November 29, 2013 |
The bottlenose dolphins are migrating south. So officials in New Jersey thought that they had seen the last of the strandings - animals washing onto beaches, dead or dying - in what has become the largest Atlantic Coast die-off of dolphins in memory. But on Monday, the body of another dolphin, this one badly decomposed, washed ashore on a Delaware Bay beach, taking the state's total of stranded dolphins to 135 since July 1. Overall, more than 800 dolphins have stranded along the coast, although officials fear far more have died offshore and never been discovered.
October 28, 2013 |
Stanley Plotkin, 81, creator of the rubella vaccine, hopes another vaccine can be made to vanquish Lyme disease. Plotkin's call for a new Lyme disease vaccine is also personal. In an op-ed piece for the New York Times this summer, Plotkin, a Doylestown resident and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, described how in 2005, his son, Alec, was felled with a heart ailment caused by Lyme. Although Alec has since recovered, Plotkin urged patients and physicians to contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and encourage the agency to make a Lyme vaccine a top priority.
October 6, 2013 |
For Kathy Spreen, Lyme disease is a family affair. The trouble for her West Chester family started with her husband, who complained of fatigue and shoulder pain. Diagnosed with Lyme, he was treated with antibiotics and cured. About a year later, suffering with fatigue and joint pain, Spreen was treated twice for Lyme, which led to arthroscopic surgery and an eventual knee replacement. But when her 20-year old son Chris was rushed to the emergency room with a fever near 106 degrees and lapsing in and out of consciousness, she felt helpless.
September 25, 2013 |
"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.
August 19, 2013 |
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.
August 14, 2013 |
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.
July 29, 2013 |
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.
July 23, 2013 |
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.
July 21, 2013 |
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.
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)