.

“Never – or extremely seldom – do I plan (perhaps subconsciously).  I am often overtaken and turned, not being quite sure whether I had thought to have expressed or exercised a deed set in motion.  Thus, never have I felt truly liberated.  Therefore, I disqualify myself from being a liberal.  One has to know how to act the part before accepting the role.  Many connotations of fatalism have been thusly written, but my past life negates this as I will explain.

Born to immigrants during the depression, my independence surfaced at a very early age and was frowned upon by most except the patriarch of the family.  My allowed freedom taught me much of human nature and natural science; exploring much, but only allowed to keep the knowledge to myself.  There were few capable of understanding or of showing any interests in my newfound knowledge.  The so called “working class” never allowed the full extent of wanderlust, neither was there acceptance in fields of endeavor.  The “working class” is a type of slavery with the branding of hierarchy intimidated.  Distinctions of class will always be in this society as in all societies from the insects on up the ladder of the superior beings in nature.  That being the “thinkers,” the human.  We, or I, as a person from the “working class” am allowed into the “upper class” only to perform a service, even though I may have attained more knowledge (degrees) than those for whom I perform the services.  Therefore, knowledge could be said to be to all important as implied today, but rather the station in life into which one is born.

“Perhaps there is a form of bigotry in all of this; an intolerance to those other than one’s own “class.”  I may also be of this make-up, whereas I at times have resented the intrusion of someone into my own “class” other than those which are of an equal “rank.”  As other have done to and for me, enabling me to make slight transitions for improvement, while being reminded of one’s station in life.  I too hope to help others ameliorate without giving up or sharing my “rank.”  Neither am I persuasive in thinking I am alone in this attitude.  Hope is in the offspring where education may assist some to slip through the “cracks” into the “upper classes,” or more likely to marry and bear offspring directly into the “upper classes.”  The “lower class” parent may never be accepted, but the offspring will, that is, have access to prestigious schools, elevating them to a “rank” of higher distinction.

” The learning process never stops regardless of class until the mind stops its assimilations of knowledge.  Oftentimes the physical survives without the mind (brain dead).  We are constantly exposed to knowledge and therefore forced to think.  I often wonder if the thought processes vary due to genetics.  Most likely the answer in “yes” as humans have predispositions for acquiring, coding, and encoding the experience of the exposure to life.  Therefore, education must include experience in the elementary years and expand, but only in accordance to choice and potential.

“My first recollection pertaining to my own education took place upon entering first grade.  I rebelled against having to be placed in a public school.  The classroom was dark and dingy.  Singing songs about “Jack Armstrong, The All American Boy” [which] recommended eating the cereal “Wheaties” – did not interest me.  Millbury Street School[, Worcester, Massachusetts] is where these experiences took place and are rooted in my memory.  Complaining to my parents was to no avail.  They did not have the funds to provide me with a parochial education.  In desperation, I recall informing my mother of taking the matter into my own hand and enrolling myself in St. Mary’s parochial school [Worcester, Massachusetts].  She evidently didn’t believe me or thought I could never accomplish my desire to leave the dungeons of Millbury Street School (which hasn’t changed except to worsen in is decay.  I have since acted as a substitute teacher there for a kindergarten class).  The next recollection I have pertaining to this incident is that of walking a distance, opening very large, heavy door, and looking for the Mother Superior’s office.  Attending Mass at Our Lady of Czestochowa probably prompted this, as I no doubt observed St. Mary’s students at Mass.  Since then, I have a great appreciation for books and knowledge, proving that parochial education in the elementary grades is essential.  This formal parochial education continued to the eighth grade.  There was definitely no funding the ne high school at St. Mary’s.  Public school lasted for three more years.  The family patriarch, a blue collar worker, was forced to quit his employment due to an illness that was to last ten years.  There were no provisions for medical care as there are today.  Families took responsibilities for paying expenses in such matters.  Also at this time [1945], was with Japan [and the United States] broke out.  Monies were scarce as our country’s economy was having its problems.  The military offered good paying jobs.  My two [older] brothers joined the [military] service, discontinued their educations, sending money home [as soldiers]. I also left school to work in factories for the “country’s defense.”  Employment was chosen for you and once you were placed, in whatever factory the employment bureau thought suitable, it could not be changed without having to go through bureaucratic procedures or a doctor’s note.  Education became secondary.  Our country needed warm bodies to perform certain duties: everything of a material nature became important, everything except the human which was expedient.  Necessities for war were taught in the schools, including the need to kill other humans in order to save the country.  No one really understood, but “trust” in the ruling class was brainwashed into most of the population.  Disagreement meant you were a traitor.  This was accomplished by teaching young men that the uniform was a symbol of peace and manhood and being classified “4F” (unable to perform in combat) [which] meant you were less that a man.  Men directly involved with the manufacturing of armaments were deferred.  Education for girls was turned off and only their hands were necessary for the manufacturing of armaments to “keep our men going,” meaning killing or be killed.  There were no mental challenges, i,e., pertaining to knowledge as a form of wisdom, or logic as a form of meaning.  All of this was discouraged.  After the war ended, very few went back to school.  It again was discouraged, especially for the female who, I suppose, was to marry and be taught to rear a family, perhaps to replace the population that were killed in the war.  Men were more fortunate, that is, those that survived and were encouraged to finish their educations under the government “G. I. Bill.”  It was the lost Viet Nam War that tuned things around in education.  John Dewey’s (an educator in the 1940’s) Liberal form of education drew in importance, i.e., an education for everyone on an equal basis.  Trade competition from foreign countries affected the United States’ economy; education in technology was encouraged.  Specialization has taken precedence over the advise of past philosophers and educators such as St. Thomas Aquinas, an ancient educator, [along with]  Richard Hutchins and John Dewey, modern educators.  They believed in an equality in education for everyone according to potential without favoritism.  It is true that education should be for all, but the type of education given is what is most important, i.e., one that encompasses the needs for all men.

