February 19, 2006 |
For sixth grader Tommy Geromichalos, St. Cyril's School in East Lansdowne has become a second home. "I've been here since kindergarten. All my friends are here, and the teachers are great," he said. So when the 12-year-old heard the Catholic school might have to close, he put in a "special emergency wish" to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to keep his school open. Tommy has cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening illness, so he was eligible for a wish, said Dennis Heron, executive director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania.
March 4, 2005 |
In August, five months after a double lung transplant spared her from end-stage cystic fibrosis, Shana Reif was back in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, deeply depressed about her hair. The 29-year-old Bensalem resident was recovering from the latest in an unending series of unusual, life-threatening complications of the transplant and her disease. A lattice of raw, red scars crisscrossed her skin from the neck to the pubic bone. Steroids bloated her face. Morphine dulled her pain.
February 6, 2005 |
Chris Notte, a 17-year-old Holy Cross junior, is arguably the best wrestler in New Jersey at 125 pounds. And, on any given match day, his family members, sometimes numbering more than a dozen, make up as vociferous a rooting section an athlete could want. Yet Notte not only wrestles for those relatives who are there but three very special ones who are not. And knowing that, Notte's goal is clear: he is determined to win a state championship for his aunt, Veronica Notte, and two uncles, Michael Notte and George Notte, all of whom passed away at relatively young ages in the last two years.
August 13, 2004 |
Last Friday evening, Sharon Love decided to give her daughter a gift: Love would stay with her at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania all through what was sure to be an anxious, sleepless night. Just 10 days earlier, Shana Reif, 29, had undergone major chest surgery to treat a chronic sternal wound infection, a complication of her lung transplant in March. She was scheduled for abdominal surgery the next day to relieve a bowel obstruction, a complication of her cystic fibrosis and medications.
May 9, 2004 |
They have been best buddies since kindergarten. And in that year, Charlie Clarke and Matthew Smart, both 7, have traveled some rocky roads together. Soon after the two settled into a comfortable friendship and discovered that they had a lot in common - baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer - Charlie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The disease has rocked Charlie's foundation and put him on a daily regimen that many young boys might find intolerable. But he has adapted with the help of family and friends, especially Matthew, who wants to ease his best friend's pain and help find a quick cure for the disease.
March 9, 2004 |
Shana Reif was buying baby-blanket fleece in a fabric store Thursday, ignoring shoppers staring at her oxygen canister, when her cell phone rang. She immediately recognized the number, but stayed calm. "Shana, this is Diana," said nurse practitioner Diana Isaia, a coordinator of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's lung transplant program. "We have an offer of lungs. "The transplant is not guaranteed, but so far, the lungs look good. " Shana, 29, smiled.
December 9, 2003 |
Shana Reif walked to the microphone, her long black hair offset by a plain, elegant red dress. A clear tube snaked from her nostrils to a small oxygen pack, but she looked young and vibrant, belying her urgent need for a double lung transplant. "Welcome, ladies, to the second annual Rose Petal banquet fund-raiser for cystic fibrosis!" she said. The festive luncheon and fashion show was held last month to help Shana, 29, and her husband, Kurt, 31, meet medical expenses. But in a way, it was also a memorial for the Rose Petal's original beneficiary, a cystic fibrosis patient whom Shana called "my precious friend": Aubrie Gahman, 25. Shana had carefully chosen what to say - and not say - in her short speech to Aubrie's 130 friends and relatives, gathered at the Cock & Bull restaurant in Lahaska.
August 14, 2003 |
Dogs may be man's best friend but rats are closer relatives, according to a new study that compares stretches of DNA for 13 different animals - including human beings. We primates share common stretches of DNA with rats and mice that weren't found in carnivores such as dogs and cats or hoofed animals such as pigs and cows. The researchers, who published their paper in today's issue of the journal Nature, also studied DNA from two fellow primates - baboons and monkeys - as well as chickens, zebrafish and two species of pufferfish.
January 25, 2003 |
Rose Diamond Cohen, 75, of Center City, a former secretary who battled cystic fibrosis late in life died of respiratory failure brought on by the disease Thursday at Presbyterian Medical Center. Mrs. Cohen was diagnosed with the genetic condition at age 48, and she lived with the disease until almost her 76th birthday. Most people with cystic fibrosis - more than 90 percent - are diagnosed by age 4; the median age of survival is 33. The illness is the most common fatal hereditary disease among people of European descent in the country.
January 5, 2003 |
Phil Wenrich, emergency management coordinator for Chadds Ford Township, is running a race every day. For his life. By all measures, Wenrich has already won. Diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis, which usually proves fatal by a person's early 30s, Wenrich, 40, says he is living on "overtime. " "I have claws in the back of my neck that is cystic fibrosis trying to take me over. I talk to my disease every day. I could let it take me out, but I won't let that happen. " Four years ago, he was admitted to the hospital, so sick that doctors told him he wouldn't be leaving.