Tag Archives: medical


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.



Winter! If you live in or near Chicago, winter always means ice and snow. However, nothing can compare to the snowstorms of the winters of 1967, 1979, 1999, and 2011. In each of those snowstorms, more than twenty inches of snow fell. Cars were buried in the drifts. Streets were impassible. Trains provided limited service. Airports were shut down.

The Chicago Blizzard of 1967

When the snowstorm began in January of 1967, the weathermen were predicting four inches of snow. But it kept snowing for two days. By the time the snow stopped falling, twenty-three inches of snow lay on the ground. It was the largest single snowfall in the city’s history.

Thousands of people were stranded at work, in schools, in buses, at the airport. Approximately 50,000 abandoned cars and 800 Chicago Transit Authority buses clogged the streets and expressways. Looters broke store windows and stole merchandise.

Major Richard J. Daley, a powerful mayor who served five terms, told residents that the city plows would clear the arterial streets first and then the side streets. He appealed to the residents to help by shoveling out the cars abandoned in the middle of the streets so the plows could come through. As was tradition in residential areas, each resident shoveled out his own car and put a chair or two to mark his parking space as reserved.

The Blizzard of 1979

The blizzard of 1979, one of the worst snowstorms in Chicago’s history, affected northern Illinois and northwest Indiana as well. As in the blizzard of 1967, weather forecasters had predicted only two to four inches of snow. However, twenty-one inches of snow fell in two days. Wind gusts reached thirty-nine miles per hour. The total amount of snow on the ground by the end of the day on January 14, 1979 was twenty-nine inches.

Wikipedia’s article called “1979 Chicago Blizzard” describes the scene: “O’Hare Airport was closed and all flights grounded for 96 hours from January 13 to the 15. The cold weather and snowfall throughout the rest of January and February resulted in frozen tracks throughout the Chicago ‘L’ system. At that time, commuters crowded onto CTA buses, quickly overwhelming capacity, resulting in bus commutes usually taking 30 to 45 minutes taking up to several hours. To avoid huge snowdrifts in the streets, the overcrowded buses were obliged to take numerous detours, adding additional time to the commute.”

Mayor Michael Bilandic, who was running for re-election, lost to Jane Byrne. Part of his loss can be attributed to his administration’s poor response to the storm. Read “How the Blizzard of 1979 Cost the Election for Michael Bilandic” at http://www.chicagomag/com.

The North American Blizzard of 1999

A strong winter snowstorm struck the Midwestern states and portions of eastern Canada from January 2 through January 4, 1999. States which were hardest hit were Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. Ontario and Quebec also received large amounts of snow. Chicago received a recorded 21.6 inches of snow.

The National Weather Service rated this storm as the second worst blizzard to hit Chicago in the 20th century. The Blizzard of 1967 was rated as the worst. Immediately following the snowstorm, temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, a record low temperature in Chicago.

The impact of the storm was significant. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago was closed for the first time ever. Cars were left abandoned in the snow. Airports shut down. Highways were impassable. Rail service was halted or delayed.

Mayor Richard M. Daley, the son of the former mayor Richard J. Daley, reminded the city’s residents that this was a natural disaster. He urged citizens to help the city crews by digging out abandoned cars and shoveling sidewalks. Richard M. Daley was re-elected.

The 2011 Groundhog Day Blizzard

A powerful and historic winter storm hit the North American continent January 31—February 2, 2011. The storm, which was estimated to affect 100 million people in the United States, brought cold air, heavy snowfall, blowing snow, and mixed precipitation. Thundersnow was recorded in downtown Chicago. A total of 21.1 inches of snow fell in Chicago during the blizzard. Winds of over 60 miles per hour were recorded during the blizzard.

There were numerous flight cancellations, airport closures, road closures, power outages, school closures, and business closures. Roofs collapsed because of the weight of the snow. Again, vehicles were stranded on Lake Shore Drive.

Mayor Richard M. Daley, who had been in office since 1989, did not seek a seventh term as mayor. On February 22, 2011, Rahm Emanuel was elected Mayor of Chicago.

To see a newsreel about the blizzard of 1967, go to Worst Blizzard in Chicago History, January 26, 1967 Universal Newsreel January 31, 1967. To see footage of the blizzards of 1967, 1979, and 1999 and commentary about the political impact of the blizzards, click on Chicago Blizzards VOA Television at the right of the screen.

 —By Karen Centowski