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B.C. government, First Nations discuss using Native place names

The British Columbia government wants to reintroduce native place names to parts of the province as a sign of an ongoing process of recognition and reconciliation with First Nations.

More here.

December 23, 2003 in the north | Permalink | Comments (0)

Skydiving, whitewater rafting with MS? You bet

Daily challenges for Jane Schmieding are not unlike the majestic mountain ranges that took her breath away on a recent trip to Alaska -- they're big and seemingly insurmountable at times.

But, like the piece of glacier that melted in her hand on that vacation, the daunting tasks that arise in her life are tackled one by one, and then they disappear.

"I usually find a way to do anything that I really want to do," she says.

More here.

December 21, 2003 in people, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gene Differences May Alter Susceptibility To Multiple Sclerosis

A tiny difference in a gene may signal that a person is twice as susceptible to multiple sclerosis (MS) as normal. It could also foretell of a more rapidly progressing form of the disease, according to new research at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health.

More here.

December 21, 2003 in research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quote of the day

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Mark Twain

Found here on Tom Rush's website.

December 20, 2003 in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Layoffs Hit Elves at Arctic SantaPark

Santa's workshop may not be the joyous place it was in years past for the tens of thousands of tourists expected to visit northern Finland this winter. Facing a blizzard of debt, Saint Nick laid off many of the elves who work at the SantaPark attraction near the Arctic Circle.

"I feel really dejected, because being an elf is part of my identity," said Milja Vilmila, who was told her job as an elf helping Santa no longer existed. "Something will definitely be missing this Christmas."

Everyone knows Santa lives in North Pole, not Finland.

More here.

December 20, 2003 in the north | Permalink | Comments (0)

Canada warns of liver complications from beta-interferon use for MS

Health Canada is warning health-care professionals of the risks of using beta-interferon therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Serious liver injury such as hepatitis has been linked to beta-interferon therapy, including three cases of liver failure that required liver transplantation, the department said in a release. Serious liver injury is considered rare, with cases mostly occurring in the early months of therapy but also in patients on therapy beyond one year, it noted.

The department reminded treating physicians they should perform periodic liver function tests, particularly in the early months of therapy, and patients receiving beta-interferon products should be aware of the signs and symptoms of liver injury.

More here.

December 19, 2003 in avonex, betaseron, bummer, interferon-beta, newly diagnosed | Permalink | Comments (0)


A Kentucky woman battling multiple sclerosis, and her husband, who is in a wheelchair, won a lottery jackpot yesterday.

Shirley and Rudolph Yearby's lone winning ticket will net them nearly $11 million after tax.

“Donate some money to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, that's for what I have, and then also to the Kidney Foundation for my husband. He's been waiting for kidney for five years.”

They have no lofty goals. They will stay in their Okolona home. Shirley says MS is starting to take its toll and she's hoping a cure can be found.

Rudolph was recently turned down by the Veterans Association for help in buying a wheelchair. Now he can buy a new one on his own.

More here.

December 18, 2003 in people | Permalink | Comments (0)


During the week-long trial, the jury heard evidence that over five days in February, Stewart left his girlfriend of 30 years Rhonda Firmes in a coma while he smoked marijuana and drank beer before calling for help.

Stewart was being paid by the county to care for Firmes who has multiple sclerosis. Instead, though, he allowed her to become so dehydrated that her kidneys failed and she urinated blood. Paramedics responding to the home Feb. 24 found Firmes lying in her own waste and comatose. She remained in the coma for two months and continues to suffer long-term health effects.
Stewart was found in the backyard with bags of empty beer cans by sheriff’s deputies.

More here.

December 18, 2003 in bummer, people | Permalink | Comments (0)

Madlyn Rhue - Obituaries in the News

Madlyn Rhue, whose acting career spanned three decades and scores of TV appearances on shows ranging from "Perry Mason" to "Murder, She Wrote," died Tuesday. She was 68.

Rhue, who had multiple sclerosis, died from pneumonia and heart failure, the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital said.

Obit here.

More about Rhue here.

December 18, 2003 in people | Permalink | Comments (0)

Appeals court upholds medical marijuana use

Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a victory for states' rights, ruled unconstitutional federal prosecutions of medical marijuana patients in states that have approved laws allowing such use of the drug.

If patients are authorized by a doctor under state laws, and aren't transporting marijuana across state lines or selling it, their growing, possession or use of marijuana is not "drug trafficking," Judge Harry Pregerson wrote for the majority.

More here.

December 18, 2003 in pot | Permalink | Comments (0)