As many of you know, my little brother Tim had his second heart transplant on 23 December 2014. He’d been on the transplant list since early September with one false start in October. When the beeper finally went off, it was a go – a new heart was ready and a new life pending. I won’t go into all the details here as I’m putting together a movie which will have the whole journey.
The support for our family by our friends, co-workers and community has been amazing. Thank you for what you’ve done and what you’re doing. Stay tuned for more as Tim moves through rehabilitation and into this new chapter of his life.
I was doing some reading over the weekend and stumbled on an interesting website about the benefits of exercise. I won’t go into the details as I think we all know that exercise is good for us, prevents disease, makes us more productive and so on. If you’re not busy, take five minutes to watch the excellent video below. It puts a lot into perspective.
Movember is underway. Phase #1 has me sporting the Horseshoe. According the mustache guide at the American Mustache Institute, the Horseshoe is a full moustache with vertical extensions grown on the corners of the lips and down the sides of the mouth to the jawline, resembling an upside-down horseshoe. The whiskers grown along the sides of the mouth in the horseshoe are sometimes referred to as “pipes.”
I have it on good authority that both Martin “what is that on your lip” Davies and Tim “the Crown of Brown” Davies will be participating in Movember. Stay tuned for their updates on Facebook.
OK folks…the Biggest Loser 2010 is here. Last night, we had the 13 participants over for the weigh-in and we have two others interested in joining the contest. We’ll be doing weekly updates in the form of a chart which tracks the percentage weight lost for each contestant. We won’t use names nor will we use weights! The contest runs from now until 12 Dec 10 at which time we will have the final weigh-in to determine the winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd) who will receive cash prizes. We’re planning to do something charitable as a group but more on that near Christmas.
Obviously every participant will win – getting healthy and feeling better is the ultimate prize. A little healthy competition, however, can help to make those winter workouts a bit more bearable. Some group members are planning group activities while others prefer to ‘go it alone’. Getting healthy, getting fit and feeling good isn’t easy so please feel free to add your supportive comments and cheers to these blog entries as everyone will read them!
I’ll keep this post short but each Friday I will update you on our progress to date. Well, we’re basically one week into our campaign for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. We’ve done some rides and with the clocks springing ahead in the next week or two it will make it easier to get out for a ride after work. Thank you for everyone who has made a donation; we appreciate it. As of March 5th, we are at 9.20% of target ($920 out of $10,000). Have a wonderful weekend!
Back in October I wrote a post about H1n1 and how I thought the whole scare was basically over-hyped. Again, let me say that obviously I’m not a medical person and that yes, I realize some children and other high-risk people died as a result of H1N1 and that the vaccines which were developed probably helped some people. At the time of my original post in mid-October, the 2009 worldwide death toll directly attributable to H1N1 was about 5000. According to update #78 from the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 6 Dec 09 this number had increased to 9596. The European Centre for Disease Control has a slightly higher figure of 11,033. Over the same time period, how many people have died in global conflicts? WHO states that in sub-Saharan Africa, a child dies from malaria every 30 seconds (262,800 per year).
I know that part of the reason that the number of deaths worldwide due to H1N1 is low is that action was taken but I often wonder about the state of fear created during such events. There are now many notable physicians and experts who are stating that the H1N1 threat was exaggerated; you can read a few articles quoting Dr. Richard Schabas here and here. Schabas was the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. One interesting statistic he provides is that in Mexico, where it appears as though the first serious H1N1 case originated, a normal ‘moderate’ pandemic would result in at least 30,000 deaths. At present, between 700-800 people have died in Mexico from H1N1 complications, a rate of approximately 0.0007% on a population of about 106 million.
Over the last week or two, we’ve seen BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia say that the H1N1 infections have peaked and are on the decline. In fact, it appears as though the WHO will announce sometime in January that the ‘pandemic, is over. So where is the H1N1 in the headlines now? Well, I played around with Google Trends and generated the chart below which shows the 2009 results for Canada for all searches on H1N1. You can see that the searches peaked in late October (coincidentally the same time that the story was front and centre on every newscast and newspaper) and have rapidly decreased ever since.
H1N1 searches in Canada in 2009
It will be interesting to see what happens with this pandemic over the next few months. Where do you stand on the whole issue? Click the poll below to voice your opinion.