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Friday, December 27, 2013

Meet Ayla: A Young Patient Living Through the Fight of Her Life

Before the Year Ends I would like to share with you a touching story about a 2 year old little girl by the name of Ayla who was diagnose with Crohn's. In so many ways, Ayla is just like any other toddler. She loves to play and have fun. However, many things set her apart from others her age: she consumes all of her food through a gastrostomy tube, gets a nightly medication that suppresses her immune system, spends one day out of every seven weeks in the hospital for an IV drug infusion, visits a different doctor almost weekly, vomits once or more a day, and often cries when she goes to the bathroom. For most of her life, two-year-old Ayla has been battling Crohn’s disease. Her painful IBD symptoms started when she was just six-months-old. Her case baffled all the doctors; they had not seen a child this young with Crohn’s disease. To this day, she is still the youngest IBD patient her gastroenterologist sees. “I don’t even think she’s fully grasped that she has a disease. I don’t think she gets that she’s different from anybody else,” says Ayla’s mother Meno. “She’s either going to feel bad and be at home… or we can take her outside so she can be a participant in life.” As difficult as it is to live with Crohn’s disease, Ayla and her family are finding the strength to still live fully and happily. Ayla’s older brother Jonah is fully aware of his sister’s debilitating disease and explains to people how she has to be fed through feeding tubes. With all of Ayla’s treatments, the family faced the stress of unbearable medical bills before family and friends stepped in to help. Meno admits to having suffered from deep depression and anxiety when Ayla was first diagnosed. To try and cope, she got involved with Team Challenge, which she calls a “life-changer” for her and her family. “It made me feel super empowered, rather than feeling like a victim of the disease,” she adds. “Without having a focus on something positive, it’s easy to get swept up in the horror of the disease in your family.” Though the family has found ways to manage, Ayla’s daily life will constantly be affected by IBD forever, unless cures are found. From now through the end of the year, your donation will be doubled and help lead us to cures, hopefully in Ayla’s lifetime. Learn more when you visit: https://secure3.convio.net/ccfa/site/Donation2?13600.donation=form1&df_id=13600&s_src=1312holhp .

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

As Christmas is coming to a close for Millions I am reminded of what this day is truly ALL about the Celebration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today I was so filled with Joy spending time with the ones I Love. So I hope yours Christmas was filled with Great tiding of Great Cheer because I know mine was filled with such amazing tidings of Cheer. My Heart was filled with such GREAT and UNSPEAKABLE Joy this Christmas season. Think of it! The baby of Bethlehem became the living, risen Christ who has rescued us from our sin. And so John instructs us to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). May all who have experienced His rescue find in Jesus the peace of walking in His light. —Bill Crowder Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in Thee tonight. —Brooks The newborn Christ-child became the Light of the world and the Lamb of God. My prayer is that your Christmas was filled with GREAT JOY! MERRY CHRISTMAS! to you ALL.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

HAPPIE BIRTHDAY SHEILA E!

Ok so today I am so honored to share this Special Birthday with none other than the Legendary Latin-Jazz Drummer and Percussionist Sheila E YES! I know this may sound so CRAZY but unfortunately it is NOT YES, I am born on her BIRTHDAY in the same State Sheila E was born in Northern California and I was born in Southern California the only thing that is different is the years she was born in 1957 and I was born in 1981. So you see by the time I came along Sheila E was already in her career. So growing up all I heard was that I was born on Sheila E's Birthday, so today I considerate it such an honored and blessings to share this day with her. Many may think that Jennifer Lopez is my SHERO and Inspiration which she is BUT before Jennifer Lopez there was Sheila, Sheila is my SHERO and Inspiration. So next year this time I am so looking forward to Celebrating our BIRTHDAY'S together. HAPPIE BIRTHDAY 2 US GURL! May God continue 2 richly bless us Now and Always.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Celebrating the Man we call Tata Madiba-Nelson Mandela

