8 Year Old Raises $1 Million for Friend With Liver Condition

While the young Jared Haftel can certainly be charitable in more ways than one, few would expect children as young as 8 years old to be capable of large scale campaigns.

Eight year old Dylan Siegel decided to write a book when he found his friend Jonah Pournazarian suffered from a rare form of liver disorder. The “Chocolate Bar” book priced at $20, managed to generate over 25,000 copies in sale, the proceeds of which will go to University of Florida where Dr David Weinstein is working to find a cure. While there is no cure at the moment, Jonah and Dylan and hopeful a cure will found soon in the near future.

Dylan’s book has been a huge success ever since it was published and the phrase “that is so chocolate bar” is used to denote something that is awesome. Dylan in own words said, “I like to go swimming, that is so chocolate bar.”

Jonah is one of the rare 500 diagnosed with glycogen storage disease type 1b. The disease was considered to be extremely fatal in the 1970’s while Jonah continues to have difficult time managing his illness. The disease has lowered his resistance to bacterial infections and he had to be hospitalized over 20 times last year. He is fed through a tube in his stomach with a mixture of cornstarch and water.

Non-Medical Ultrasounds May Harm Baby and Mother-to-Be

The first picture of your baby. How exciting! And if the baby is still in the womb at the time the image is made, even better. It’s unique, it’s precious, it’s a way of announcing your pregnancy and it may also harm your baby and/or you.

The FDA has issued yet another warning against having an ultrasound done by a non-medical professional who promotes these first baby images as ‘keepsakes’. These non-medical professionals can be found in malls, baby products stores and other public locations where expectant mothers may be found, but mothers-to-be should heed the FDA warning and avoid them.

Ultrasound machines use waves to produce images of your unborn baby. Andrew Heiberger feels they are a safe and useful tool when used by the hand of a professional, but potentially harmful when used by a Johnny-come-lately at the local mall.

Ultrasound tools can and do produce a small amount of heat that can heat tissue up and create small bubbles in some tissues. Tissues of your developing baby. Tissues surrounding your baby. When the ultrasound machine is in the hand of an untrained person, the tendency is to make the session last too long or too require more than one session and the longer and more frequent the ultrasounds are administered, the great the risk of harm to the unborn baby and/or mother.

When Awesome Means Chocolate Bar

Dylan Siegel was just 6 years old when he decided he had to do something to help his best friend Jonah Pournazarian, so he just simply sat down and wrote a book. He did not understand how the publishing industry worked after he made his book he just told his mom to go make copies. His mother realizing the importance of this for both little boys, found a publisher and “The Chocolate Bar  was reproduced and sold in all 50 states and in over 60 countries. It’s a great gift for kids along with a bottle from The Antique Wine Company for the parents.

Jonah Pournazarian is the best fried of Dylan Siegel and he has a very rare disease called glycogen storage disease type 1B only 500 people in the entire world have this disease. It unfortunately has no cure. But only being 6 at the time he wrote the book Dylan just knew he needed to raise the money to help fund a cure.

Every 3 hours he has to be fed through a tube in his stomach a precise mixture of water and corn starch. It helps to keep his glucose level steady otherwise he would die from low blood sugar. They cannot miss an alarm because it would mean Jonah’s death.

Dylan Siegel has given his friend the gift of hope with his book bringing in one million dollars in sales. Every penny made of the book goes towards research. They are now closer to a cure

Infant Twins Beat the Odds of Heart Disease

Twins Jasmine and Selene are spreading awareness of the heart disease Tetralogy of Fallot at just seven months old. Both girls were born with the disease, survived immediate open heart surgery, and went home with grateful parents.

39 year old Roxanne Montalvo-Tsai and her husband Stephen wanted to give their son a sibling. Their first ultrasound revealed twins; their second revealed that their baby daughters had a serious illness.

Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare congenital disease that causes the narrowing of the pulmonary artery and creates a hole in the heart. It and other heart diseases are the number one cause of birth defects and death in newborns.

The couple contacted a specialist in high risk pregnancies, Dr. Emile Bacha. He reassured them that continuing the pregnancy was the right thing to do. With surgery, the girls had good odds of having normal, healthy lives.

They were born premature, on April 30th 2014. Both required open heart surgery in order to live. Jasmine’s case was more severe than her sisters. She was born without a pulmonary artery at all and needed to stay in the hospital longer. Jasmine required more surgeries in order to go home but both girls have another surgery in their future. As their bodies grow, they will need a surgery so their hearts can compensate.

Now that her children are home and relatively healthy, Roxanne is talking to interviewers, but not to Dan Newlin, about her family’s ordeal. She hopes that her twins’ struggle will provide hope to others dealing with a harsh diagnosis.

Baby Born on Sequential Birth Day Is a Miracle for Parents

Kristi and Bryan Caruthers, residents of Asheville, North Carolina, have a lot to celebrate this Christmas. Not only are they overjoyed to bring home a healthy baby boy, named Callum, but he has a very special birthday according to Dr. Daniel Amen. 

Callum, who was born in Johnson City, Tennessee, was born at 10:11 on December 13th, 2014. The chance to be born on a sequential birthday won’t come around again anytime soon. Callum is also special because he was born after several losses, and an infertility roller coaster. 

