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BUSINESS
September 25, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
"I know some people just want to talk about the elephant in the room," says the actor Michael J. Fox in a promotional video for The Michael J. Fox Show , an NBC sitcom debuting Thursday. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, plays a news anchor with the disease who returns to work. In the video, the camera widens, and, lo and behold, there's an actual elephant in the room. Parkinson's is smaller. Small hand tremors that worsen over time. Small steps in an unsteady and slightly odd gait.
NEWS
August 19, 2013 | By Summer Ballentine, Inquirer Staff Writer
Juliet Belcher does not have the strength or dexterity to eat a piece of chicken on her own. Even if she did, her cells could not turn the food into enough energy to properly fuel her 8-year-old body. Juliet, who lives in Blue Bell, is diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease so rare that it hasn't been named yet. Doctors have identified only eight others in the world with the same genetic mutation. Mitochondria are the structures in cells that produce energy for life. Malfunctions come in different forms, and an estimated one in 5,000 Americans has some type of mitochondrial disease at any given time.
NEWS
August 14, 2013 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
CHESTER COUNTY health officials are investigating three reported cases of a rare, sometimes fatal tick-borne disease, including one person in serious condition. The disease is called babesiosis, an infection caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Last year, 11 cases were confirmed in Pennsylvania, none fatal. There have been no confirmed cases this year. One of the reported cases this year is at Brandywine Hospital, according to a physician who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of privacy laws.
NEWS
July 29, 2013 | By Leila Haghighat, Inquirer Staff Writer
After a long day of hair, makeup, and corsages - all that goes with prom - Kelly Simmons was still beaming when she posed with her two high school daughters. But when she pulled off her scarf for the camera, unaware of the red bump beneath, the other parents grimaced. "Of all the people in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, everyone thought I would be the last to have Lyme disease," said Simmons, a novelist who spends most of her time indoors. Nationally, Lyme disease is most rampant in parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, because of environments suited for the disease-transmitting ticks.
NEWS
July 23, 2013 | By Virginia A. Smith, Inquirer Staff Writer
For a rose-lover like Catherine Button, it doesn't get much worse than this: Over the last two years, she has lost 65 of 75 roses in her Burlington County garden to a strange-sounding disease known as rose rosette. Though most home gardeners in the Philadelphia area have never heard of it, the disease may turn out to be the deadliest threat to roses ever. Spread by a mite invisible to the naked eye, rosette affects many garden roses, including the heretofore bulletproof Knock Outs.
NEWS
July 21, 2013 | By Curtis Skinner, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sandy Selfridge was one in a thousand. In April 2009, she was diagnosed with scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease involving the skin. By September, at age 58, she was gone. Her death led Christy McCaffrey, her daughter, to produce a documentary about the disease. The 45-minute film, Project Scleroderma: Beneath the Surface, which took two years and $40,000 to make, is narrated by comedian Bob Saget, who lost his sister to the disease. It's slated for a Thursday premiere at the Ritz East Theatre, 125 S. Second St., at 8 p.m. "At first, it was difficult for me to be sharing something that is obviously so personal," said McCaffrey of Havertown, a hairstylist who partnered with Bill Connell and J.C. Costa of New Pace Productions in Ardmore.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 20, 2013
Ways to Live Forever - A 12-year-old boy with leukemia tries to learn everything he can about his disease and what he faces, and list all the things he'd like to do someday. Starring Ben Chaplin, Emilia Fox, and Greta Scacchi. PG-13 (AMC Cherry Hill 24)
NEWS
July 12, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
TONY ALCANTARA had hopes, plans and dreams, like any normal young man of superior intellect. Unfortunately, Tony wasn't normal. He had superior intelligence, but he grew up with osteopetrosis, a rare disorder that causes the bones to harden. Over the years, he broke many bones and ultimately could get around only with crutches or in a wheelchair. But Tony Alcantara had hopes, plans and dreams that he refused to relinquish despite his gradually worsening condition. He continued to inspire everyone who knew him with his optimism and courage.
NEWS
July 8, 2013 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
At birth in September, Moriah Mudd seemed strong and healthy. Her physical exam by a pediatrician at Riddle Hospital was completely normal. But then a nurse put a sensor on her foot and, within minutes, a machine called a pulse oximeter revealed that her blood oxygen level was alarmingly low - a sign that something could be critically wrong with her heart. Three weeks later, Moriah underwent surgery at A.I duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington to correct a severe congenital heart defect diagnosed by follow-up tests.
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | By Steve and Mia
Q: I BUMPED into another guy at a party who I happen to know is a notorious womanizer and a disease carrier. Should I warn women that I see him with that he has herpes? He infected a friend of mine and every time I see him up in another female's face, I wonder if she's his next victim. Mia: I want to say "kick his a--" the next time you see him out, but that might get you arrested. So, I called the much cooler-headed Gary Bell, executive director of Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues, for his advice on what to do. Here's his advice: "He's making assumptions, first of all. He's assuming that he's behaving irresponsibly because he has in the past.
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