On December 5, 2013 the World lost a man that was the epitmy of Change he was our modern day Mahatma Grandhi,Martin Luther King, Malcolm X. As an African American Woman who is very PROUD of her culture and people my Heart is sadden for the lost of the South African leader who was my HERO. So here is his story Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, on July 18, 1918, to Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. His father died when he was a child and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni. Hearing the elder’s stories of his ancestor’s valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people. He attended primary school in Qunu where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the name Nelson, in accordance with the custom to give all school children “Christian” names. He completed his Junior Certificate at Clarkebury Boarding Institute and went on to Healdtown, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute, where he matriculated. Nelson Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University College of Fort Hare but did not complete the degree there as he was expelled for joining in a student protest. He completed his BA through the University of South Africa and went back to Fort Hare for his graduation in 1943. On his return to the Great Place at Mkhekezweni the King was furious and said if he didn’t return to Fort Hare he would arrange wives for him and his cousin Justice. They ran away to Johannesburg instead arriving there in 1941. There he worked as a mine security officer and after meeting Walter Sisulu, an estate agent, who introduced him to Lazar Sidelsky. He then did his articles through the firm of attorneys Witkin Eidelman and Sidelsky. Meanwhile he began studying for an LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand. By his own admission he was a poor student and left the university in 1948 without graduating. He only started studying again through the University of London and also did not complete that degree. In 1989, while in the last months of his imprisonment, he obtained an LLB through the University of South Africa. He graduated in absentia at a ceremony in Cape Town. Nelson Mandela, while increasingly politically involved from 1942, only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped formed the ANC Youth League. In 1944 he married Walter Sisulu’s cousin Evelyn Mase, a nurse. They had two sons Madiba Thembekile ‘Thembi’ and Makgatho and two daughters both called Makaziwe, the first of whom died in infancy. They effectively separated in 1955 and divorced in 1958. Nelson Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its work the ANC adopted in 1949 a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action. In 1952 he was chosen at the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign with Maulvi Cachalia as his Deputy. This campaign of civil disobedience against six unjust laws was a joint programme between the ANC and the South African Indian Congress. He and 19 others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act for their part in the campaign and sentenced to nine months hard labour suspended for two years. A two-year diploma in law on top of his BA allowed Nelson Mandela to practice law and in August 1952 he and Oliver Tambo established South Africa’s first black law firm, Mandela and Tambo. At the end of 1952 he was banned for the first time. As a restricted person he was only able to secretly watch as the Freedom Charter was adopted at Kliptown on 26 June 1955. Nelson Mandela was arrested in a countrywide police swoop of 156 activists on 5 December 1955, which led to the 1956 Treason Trial. Men and women of all races found themselves in the dock in the marathon trial that only ended when the last 28 accused, including Mr. Mandela were acquitted on 29 March 1961. On 21 March 1960 police killed 69 unarmed people in a protest at Sharpeville against the pass laws. This led to the country’s first state of emergency on 31 March and the banning of the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress on 8 April. Nelson Mandela and his colleagues in the Treason Trial were among the thousands detained during the state of emergency. During the trial on 14 June 1958 Nelson Mandela married a social worker Winnie Madikizela. They had two daughters Zenani and Zindziswa. The couple divorced in 1996. Days before the end of the Treason Trial Nelson Mandela travelled to Pietermaritzburg to speak at the All-in Africa Conference, which resolved he should write to Prime Minister Verwoerd requesting a non-racial national convention, and to warn that should he not agree there would be a national strike against South Africa becoming a republic. As soon as he and his colleagues were acquitted in the Treason Trial Nelson Mandela went underground and began planning a national strike for 29, 30 and 31 March. In the face of a massive mobilization of state security the strike was called off early. In June 1961 he was asked to lead the armed struggle and helped to establish Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation). On 11 January 1962 using the adopted name David Motsamayi, Nelson Mandela left South Africa secretly. He travelled around Africa and visited England to gain support for the armed struggle. He received military training in Morocco and Ethiopia and returned to South Africa in July 1962. He was arrested in a police roadblock outside Howick on 5 August while returning from KwaZulu-Natal where he briefed ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli about his trip. He was charged with leaving the country illegally and inciting workers to strike. He was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment which he began serving in Pretoria Local Prison. On 27 May 1963 he was transferred to Robben Island and returned to Pretoria on 12 June. Within a month police raided a secret hide-out in Rivonia used by ANC and Communist Party activists and several of his comrades were arrested. In October 1963 Nelson Mandela joined nine others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Rivonia Trial. Facing the death penalty his words to the court at the end of his famous ‘Speech from the Dock’ on 20 April 1964 became immortalized: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” On 11 June 1964 Nelson Mandela and seven other accused Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni were convicted and the next day were sentenced to life imprisonment. Denis Goldberg was sent to Pretoria Prison because he was white while the others went to Robben Island. Nelson Mandela’s mother died in 1968 and his eldest son Thembi in 1969. He was not allowed to attend their funerals. On 31 March 1982 Nelson Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town with Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni. Kathrada joined them in October. When he returned to the prison in November 1985 after prostate surgery Nelson Mandela was held alone. Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee had visited him in hospital. Later Nelson Mandela initiated talks about an ultimate meeting between the apartheid government and the ANC. In 1988 he was treated for Tuberculosis and was transferred on 7 December 1988 to a house at Victor Verster Prison near Paarl. He was released from its gates on Sunday 11 February 1990, nine days after the unbanning of the ANC and the PAC and nearly four months after the release of the remaining Rivonia comrades. Throughout his imprisonment he had rejected at least three conditional offers of release. Nelson Mandela immersed himself into official talks to end white minority rule and in 1991 was elected ANC President to replace his ailing friend Oliver Tambo. In 1993 he and President FW de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize and on 27 April 1994 he voted for the first time in his life. On 10 May 1994 he was inaugurated South Africa’s first democratically elected President. On his 80th birthday in 1998 he married Gra├ža Machel, his third wife. True to his promise Nelson Mandela stepped down in 1999 after one term as President. He continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela-Rhodes Foundation. In April 2007 his grandson Mandla Mandela became head of the Mvezo Traditional Council at a ceremony at the Mvezo Great Place. Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life has been an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived, to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation. Nelson Mandela Dead: South African Peace Leader Remembered as Fighter President Barack Obama pays tribute to Madiba Soweto Gospel Choir - Nkosi Sikelel (South African National Anthem)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Today we STOP and Remember those that fought and lost their lives on this day. We honor our HERO'S that served on that faithful December 7, 1941 "A Date That Will Live In Infamy" PEARL HARBOR WE REMEMBER.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Celebrate Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week with Us