“It was during this time of student unrest [that] rioting for increased freedoms of choice and equality that I returned to school.  In the late 1970’s, government grants were being offered [i.e.,] financial aid for minority groups and those in the poverty level.  I was in the latter category, even though I had a full time job.  Five children, a need for improvement, and government aid spurned me on to furthering my education.  It took me seven years going full and part time to three colleges in two states for me to get a degree in Liberal Arts.  My college education began with courses specified for a career in health which I later changed after being exposed to other choices.  Liberal Arts was the more sensible choice as I hoped it would widen the field wherein I would have a better chance of finding a job.  Employment in the teaching area where I found myself suitable and useful (a humanitarian service), made me aware of competition for college graduates with more degrees, i.e, Masters and Doctorates.  This would give me more permanence and security in my chosen field of teaching.  I enrolled myself full time for a Master’s Degree in Education, taking a full time job and more student loans, hoping and preying while devoting most of my time to school courses.  Perhaps this time a new degree will enable me to be employed full time in teaching and taking courses part time toward a Doctorate Degree.  As I have intimated earlier, my elementary education instilled in me a need for seeking knowledge in many areas as are available according to my social class.  Nothing lasts forever, especially the good things, and I am taking as many advantages as I can while they are offered.

“With all these positives, I fear that history is being repeated as women are once again encouraged to seek an education in order to get into the work force.  This insinuates that women will once again replace men in the work force.  In this subtle way, the government is in need, as if in a private war of economics and on the verge of collapse.  In a gradual process, we are entering a Socialistic form of government.  “Classes” have rebelled fro many years at times with violence and continue to do so, for human needs and more equality.  Unless educators are heeded and their policies adhered to, the population as was in past history — when our country was strong — will never be.  Than again, one never knows fully the predictability of a population when there is strength and determination in the core.  Acknowledgment of personal needs and group activities increase the chances of survival.

“Regarding idealism, realism, and pragmatism concerning all of the above, I “think” I lean toward realism but I cannot be sure as nothing is certain.  Beginning with idealism in relation to metaphysics, I am in part agreement concerning the investigations into nature.  Idealism is divided into ontology: that which deals with the nature of “being” and epistemology which deals with the limits of human knowledge.  This began with the philosophies of Aristotle, whose works were arranged by Andronicus, another philosopher in 79 B. C.  Today’s new thoughts pertaining to the formation of the idealistic movement developed in the United States in the second half of the 19th century.  They were taking place in religious and philosophical areas.  The main tenets of idealism are that God is omnipresent and that the soul or spirit is reality.  Man in nature is attuned with a divinity can only perform good deeds.  Diseases here on earth are mental in origin.  The mind, with this same power, also has the power to heal diseases.  On this train of thought, I have serious doubts having been taught human sciences.  By the same token, I have witnessed a spiritual healing in which seven segments of exorcism were [that] were administered successfully by a Catholic priest in a Catholic church gathering.  It was both frightening and amazing to see!  Perhaps there is truth in God’s being the sole of reality and illnesses is due to the failure of man to recognize this.  Then again, what is truth as questioned by Plato, the Greek philosopher who implied that there was no such thing; only what is real is acceptable, i.e., the spirit is joined with the physical, outside the body.  The idealist, or more the dreamer in my definition [is] one who prefers failure in truth as man’s unity with God causes all negatives on earth.  This is where everything can be found, including all answers to all questions.  They also believe that the mind is where its at, if only people would realize the minds’ spiritual potential.  These to me are not accessible, but nice to think about, especially in times of trouble, when nothing on earth can help in a given situation.  Idealists also believe that all objects of knowledge come from man’s senses, as they are mental states and everything is created in the mind.

“Realism on the other hand metaphysically theorizes logic as being realistic.  Abstractions such as man are independent from materialistic objects.  Again, Plato doctrines are considered, i.e., the universe consists of only words without substantiation, and objects are reality in existence.  St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that the universe was in man’s mind with a foundation surrounded by reality.  Conceptualists believe that the universe exists in the concept of ideas emitting from man’s mind only without any help from the outside.  Materialists consider matter to be reality and conscience is the human nervous system.  Naturalists believe that cause and effect is and by nature is sufficient.  I bring all of this into the writing as to me it is all related.  Realism to me is a series of objects that can be perceived substantiating the reality and separate existence outside the mind which is also an epistemological view.  Nature and all its contents, tactile and otherwise, can be experienced via ideas and the intellect.

“Pragmatism is both a metaphysical and epistemological in their doctrine(s).  This entails a persons personal “guess” by which one determines whether an experience or happening is due to either the natural or the unnatural.  It is like “walking the fence,” whatever pleased the intellect at a given time will prove to be sufficient in filling in the blanks; epistemology being knowledge and its concept studied is truth, perception, and evidence.   The relationship between what a person knows and what they object is known as.  Again, Plato enters with defining epistemology as the existence of an unchanging world with invisible forms and ideas; none of which contain certainty in knowledge.  Objects are imperfect; only mathematics and philosophy are considered real.  An unseen world is the goal, or should be, of a human.

“Aristotle believed that knowledge comes from direct experience.  It was he that set down the first rules of logic.  I find myself also agreeing with this line of thought: that knowledge comes from perception, but also is used as a guide in life and not as a means to an end.  St. Thomas Aquinas followed Aristotle in points of logic where the human intellect gains the knowledge of nature, but only via God.  Modern logic in accordance to John Locke includes inductive logic, i.e, knowing is not derived intuitively, but rather from experience or the reflection of a man’s mind on a given subject or activity.  He was somewhat of a skeptic.

