Skip to main content
x

A One-of-a-Kind Lifeline: A First Responder's Kidney Health Journey

(NewsUSA) - - Like the more than 25 million first responders in the United States, Jeff Cooper, a former deputy in the Broward County Polygraph Unit, took an oath to protect and serve his community. However, like many first responders, Cooper's promise did not necessarily extend to himself -- until a worsening medical condition forced him to focus on his health.

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) affects more than seven million people worldwide, and in 1975 Cooper became one of those impacted by the disease. His PKD diagnosis, a hereditary condition, took him on a journey that would not only give him access to an innovative new technology, but would also allow him to experience remarkable camaraderie that would eventually stretch beyond the oath to protect and serve.

A Lifeline for Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease

PKD is a genetic disorder that causes cysts to develop on the kidneys -- making them enlarge and lose function. This hereditary condition can lead to the final stage of chronic kidney disease, also known as "end-stage renal disease." This condition requires more than 70% of patients to undergo dialysis -- a process of removing waste products and flushing excess fluid from the blood to keep kidneys functioning and patients alive -- or undergo a kidney transplant.

Before receiving dialysis, some patients undergo a procedure that creates an access point to their bloodstream, often referred to as a lifeline for dialysis, Arteriovenous (AV) fistulas are created by connecting a vein and artery in the arm, allowing the patient to begin dialysis.

Growing up with a father who underwent dialysis for many years, Cooper saw the side effects of the common, surgically created fistulas on his father's arms (like large, swollen veins) and hoped for a less invasive option that would allow him to continue his normal, active life.

While working with his doctor, Cooper discovered the Ellipsys® Vascular Access System -- a less invasive option for creating AV fistulas that's done through an out-patient procedure. While potential risks associated with creation and maintenance of arteriovenous fistula exist, the Ellipsys procedure can cut the time between fistula creation to dialysis from six months to two months, potentially translating into accelerated dialysis treatment.

A New Outlook, Another Miracle

Cooper received his Ellipsys- created fistula on December 4, 2020, giving him access to life-saving dialysis. Cooper said he was amazed at how fast he could return to everyday activities after the Ellipsys procedure.

After only a few months of adjusting to his new fistula and starting treatment, Cooper received another life-changing surprise. In early February 2021, Guy Kitchens -- coincidentally, a police officer in a neighboring county --gave his fellow officer the ultimate gift -- Kitchens donated his kidney to Cooper. Thanks to Officer Kitchens, Cooper says he feels like a kid again. His kidney function is improving, his doctors are dialing back his medications, and best of all, he's formed a lifelong friendship with Guy, with whom he talks almost daily.

"I've got a little brother now and another extended family," Cooper says. "I've got a living angel in my life."

Without his Ellipsys created fistula and dialysis treatment leading up to that life-changing day in February, Cooper's story might have been more challenging. Please consult with your doctor to see if this procedure is right for you -- results may vary. If you or someone you know is on a dialysis journey, learn more about the Ellipsys procedure, and associated risks, at: www.medtronic.com/Ellipsys.

 

Families Discover Advanced Home Purification 2,400x Faster Than HEPA Filtration

(NewsUSA) - Puradigm, a global leader in a new category of product, -- simultaneous air and surface purification -- has launched a residential version of their robust charged particle purification technology. Health-conscious families are taking notice.

In a University of Florida study, Puradigm proved to be more than 2,400x faster than traditional HEPA filtration when eliminating SARS-CoV-2 (COVIDd-19). Extrapolating from this study, a typical HEPA filter could take 40 minutes to remove the number of harmful pathogens from an average cough size. Puradigm purified the same amount of pathogens in less than a second.

In another study in hospital patient rooms, Puradigm was shown to be up to 8x more effective at reducing pathogens than manual cleaning of contaminated surfaces.