Here is What's going on in the World of Crohn's and Colitis. Here is the December Issue of CCFA Newsletter. Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President & CEO Rick Geswell, CCFA President and CEO Not only is it #GivingTuesday, a worldwide day designated for supporting causes that are important to you, but it's also Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week! We are committed to raising awareness among all Americans about IBD – and encouraging them to join the effort to find treatments and cures. Learn more about what you can do to help. That's not all! We have some great news – for a limited time, every gift made to CCFA will go twice as far towards treatments and cures. Until December 31, every donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $200,000. Don't miss this chance to double your support for a future free from IBD – make a tax-deductible gift today. Brian's Story: Escaping the Stall Brooke At 33, Brian Kalina was in the midst of just about every major life event you can imagine – a new house, a new job, and a baby on the way – when he began having terrible stomach pain. What he thought were the effects of stress was actually severe ulcerative colitis. As a Vice President and Associate Creative Director at a leading ad agency, Brian was inspired to put his creative brainpower to spreading the word about IBD... and the results were amazing! read more What are you doing for Awareness Week? awareness week From December 1-7, join us in celebrating Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week! The best way to take part in awareness week activities is to spread the word about IBD. The more people who know about these debilitating diseases, the more power we have in the fight for treatments and cures! Getting involved is easy – here's what you can do: • Write to your House Representatives and encourage them to join the Crohn's & Colitis Caucus • Reach out to anyone you know with IBD and let them know they have your support • Start your very own fundraising page and let all your friends and family know you're raising money to support IBD research! read more Start Making a Difference Amanda and her husband watched helplessly as their free-spirited 5-year-old son Ian struggled with IBD. Fortunately, thanks to his committed doctors, Ian is on a treatment plan that’s helping. He still struggles sometimes, but for the most part, he’s back to being himself! Amanda has made it her mission to spread the word about IBD and help fund research for treatments and cures. Want to help? Start your own fundraising page today and ask friends and family to support your cause! read more PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE www.ccfa.org

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Creative Brain Helping Other Patients 'Escape the Stall'

