March 28, 2000 |
Vanessa L. Robbins-Burke, 25, an aspiring actress whose real-life honesty and strength of character will forever play on in the hearts of those who loved her, died of cystic fibrosis Thursday at her home in Mill Valley, Calif. Miss Robbins-Burke, who grew up on a horse farm in Chester Springs, lived four months longer than did her identical twin sister, Charlotte Robbins-Sylvester, who died of the same hereditary disease. They were 9 months old when they were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, whose symptoms include a buildup of sticky mucus in the lungs, blockage of the intestines, and disruption of the function of the pancreas.
February 13, 2000 |
Dr. Debra Leonard is frustrated. As chief of the molecular pathology laboratory at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, she has seen how genetic screening makes it possible to diagnose more diseases and improve the odds of predicting who will get others. It allows her to tell families that a child's breathing problems mean cystic fibrosis - or reassure them that it doesn't. Genetic screening also can add to the weight of evidence that an aging parent's confusion is caused by Alzheimer's disease.
November 18, 1999 |
Charlotte A. Robbins-Sylvester, 24, an artist with a flair for color, a writer with a knack for turning a phrase, and a fighter with fierce determination, died last Thursday of cystic fibrosis at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif. Mrs. Robbins-Sylvester knew she was going to die young. She was born with cystic fibrosis, which essentially drowns its victims in their own fluids, and had been ravaged by its attending infections for the last half-dozen years. She was in and out of the hospital a lot in that time.
February 25, 1999 |
Olympian Ekaterina Gordeeva skates with Sumantha Geromichalos, 8, of Upper Darby, at a Make-a-Wish Foundation of America event. Sumantha, who has cystic fibrosis, was one of the children at the Blue Cross River Rink in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon. Gordeeva was in town for the Discover Stars on Ice show last night. The foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening diseases.
September 3, 1998 |
BOSTON Heart trouble - and Viagra The potential health dangers of the anti-impotence drug Viagra, especially for men with heart problems, may be more extensive than warnings indicate, said researchers in today's New England Journal of Medicine. Letters published in the journal raised new red flags about Viagra for men with heart trouble and disclosed a possibly fatal lung complication. Another letter tracked bladder infections in women whose spouses said they used the drug.
March 5, 1998 |
Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist isn't easy to watch. At times, this powerful documentary is virtually impossible to watch: One scene near the end involves a hammer, a nail, and a part of the performance artist's body that should have nothing to do with a hammer and nail. That said, Sick is also fascinating. Early on in his friend Kirby Dick's film, Flanagan can be seen lying on a table on a stage, a respirator tube up his nose, reciting his own obituary: "Bob Flanagan, artist, masochist, and one of the longest-living survivors of cystic fibrosis, died today," it begins.
January 29, 1998
The state of the future The entire store of human knowledge now doubles every five years. In the 1980s, scientists identified the gene causing cystic fibrosis. It took nine years. Last year, we located the gene that causes Parkinson's disease in only nine days. Within a decade, "gene chips" will offer a road map for prevention of illness throughout a lifetime . . . . A child born in 1998 may well live to see the 22d century . . . . As important as rapid scientific progress is, science must continue to serve humanity, never the other way around.
December 1, 1997 |
They are a family. They are a cause. And when the game was long over, the result still disappointingly fresh, Boomer Esiason walked through the locker room door and headed straight for his wife and his son, for Cheryl and Gunnar. They hugged. It clearly was the best part of Esiason's day. For Gunnar. That's where we begin. He is 6 years old. He has cystic fibrosis. He was pictured several times yesterday on the NBC telecast as he watched his father throw for 378 yards and four touchdowns against the Eagles, all in vain, all in a 44-42 loss at the Vet. This is why Boomer still plays.
November 30, 1997 |
Of course Boomer Esiason is hugely happy to be a starting quarterback in the NFL again, since he is 36 years old and came back this fall to Cincinnati, the team he took to the Super Bowl in 1988, to take live snaps in real games only if Jeff Blake got hurt. Last week, Blake wasn't hurt, but his 52-game starting streak was ended. Esiason was the starting quarterback, the day was magic, and the Bengals upset the Jacksonville Jaguars. And, so, yeah, Esiason is happy as he sits in the dining room at Spinney Field, the dingy Bengals training facility.
March 8, 1997 |
Since Scottish biologist Ian Wilmut announced the successful cloning of a sheep, there has been a frenzy of fretting by scientists, ethicists and other learned types about scientists "playing God. " No less a sage than George Stephanopoulos intoned: "What this creates is the possibility of immortality. " In the midst of all this hype, we may need a reminder of just how far we are from achieving truly God-like mastery of our own flesh. By focusing almost exclusively on the advances of science, the media have credited science with much more power than it really has. Science has made little or no headway in crucial areas of research, and some of its reputed advances have proved to be illusory.