A growing number of families have found a way to keep safe in the wake of COVID-19 and mutating coronaviruses with Puradigm's offering of HOME and HOME+ purifiers. By installing Puradigm, they are also investing in their good health by using the technology to reduce mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), viruses and bacteria, as well as harmful chemical off-gassing from synthetic household items. Puradigm has been certified as an organic product.

"The Puradigm HOME was an absolute game changer for our family! Our son had suffered for over a decade from environmental irritants, and within 30 minutes of setting up the Puradigm HOME, he felt better. This product really works, and we are so grateful," says Robert M., a Puradigm customer and father of two in Southern California.

Puradigm purification is trusted by major clients around the world to protect their workers and customers, including the Vatican, United Airlines, Lockheed Martin, and the Texas State Capitol building. Dr. Jawad Shah, MD, a neurosurgeon for Insight Surgical Hospital, utilizes Puradigm in his surgical suites and patient rooms and has seen tremendous success in reducing hospital-acquired infections. Puradigm has now made this amazing technology available for home use.

Puradigm technology works by converting air and water vapor into charged particles. These charged particles are distributed throughout the home environment, attacking hard-to-reach pathogens simultaneously in the air and on surfaces, and continuously around the clock. This natural, safe and effective purification process has been proven to work thousands of times faster than conventional air filter systems for easy and complete protection throughout the home.

The Puradigm system is quiet and non-invasive, as well as energy efficient, with an estimated power consumption of less than $0.05 per day. The system is easy to use via in-home touch panel controls or remotely, with options for wall mounting or free-standing installation. Systems are available to suit a range of indoor living spaces, including single-family homes, apartments and garages so families can enjoy peace of mind in any setting.

To celebrate their new residential purification option, Puradigm is currently offering 25% off of its HOME and HOME+ products. Just mention this article with promo code NEWS25 during checkout.

For more information and test results, visit https://www.puradigm.com/product/home/.

Booktrib's Bites: A Potpourri of Diverse Reading Choices

(NewsUSA)

As Time Unfolds"As Time Unfolds"
by Barbara Zerfoss

Bethany Miller inherits an ancestral home from the biological mother she never knew. Inside a grandfather clock named The Timekeeper, she discovers a family journal. For three centuries, generations of women each wrote one entry, sharing family secrets, chronicling courageous acts, the freeing power of forgiveness and more.

Reading the women's stories and timeless wisdom, Bethany begins to reassess her busy life and contemplates taking a chance on romance, but she can't forget an alarming encounter with a girl's soul-piercing eyes. They shot a dire warning. . . right before she disappeared. Those eyes cause Bethany's past, present and future to collide.

This suspenseful tale with elements of historical fiction will captivate you from the start and keep you guessing until The Timekeeper chimes twelve. Purchase at http://www.barbarazerfoss.com.

God's Gift (Woman)"God's Gift (Woman)"
by Freddie Floyd Jr.

This book helps readers understand the value God placed on women, and why it's so important for women to unlearn the things that society has shown them regarding their purpose, why they need to establish a healthy relationship with the Creator so He can be your guide. No longer will you feel the need to settle, know who you are, and what is your value in Christ.

Once again, the author has written a short, straightforward guidebook to help readers looking to connect with God and hoping to reap the abundance that is available through that practice. It is all about how women believe and treat themselves, which sets the standard for how others will treat them. Take the journey. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3CsmLo9.

CareGivers ScareTakers"CareGivers ScareTakers"
by Jacklyn Ryan

Do you know if your trusted caregiver is ripping off your parents? What can you do to protect your loved ones? How can you find the best qualified caregiver?

Families struggle to find dependable, trusted care. These true stories are but a glimpse that exposes fraud and manipulation by unscrupulous caregivers. Through these stories, you will learn to identify subtle hints that expose a dishonest caregiver. You'll discover resources, tips on hiring and managing your caregiver, as well as some basic estate planning advice.

More than $37 billion is stolen each year because of the financial exploitation of seniors, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Better regulation is needed for in-home care agencies. Raising the bar on caregivers will raise the bar on the quality of care. Purchase at https://amzn.to/38RsE3o.

