Free Prom Provides Respite For Teens With Life-Threatening Illnesses

June 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

Los Angeles, California (CNN) — Anna Rahm spent her senior year of high school enduring chemotherapy sessions, blood and platelet transfusions and multiple surgeries, including the amputation of her right leg in October.

“Living with a life-threatening illness every single day, you just wonder if this could be your last day,” said Rahm, who was diagnosed last summer with a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma.

But last week, the 18-year-old from Chatsworth, California, was able to receive her diploma and attend a one-of-a-kind prom with nearly 200 other teenagers also living with a life-threatening illness.

The annual No Worries Now prom is the brainchild of 20-year-old Fred Scarf. The event is intended to give the teens an opportunity to celebrate their life and their youth in an environment of acceptance and camaraderie…Continued

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Learning To Be A Member Of The World Community

June 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I get all choked up when I see a fire truck or an ambulance rush by and all the cars move out of the way.  It’s not that I’m attracted to the pain happening to someone else, it’s that my emotion comes from observing that for a moment a great many people come together to assist someone they don’t even know.

I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and then lived in NYC for many years.  For some reason in those cities people don’t really pay much attention to ambulances.  But here in Los Angeles all the cars move out of the way.  Maybe that’s the reason why this event has caught my attention, the ambulance determined to get to its destination on time so it can save a life and all the surrounding drivers assist in the mission.

You might be thinking “why is she going on and on about ambulances?”

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Steps To Dealing With Guilt

June 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

un_love_smlWhat is guilt?

I previously have written about guilt (http://theloveprojectinc.com/?p=3173) but have recently have some additional thoughts on the subject so I have decided to write this post.  Let me start with  Wikipedia’s definition of guilt.

Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that they have violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation.

Live Strong (http://www.livestrong.com/article/14689-handling-guilt) says guilt is:

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A Light In The Midst Of Loss

April 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

Catherine Ledner
Aiding Haitian Earthquake Victims

Carol Ritter
Age: 53
Hometown: Ruxson, Maryland
Married with three children

By Stephanie Booth for Real Simple (www.realsimple.com)

On January 12, 2010, Carol was sitting in a board meeting at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center when she received a text from her husband, Tom: “7.5 quake in Haiti really bad no contact CNN cant even get in.”

Carol was stunned. Since 2003 she had served on seven medical-aid missions to Haiti through the International Medical Alliance of Tennessee (IMA) and Friends of Haiti (FOH). For the rest of the meeting, Carol, who is the mother of three children, ages 23, 20, and 15, hunched over her phone, trying to reach friends in Haiti. “It was very scary,” she says. “Everything felt so uncertain.”

Forty-eight hours later, Carol learned IMA had received a plea for help from a Haitian doctor, and just days later she and Tom, a dentist, along with six other IMA team members, set up seven makeshift operating rooms in a clinic in Jimani, a town about 30 miles from Port-au-Prince.

Working 12-hour shifts, Carol performed about 900 surgeries over the next nine days and treated countless other victims, many with crushed limbs. “We went well beyond our comfort zones,” she says. “I’m a gynecologist, but I was surgically removing dead tissue from limbs to avoid the need for amputation.”

Carol also worked as a nurse, putting in IVs and offering comfort when she could. “Performing surgery is one thing, but taking care of the patients is almost harder,” she says. “You look into their eyes and see their fear.” Carol says she will never forget sitting with one woman as her husband took his last breath. “Her wails were just chilling,” she says. Another case devastated her as well―that of a pregnant woman who had lost her baby and was paralyzed from the waist down by the time she arrived at the clinic. No translator was on hand (most Haitians speak Creole) as the woman awaited transport to the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship for intensive medical care, but Carol pulled off a silver ring she was wearing and slid it onto the woman’s finger. “I wanted her to know I was thinking of her,” she says.

Fortunately, there were a few bright moments: Carol delivered two healthy babies (one grateful mother named her new daughter Carol), and she succeeded in obtaining a U.S. visa for her friend Nadia Amedee-Louisjean, 37, a Haitian translator for FOH in her last trimester of a high-risk pregnancy. (Shown here, Carol with Nadia and her baby boy, Gaetan; they are temporarily staying with the Ritters.)

When Carol returns to Haiti, she knows the devastation from the earthquake won’t have disappeared. “The Haitians have lost everything,” says Carol. “But I’ll never stop doing what I can to help. I always remember ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’”

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