Tag Archives: donate

REMEMBERING THE MDA TELETHONS

For over forty years, from 1966 to 2010, one of the most successful performers in show business hosted a Labor Day weekend telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The celebrity, Jerry Lewis, was a comedian, actor, singer, director, producer, filmmaker, and humanitarian. It had all started in the 1950’s when the Jerry Lewis Thanksgiving Party for MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) raised funds for their New York City area operations.

Jerry Lewis was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1926. According to Wikipedia/Jerry Lewis at https://en.wikipedia,org,, “he was known widely for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio and was nicknamed the “King of Comedy.” In 1946, he met and teamed up with Dean Martin. For the next ten years, they were the top-rated nightclub, television, movie and radio act until their breakup in 1956.” After the break-up, Jerry Lewis appeared on television and wrote, produced, and starred in motion pictures. He headlined in nightclubs, and he sang in albums and recordings.

From 1966 until 2010, Jerry Lewis appeared on television every Labor Day as the host of the round-the-clock telethon to raise money to fight neuromuscular diseases. During his sixty-one years with the fundraisers, the Muscular Dystrophy Association raised $2.6 billion.

What is muscular dystrophy? According to the Kennedy Krieger Institute “Factsheet: Muscular Dystrophy,” the term describes a group of genetic disorders that cause muscle degeneration and weakness. The two most common types are Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD).

According to the factsheet, DMD is usually diagnosed around 3-6 years of age. It primarily affects boys because the gene mutation is located on the X chromosome. BMD is less severe and generally presents in late teens to early 20’s.

Children with DMD will experience a delay in walking, frequent falling, and difficulty getting up from a lying down or sitting position. The factsheet describes what is known as the Gower’s maneuver: “When children with DMD have a hard time standing from a sitting or lying down position, they compensate by pulling to their hands and knees, raising their bottom in the air, then “walking” their hands up their legs until they can brace themselves.”

According to the factsheet, there is no cure for muscular dystrophy or delay of the progressive degeneration of muscles. By the age of 12, most children will need a wheelchair for mobility.

If you have a family member who needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

LOCKS OF LOVE

Imagine yourself with no hair. If you’re a man, you probably could adjust to being bald. After all, some men shave their heads as a fashion statement. Musicians and movie stars routinely appear bald. Remember Yul Brynner in the 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I? How about Michael Jordan, the famous basketball player?

For a woman it’s a different story. Even in Biblical times, a woman’s long hair was considered her glory. It was not her clothing, not her jewelry, not her facial features. It was her long hair. According to an article at http://www.dailymail.co.uk, the average woman in the U.S. will spend over $55,000 on grooming and styling her hair in a lifetime. Hair is important to women.

What if you were a child and had no hair on your head? Would other children make fun of you? Would strangers stare at you?

In 1997, an organization called Locks of Love was founded to provide hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. According to www.locksoflove.org, “Most recipients suffer from an autoimmune disorder called alopecia areata, which causes hair follicles to shut down, causing hair loss on the scalp. Many also lose their eye lashes, eyebrows, and all body hair. The hair loss is permanent. Others are victims of severe burns or cancer survivors.”

To make these hairpieces for children, Locks of Love relies on individuals to donate their own hair. Donated hair must be at least ten inches long measured tip to tip. Colored or permed hair is accepted, but hair that has been bleached is not usable. Wigs, falls, hair extensions, or synthetic hair are not accepted.

Locks of Love encourages donors to have their hair cut at their regular beauty shop. Be sure to discuss this plan with your beautician in advance. Ask if the beautician has experience with donations to Locks of Love. Cutting ten inches off your hair is a big step. You want to be sure that you and the beautician follow the guidelines. For more information, go to http://www.locksoflove.org.

If your child has a serious medical condition and needs pediatric private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants(CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com.

—By Karen Centowski


To see a video of Army Captain Cara Manning donating 16 inches of her hair, go to Locks of Love You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TihjqArB8KE.

HAIR TODAY GONE TOMORROW

shaving_head

Hair, the irreverent rock musical of the 1960’s, proclaimed its glory in song: “Gimmie head with hair/long beautiful hair/shining, gleaming/streaming/flaxen, waxen./ Gimmie down to there/Shoulder length or longer.”

A study by the New York Post, reported at http://nypost.com/2017/07/06, revealed that participants reported spending $58 per month on haircuts, hair products, and shaving supplies. That figure was based on spending $34 for a haircut and $15 for hair products. If you have long hair and have gone to a beauty shop recently, you know that figure is much too low. A more realistic figure would be $80 for a color, trim, and set/blow dry plus a 20% tip.

There is no doubt that Americans love their hair. Here is the question. Would you shave your head to raise money to fund research to find a cure for pediatric cancer? Wow! That’s a hard question to answer, especially if you’re a woman. We’re used to seeing men with shaved heads, but it’s different with a woman.

Then there’s the practical consideration. Hair only grows half an inch a month. That’s only six inches in a year. For a woman with long hair, it would take years to regrow that much hair. Besides, even during that time, the hair would need to be trimmed every six to eight weeks to keep the ends from splitting.

Maybe you’ve heard about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the top private funder of childhood cancer research grants in the U.S. and around the world. What started as a challenge between three friends in New York City on March 17, 2000 has grown into a charity famous for its head-shaving events. Individuals agree to have their heads shaved for contributions to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Currently, 83% of the money raised by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is through these head-shaving events. According to https://www.stbaldricks.org, “Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $234 million to support lifesaving research, making the St. Baldrick’s Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants.”

People sometimes ask about the name of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Is there a real St. Baldrick? Apparently not. According to the article at https://www.stbaldricks.org, the name “St. Baldrick’s” is a combination of the words “bald” and “St. Patrick’s” since the first event was held on March 17, 2000, which is St. Patrick’s Day.

The head-shaving events generate the most money and publicity for St. Baldrick’s Day, but corporate sponsors are also very important to the foundation. In addition, donations of goods or services such as office supplies, event T-shirts, advertising space, and printing help keep expenses down. Volunteers are also essential to the success of the foundation.

If your child has cancer and needs pediatric private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com.

—By Karen Centowski


To see a video of a head-shaving event, go to Mackenzie Shaves Her Head for Charity—St. Baldrick’s—March, 2012 YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxB9Inq9Apk.