The Colorless Womb"The Colorless Womb"
by Kimberly Gowdy

Kimberly had always yearned for a child, but after multiple miscarriages, coupled with an unhealthy marriage, she accepted that her plan to become a mother was inconceivable. A painful divorce and a job opportunity opened the door for a fresh start in Atlanta. A chance meeting with her husband-to-be David was a breath of fresh air. They seemingly shared the same goals and dreams, but soon after realized life doesn't always go as planned.

They entertained the possibility of surrogacy, yet after three failed attempts, and only two embryos left, failure wasn't an option. Desperation to find the right surrogate led them to the biggest surprise of their lives: an unlikely person who proved to be the perfect match. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3EX439j.

NOTE: BookBites is presented by BookTrib.com.

3 Reasons To Share Your School Experience with Others

(NewsUSA) - (NewsUSA) - By Carrie Goux For NewsUSA, With the final bell of the 2021-2022 school year fast approaching, now is the time for families to reflect upon their child's year. Whether it be the formation of new friendships, celebrating academic breakthroughs, or navigating the emotions of another pandemic year, no two families' experiences are the same.

That's why GreatSchools.org, the nation's leading provider of school information for K-12 families, wants to make sure your experience is captured -- in your own words. In only a few minutes, parents can leave an anonymous review on their school's GreatSchools profile to share their thoughts on family engagement, teachers, learning, physical and emotional safety, and more!

We know that parents wear many hats, and finding even just a few extra moments in the day can be challenging. But sharing your school experience matters, and can really make a difference for others in your community. Here's why:

1. Helps fellow parents

When you write a review of your child's school, you're offering other parents something that numbers alone can't provide: your personal experience as a member of a community. When Ronnie Hines, a Black mother in Los Angeles, was searching for a middle school for her daughter in a community where few others looked like her, she wanted to find a school climate that would be welcoming. Reading reviews from parents of shared identities helped Ronnie visualize what peer-to-peer and parent-to-staff interactions might be like at different schools, and whether those environments would help her daughter succeed.

2. Elevates your voice

Your experience can be powerful -- if given the right opportunity to share it. Leaving a review provides a platform to share your thoughts with the K-12 schools, K-12, in a respectful way. Does the school's curriculum affirm your child's culture and identity? Are your child's special education needs being met? Are you a military family that has attended many different schools across the country? Your unique story could be the catalyst for improvements that will benefit other students for years to come.

3. Fosters trust between home and school

Principals and administrators use their GreatSchools.org profiles to share details about their school culture, programs, and policies. The reviews section is an important part of the overall story of the school, offering a safe, trusted way for parents to anonymously share feedback with the school. Whether it's highlighting an experience with caring, hard-working teachers or providing honest feedback that will help make the school better for all children, reviews foster a deeper home-school connection as leaders can incorporate key learnings into their school celebrations and improvement plans.

According to the National PTA and Learning Heroes, 67 percent of parents feel more connected to their child's day-to-day education than ever before. Now is the perfect time to leverage that connection and share your experience with others in your community. We've compiled some of our best tips to support you in writing a review that is honest, transparent, and thorough. Make your voice heard today!

 

Carrie Goux is the Executive Vice President, Strategy and External Affairs at GreatSchools.org.

 

Taming Summer's Utility Bill Trifecta Surging Temperatures, Costs, Demand

(NewsUSA) - Summer 2022 promises to be particularly challenging as it relates to America's home energy costs due to a confluence of three events - rising temperatures, costs and demand - resulting in homeowners facing an intensified fight to keep bills at bay.

The Farmer's Almanac predicts a "Sizzling Summer Ahead" stating this summer weather is going to be remembered as a hot one nationwide. Second, homeowners are experiencing a "rate shock" as the global energy crisis drives up prices with energy costs up 25.6% year over year, according to the Consumer Price Index. Third, there is surging demand due to our post-pandemic "hybrid home" dynamic. Studies support this trend with 83% of workers believing a hybrid model would be optimal going forward, according to an Accenture survey, and 87% of managers believing working from home is the future, according to Remote-How research.