“Pragmatism in itself was formed by Charles Pierce, William James, and John Dewey at the turn of the 20th century.  Their empiricism maintained that knowledge is an instrument of action and beliefs and should be interpreted according to their usefulness with rules for their predictability.  Logical empericists clarify definition and rules of inference using science, for example, with words such as: knowledge, perceiving, and probable.  These are used as verbal rules to make definitions clear.

“Every thing is constantly debated which oftentimes adds to my confusion as to what is true and untrue; [what] is certain and uncertain, and on and on.  All is clear or unclear at different times and is different areas depending, I suppose, on what is in “synchronization” with whatever, i.e., body and mind, mind and the innate, the innate and the subconscious, etc.

“Maybe I am none of the things I think I am.  My views and beliefs may appear otherwise to another person reading my philosophies.  I would more likely be very surprised if someone agreed with my philosophies.  Perhaps I really don’t know the true meaning of an idealist, realist, and/or that of a pragmatic, but at least I do think and try to fathom the depths of philosophers.  There is one thing I am sure of pertaining to the majority of humans: they are materialistic.  Their realms consist mainly of substances composed of various elements use mainly for personal purposes.  They fantasize life on earth as a place where all said materials must be gathered and treasured as they deem themselves “classless” without them.  As Cardinal Cushing once said, “I came into this earth naked and I will leave this earth naked,” a humble and charitable person by we can pattern ourselves.  Close your eyes and everything disappears until you open your eyes again; but the eyes and the [other] senses are not forever.  When your eyes are closed, you know that you are still “you,” which does not disappear, meaning the spirit or the soul.

“Who taught me all I know and what will teach me what I have yet to learn?  How much was innate at birth?  How much experience have we assimilated?  What is more important and should take most of our energies — the plateau during life or the plateau after death?  We think we are taught to think from the womb, and therefore must learn, teach, and learn again which is infinite in life.  Science has taught me that life is a rom of energy and that these energies should be put to use in all physical areas.  How much is spent on thinking and learning?  I would like to know how much energy is used for mental exercises in comparison to physical exercises during a specific lifetime.

“I once rad of a man who made a study of weighing a person immediately before and after death.  Each time, the body weighed two ounces less after death.  He also did the same for various animals, but the weight stayed the same.  No one weighed him immediately before or after his death.  Many lessons could be derived from this, even for myself as I neglected to cut out ad same the person’s name or the article.  Who really cared about the study other than the experimenter himself?  Why not?  As for me, it would mad a good study, as good as or better than those done by some of our greater scientists.  It would be in the Idealistic belief that the two ounces were that of a soul being freed of the physical.  Those to whom I have mentioned this took it as a joke and maybe it was, but not to the man who was making the study.

“Nothing really changes.  There are and always have been good things and bad things in my life.  Perhaps to a different degree than, say, those “stuck” in perpetual ignorance and poverty, or those endowed with great intelligence and wealth.  My life, I think, as I can never be totally sure (depending on the interpreter), has fluctuated between ignorant and lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class, and back down to lower class with some gained intelligence.  All of this, or part at least, depended on the economy of our country.

“The last of my “wonderings” is one that has been continuing from my youth to this present day: that is the hypocrisy of the human.  From what I have witnessed and observed, hypocrisy stems mainly from fear of harm to one’s person, i.e., in various forms from another human.  Therefore, a person must by hypocritical and not vulnerable.  I sound pessimistic but I really don’t want to be.  The times I am happiest is when I look into the eyes of an infant or a very young child and witness an unparalleled beauty and innocence.  It makes me smile and feel warm inside.  Is what I see at the time really true or am I searching fro beauty to give me joy and hope?  Questions, always questions and never enough answers.”

Theresa Buckroth, ED 601-1, Spring, 1987

JDRF (Joslin Diabetes Research Fund) Research Costs

JDRF Internal Costs for Administering Research Grants Are the Highest in the Past 15 Years

March 25, 2016

JDRF Administration Cost for Each Dollar of Actual Research Grants

JDRF’s cost of administering research grants continues to skyrocket.  During 2015, the internal costs associated with selecting and allocating research grants reached $0.27 per dollar of grant, a 15 year high, as shown in the chart above.   Conversely, during the exact same time frame, the actual amount going to research grants dropped to a 15 low, as we noted in prior reports.  This trend is not sustainable.

From a donor standpoint, the erosion in efficiency means that fewer and fewer of our donation dollars make their way to actual research grants.

A few additional key details:

  • Research administration costs include payroll, office rent, professional services, meetings, and other expenses associated with allocating and overseeing research grants.  These costs are now the highest in the history of the JDRF.
  • Prior to 2010, annual research support costs never surpassed $0.10 cents per grant dollar.  Costs began to escalate in 2011 and have quadrupled in the past 5 years.
  • Several explanations for the cost inflation have been suggested, including an increase in the number of JDRF staff positions, an increase in salaries of the JDRF research staff, and an increase in the number of meetings.
  • While some cost increase may be justified, a 4x cost growth within the past 5 is a dramatic and gross increase that suggests either a decrease in management focus or a shift in strategy.   Again, this recent trend is inconsistent with the entire prior history of the organization.
  • It is unclear what corrective action, if any, the JDRF leadership is taking

As we have stated in prior reports, our main concern and reason for sharing this data is to raise awareness for a trend that may compromise speed to a cure.  Donors concerned by this data are encouraged to express their perspective to JDRF leadership.

The source for the data are the 2015 JDRF Financial Statements which are available here:   http://jdrf.org/about/financials/

Previous JDCA reports may be found here:  http://thejdca.org/2016-report

Book Sale Ends Today!

March Madness Book Sale of My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography ends today, March 31, 2016 at midnight.

