VisionWalk raises funds for ocular disease research

first_imgThe Notre Dame Biology Club will hold the fifth annual ND VisionWalk Sunday to raise money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) in its efforts to find a cure for retinal degeneration and other ocular diseases.Jonathan Jou and Sara Hockney, both senior biology majors, are this year’s walk co-chairs. Jou said University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh served as the inspiration for the first ND VisionWalk in 2010.“Five years ago, there was a student named Maria Sellers, who went to visit Father Hesburgh during his office hours and found out he suffers from retinal degeneration,” Jou said. “She started [ND] VisionWalk [after] speaking to Dr. David Hyde, who does retinal regeneration research.”Retinal degeneration occurs when cells in the back of the eye start to die, and gradually cause loss of all central vision, Hockney said.The event is a five-kilometer walk beginning at the Irish Green, where participants can purchase t-shirts and sunglasses and participate in a silent auction prior to the walk, Hockney said.“Our big seller [in the silent auction] every year is a Notre Dame football helmet,” Jou said.All proceeds from the event go to the FFB, which supports VisionWalks all over the country, Hockney said.The FFB’s mission is to “drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by … the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases,” according to its website.Last year, approximately 200 people, many of whom were residents of the surrounding South Bend community, participated in the event, Hockney said. The co-chairs said they set a course that winds through campus to offer a view of campus for visiting participants.“A lot of people are coming who are not on campus very much [and] who want to go through classic Notre Dame areas,” Hockney said.The past four walks have been successful, and last year’s event raised about $10,000, Jou said. This year, the co-chairmen said they hope to raise at least $13,000.Jou and Hockney have been involved in the event for the past few years and assuming the roles of co-chairmen was very important to them.“Research [in retinal degeneration] is making progress, but [this event] is about raising awareness and getting people involved in a cause you care about,” Hockney, whose grandmother suffers from retinal degeneration, said.“I thought [ND VisionWalk] was a way to get involved with doing things now that are going to make a difference,” she said.Similarly, Jou said the ND VisionWalk allows him to make a bigger, immediate contribution to the medical research field.“It was a way to give back to research field,” he said. “Science is trending toward philanthropic funding. I think that events like these are becoming more and more important and will carry more weight in the future.”Tags: Foundation Fighting Blindness, Macular Degeneration, VisionWalklast_img read more

Report Shows Afghanistan Plan is Working

first_imgBy Dialogo November 01, 2011 The Defense Department’s latest report to Congress on Afghanistan details steady progress and shows the plan there is working, a senior defense official speaking on background told reporters in Washington D.C. The Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan — commonly called “the 1230 report” for its citation in the law that requires it — is the latest congressionally mandated report card on Afghanistan to Congress. The reports, which have charted the state of security in Afghanistan, began in 2008. “We have been describing the situation on the ground as it is,” the official said. In June 2008, the report said the Taliban had regrouped. In January 2009, the report said conditions had deteriorated and continued to do so in June 2009. The April 2010 report said the decline in security had stopped and the November 2010 report said there were modest gains in security. “In this report, we’re saying there are important security gains [and] reversed violence trends in the country, except the area along the Pakistani border,” the official said. The bottom line is the plan President Barack Obama rolled out in December 2009 is working, the official added. “It was about reversing that deterioration, it was about reducing violence through a combination of military and civilian surge working together on the group in Afghanistan,” he said. “Where we’ve been least successful is in [Regional Command] East, where we put the fewest [surge] troops and where the safe havens in Pakistan are.” The Afghan security forces have been crucial to the progress, the official said, noting these forces are increasing in numbers and quality. Two years ago, few people enlisted in the Afghan army or police. Now, he added, the Afghan government turns away thousands who can’t meet the new higher standards required by the security forces. “Their performance is the key to our ability to continue the withdrawal … by the end of 2014,” he said. Afghan forces are in the lead in seven areas of the country covering 25 percent of the population, the official said. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he will announce the next areas to transition to Afghan responsibility Nov. 2 during a meeting in Istanbul. Afghanistan still has problems, the official said, noting the insurgents there are resilient. But, he added, the insurgents have been significantly weakened. The safe havens in Pakistan are a major stumbling block, the official said, but in all other areas of the country and by almost any measure, he added, conditions in Afghanistan have improved.last_img read more