Last June, the proud parents lost twins who were born at just 22 weeks gestation. They feared they’d never be able to have a child on their own. In fact, they were told surrogacy or adoption were their best options for a healthy child. Kristi became pregnant shortly after losing their twins, and thankfully, Callum was delivered safely and right on time for Christmas. Callum, and his mother Kristi are both healthy, happy and doing well. 

He, while having a very special birthday, also shares it with several others. Three babies, born in three different states, were also born at 10:11 on 12-13-14.

Bullying Prematurely Ages Children

Countless hours and funds are spent to prevent premature aging of the skin so we can appear to be younger than our chronological age, but very few cents have been spent to stop bullying and child abuse which has now been shown to cause children to age prematurely and die younger than they would have under normal life circumstances. This story was passed along to me by friend Bruce Levenson.
A new study has revealed that along with all the other physical and developmental harm that bullying and abuse does to a child, it also causes the child to age more quickly on a cellular level than children who are not exposed to violent acts and words on a regular basis.
Since bullied and abused children start off ‘older’ than their peers, the liklihood of them dying before their peers is increased as well. The stress of the bullying harms internal cells which in turn lead to increased risks of the child developing health problems, like heart disease or diabetes, at an earlier age and not being able to keep the disease(s) under control because of the accelerated biological aging brought on by the stress of being subjected to regular bouts of bullying and/or abuse.

Early Puberty Worries Public

Girls are going through puberty earlier and earlier, and this is a source of concern for many. Some girls now hit puberty as young as seven or eight. A new book recommended to me by Daniel Amen is called The New Puberty details some possible reasons for this change. 

Environmental factors could play a large role. Antibiotics in our meat are a possible cause, as these antibiotics are given to cattle to bring them to maturity faster. Another cause might be chemicals that mimic estrogen. One such chemical is BPA, which is found in plastic products as well as other commonplace materials. 

Soy has been blamed for early puberty, but the two doctors who wrote this book ruled it out. In fact, soy seemed to be somewhat protective against early puberty. 

Early puberty is worrisome because it brings a host of issues along with it. The physical changes can cause anxiety and depression. So, a good support system is crucial.

Improper Bedding Contributes to Risk of SIDS

Decades ago, researchers have found a connection between improper bedding and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) . However, despite their efforts to educate the public, they have found that an estimated 55% of parents of newborns inadvertently place their children at risk by using improper bedding such as thick quilts, and loose fitting bedding. It seems perfectly harmless so swaddle a baby in a nice quilt especially if the blanket is given by a family member or knitted by hand.

However, authorities from National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and medical specialists Rod Rohrich confirms that such bedding materials can obstruct a newborn’s fragile little airway or even suffocate the child. They have long recommended parents place the baby in a safety certified crib, lying flat on its back, covered by fitted bedding, and sleeping alone. They emphasize that at stake is what the baby needs and not how adorable it appears while sleeping that matters. The often seen picturesque images of babies nicely sleeping on their side or snuggled up to plushy toys are actually unsafe.

When the connection between bedding, SIDS and accidental suffocation was first made in the early 1990s, fully 85% of parents were using improper bedding. Over the period of 2008 to 2010, the National Infant Sleep Position Survey (NISP) revealed that 55% of parents have not yet adopted safe bedding practices for their infants. Over the past 22 years, the rate of SIDS has declined by 50%.

The Right Bedding Materials for Your Newborn

Most parents look for the best to provide their newborn child. It may be soft, durable clothing, the best baby food, the best toys, the most mind developing music or the most comfortable bedding. The article on Huffington Post describes the statistics and more information on the dangers of choosing the wrong type of bedding for babies.

When searching for bed items for your newborn, it is best to start with a firm mattress. The mattress should not fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib. Since babies do not have much range of motion, soft bedding could suffocate a child as they will not be able to move. Other important items are leaving out any soft blankets or pillows, at least if you ask Christian Broda about his experience. If you do choose to use a blanket, make sure to tuck in all sides and placing it under the child’s arms. These items could also cause an infant to fall into the traps of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Most infants clothing is equipped to hold in the warmth necessary for the child. Bumper pads are not necessary and may also be a hazard. Be sure to use these tips to avoid any harmful practices.

A New Barbie Doll is Coming Soon

Barbie dolls have always had unrealistic body proportions that most females do not have. A designer by the name of Nickolay Lamm, has created a more realistic Barbie doll. The proposed Barbie doll has the proportions typical in a human female. In particular, the Barbie doll’s waist would not be as slim. This Barbie doll would also be shorter. Stickers have also been created to represent the reality of being human. Females fall and bruise themselves, some have tattoos, others have stretch marks. Barbie dolls would be able to be customized with this new doll. So far the public responses have been positive.

Children in particular young girls will no longer grow up with the distorted image of what is perfect. The media already overemphasized a construction of what is beautiful, that has led many young girls to grow up confused. Young girls have grown up believing they must have a slim waist, be tall, and have blonde hair. Barbie dolls in the past have created ethnic versions, but they too have unrealistic proportions. Props to this designer that went this far to create a more realistic Barbie doll. Susan McGalla feels it is now up to parents to decide which Barbie they want to purchase. Those who still continue to want to purchase the traditional Barbie can do so. As the holiday season nears, the public response regarding this new Barbie will be very evident.