Kindle Edition: $0.00; Paperback: $10.95 signed by the author.

Popular with T1Ds and T2Ds as referenced, this book is a wonderful learning read written by a T1D diagnosed in 1959.

Get your paperback copy at Amazon.com before time runs out!  Other copies are available – full price – at area bookstores and through special orders.

Other books by A. K. Buckroth include: My & My Money…a child’s story of diabetes, Book One  and Me & My Money Too…a child’s story with diabetes, Book Two.

#buckroth

Scientific Research for Health

Deploying the Body’s Army

Using patients’ own immune systems to fight cancer

By Jamie Green and Charlotte Ariyan | April 1, 2014

 Image No 1T CELLS ATTACK: Colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of T lymphocytes (green) bound to antigens on a cancer cell. Can researchers harness the killing power of patients’ own immune systems to treat cancer?© STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE SOURCE

More than a century ago, American bone surgeon William Coley came across the case of Fred Stein, whose aggressive cheek sarcoma had disappeared after he suffered a Streptococcus pyogenes infection following surgery to remove part of the large tumor. Seven years later, Coley tracked Stein down and found him alive, with no evidence of cancer. Amazed, Coley speculated that the immune response to the bacterial infection had played an integral role in fighting the disease, and the doctor went on to inoculate more than 10 other patients suffering from inoperable tumors with Streptococcus bacteria. Sure enough, several of those who survived the infection—and one who did not—experienced tumor reduction.1

Coley subsequently developed and tested the effect of injecting dead bacteria into tumors, hoping to stimulate an immune response without risking fatal infection, and found that he was able to cause complete regression of cancer in some patients with sarcoma, a type of malignant tumor often arising from bone, muscle, or fat. Unfortunately, with the increasing use of radiation treatments and the advent of systemic chemotherapy, much of Coley’s work was abandoned by the time he died in 1936.

Today, however, the use of immune modulation to treat cancer is finally receiving its due. Unlike chemotherapy and radiation treatments, which directly attack cancer cells, immunotherapy agents augment the body’s normal immune machinery, increasing its ability to fight tumors. This strategy involves either introducing compounds that directly stimulate the immune cells to work harder, or introducing synthetic proteins that mimic the components of the normal immune response, thereby increasing the body’s entire immune reaction. Last year, cancer immunotherapy was named “Breakthrough of the Year” by the journal Science, placing it in the company of the first cloned mammal and the complete sequencing of the human genome. With a handful of therapies already on the market, and dozens more showing promise in all stages of clinical development, these treatments are poised to forever change the way that we approach cancer management.

The power of the immune response

The human immune system orchestrates processes that continuously survey the host environment and protect it from infection. The two main components of the human immune system, the innate and adaptive arms, work together to fight infection and, importantly, to remember which pathogens the host has encountered in the past. Alerted by danger signals in the form of common microbial peptides, surface molecules, or gene sequences, innate immune cells such as macrophages and neutrophils invoke broad mechanisms to quickly fight foreign invaders. At the same time, B cells of the adaptive immune system generate a highly specific response, creating antibodies that can recognize and clear the pathogens. Antigen-specific T cells, activated by innate immune cells that have ingested the pathogen, further boost the body’s response. These B and T cells have lasting memory, allowing them to generate faster and stronger responses on subsequent exposures.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Lloyd Old of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) helped rekindle interest in cancer immunotherapy research, finding, among other things, that tumor cells display different surface antigens than healthy cells. These so-called tumor-associated antigens serve as the basis for developing cancer treatment vaccines, which attempt to stimulate a tumor-specific immune response. Old’s discoveries were followed in the 1980s by the work of Steven Rosenberg at the National Institutes of Health. Rosenberg studied the use of cytokines, which normally act to stimulate the immune system, to treat cancer.

More recently, the advent of immune checkpoint blockade approaches pioneered by James Allison, formerly of MSKCC and current chair of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Immunology, has written immunotherapy into the oncologist’s playbook. To ensure that the immune system does not become overactive, causing tissue damage or attacking the body, regulatory T cells (or Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells secrete anti-inflammatory proteins or directly inhibit pro-inflammatory immune cells. Additionally, immune checkpoint proteins expressed on the surface of activated immune cells serve to neutralize the immune response. Tumors may in fact exploit these very anti-inflammatory pathways, perhaps by stimulating an increase in Tregs or increased immune-checkpoint protein expression, to evade recognition by the immune system. Allison is now pioneering techniques to block these checkpoints, allowing the immune response to continue to fight the tumor unhindered.

These exciting new therapies are able to prolong life in patients whose cancers were previously deemed fatal, with kidney cancer and malignant melanoma leading the pack.

Vaccinating to treat cancer

 Image No 2VACCINATING CANCER: Most cancer vaccines in development involve an injection containing a component of a tumor-specific antigen, with the goal of increasing the immune system’s tumor-specific activity. Others, such as Sipuleucel-T, involve the extraction of a patient’s antigen-presenting cells (APCs), which are cultured with antigens from the patient’s tumor along with immune-stimulating factors to prime the APCs to activate T cells in the body.
See full infographic: JPG | PDF
© CATHERINE DELPHIA
Localized injection of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), an antituberculosis vaccine made from attenuated live Mycobacterium bovis, was approved for the treatment of bladder cancer in 1990. It was the first immunotherapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer. The idea that tuberculosis or BCG infection could have a role in fighting cancer was first posited in 1929 by Johns Hopkins biogerontologist Raymond Pearl, who noted a reduced incidence of cancer among patients with active tuberculosis at the time of autopsy.2 Old went on to demonstrate in the late 1950s that BCG injections in animal models could reduce tumor growth. Subsequent clinical work in the 1970s and ’80s found that the treatment caused regression of bladder cancers in patients given regular intralesional BCG injections and a 12-fold reduction in bladder tumor recurrence, along with decreased progression and improved survival. Twenty years after its approval, BCG remains the most effective therapy available for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, resulting in the eradication of cancer in 70 percent of eligible patients.