The good news is that families can offset this "Utility Bill Trifecta" by following a few simple tips. With home heating and cooling accounting for nearly half of home energy use, small steps can go a long way.

* Ease Into Electric: According to Columbia University's Earth Institute, electric systems are a solution to decarbonize home climate control. Among the most energy-efficient heating and cooling products, electricity-powered ductless mini-split systems, offered by companies including Fujitsu General America, can save as much as 25 percent on your energy bill. Mini-splits use thin copper tubing to pump refrigerant from an outdoor compressor directly into an indoor air-handling unit, where the air is quietly distributed to the interior space.

* Get "Smart" About Climate Control: When it comes to smart home temperature control, there are Smart HVAC Systems and Smart Thermostats. Smart HVAC systems have built-in Wi-Fi and can be controlled directly without additional equipment. Smart Home Thermostats create "smart" systems by enabling remote temperature control via a mobile or Internet-con-nected device or voice-operated home automation system.

* Voice Your Preference: Take control of your comfort. Most HVAC manufacturers offer apps that enable systems to be controlled from anywhere using a mobile device. Voice-control capability uses digital assistants, like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, to verbally dictate home temperatures. Easily controlling the temperature more closely, allows homeowners to be more comfortable and improve energy savings.

* Find Your Efficient Comfort Zone: Many of us live in homes designed for bigger families, but have yet to downsize. If you find yourself using a fraction of your home on a regular basis, consider upgrading to a zoned ducted, or ductless system. That will allow you to save energy heating and cooling spaces where you and your family don't spend a lot of time. This will multiply savings as you're not only needing less cooling but you also gain from a more efficient system in the spaces you do still use.

* Try Low-tech Fixes: Simple changes can have a big impact. Try to use heat-producing appliances -- stoves, irons and dryers -- at night or early morning. Switch to LED light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs - which consume 90% more power. Seal air leaks around windows, doors, and places where pipes and wires come through walls. Check existing caulking and weather-stripping for gaps or cracks.

Curbing energy bill costs can be more than just a summer dream. If a new system is right for you, many Fujitsu systems with the Energy Star rating are more than twice as efficient as the minimum standard set by the government. To learn more or find a contractor near you, call 888-888-3424 or visit www.constantcomfort.com.

Diveheart Adaptive Scuba Diving Trip Transforms Filmmaker's Life

(NewsUSA) - Scuba diving can be an exotic and enriching activity for anyone, but for individuals with a range of physical or cognitive disabilities, the unique weightlessness of the underwater environment allows them to exercise, relax, have fun and gain confidence like no other experience. Children and adults with challenges, including traumatic brain injuries, amputation, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and blindness can enjoy the physical and psychological benefits of scuba diving.

Diveheart, a Downers Grove, Ill.,-based nonprofit tax-exempt organization, has been helping youth, veterans and others with disabilities through adaptive scuba and scuba therapy since 2001.

Last year, Los Angeles filmmaker David Marsh accompanied a Diveheart team on a scuba trip to Cozumel, Mexico, to make a documentary about the organization and its mission. For Marsh, the experience was life-changing, as he completed the trip and his filming despite the tragic personal loss of his son to a drug overdose just one week earlier.

On the last day of the trip, Marsh shared his loss with the Diveheart team.

"David Marsh is amazing and awesome. Despite his loss and grief, he soldiered on and captured the spirit, love and hope that emerges from every Diveheart trip," says Diveheart's founder and president, Jim Elliott.

"He captured the essence of our mission and shared the real-life experience of what Diveheart does to help those with disabilities experience freedom underwater."

In the documentary, every day embraces a theme; day one is trust, day two is freedom and day three is adapting. Audiences will see how Marsh translated the feelings of the adaptive divers, who shared their losses, struggles, fears and hopes.

