Archive for July, 2016

Courage

July 22, 2016

Hugh Paxton’s Blog got this from Prisana. It’s rated a Hugh Paxton Blog 5 Star courageous.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Prisana Nuechterlein <prisanan>

Subject: Courage

Date: July 22, 2016 at 1:33:16 AM EDT

To: Hugh Paxton <paxton.bkk>

Dear Hugh,

Where There is A Will, There is a Way

http://support.childrenscoloradofoundation.org/goto/prisana2016

Only 1 Day left for my big annual ride! Please help me reach my goal of $2,500 by donating any amount. So far I have raised $915 toward my goal and believe I could reach it with any help you could please give me.

This is my 3rd Courage Classic and every year, I am overwhelmed by people’s immense generosity and heartwarming support. Thank you beyond measure for helping us to further aid other children at the amazing hospital that saved my son’s life in 1998.

At 15, my son Brandon was diagnosed with Aggressive Leukemia (AML and ALL) while we were living in Phuket, Thailand. At the time we had little knowledge about leukemia, nor what his chances of survival would be. I can’t describe the devastation that I felt in Bangkok, upon learning that his diagnosis came with a 30% survival rate. There was no one at the Bangkok hospital to guide us through the fear and pure panic upon realizing that my adorable son, who was experiencing extreme pain the week leading up to his diagnosis, could indeed die from this disease.

For a couple of months prior to his diagnosis, high fevers caused him to wake up drenched in sweat and he was experiencing pain that I mistakenly thought was either sports related or growing pains. The doctors on the island of Phuket, Thailand​ where we were living guessed at several possible diagnoses: could it be a slipped disc from playing rugby? Malaria? Dengue fever? Cancer was not even considered and when the doctors suggested exploratory surgery (the day after I admitted him due to his sudden weight loss of 10lbs and high fever), I knew we were in a truly dangerous situation.

I would not agree to the surgery because Brandon’s platelet count had plummeted to a dangerously low level and surgery would have killed him. His symptoms worsened and he went into septic shock. Bacteria had infiltrated his bloodstream. His white blood cell count spiked to 250,000. Normal range was 5,000 to 10,000. That meant his body was attempting to wage a futile war against a mysterious infection.

In desperation, I called Children’s Hospital from Phuket and talked to a doctor who was on call working in the cancer ward. From across the world, the kind doctor told us by phone that Brandon most likely had leukemia. In 5 minutes, the doctor from Colorado had managed to diagnose Brandon based only on my description of what had been happening.

Meanwhile, the doctors in Phuket, truly did not have a clue. They kept saying that it was dengue fever and I would argue that it couldn’t be. I admit, I was unable to reign in my fear and frustration and often was quite angry at the team of “healthcare” providers that were treating Brandon at this hospital. I challenged them by asking them “if they had ever seen a case of dengue fever with such a low plalette count??” Their answer was finally a definite “No,” admitting that they did not know what was wrong with my poor son.

Almost immediately after the phone call, we flew Brandon up to Bangkok, where he was given a lumbar puncture – also called a spinal tap to remove cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain and spinal cord to detect whether blood cancer cells were present confirming leukemia. Shockingly, the doctor performed this excruciating procedure without any local anesthetic! Even worse since the doctor could not get any fluid, he actually chipped some of Brandon Nuechterlein​’s bone to get a sample. Unbelievably cruel! In the US, you would never get a spinal tap without the use of a local anesthetic to numb the area beforehand.

During the procedure, I was trying to convince myself that he didn’t really have leukemia, praying to the Universe that everything would be fine and that the tests results would prove that he had some other easily curable ailment. Only a short time later, the results came back and our lives forever changed.

“Your son has AML and ALL,” the doctor said definitively. “His chances of survival are zero, unless you can go back to the U.S. for treatment.” Back in 1998, Thailand did not have a bone marrow transplant facility which it now has.

We were on a plane the next day, and it was the most stressful and scary flight imaginable. Brandon was in immense pain and even though he was in pain meds, the pain meds did little to alleviate his suffering. It is hard to relive all of this by writing it. It is heartbreaking to know that so many children and adults in Thailand are presently dying from leukemia, without any chance of survival because their families cannot afford the high expense of the treatment. Brandon was extremely fortunate and on Dec 17 1998, after weeks of total body radiation (3 days straight) and high dose chemotherapy that caused every cell in his body to vomit (a few times he would nearly choke while vomiting horrible softball size blood clots) he was finally ready for a cord marrow transplant.

I can never thank the amazing team of doctors, nurses, financial aid counselors and everyone that we interacted with at Children’s Hospital, enough for their compassion and total dedication toward helping children to survive an untold number of horrible diseases.