The attenuated bacteria decrease tumor growth by attaching to the bladder tumor and surrounding cells and provoking the infiltration of immune cells, proinflammatory cytokine release, and eventual phagocytosis of cancerous cells by neutrophils and macrophages. While this inflammatory response is efficient at killing tumor tissue, it can also damage the healthy cells of the bladder lining, resulting in side effects that mimic a urinary tract infection, including low-grade fever and pain during urination.2 Researchers are now hoping to avoid the side effects of localized injections by designing novel vaccines that trigger systemic tumor-specific immune responses by binding to proteins unique to tumor cells.

Unfortunately, tumor-specific vaccines have rarely demonstrated significant antitumor activity and survival benefits in humans. So far, only one vaccine of this type is on the market, Seattle-based cancer research company Dendreon’s Sipuleucel-T (or Provenge), approved by the FDA in 2010 as a last-resort treatment for metastatic prostate cancer. In this case, vaccine production involves extracting a patient’s own antigen-presenting cells (APCs), a subset of white blood cells capable of activating T cells, and reinfusing them several days later. While outside of the body, the APCs are incubated with immune-stimulating factors and prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) antigen, a cell-surface protein found on 95 percent of prostate cancer cells. The APCs then reenter circulation armed to elicit an immune response against the prostate tumor. In randomized controlled trials, the treatment caused a four-month improvement in overall survival for eligible prostate cancer patients.3

Systemic injections of the PAP antigen and similar antigens that target other types of cancer—as opposed to treatment of white blood cells ex vivo as in Sipuleucel-T—have been shown to elicit an immune response in the tumors. But they have not yet been proven to increase survival times. Hundreds of vaccine clinical trials of all stages, including Phase 3 trials for breast cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, and melanoma, are now underway to evaluate whether these therapies can indeed boost the cancer-specific immune response and help patients.

Blocking immune inhibition

 Image No 3DON’T STOP FIGHTING: Immune checkpoint blockade therapies work by preventing the immune response from turning off when it normally would. By blocking these immune checkpoints using molecules that bind T-cell surface proteins such as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) or programmed death-1 receptor (PD-1), which are expressed on activated T-cells and normally dampen the immune response, the treatments are able to maintain an active immune attack.
See full infographic: JPG | PDF
© CATHERINE DELPHIA
Another exciting and rapidly expanding category of immunotherapy is immune checkpoint blockade. Immune checkpoints are inhibitory pathways that help prevent overstimulation of the immune system. Proteins on the surface of activated immune cells turn off those cells when an immune battle is perceived to be over. The cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4), for example, is normally located inside T cells, but when expressed on the surface, it functions as a “brake” signal to the immune system.

In the mid-1990s, Allison hypothesized that temporary interruption of CTLA-4’s inhibitory effects could augment the immune system and fight tumors. In preclinical models, he demonstrated that treatment with an anti–CTLA-4 antibody was able to cure mice of colon tumors, which can be made to form on the surface of the body by injecting transplantable mouse colon cancer cells subcutaneously.4 Early clinical studies in patients with malignant melanoma demonstrated the treatment’s safety and hinted at its efficacy. In 2010, a large Phase 3 trial showed that blocking CTLA-4 with a humanized monoclonal antibody called ipilimumab (or Yervoy, as marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb) improved overall survival in patients with late-stage melanoma.5

While the response rate was low, with only about 10 percent of patients showing decreased tumor size after therapy and 18 percent showing stable disease, ipilimumab was the first agent that improved survival in these patients, who typically live only six to nine months from diagnosis when treated with conventional chemotherapy agents. Moreover, the majority of patients who did respond to ipilimumab showed improvement lasting more than two years. The FDA approved the drug for the treatment of advanced melanoma in 2011, and follow-up studies of early trial participants are showing that some patients live up to 10 years after their initial ipilimumab treatment.6 Phase 2 and 3 trials are now testing ipilimumab treatment for numerous other types of cancer, including non–small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Hundreds of vaccine clinical trials of all stages are now underway to evaluate whether these therapies can indeed boost the cancer-specific immune response and help patients.

The most common adverse events associated with ipilimumab treatment are immune-related and result from the drug’s unleashing of the immune system. They include colitis, dermatitis, and hepatitis, which all result from excessive inflammation. Given ipilimumab’s low response rate, further work is needed to improve this therapy.

One option may be to block other immune checkpoints, such as the interaction between the programmed cell death 1 receptor (PD-1) on T cells and its ligand (PD-L1) on APCs. Similar to CTLA-4, PD-1 is expressed on activated T cells, as well as on “exhausted” T cells that have been shut off despite the persistence of pathogens. When PD-1 binds to PD-L1, the T-cell response is attenuated. Interestingly, in addition to expression on APCs, PD-L1 has also been found on tumor cells, and it is thought to play a role in how tumors are able to evade the immune response. Early results have been promising for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s nivolumab, an anti-PD-1 antibody, in the treatment of malignant melanoma, non–small cell lung cancer, and kidney cancer, and Phase 3 trials are currently under way to investigate the potential survival benefit of this novel agent.7 Similar studies are also being conducted for PD-L1 inhibitors.

Early research testing the combination of anti–CTLA-4 and anti–PD-1 medications also point to the benefits of blocking both immune checkpoints simultaneously. In a study published in collaboration with one of us (Ariyan) in the New England Journal of Medicine last July, more than half of metastatic melanoma patients treated with the maximum combination dose of nivolumab and ipilimumab had a greater than 80 percent reduction in tumor mass, and more than 80 percent of these patients were alive a year after treatment.8 These promising results for a disease with so few treatment options show why immune checkpoint blockade is altering the landscape of cancer therapy.