"We are so grateful to David for capturing Diveheart in action," Elliott emphasizes. "My hope for this documentary is to raise awareness to Diveheart's mission: to revolutionize rehabilitation by using zero gravity underwater to help those with everything from mobility issues to chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. We help our participants find that self-confidence, personal strength and independence, and we will continue to do so in the years to come."

The documentary, "Adapting To Dive," premieres at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Classic Cinemas Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave. in Downers Grove, Ill.

Visit diveheart.org for more information about Diveheart. To see a trailer of the documentary, click here. Tickets are $12 for general admission and accessible seating.

For more information about the documentary and tickets, click here.

 

BookTrib's Bites: Captivating Stories, Two Books to Help Children

(NewsUSA)

Halfway to Schist"Halfway to Schist"
by Peter Bridgford

Red Rogers is the daughter of two geologists, so her childhood has been overshadowed by all things having to do with the rock cycle, plate tectonics and glaciation. When her mother commits suicide, Red and her father embark on an adventure to restore an old family fishing lodge on an island. Along the way, Red must navigate around the submerged hazards resulting from the friendship with a local boy, and an Anishinaabe man and his grandson -- all the while trying to fit in with the rich teenaged crowd at the local hotel.

With each misadventure Red encounters, her mother's journal continues to teach her how the lessons of geology and glaciation are as applicable to human beings as they are to her beloved rocks and ice. Purchase at https://bit.ly/35OnbsG.

Rex's Journey"Rex's Journey"
by Dr. Ambroes Pass-Turner

A kid's emotional landscape is full of hills and valleys. Rex has been struggling with understanding why and how he feels. From angry one minute to sad the next, he just wants to be a kid. What's so hard about that? But we can't always control how we feel, especially not as kids.

Follow along with Rex's journey as he learns to cope with his emotions in a safe and healthy way: something we all can learn from. One Amazon reviewer calls it "a beautiful and timely story. We need more books like this! This book showcases the journey of a little boy who had to go to a counselor. Very well done." Purchase at https://amzn.to/344MZzK.

Ghosted"Ghosted"
by Jana Eisenstein

Fueled by cheap vodka and low standards in her twenties, Jana naively assumes that "happily ever after" is just a dark, sweaty nightclub away. In this memoir, Jana meets men … lots of men. But with every face-licker, toe-sucker, and internet creep, it becomes clearer that hers is a ghost story and not the fairytale she expected. Still single in her thirties, she realizes she'll need to adjust her approach or risk being haunted by the mistakes of her dating past and a future of shirtless bathroom selfies.

Though "Ghosted" depicts the struggle to find lasting love, at its heart it's a story about learning to accept that when it comes to dating, there are scarier fates than ending up alone. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3G9dEZS.

Crossing the Pressure Line"Crossing the Pressure Line"
by Laura Anne Bird

Twelve-year-old Clare Burch wonders whether her feelings of sorrow over her grandfather's death will ever go away. A special request sends Clare on a journey from her home to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She knows she must honor Grandpa Anthony's last wishes.

Clare heads to rural Alwyn with her little blind dog and a duffel bag full of worries. What will she do without her best friends? Who will take her fishing and spoil her with candy now that her grandfather is gone? And is she strong enough to let him go? She stumbles upon the answers, learns to listen to the courageous voice inside and discovers just how tough she really is. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3GhMS1l.

NOTE: BookBites is presented by BookTrib.com.

3 Reasons To Share Your School Experience with Others

(NewsUSA) - By Carrie Goux For NewsUSA, With the final bell of the 2021-2022 school year fast approaching, now is the time for families to reflect upon their child's year. Whether it be the formation of new friendships, celebrating academic breakthroughs, or navigating the emotions of another pandemic year, no two families' experiences are the same.

That's why GreatSchools.org, the nation's leading provider of school information for K-12 families, wants to make sure your experience is captured -- in your own words. In only a few minutes, parents can leave an anonymous review on their school's GreatSchools profile to share their thoughts on family engagement, teachers, learning, physical and emotional safety, and more!