Strategist and Patient Gives Insight into Award-Winning Campaign At age 33, Brian Kalina was in the midst of just about every major life event you can imagine-a new house, a new job, and a baby on the way-when he began having reoccurring IBD pains. What he thought were the effects of stress was actually severe ulcerative colitis. “I was actually diagnosed the day before my son was born,” said Kalina. “So I remember the day exactly.” Before then, Kalina had been experiencing significant pain for some time, and he immediately knew something was wrong. It wasn’t long before his doctor confirmed his colitis diagnosis in August 2007. “There was a tiny bit of relief because I knew what was going on. Then I was told I would have this forever, and I was pretty upset,” he said. “I discovered pretty early that a better way of dealing with it was to be open and honest.” With that spirit, it was only natural for Kalina, VP and ACD /copywriter at leading ad agency Draftfcb, to volunteer his talents to help create CCFA’s “Escape the Stall” PSA campaign. “It’s not often that we get to do a lot of public service. So when those projects come across our desks, everyone gets excited. It was very exciting for me to talk about it.” As a copywriter and strategist of the campaign, he utilized his personal experience with IBD to help conceptualize a campaign he said will not only help patients, but their caregivers and families as well. “What I loved about this project is that it was about awareness, but more why it is important to make people aware. It was also meant to help other people look out for the signs of the diseases. The point is to help the person suffering alone in the stall. It was more so saying, ‘Here is the problem; let’s solve this together.’ It was great to share my experience." Kalina makes it clear that it was the entire team of strategists and creatives, volunteering their time pro-bono, who really brought his ideas to life, and he is enthusiastic about the next phase of the campaign. “I can see it going a lot of different directions. The first step we had to identify your loved one that has been diagnosed and now the second step is getting them the tools they need. It’s not enough to just to make people aware. It is important to let people know the signs and how you can deal with it.” Someone you know may be suffering from IBD. You can help them when you visit: http://www.ccfa.org/escapethestall/ .

Monday, December 2, 2013

HAPPY HANUKKAH!

For the first time in history Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving so on this day I decided to take this time and shed some light on the Jewish Holiday.Here is the history of Hanukkah.This will not occur again in are lifetime for another Seventy-Thousand years where Hanukkah will fall on Thanksgiving. The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means "dedication" in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts. The events that inspired the Hanukkah holiday took place during a particularly turbulent phase of Jewish history. Around 200 B.C., Judea—also known as the Land of Israel—came under the control of Antiochus III, the Seleucid king of Syria, who allowed the Jews who lived there to continue practicing their religion. His son, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, proved less benevolent: Ancient sources recount that he outlawed the Jewish religion and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. In 168 B.C., his soldiers descended upon Jerusalem, massacring thousands of people and desecrating the city’s holy Second Temple by erecting an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs within its sacred walls. Led by the Jewish priest Mattathias and his five sons, a large-scale rebellion broke out against Antiochus and the Seleucid monarchy. When Matthathias died in 166 B.C., his son Judah, known as Judah Maccabee (“the Hammer”), took the helm; within two years the Jews had successfully driven the Syrians out of Jerusalem, relying largely on guerilla warfare tactics. Judah called on his followers to cleanse the Second Temple, rebuild its altar and light its menorah—the gold candelabrum whose seven branches represented knowledge and creation and were meant to be kept burning every night. Here are some of the Hanukkah Traditions The Hanukkah celebration revolves around the kindling of a nine-branched menorah, known in Hebrew as the hanukiah. On each of the holiday’s eight nights, another candle is added to the menorah after sundown; the ninth candle, called the shamash (“helper”), is used to light the others. Jews typically recite blessings during this ritual and display the menorah prominently in a window as a reminder to others of the miracle that inspired the holiday. In another allusion to the Hanukkah miracle, traditional Hanukkah foods are fried in oil. Potato pancakes (known as latkes) and jam-filled donuts (sufganiyot) are particularly popular in many Jewish households. Other Hanukkah customs include playing with four-sided spinning tops called dreidels and exchanging gifts. In recent decades, particularly in North America, Hanukkah has exploded into a major commercial phenomenon, largely because it falls near or overlaps with Christmas. From a religious perspective, however, it remains a relatively minor holiday that places no restrictions on working, attending school or other activities. Just want to wish every one a HAPPY HANUKKAH!