Tag Archives: Washington

Pi Kappa Phi (Southern Team)

On a mission, riders and crew from Washington, Texas, New York, Ohio, California and Michigan has cycled across the United States of America to raise funding for the awareness on people with disabilities (PWDs).

They started in Long Beach, California last June 12. Then they continued towards Barstow, Pahrump, Las Vegas and Lake Havasu. After stopping in Parker, they still travelled to Wickenburg, Tempe, Dallas, Atlanta, Carolinas, Virginia, and Washington.

The men are members of the Pi Kappa Phi, a fraternity known before as Push America. They have a charitable arm—The Ability Experience—that planned the Journey of Hope. It has raised $556,000 to date to assist and work with people with disabilities.

Among the men are Pat Lynch, a sociology and mass communications major at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York; Matthew Sutter, a communications major at the University of Toledo in Ohio; James Woolridge, an industrial management major at Purdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana; and Stephen Bendziewicz, a biology major at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Aside from the Pi Kappa Phi (Southern Team), there are two other teams that are scheduled to reach Washington, D.C. on Aug. 8. The three teams will cover a total of 32 states and 12,000 miles of biking. Each of the riders will average 75 miles per day.

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” ~ Pat Lynch

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity – PiKapp UMass

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Pete Frates: the challenger

A year has passed since Pete Frates was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). But never mind that fact. For a year has passed, too, since Frates posted a video of himself being doused with ice water while sitting on a wheelchair. He dared anyone right after that to do the same thing or donate $100 to the ALS Association. From his challenge, ‘a large amount of awareness and money’ was raised that researchers were able to work on a ‘new hope on the horizon.’ As of August 28, 2014, Frates would use a ventilator just to breathe. He would eat through a feeding tube to swallow and would use an online virtual keyboard to type. He had vowed to “fight harder and harder” for his wife Julie, who was pregnant at the time of that writing.

“If you are lucky enough to know Pete, then you already understand what a special person he is. His warmth, generosity and infectious smile are just a few of the things that make Pete so special.” ~ The Frates Family

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of davidcloydomcastable

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

The amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare disease.

So rare that only 5 out of 100,000 people worldwide can be affected by it.

There are no known risk factors; only that 1 out of 10 cases of ALS is due to a genetic defect. There is also no known cure; the medicine Riluzole (Rilutek) can only prolong survival by several months.

Riluzole can reduce the damage to motor neurons brought by the disease by decreasing the release of glutamate. Glutamate is the “major excitatory transmitter in the brain.” It is one of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins and regulates the brain. It is otherwise known as monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer in food.

But Riluzole could damage the liver. This first disease-specific therapy could only offer hope that ALS can be slowed down by new medications or combination of drugs someday.

Pete Frates, the 29-year-old former captain of the Boston College Baseball Team who was stricken with ALS two years ago, would just use an online virtual keyboard to type. He was the one who started the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that dares anyone to endure a bucketful of icy water over their heads or donate $100 to the ALS Association.

To date, Frates would use a ventilator to be able to breathe on his own. He would eat through a feeding tube to be able to swallow. He would “fight harder and harder” to be a husband and father to his wife Julie, who will be giving birth on September 10.

“[I] challenged President Obama to give the ALS community a stronger voice in Washington; the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to donate $2 million for ALS research, and Bud Selig [Commissioner of Major League Baseball] to make July 4 a day to honor Lou Gehrig. You each have 24 hours to dump a bucket of ice on your head.” ~Pete Frates after he performed the Ice Bucket Challenge at the Fenway Park

Update: Last March 11, Dr. Richard Bedlack of the Duke University was able to come up with four alternative therapies to beat ALS: coconut oil ingestion, fecal transplant, cannabis consumption, and vitamin D intake. (March 16, 2015)

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Rick Laufer