We know that parents wear many hats, and finding even just a few extra moments in the day can be challenging. But sharing your school experience matters, and can really make a difference for others in your community. Here's why:

1. Helps fellow parents

When you write a review of your child's school, you're offering other parents something that numbers alone can't provide: your personal experience as a member of a community. When Ronnie Hines, a Black mother in Los Angeles, was searching for a middle school for her daughter in a community where few others looked like her, she wanted to find a school climate that would be welcoming. Reading reviews from parents of shared identities helped Ronnie visualize what peer-to-peer and parent-to-staff interactions might be like at different schools, and whether those environments would help her daughter succeed.

2. Elevates your voice

Your experience can be powerful -- if given the right opportunity to share it. Leaving a review provides a platform to share your thoughts with the K-12 schools, K-12, in a respectful way. Does the school's curriculum affirm your child's culture and identity? Are your child's special education needs being met? Are you a military family that has attended many different schools across the country? Your unique story could be the catalyst for improvements that will benefit other students for years to come.

3. Fosters trust between home and school

Principals and administrators use their GreatSchools.org profiles to share details about their school culture, programs, and policies. The reviews section is an important part of the overall story of the school, offering a safe, trusted way for parents to anonymously share feedback with the school. Whether it's highlighting an experience with caring, hard-working teachers or providing honest feedback that will help make the school better for all children, reviews foster a deeper home-school connection as leaders can incorporate key learnings into their school celebrations and improvement plans.

According to the National PTA and Learning Heroes, 67 percent of parents feel more connected to their child's day-to-day education than ever before. Now is the perfect time to leverage that connection and share your experience with others in your community. We've compiled some of our best tips to support you in writing a review that is honest, transparent, and thorough. Make your voice heard today!

 

Carrie Goux is the Executive Vice President, Strategy and External Affairs at GreatSchools.org.

 

Financial Planning a Mission for Military Families

(NewsUSA) - Given the unique challenges and frequent unpredictability of a military lifestyle, financial planning is especially valuable and necessary for military families. There are several opportunities for military families to reach their financial and savings goals, such as low-cost investments, loans, insurance and legal protection.

Applying the same mission mindset to managing finances that you bring to managing your military career can be especially helpful, says Steve Repak, CFP,® an Army veteran who went on to a career as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional after 12 years of military service.

"If I had done a little planning and executed on what might have been a slightly painful budget when I first joined the military, I wouldn't have been left with so much credit card debt," he acknowledges.

To make the most of your finances, plan a strategy for saving and investment just as you would plan a military maneuver. Here are a few helpful tips to help you reach your financial planning goals:

* Identify your goal. First, identify where you are and where you want to be -- then outline the steps to get there. Start by figuring out your monthly income and expenses, and create a budget with how much you want to have in savings each month. Put a plan in place to reduce or eliminate spending to meet your goal.

* Turn to your team. Military families can consult a range of resources for help in developing a financial plan, including Army Community Services (ACS) for Army personnel. In addition, a CFP® professional can help clarify financial goals and objectives and offer strategies for meet`ing them.

* Be determined and take action. What you know about financial planning is less important than what you do about it, Repak says. Adopt a "war fighting spirit," and do what is necessary to accomplish your mission. Whether it is saving money, reducing debt or building wealth for retirement, taking specific steps for money management now will pay off with financial freedom in the future.

Visit LetsMakeAPlan.org for more advice and tips to help military families meet their financial goals.

 

Learning Resilience from Military Kids

(NewsUSA) - Military kids are known for being resilient as they often adapt to change and overcome challenges associated with military life. What can all kids learn from military kids when it comes to building resilience? Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), a national not-for-profit network of mental health clinics for post-9/11 veterans, service members and their families, has three strategies parents can utilize to foster resilience in their children.

 

See full-sized image here.

 

Subscribe to Family