Transferring T cells

 Image No 4T-CELLS TO THE RESCUE: In adoptive T-cell transfer, T cells isolated from a patient’s blood or tumor are transfected with a virus to express cancer-targeting chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), arming the cells to attack the cancer once reinfused into the patient.
See full infographic: JPG | PDF
© CATHERINE DELPHIA
A third way to boost the immune attack on a tumor is to isolate T cells from a patient, expand them in the laboratory, then reinfuse them into the body as souped-up cancer-fighting agents. Known as adoptive T-cell transfer, the procedure was initially performed using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), a subset of white blood cells that have left the circulating blood and migrated into solid tumors, and which can be isolated from excised tumors. (See “Imagining a Cure,” The Scientist, April 2011.) Unfortunately, disease progression in some patients is too quick to allow the time needed for the extensive ex vivo work, which can take up to a month; but for those who can wait, the therapy may be of some help. In a Phase 2 trial published in 2010, half of 20 patients with stage IV melanoma showed noticeable improvement following treatment, including two complete remissions.9

This strategy is limited, however, in that some patients do not have a lesion that can be excised, or the excised tumor does not have any TILs that grow or that demonstrate antitumor  reactivity in vitro. To circumvent these hurdles, researchers have developed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) as a method of genetically modifying a patient’s circulating T cells to make them target tumor cells. CARs include an antigen-recognition domain, or modified antibody segment, which is able to recognize a specific protein on the surface of tumor cells, and an intracellular domain that activates the T cell and stimulates in vivo proliferation.10

Researchers have designed CARs to treat a variety of cancers, including chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL). In one case, they isolated T cells from a CLL patient’s blood and engineered them to express a CD19-targeting CAR. CD19 is a protein that is expressed on the surface of normal B cells, as well as on malignant B cells. After being expanded in vitro, the modified cells were reinfused into the patient, who had failed to respond to all previously available treatment regimens. Following treatment, this patient, and now numerous others, was found to be cancer free.11 (See “Commander of an Immune Flotilla.”)

While there are currently no FDA-approved therapies involving such T-cell manipulations, numerous Phase 1 and 2 trials are underway to determine safety profiles on a larger scale as well as effects on survival for a variety of different cancer types, including leukemia, lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma.

The future of immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is quickly proving itself as a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer, and research continues to further improve the effectiveness of this approach and to broaden the number of patients that are able to benefit from it. Many researchers are currently studying the effects of combining multiple immunotherapy methods, such as immune checkpoint blockade and adoptive T-cell transfer, or cancer treatment vaccines and cytokine administration. In the coming years, it will be exciting to see the profound effects that immunotherapy agents are expected to have on human survival as the hundreds of clinical trials currently interrogating this breakthrough begin to bear fruit. 

Jamie Green is a general surgery resident at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical College and is currently completing a Surgery Research Fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where Charlotte Ariyan is an assistant attending who is conducting clinical trials on ipilimumab.

References

  1. S.A. Cann et al., “Dr William Coley and tumour regression: a place in history or in the future,” Postrgrad Med J, 79:672-80, 2003.
  2. N.M. Gandhi et al., “Bacillus Calmette-Guerin immunotherapy for genitourinary cancer,” BJU Int, 112:288-97, 2013.
  3. P.W. Kantoff et al., “Sipuleucel-T immunotherapy for castration-resistant prostate cancer,” N Engl J Med, 363:411-22, 2010.
  4. D.R. Leach et al., “Enhancement of antitumor immunity by CTLA-4 blockade,” Science, 271:1734-36, 1996.
  5. F.S. Hodi et al., “Improved survival with ipilimumab in patients with metastatic melanoma,” N Engl J Med, 363:711-23, 2010.
  6. Z. Chustecka, “Some melanoma patients living for up to 10 years after ipilimumab,” Medscape Medical News, Sept 2013.
  7. S.L. Topalian et al., “Safety, activity and immune correlates of anti–PD-1 antibody in cancer, ” N Engl J Med, 366:2443-54, 2012.
  8. J.D. Wolchok et al., “Nivolumab plus ipilimumab in advanced melanoma, ” N Engl J Med, 369:122-33, 2013.
  9. M. Besser et al., “Clinical responses in a phase II study using adoptive transfer of short-term cultured tumor infiltration lymphocytes in metastatic melanoma patients,” Clin Cancer Res, 16:2646-55, 2010.
  10. N.P. Restifo et al., “Adoptive immunotherapy for cancer: harnessing the T cell response,” Nat Rev Immunol, 12:269-81, 2012.
  11. D.L. Porter et al., “Chimeric antigen receptor–modified T cells in chronic lymphoid leukemia,” N Engl J Med 365:725-33, 2011.

Correction (April 2, 2014): This story has been updated from its original version to correctly reflect that James Allison is the current chair of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Immunology, not the entire research center; to reflect that modified T cells, not B cells, were reinfused into patients with CLL; and to reflect that cancer vaccines involve the culturing of a patient’s cells with generic tumor antigens that are not specific to the patient’s tumor. The Scientist regrets the errors.

Diabetes Ride For A Cure 2016!

Ride with us toward a world without T1D

With you every mile of the way

Whether you choose to ride 25, 60 or even 100 miles, you’ll be surrounded by the T1D community–fellow riders, coaches, friends and family. You can do this.

Diabetes [International] Advocacy

What Makes JDRF Advocates Stand Out on the Hill?

