Proof Positivity: Baby It’s Cold Outside

me11 It’s getting cold and frostbite in some regions is possible.  In Cleveland, OH, where I am from, it gets so cold that when you come in from it your hands burn from getting warm.  Here are a few tips from me to you:

*If there is shelter nearby then stay in the shelter to keep the wind from hitting you.

*Layer your clothes.  This means wear two or three pairs of pants, shirts, socks, and gloves.  It’s uncomfortable but if I had to choose between being uncomfortable and losing a digit, I would choose uncomfortable.

*Use warm water and not hot to warm yourself up.


Birth Of A Baby

The birth of a baby is a special thing.   Each baby is a miracle, however, there is a baby that was born under unusual circumstances.

Jayne Soliman, formerly Jayne Campbell, was British Free Skating champion in 1989, the same year she was rated seventh in the world.

She became a figure-skating teacher and had a spell in Abu Dhabi, where she met her Egyptian-born husband-to-be.

She had been healthy through her entire pregnancy until finally she collapsed in her bedroom complaining of a headache.  It turns out her brain had hemorraged and a tumor was found. 

Jayne was declared brain dead.  The story doesn’t end here.  It does have a happy ending.  Jayne was on life support for 48 hours to help the baby that grew inside her to form lungs that were strong enough to preform a c-section.  Steroids helped with this.  She was only 26 weeks pregnant.

Aya Jayne was born at just 2lb 11/2oz.  Aya, which means miracle in Korean, had one last moment with her mom.  She was placed in her mother’s arms before life support was removed.

‘Aya Jayne is absolutely tiny – her eyes are the size of lemon pips and her hands are about as big as my wedding ring – but she’s doing brilliantly. Her dad has had the best and the worst day of his life within such a short space of time.

‘It’s just something you can’t imagine – turning off your wife’s life-support machine and then going to see your new-born daughter.’


Honest Abe Turns 200


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth with a new exhibition, “Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life,” opening Jan. 16, 2009. The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Richard Lounsbery Foundation and the History Channel.

Showcasing the museum’s major Lincoln collection, the exhibition will present more than 60 objects associated with Lincoln’s life, from an iron wedge he used to split wood in the early 1830s in New Salem, Ill., to his iconic top hat that he wore the night he was shot at Ford’s Theatre. More than 50 graphics in the form of photographs, personal portraits, painting, sketches and cartoons will also be featured throughout the exhibition.

lo-lincoln_hat“We are excited about bringing together for the first time this unique and unparalleled collection of Lincoln objects,” said Museum Director Brent D. Glass. “What better way to celebrate Lincoln’s 200th birthday than by telling the story of his extraordinary life?”

Visitors to “Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life” will explore sections on Lincoln’s early life, his presidential campaign, the White House and the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, his assassination and the national mourning that followed. Stories about how the objects came to be in the Smithsonian collections are integrated into the exhibition, to present not only aspects of Lincoln’s life but also how he has been o-mary_lincolnremembered. Lincoln’s office suit and Mary Todd Lincoln’s gown, made by Elizabeth Keckley, will be displayed together, with additional costumes and family-related objects that convey more of the history of the Lincoln family’s time in the White House.

Visitors will see Lincoln’s gold pocket watch from his days as a Springfield lawyer, the inkstand he used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, his patent model for lifting boats and all eight prison hoods worn by the Lincoln conspirators.

Other notable objects will include plaster casts of Lincoln’s face and hands that were taken by Chicago artist Leonard Volk. The casts of Lincoln’s hands were taken May 20, 1860, two days after he received the nomination as the Republican Party presidential candidate. To steady his right hand in the mold, which was still swollen from shaking hands with supporters, Lincoln cut off a piece of broom handle to hold. Volk later placed the piece of broom handle in the original cast, which will be on display.

Two short videos by the History Channel will round out the exhibition. The first looks at Lincoln’s patent model for lifting boats over shoals. Lincoln was inspired to design the device after his boat became stuck in shallow waters during a trip to Niagara Falls. An animation based on an engineering analysis of the Lincoln patent model will show visitors how it would have worked. The second, an eight-minute film, sheds light on the Emancipation Proclamation and how it affected the Civil War.

“As a whole, the exhibition presents a more personal and intimate look at Lincoln. It reminds us that Abraham Lincoln, whose story has become so mythic, was a real individual. Through all his achievements, successes and tragedies, he led an extraordinary life,” said Harry Rubenstein, the exhibition’s curator and chair of the museum’s division of politics and reform. The opening of the exhibition will coincide with the museum’s debut of “America’s New Birth of Freedom: Documents from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum” in the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery.


Cancer Survivor

When she was eleven years old, Maria Machado Munroe and her family immigrated to the United States from a small island off the coast of Portugal.  Maria did not adapt quickly the strangeness of the language and customs made her miserable. Just as she was becoming adjusted, at age 16, she discovered a lump on her neck, and began her struggle with deadly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Shortly after Maria’s treatment for cancer started, her diabetic mother died at age 35. Both Maria’s priest and her father suggested that her mother’s death was caused by grief over her daughter’s cancer, and as a result the author began a long struggle with a deep sense of guilt. The frequent and lengthy hospital stays required by her treatment temporarily halted Maria’s schooling. She had hated her classes, and held the childlike thought that she had brought cancer on herself by wishing she had chicken pox so she could stay home from school for a while.

Her treatment involved such painful and unsettling procedures as surgery and chemotherapy, even more frightening for a young person than for an adult. During the fear and loneliness of that lengthy therapy, she gradually developed trusting personal relationships with her nurses and other caregivers. “It Gets Better!” includes tributes written by her medical team; they movingly describe what caring for the author as a teenager meant to them.

The author has been in remission since she was 18 years old and is now in her mid-30s. She decided to write “It Gets Better!” in order to help young people diagnosed with cancer to cope, to remind medical caregivers of the long-lasting effects of their actions on those they care for, and to enable other readers to deepen their understanding of the human experience. “It Gets Better!” can help medical and nursing students better understand the importance of kindness in medical treatment, and can show families the importance of their support in cancer treatment.

Maria attributes her recovery not only to the excellent medical care she received, but also to the loving tenderness that her doctors and nurses bestowed on her during her journey through fear, anger, and sadness. She named her daughter after her principal physician, Dr. Cathy Rosenfield.

These days, the author is living a normal, happy life with her loving husband and children, but the possibility of a recurrence of her cancer remains a shadow companion. Maria writes, “I got rid of my fear and decided to get mentally healthy. We can’t live a happy life when we are scared. I had to tell myself, ‘If I get cancer again, I will have to fight it again; and if it is worse, I will fight harder again. I want to live.’”

About the Author: Maria Machado Munroe resides in Beverly, Massachusetts, with her husband, Gerry, and three children, Anthony, Adam and Catherine. Her son Anthony is currently serving overseas with the U.S. Army.



PR Newswire


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