Detransitioners: Girls who became boys who want to be girls again

first_imgStuff co.nz 19 November 2019Family First Comment: There is plenty of help available for people who want to transition – but precious little for those who then change their minds. There is so little acknowledgement that not everyone who transitions remains aligned with the opposite sex that Keira cannot easily undo her gender recognition certificate, which leaves her as legally male; she would have to apply for another one to transition back to her birth sex. “There’s a lack of interest in detransitioner studies and outcomes and data, because it doesn’t really suit the people pushing this ideology to know about the bad outcomes.”Keira attended the Gender Identity Development Service at London’s Tavistock and Portman Trust, the only NHS facility for transgender young people.She says that when she was 16, after just three appointments, she was referred to an endocrinologist for puberty-blockers. Prescribed to “press pause” on puberty for children distressed by their developing bodies, the hormones do, however, carry health risks, including to bone density and cognitive development.For Keira, who had already started puberty, the effect was to halt future development and stop her periods. She then moved on to cross-sex hormones – testosterone for women transitioning, oestrogen for males – and appointments at the adult clinic at Charing Cross Hospital in London.Her voice deepened, she developed body hair and grew a beard. At the age of 21, she had her breasts removed. After realising her mistake, Keira had her last testosterone injection at the start of this year – yet she is still having to shave and is routinely mistaken for a man.It is not just a permanently lowered voice that is the legacy of Keira’s foray into gender reassignment, however. “I am so angry and I can’t see that going away,” she says. “Nothing was explored that may have better explained the way I felt about myself than that it must have meant I was born in the wrong body.”She describes an unhappy childhood, deeply affected by her parents’ divorce and her mother’s alcoholism, leading her to retreat into a world where being a boy felt like it offered escape.Now, she says, “I feel sick, I feel like I’ve been lied to. There’s no evidence for the treatments I’ve had, and they didn’t make me feel any better. It was maturity that did that.”Her view is echoed by Sue Evans, a psychoanalyst who used to work at the Tavistock and is now crowdfunding to bring a test case against the trust to establish that children cannot give their informed consent to what she describes as radical, experimental treatment.Evans will be speaking about her case at the Detransition Advocacy Network’s first event in Manchester at the end of the month. However, there is as yet no data on the number of people unhappy in their new gender, or those who are seeking to detransition.“I’m about the science, the research and evidence-based good practice in medicine,” says Evans. “And it just doesn’t exist when it comes to how we treat trans patients.“This has been moved out of the medical domain and has become political and ideological,” she adds. “But the problem is it absolutely is a medical issue, because you’re about to launch people on a pathway that chemically and medically interferes with the basis of their body, who they are and their identity.”There is plenty of help available for people who want to transition – but precious little for those who then change their minds.There is so little acknowledgement that not everyone who transitions remains aligned with the opposite sex that Keira cannot easily undo her gender recognition certificate, which leaves her as legally male; she would have to apply for another one to transition back to her birth sex.“There’s a lack of interest in detransitioner studies and outcomes and data, because it doesn’t really suit the people pushing this ideology to know about the bad outcomes,” says Evans.“Part of the trans message is, you’re the consumer, you make a choice about your gender and we will curate a body for you to fit in with your requirements,” she continues. “Detransitioners are the rejects who go into the seconds shop. They’re not the good examples from the production line of bodies that transition. In a sense, they’re the damaged goods no one wants to acknowledge.”READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/117553613/detransitioners-girls-who-became-boys-who-want-to-be-girls-again?fbclid=IwAR0hJua3FsJaxcmyGN3S-w4MLWKY7EG5k_FoVSExvIeVtwJJz3nkL2X-mEMlast_img read more

Kamyszek sticks to strict daily routine to excel for Syracuse cross-country

first_imgReed Kamyszek is always taking some sort of course.First, there are the Syracuse courses. With his biochemistry major complete, the senior concentrates on his other major, ethics and his psychology minor.Then there are the medical school applications — the top ones, this side of the Mississippi River, Kamyszek needs to stay the course and finish.And lastly, 2–3 hours per day, six days a week, he spends on an actual course as a top runner on the Syracuse men’s cross-country team. The team is ranked sixth in the nation, which prepares for the Atlantic Coast Conference championships in three weeks. Time management and organization are keys to his success because, for him, running and school are the same.When it comes to his 4.0 GPA, his NCAA Elite 89 award and an eighth overall finish in Syracuse’s most recent meet, he approaches all of these with the same mind-set and a methodical game plan.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“In cross-country, there are four or five major races during your season,” he said. “In a class, there are four or five major exams.”He admitted that the spacing of these tests might differ between the two areas, but he stressed that consistency is the biggest part.“There’s a difference between simply going to lecture and paying attention,” he said. “And the same thing goes for practice. Are you mentally up for (either)?”Every day starts at 7:25 a.m. on the same street corner, where a group of cross-country teammates get an early run in. Then comes breakfast — mostly organic food he cooks himself — before lectures, workouts, dinner, homework and 8–9 hours of sleep to finish the day.And his attention to detail was fostered at a young age.“We had high expectations. We harked on the kids, ‘My name’s attached to you, don’t mess it up,’” Kamyszek’s father, Eric, said with a laugh about his and his wife Dawn’s parenting style.In school, he consistently received top marks in the classroom and impressed athletically. In sixth grade, during a mandatory mile run for gym class, Kamyszek flew to a 5:30 time.Kamyszek dropped hockey his freshman year at Kenowa Hills High School in Michigan and went under the tutelage of Greg Meyer — who won the Boston Marathon in 1983 and before this year, was the last American to do so. Meyer trained any and all high school kids in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.Any skill level was welcome and it was free.Kamyszek soon began dominating his conference. By junior year, he won the Division II cross-country state championship in the fall and the 2-mile event in track in the spring. He was so successful running that he began to lose, on purpose — but only to his teammates.During the regular season, he would slow up toward the end of meets and allow his teammates to pass him across the finish line. He wanted to share the spotlight and give his teammates ink in the paper.He did this because Kamyszek is only competitive with himself, not his teammates or opponents.“I don’t like to lay out what I’m going to do beforehand,” Kamyszek said when asked if he trash talks. “Everyone’s there to learn, so why would you hinder someone’s ability to do that?”This comes from the Midwestern sensibility Syracuse coach Chris Fox can’t help but mention when discussing Kamyszek.“He only does things that make sense,” he said. “He’s very calculating.”On a team-wide scale, Kamyszek said, it doesn’t matter who’s the first or fifth man because everyone has to pass the person in front of them to help the team. Especially because points matter so much, particularly in championships, and that’s where the Orange will be in just three short weeks.Until then, Kamyszek will stay on course, repeating his routine, because he knows that’s the quickest way to success.“The last thing you want to do (is get overwhelmed),” Kamyszek said. “If that happens, your work suffers — and that’s the last thing you want to happen.” Comments Published on October 15, 2014 at 12:05 am Contact Sam: sjfortie@syr.edu | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more