They keep coming back

They put their day-to-day lives on hold to attend JDRF Government Day because they see the bigger picture—they want to change all lives affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D). Melinda Renfroe, a grassroots JDRF Advocate from Alabama, missed celebrating her daughter’s 23rd birthday on the day because she is here in Washington, D.C., speaking out for Federal support of T1D research progress for her daughter and everyone living with T1D. Melinda told her daughter, Alexandra, “My being at Government Day on your birthday will one day give you the best birthday present ever. A cure.” As a JDRF 2009 Children’s Congress Delegate herself, Alexandra understood, saying “Mom, you’re my hero.”

They’re persistent

Take the Indiana delegation. Cindy Cook, Sharon Gregor, Gartha Ingram and Richard Shevitz will attend a total of 11 meetings in two days. That means they’re meeting with all of the Members of Congress or their staff from their home state. Their secret? “We follow up. We make it easy for them to schedule meetings. And we say thank you,” says Cindy Cook. The grandmother of a high school freshman with T1D, Cindy has been involved with JDRF since her grandson was diagnosed as an infant. For the last seven years, she has witnessed the power of perseverance each time she returns to the Hill and speaks to Members and their staff who remember JDRF and our mission. Representative Susan Brooks (IN-5) recently accepted the position of House Diabetes Caucus Vice Chair, and her office made a special point of reaching out to Gartha to tell him they were inspired in part by him and his son’s story.

They’re passionate

Nobody can deny the energy in the room when our army of volunteers gets together, shares their stories and their successes and heads out the door more determined than ever. Patrick Tohill, JDRF Canada Director of Government Relations, says, “I’m inspired to see how many people want to engage and serve as advocates. I can’t wait to go back home and harness that same energy for T1D research funding and support in my country.”

They take it back home

For JDRF Advocates, the hard work doesn’t end when they leave D.C. Throughout the year they will keep in touch with their Representatives and Senators, tell their stories at JDRF and other community events in their home Districts, and crucially, prepare others to become advocates. “It’s wonderful to go back and tell others how many people in Washington do care and are fighting in our corner,” says Scott Minor, a JDRF New York Advocate. To reach a world without T1D, we must first cover the U.S. map, meet with every lawmaker, and ask each one to promise to remember those who live with T1D when they vote on legislation that will improve lives and lead to a cure. JDRF Advocates are the One Voice that will eventually help us create a world without T1D.

They fight to the finish

“This will end.” Bill Parsons, Executive Director, JDRF Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter, told a fired-up crowd of Advocates before they left for two days of Hill meetings. “If it seems like you’ve been saying the same thing year after year, know that we have made tangible progress, like the SDP renewal, and you have been part of it.”

Are you ready to be part of it? Become a JDRF Advocate by texting “ACT” to 53731 (or JDRF1) or sign up online.

JDRF Government Day Advocates

And keep following #JDRFGovDay to see what makes JDRF Advocates the best of the best.

A special thanks to Sanofi — JDRF 2016 Government Day Presenting Sponsor.

By Cynthia Tully • JDRF
Similar Topics

Move Over, Barbie Doll. There’s Another Doll In Twn!

T1D Community Unites to Make American Girl Dreams Come True

JDRF is very aware of the amazing strength of the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community—and its commitment to improving the lives of everyone affected by this disease. It’s always great to see stories that highlight just how powerful this community really is. You may have heard that American Girl—the popular doll company—recently released a Diabetes Care Kit for their Truly Me™ dolls. But did you know that Matt Wahmhoff, the designer of this groundbreaking kit, also has T1D himself?

MATT_WAHMHOFF_Blog

American Girl dolls reflect the reality of T1D

As of January 2016, everyone affected by T1D now has the option to purchase a Diabetes Care Kit for their American Girl dolls. The kit’s accessories include a blood sugar monitor and lancing device; an insulin pump and infusion set; an insulin pen; a medical bracelet; and glucose tablets. Think of it as a doll-sized version of all the tools necessary to manage this complex disease!

We spoke to Matt—a designer at American Girl —to get his take on how living with the disease informed his experience designing this important kit.

What did it mean to you to design the Diabetes Care Kit?

From a personal standpoint, this is likely one of the most meaningful designs I have ever worked on. The words “meaningful” and “toy” don’t always go together. So, it’s great to have an opportunity to be a part of a designing something like this for American Girl.

Did having T1D yourself influence your design process?

Definitely. When we are designing toys, we’re not always able to achieve every detail we want, but in this case there were important features that I knew had to be right. For example, for me, it was very important how the infusion set attached to the doll to mimic real life as much possible. We looked at many different adhesives and eventually found one that was strong enough to attach to the doll. The spring-loaded feature in the lancet device was another small detail that adds a realistic quality to the device.

Why do you think making this kit available is important?

The kit offers a unique and positive way for a child to deal with the difficulties of caring for his or her diabetes. Teaching their dolls how to care for the disease, like dealing with low and high blood sugar episodes, is a fantastic way to reinforce good everyday practices in diabetes management. And, this can help make girls (and boys!) stronger and more comfortable with their diabetes. It also offers a way for them to teach their friends what it’s like to live with T1D. When I was growing up, most of my friends had no clue what it was like to be diabetic. There just wasn’t a great way to get my friends involved in that part of my life. This kit can really change that now.

What would you like people to know about what it’s like to live with T1D?

People should know that diabetes is manageable and that you can live a very normal life with the disease. You can’t tell if someone has diabetes, which is good, but that can also make people forget that you even have it. Many things besides food can affect my blood sugar level. Everything from exercise, to having the flu, or even stress can raise or lower my blood sugar. So I have to think about what’s going on now—and what I’m going to be doing later—and then decide whether I need to eat, take insulin or both.

What would a world without T1D mean to you?

