Stranger Saves Life of Leukemia Patient with Gift of Bone Marrow

In 2008 Jim Munroe, 31, began feeling ill. After suffering from headaches and excruciating pain in his leg and a wrong diagnosis of a blood clot, he was finally diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia.

"The bone in my leg was swelling because of the amount of white blood cells being produced in my marrow," Munroe said. "The doctor said if it went on, the bone would break on its own."

Doctors told Munroe his only chance was a bone marrow transplant.

"I needed to have my immune system completely replaced," Munroe said. "I needed to have it re-booted, essentially, and I needed to have someone else's healthy white blood cells to replace my own."

Out of 7 million potential donors in the national bone marrow registry, one perfect match was found for Munroe.

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The perfect match was a 19 year old woman who had signed up to be a donor at a Warped tour concert. She had been inspired by one of her favorite musicians who was able to survive his leukemia by receiving a bone marrow transplant from his sister.

After the blood for the transplant had been extracted by needle, the woman had a tattoo placed on the spot where the needle entered, to remember the place where part of her own body had been removed to save someone else.

Although it took Munroe a long time to recover from the ordeal, now, a year later, he is doing well and has found out the identity of the woman whose bone marrow saved his life.

"I sent her an e-mail and said, 'Look, you saved my life,'" Munroe said. "'You saved my wife from being a widow. You saved my children from being fatherless. You are a hero of ours.'"

Scientists About to Reach Ice Bound Lake Vostok For First Time in 15 Million Years

In a race to beat the fast approaching end of the short Antarctic summer, Russian scientists are painstakingly digging to breach into the icebound Lake Vostok for the first time in 15 million years.

Alexei Turkeyev is the head of the Russian polar mission to Vostok Station in Antarctica. He explained to reporters via a satellite hook-up that they are only about  5 meters from reaching the lake, which is located about 12,000 feet under the polar ice cap.

Hopes are high that scientists will discover new forms of life under the ice and be able to learn something about how life first evolved during the times before the last ice age. The researchers are also hoping that what they find in the extreme conditions in the Lake can help us understand more about life on other planets where conditions are equally extreme.

The last flight out of Antarctic is on February 6, just ahead of the onset of the severe polar winter. “It's minus 40 (Celsius/Fahrenheit) outside,” said Turkeyev. “But whatever, we're working. We're feeling good. There's only 5 meters left until we get to the lake so it'll all be very soon.”

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Mother Chimp Mourns Death of Infant in Sadly Similar Way to Humans

In a heartbreaking discovery about the emotional life of chimpanzees, researchers have discovered what appears to be a mourning process in those primates which parallels a similar experience which humans go through when a loved one dies.

Experts on chimpanzee behavior have known for a while that chimp mothers develop a close bond with their infants; carrying them for two full years and nursing them for six. What was not apparent before was the reaction these mothers have when their infant dies.

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In a video which seems to show a mother chimp mourning the death of her 16 month old baby, evidence points to a heartbreakingly similar emotional experience to what human mothers feel when their infant dies.

TSA Head Disallows Screening Parntership Program

The Transportation Security Administration has decided to halt the program which allows private security screeners to replace government screeners at airports. The little known Screening Partnership Program was deemed acceptable one month ago when the TSA expressed a “neutral” opinion on the program. Now in use by 16 airports around the country, the head of the TSA John Pistole said on Friday that he will not allow any expansion of the program, justifying his decision by saying that he could not “see any advantage to it. ”

The Screening Partnership Program gave airports the ability to hire their own screeners privately to replace the TSA personnel. They wear similar uniforms to TSA agents, meet TSA standards and are supervised by the TSA directly. Airports chose to hire replacement agents in response to all the bad publicity that TSA agents received last December  for their overly zealous behavior when giving ‘pat-downs’ which many travelers called ‘intrusive. ’

Republican Representative from Florida, John Mica, sent a letter which encouraged more airports to privatize their screening, believing that non-government agents would be more amenable to public needs and opinions. That was when the TSA neither endorsed nor discouraged the program. But on Friday the Springfield-Branson Airport in Missouri was denied permission to join the program. Pistole stated at that time that additional applications will also be denied.

"I examined the contractor screening program and decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports as I do not see any clear or substantial advantage to do so at this time," Pistole said.

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The Pre-school Top Ten Reading List

It’s back to the wonderful world of classes, studying, research, and papers – vacation is definitely over. But, after spending such a great weekend with my adorable niece and nephew, my sister and I talked a lot about ideas for giving young children the best preparation for school – and life. In addition to being a mother, my sister is also an early childhood educator, so this is actually her field of expertise. One of the things we talked about was reading readiness. My sister has prepared a list of books she advises parents to read with their pre-school children, and I wanted to share it with the parents out there. So here is her top ten list:
1. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
2. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
3. Curious George by H.A. Rey
4. Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
5. Harry and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
6. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
7. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
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8. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
9. The Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole
10. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Happy Family Reading!

What do Pete Sampras, and Wayne Gretzky Have in Common?

…and the answer is Charity.

Pete Sampras, and Wayne Gretzky have made the world a little bit better by giving their money to Charity.

Pete Sampras – Avon Breast Health Access Fund, Children’s Make a Wish Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy, and more

Pete Sampras was always a likable tennis great, but off the court he makes the difference in many charitable organizations. Here are just some of the many charities that Pete Sampras gives to:

  • The Kid’s Stuff Foundation
  • The Vitus Gerulaitis Youth Foundation
  • Revlon/UCLA Breast Center
  • Avon Breast Health Access Fund
  • American Cancer Society (member of the Public Awareness Board)
  • United Cerebral Palsy
  • The Silver Lining Ranch
  • Elton John’s Aids Foundation
  • Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of Aids
  • Children’s Make a Wish Foundation
  • Bill Johnson Tennis Foundation (Philadephia)

Wayne Gretzky – Wayne Gretzky Foundation

Besides starting his own his own charity foundation which has raised money for tzunami aid relief, Wayne Gretzky has donated time and money to the follow charities:

  • Casey Lee Ball Foundation
  • MedicAlert Foundation
  • Oxfam
  • Starkey Hearing Foundation
  • Watering Seeds Organization
  • Wayne Gretzky Foundation

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