A few of the children I bonded with over the course of practically living at Children’s for a year, showed me courage that will forever inspire me. They got their legs and arms amputated; they had severe reactions to chemotherapy that I won’t describe because I want to spare you from the reality of what a cord marrow transplant involves and what cancer does to children. In the movies, it looks like a cord marrow transplant is over within one day. Yes, the actual procedure does look like a blood transfusion, but in order to get the marrow, every cancer cell in the patient’s body must be killed off which means good cells are also killed off in the process. The treatment has changed radically since 1998, but it still really really sucks. Simply put. It took a year for Brandon’s immune system to build back up to a safe level and I am beyond happy to tell you that he has been leukemia free now for over 18 years!

Following Brandon’s transplant he was so weak that he could barely walk up a flight of stairs. The idea of riding 157 miles over 3 mountain passes was unimaginable. However, “where there is a will, there is a way” and thanks to the dedicated team at Children’s and their tireless efforts, Brandon was able to complete this ride the past 5 years, raising over $35,000 and recruiting 40 additional riders to help other children battling cancer. Brandon’s dream was to one day work at Children’s Hospital in the center for cancer and blood disorders and his dream came true 6 years ago. He now has the privilege of helping other children overcome their cancers and hopefully a couple of mountain passes as well!

This year our Wheels of Justice team will ride to honor the memory of Delaney Goodner, of Kick Cancer’s Ass. Delaney was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood cancer, on June 10, 2008 when she was 13 years old. Delaney’s treatment over the first 6 months went very well. The tumor reduced to just a spectacle. Delaney endured 3.5 years of treatment, never giving up, until she passed on December 9, 2011. The Goodner’s started Kick Cancer’s Ass in support of Delaney and all children with cancer. They have ridden in the Classic for 6 years now, raising a combined $114,265!

Thank you for reading and sharing our story and for helping us to save the children. Your donation of any amount would be greatly appreciated. Even $10 would be a big help! It all adds up!

Prisana Nuechterlein
Mobile: 303-895-8164
http://travelthailandandbeyond.blogspot.com/

Please go to the following link to donate to Prisana Nuechterlein’s Courage Classic Ride. Thank you!
http://support.childrenscoloradofoundation.org/goto/prisana2016

uc?export=download&id=0BxpsF7Ta__f5OG9jY0dqUURfSHM&revid=0BxpsF7Ta__f5QSt0cDBNRWJUMDRScEFkbXIvQm5oMHFzUU9vPQ

Vietnam’s booming Ivory Market

July 22, 2016

Hugh Paxton’s Blog received the following. It isn’t just rhino horns. Vietnam is up to more mischief in Africa.

Begin forwarded message:

START

From: Adriana Dinu <adriana.dinu>
Date: July 21, 2016 at 2:21:14 PM EDT
To: Nik Sekhran <nik.sekhran>, Midori Paxton <midori.paxton>
Subject: FW: Report: Vietnam’s booming Ivory Market

This is so depressing read. Wish I had this data before the meeting with the Vietnam Vice President, so I could have include it in Helen’s briefing to raise it. It is so sick! Quo Vadis Homo sapiens?

Cheers

Adriana

Adriana Dinu
Executive Coordinator
UNDP – Global Environmental Finance
Sustainable Development Cluster
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
United Nations Development Programme
304 East 45th Street, FF 914
New York, NY 10017, USA
adriana.dinu
Tel: +1 (212) 906-5143; Mobile: + 1 202 460 5118
Skype: adriana.dinu
www.undp.org Follow us:

From: Iain Douglas-Hamilton [mailto:iain]
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 9:30 PM
To: Adriana Dinu <adriana.dinu>
Subject: Report: Vietnam’s booming Ivory Market

servlet.ImageServer?id=015U0000005EwiZ&oid=00DU0000000KYS0
Dear Adriana,

I have the pleasure in forwarding to you a copy of ourPress Release of a study we are publishing entitled Vietnam’s Illegal Ivory Trade threatening Africa’s elephants.

Following their reports on the ivory markets in China in 2014 and in Hong Kong in 2015, a new report on Vietnam’s ivory trade by researchers Lucy Vigne and Esmond Martin reveals dramatic increases in the number of pieces for retail sale, the number of artisans joining the lucrative industry, and its fundamentally illegal nature.

With most of the products being carved or processed being small transportable jewelry items, and the majority of the buyers coming from mainland China, Vietnam is now one of the world’s biggest illegal ivory markets. The number of pieces for sale rose more than 6 times between 2008 and 2015, with most of the ivory now originating from Africa. No other country is known to be as active in both illegal imports of new raw tusks and illegal exports of the final ivory products.

We have seen great gains made against the ivory trade over the past year, with a federal ban in the US, a timeline announced by Hong Kong and a presidential commitment from China. We must work together with governments to prevent markets from springing up elsewhere like Vietnam.

Click here for the press release and here for the report.