People with diabetes have a significantly higher risk for certain complications, such as blindness, heart issues, kidney damage and nerve damage. Thankfully, I have not had any of these complications, but they’re always in the back of my mind. So, a world without T1D would be truly amazing for so many people like me. Having to constantly watch my diet and count carbs may be beneficial from a health standpoint, but it sure would be nice to forget about it occasionally!

Girls with T1D across the country rallied behind Anja Busse’s petition to make diabetic accessories available for American Girl dolls. Little did they know that American Girl already had such a project in the works—or how happy they’d be with the results!

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation enlightens my Hopes…

Breaking Free from the Daily Burden

JDRF toured ViaCyte’s labs to learn about VC-01TM encapsulated cell therapy

ViaCyte opened its doors last month to a small group of JDRF volunteers and staff to tour the facility. The group learned how ViaCyte has been developing an islet replacement therapy to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) for the last ten years. “We heard how stem cells become functioning pancreatic cells in ViaCyte’s macroencapsulated drug delivery system and how they can mature into insulin-producing beta cells offering people living with the disease an extended break from daily insulin injections and blood-glucose testing,” said Julia Greenstein, Ph.D., vice president, discovery research at JDRF. To learn more about ViaCyte’s trial of its VC-01 islet cell replacement therapy, which is contained in a semipermeable device called Encaptra®, watch this brief video.

“Twelve patients from two trial sites, one in San Diego, California and one in Alberta, Canada, have received encapsulated pancreatic progenitor cells derived from stem cell therapy. We’re now positioned on the crux of being in a clinical study with the stem cell derived islet replacement being delivered in an encapsulation system, and many consider this to be the Holy Grail of type 1 diabetes therapy,” said Kevin D’Amour, Ph.D., vice president, research and chief scientific officer at ViaCyte. Encaptra acts like a teabag, holding the cell therapy inside.

The cells are completely sealed into the device and, like tea in a teabag, cannot escape, and more importantly, immune cells cannot get inside. The device protects the implanted cells from the immune system, overcoming an obstacle that held back other encapsulation designs.

“The macroencapsulation device is implanted under the skin through an outpatient surgical procedure and the therapy is designed to last at least a year, possibly up to five years, before needing to be replaced,” Dr. D’Amour said.

As far as next steps, ViaCyte plans to use these initial results to optimize the therapy before moving to more patients. In the next phase of the trial, ViaCyte would increase the dose of cells being used and would be looking for therapeutic efficacy. “If all goes according to plan, people living with T1D get to throw away their needles and forget about the daily burdens of managing their blood sugar,” according to Dr. D’Amour.

Why It Matters:

With JDRF’s support, ViaCyte’s researchers can help more people with type 1 diabetes lead a more normal life filled with less worry and less time managing their disease. Its VC-01 islet cell replacement therapy may also offer reduction in serious chronic health conditions caused by swings in blood glucose.

By Emily Howell • JDRF

Símbolos, símbolos y Más símbolos

Este artículo específico se orienta hacia el principal símbolo de la diabetes. Como tales cosas se han vuelto siempre tan popular en este día y edad en la última década más o menos, símbolos crear conciencia y apoyo personal a las mayores tribulaciones que enfrenta la comunidad mundial. La diabetes es uno entre cientos. Como Abogado Global conciencia de la diabetes, espero para refrescar sus recuerdos en que le dice que noviembre es el Mes de Concientización Internacional de Diabetes.
“El círculo azul es el símbolo universal para la diabetes Hasta 2006, no había ningún símbolo mundial de la diabetes El propósito del símbolo es dar a la diabetes una identidad común Pretende…:

– Apoyar todos los esfuerzos existentes para aumentar la concienciación sobre la diabetes;
– Inspirar nuevas actividades, llevar la diabetes a la atención del público en general;
– Marca de la diabetes; y
– Proporcionar un medio para mostrar su apoyo a la lucha contra la diabetes.
“¿Cuál es la historia del círculo Azul?

“El icono fue desarrollado originalmente para la campaña que dio lugar a la aprobación de la Resolución de Naciones Unidas 61/225” Día Mundial de la Diabetes “.
“La campaña por una Resolución de las Naciones Unidas sobre la diabetes fue la respuesta a la pandemia de la diabetes que se establece para abrumar a los recursos sanitarios de todo el mundo. La campaña movilizó a las partes interesadas la diabetes detrás de la causa común de asegurar una Resolución de las Naciones Unidas sobre la diabetes. Las Naciones Unidas aprobó la Resolución 61 / 225 ‘Día Mundial de la Diabetes’ el 20 de diciembre de 2006.
“¿Por qué un círculo?

El círculo se repite con frecuencia en la naturaleza y por lo tanto ha sido ampliamente utilizado desde los albores de la humanidad. El significado es muy positiva. En todas las culturas, el círculo puede simbolizar la vida y la salud. Lo más significativo de la campaña, el círculo simboliza la unidad. Nuestra fuerza combinada es el elemento clave que hizo que este apoyo de una Resolución de las Naciones Unidas sobre la diabetes y tiene que permanecer unidos para hacer una diferencia. Como todos sabemos: no hacer nada no es una opción.
“¿Por qué azul?

“La frontera azul del círculo refleja el color del cielo y la bandera de las Naciones Unidas. Las Naciones Unidas es en sí mismo un símbolo de unidad entre las naciones y es la única organización que puede ser señal de que los gobiernos de todo el mundo que es el momento de luchar diabetes y revertir las tendencias mundiales que impedirán el desarrollo económico y causar tanto sufrimiento y muerte prematura.

“¿A quién pertenece el símbolo?

“La Federación Internacional de Diabetes (IDF) tiene todos los derechos sobre el círculo azul de la diabetes.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awareness_ribbons
¡El conocimiento es poder! Apenas Sayin “… y pasando algunos junto a usted. Es importante para mí que usted sabe.
A. K. Buckroth (#buckroth)