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Health and Hiking

BILL GATES.Did you see Bill Gates on CNN last week? He was impressive. In clear language, he stuck to the facts and figures — and he made sense.

He has had lots of money to spend, and some of it he has spent on future pandemics. This was after the SARS pandemic of 2003. He wrote an article that defined what governments should do when the next pandemic strikes.

Did they act on this? Nope. In fact, President Trump closed down the Office of Infectious Diseases in the White House.

It seems that if the USA had acted like Gates recommended, our country might have been in a much better situation.… More

The following is adapted from an article in BBC News dated January 20, 2020. To read the full article, click HERE.

HISTORY.

Immunotherapy is adapting our body’s own immune system to better fight cancer cells. It has made enormous progress in the last five years, see HERE. It has good results treating cancers of the blood, such as leukemia, and cancers of the skin such as melanoma. President Jimmy Carter was healed of a tumor of the brain that resulted from melanoma metastasizing. See HERE.

Even neck and head cancers have responded to such treatment…see HERE.

The researcher who discovered how to adapt the immune system was Dr James Allison.… More

Some of the following story is adapted from a BBC News report by Philippa Roxby Health, dated 23 November 2019.

The original trial of ipilimumab was in 2005. It’s a tear-jerker story of Sharon Belvin, who was dying. Sharon was a 22 year old grad student just two weeks away from her wedding when she received news that would forever change her life. Sharon was diagnosed with late stage melanoma, a skin cancer that spreads easily, that had metastasized to her lungs. But the cancer was completely destroyed by the new drug in 12 months.

WHAT IS IMMUNOTHERAPY? It is a treatment that does not kill cancer cells itself but instead stimulates the body’s immune system to attack them.… More

MARY ANN has had chronic pain for 30 years. Several lower back surgeries, neck fusion, fibromyalgia, RA (rheumatoid arthritis). On top of all this, she has to take oxygen all the time, and a C-PAP at night to help her sleep apnea. She has suffered more than anyone else I know.

In the past two years, her shoulders have caused joint pain, which became unbearable. Bone-on-bone said the orthopedic specialist. Surgery to replace her right shoulder was deferred twice due to a potential heart valve problem.

Mary Ann is a fighter and has remained remarkably positive while under all this duress.… More

I took a second trip while in Australia to north-east Queensland where the tropical forest and sugar-cane fields were totally green. And I saw a part of the Great Barrier Reef that is still very much alive. This is a new blog entitled Australia Part 2.

At the other end of the spectrum I had earlier taken a trip that landed me right in the middle of a terrible drought. Didn’t see a blade of green grass for two whole days. Sadly, just a lot of dead kangaroos. This was Australia Part 1 – click HERE to see previous blog.

WHERE DID WE STAY?… More

AUSTRALIA IS IN THE GRIP OF A TERRIBLE DROUGHT. A month ago, I took a trip that landed me right in the middle of this drought. Didn’t see a blade of green grass for two whole days. Sadly, just a lot of dead kangaroos.

A second trip was at the other end of the spectrum: north-east Queensland where the tropical forest and sugar-cane fields were totally green. And I saw a part of the Great Barrier Reef that is still very much alive. This will be another blog — Australia Part 2.

The current great Australian drought is shown on the map.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • Victoria Gray, 34, from Mississippi has sickle cell disease. • A genetic defect deforms the red blood cells, causing terrible bouts of pain. • A new gene-editing treatment involves a grueling round of chemotherapy, weeks in the hospital, months of tests. • But there’s hope…

THERE WAS AN UPROAR OVER GENE-EDITING EXPERIMENTS carried out in November 2018 by Chinese biophysicist He Jiankui. He claimed to have done experiments on human embryos that resulted in twin girls whose DNA had been engineered to make them less susceptible to contracting HIV. The controversial experiments drew condemnation in China and internationally and led to the scientist’s firing from his University in January.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG:Rafting on the Animas river.Hiking along the Purgatory Flats trail.A roadside hot spring.An outstanding Mexican restaurant.

I WENT BACK TO DURANGO. With my step-daughter Kim and my granddaughter Kara. I wanted to see Smelter Rapids, to see how much the water had risen in the ten days since I’d last been there. To read my earlier Durango blog, click HERE. The Animas River had risen – and was now 7,000 cubic feet per second – highest flow rate for many years. The major rafting companies had stopped running Smelter Rapids because they were class 4 and the risk of a raft overturning was too high.… More

WHATS IN THIS BLOG: Pics from a jeep tour and a hike around Durango. High water and river play – best snowmelt runoff in 25 years. Best places to visit in Durango. How Olga Little saved 17 miners.

NOTE FROM THE GRAY NOMAD: IF THE BLOG PRINT IS TOO SMALL ON YOUR SCREEN AND HARD TO READ, CLICK ON CTRL AND + SIGN TOGETHER, AND THE PRINT SHOULD GET LARGER. CLICK ON CTRL AND – TOGETHER AND THE PRINT SHOULD GET SMALLER.

Durango is in southwest Colorado, just over the border with New Mexico. Just a 4-hour drive from Albuquerque, the town is bustling in summer when the famous tourist train runs from Durango through the mountains to Silverton.… More

I DROVE INTO TUCUMCARI A FEW DAYS AGO. Tired, after eight hours on the road from Kansas, I pulled over and called my hotel, meaning the one that I found when I was stuck in Tucumcari a previous time (see HERE to read about that adventure.)

A small voice answered, “Would you mind holding for a minute…” After 10 minutes of waiting, I hung up. I drove away from Amarillo for 30 minutes and tried again. Nobody picked up. I drove another 30 minutes… still nobody picked up. After another 30 minutes I tried once more but nobody answered. I gave up.… More

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