Yours sincerely,

Iain

Iain Douglas-Hamilton D Phil CBE

Save The Elephants

P.O.Box 54667, Nairobi, 00200 Kenya

www.savetheelephants.org

servlet.ImageServer?oid=00DU0000000KYS0&esid=018U000000FBOOY

POKEMON GOing HECTIC!

July 19, 2016

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has tried this at home. I’m not in danger of adding it to my list of vices. A lot of people find it compulsive. As game obsessions go it does have its amusing moments. Two men in California falling off a 50 foot cliff, people shrieking with triumph in inappropriate places devoted to grief and silent contemplation…that sort of thing… but nope! I don’t get it.

If you have got it, read on and be warned!

From my daughter:

Begin forwarded message:

From: Annabel Paxton <anpa22>

Subject: POKEMON GOing HECTIC!

Date: July 18, 2016 at 12:30:05 PM EDT

To: “paxton.bkk” <paxton.bkk>

Sent using OWA for iPhone

Anthony Brian Logan: “Dear Black Lives (LIES) Matter, Stop Blocking Traffic and Focus on …” and more videos

July 13, 2016

Hugh Paxton’s Blog’s arrival in the US has coincided with a number of fairly appalling incidents and another flare up in deja vu debate on race relations, gun control, heavy handed police response etc. The TV here has lots of channels showing a lot of rubbish and tediously frequent ads for dodgy legal firms specializing in injury claims and rather explicit medical products. The news coverage I have seen so far is either lightweight, tabloid, heavily opinionated or dominated by repeat footage. Mostly it is very firmly focused on the domestic with the occasional foray into Europe. It is too early to generalize and the place we are renting has a rather limited bouquet so I’ll probably need to review my review in a few weeks time! I’m not sure why Anthony Logan sent me this but I’m glad he did. A very non mainstream series of opinion pieces not really reflected on what I’ve seen on the tele to date. Worth exploring and deserving further dissemination and discussion. Perhaps even some common sense action!

Cheers from Brooklyn!

Hugh

On Jul 12, 2016, at 4:52 AM, YouTube <noreply> wrote:

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New post from Anilbalan’s Ghost Cities Blog: Kong: Fact or Fiction?

July 10, 2016

On Jul 9, 2016, at 11:50 PM, Hugh Paxton <paxton.bkk> wrote:

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has just relocated to New York. I’ll tell you all about the move from Bangkok and Asia to the Eastern seaboard and the Americas. Interesting stuff but not tonight. A bit tired! House hunting is a fun but involves a lot of walking.

Anilbalan has, with with his usual mysterious timing offered up his latest Ghost Cities blog covering one of the most famous visitors to the Big Apple. I mean to check the Empire State building this week. I’m a big fan of Peter Jackson but his take on King Kong was rather too exciting to be properly exciting…if you know what I mean. I would have rationed the moments of mayhem and ever increasingly special effects. Too much of a good thing. Although the T-Rex sequences crashing through webs into a deadly gorge and still fighting and trying to eat everything was an unforgettable ride! I always feel criticizing somebody who can organize The Lord of the Rings into what he managed is a bit lame. I wouldn’t have been able to make a movie on this scale at all. A Blair Woods..that’s my sort of league. Only with a few more jokes and perhaps more of the witch.

Here comes Kong!

Cheers from (it feels odd to say it!) Hugh from New York

On Jul 9, 2016, at 9:06 PM, Ghost Cities <comment-reply> wrote:

Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on Ghost Cities

Kong: Fact or Fiction?

by ghostcities

King Kong is a fictional giant movie monster, resembling a colossal gorilla, that first appeared in the 1933 film of the same name. The character has since appeared in various media, having inspired countless sequels, remakes, spin-offs, imitators, parodies, cartoons, books, comics, video games, theme park rides, and even a stage play. In the publicity materials for his first appearance, Kong was described as, ‘a prehistoric type of ape’ and, while gorilla-like in appearance, he had a vaguely humanoid look and at times walked upright in an anthropomorphic manner. A much more recent screen incarnation of Kong – Peter Jackson’s 2005 film – while far less successful and iconic than the 1933 original, presented an altogether more interesting take on the character. Jackson opted to make Kong a gigantic silverback gorilla without any anthropomorphic features. Kong looked and behaved more like a real gorilla: he had a large herbivore’s belly, walked on his knuckles without any upright posture, and even beat his chest with his palms as opposed to clenched fists. In order to ground his Kong in realism, Jackson and the Weta Digital crew gave a name to his fictitious species, Megaprimatus kong, which was said to have evolved from the Gigantopithecus – a species of prehistoric giant ape, which actually once existed. Is there, however, any real-life precedent for Kong himself?

Read more of this post

ghostcities | July 10, 2016 at 2:00 am | Tags: Gigantopithecus, King Kong | Categories: Film, Horror, Sightings, Unexplained Mystery | URL: http://wp.me/p1Pozr-rn

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