November 11, 2015 |
I WOULD HAVE written about Jennifer Pownall's inspiring campaign to raise awareness of brain tumors anyway. But I was drawn to her story even more than usual because it came across my desk around the same time Daily News assistant managing editor Gar Joseph was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That's Gar's story to tell, so I will tell Pownall's. First there were the painful foot cramps, the 42-year-old mother from Northeast Philly recalled when we talked recently. Then there were the charley horses that would pull her to the ground withering in pain.
October 26, 2015 |
Jackie Lithgow got out of his wheelchair at the starting line and began walking. He didn't think about the steps he was taking last weekend at the Flyers Charities 5K race. He just walked, and looked like anybody else walking, flanked by his parents and sister and grandmother and other family and friends, and that was the beauty of it. After a first few steps, the 20-year-old stopped to do a little dance move - what his parents might call the twist - right there in the middle of Pattison Avenue because he was happy and because he could.
October 15, 2015 |
Virtua, South Jersey's biggest health system, has entered into a partnership with Penn Medicine for cancer and neurosciences, the two tax-exempt systems announced Tuesday. Penn's Abramson Cancer Center will replace Fox Chase Cancer Center, and in a neurosciences collaboration, Penn doctors will operate at Virtua Memorial Hospital, in Mount Holly. Virtua has been sending certain stroke patients to Capital Health in Hopewell Township, N.J. Penn, the region's biggest health system, with about $5.3 billion in revenue, has many ties to community hospitals, but "this is a deeper relationship," said Ralph W. Muller, chief executive of the University of Pennsylvania Health System after the announcement at Virtua's Voorhees hospital.
October 5, 2015 |
Sean Sanchirico has simple aspirations at this stage of his life: take classes at Rutgers Camden, spend time with family and friends, improve his game as a member of the Scarlet Raptors golf team. "Just be a normal college student," Sanchirico said, setting the bar at a level that always seemed unattainable in recent years. In one way, the 20-year-old from Haddon Township has made good on his goal. His days are pretty pedestrian for a popular pre-business major who can be found many afternoons at the Camden County Golf Academy driving range on Cooper River in Pennsauken.
September 21, 2015 |
The papal visit is a time for ritual, prayer, and meditation. Research has shown that such activities - even outside a religious context - change our brains for the better. Andrew B. Newberg, a neuroscientist and director of research at Jefferson University Hospitals' Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine, specializes in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, an emerging field known as neurotheology. He has taken hundreds of brain scans of nuns in prayer, of Buddhists during meditation, of people involved in rituals, while speaking in tongues, and during trance states.
September 15, 2015 |
Psychologist Caryn Lerman spent decades studying how people react when they learn their behavior has put them at high risk of developing cancer. But education, she saw early on, isn't enough to help some smokers kick the habit. "The motivation to quit became stronger and they tried to quit more times, but they actually were unable to," said Lerman, who is now senior deputy director of the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center. "I then became very interested in why it was so hard to quit smoking.
August 30, 2015 |
In a corner of Greg Dunn's Spring Garden studio are two cabinets. One holds the sources for the science - Cajal's Butterflies of the Soul , a book of figures from the 19th and early 20th centuries focusing on the brain, and The Color Atlas of Anatomy . The other cabinet keeps the elements of his art. Mica powders, soft and glittery. Weightless tissue papers holding a variety of gold leaf - white gold, champagne gold, yellow gold. Dunn's work melds science and art, bringing images of the brain into beautiful, ethereal detail.
July 20, 2015 |
Nothing about Lucy RorkeAdams is retiring. Not her crowded office in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, lined with medical texts and stacks of professional journals, two microscopes at the ready. Certainly not her manner - forthright and candid, ready to provide detailed answers to every question posed. And yet, this month, Rorke-Adams, 86, senior pediatric neuropathologist at CHOP and clinical professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will retire after a career spanning more than a half-century at Children's and the old Philadelphia General Hospital, where she served her internship and residency.
July 2, 2015 |
It definitely wasn't something Jeanne Buerkel would have tried in the corporate world, even having reached an age when you can say almost anything and get away with it. "Are you chewing gum?" Buerkel, 89, asked the woman about to exit the SEPTA bus with her. She waited a split second for the shocked stare, and then: "Me, too!" The woman exploded in laughter. For Buerkel, a retired business developer for architects, it had nothing to do with chewing gum and everything to do with an improv routine she wanted to try out in the real world.
June 9, 2015 |
Describing Jim Kenney's nascent Philadelphia mayoral campaign, Ken Snyder called to mind an improbable escape scene from a famous comic film. "All right, we're down 14 points and we have $75,000 in the bank," said Kenney's political strategist, recounting the candidate's initial standing in the polls and the state of his finances. "It felt like The Blues Brothers : 'It's dark out, we're wearing sunglasses, and we're out of gas. Let's hit it.' " Snyder may have slightly misquoted Dan Aykroyd's classic line, but the sentiment was dead-on: Here was as impossible a mission as a campaign strategist could face - a late start, an underfunded candidate, and two formidable opponents.