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Posts Tagged ‘teachers’

Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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         Support is a simple enough word; but, more importantly it is a powerful tool.  My dictionary says this about support:  To hold or bear weight, to tolerate, to give assistance, approval or aid.

          Quite often we hear the word in association with divorce as in spousal or child support.  This is usually in regards to finances.  This too is important in life…because truthfully, needing money to survive is a basic necessity in our world.  But there are many types of support that we need to survive.

           We need physical support throughout life such as encouragement through hugs, pat on the back, a kiss, food, water, shelter, a high five now and again.  We need emotional support that carries us through the hard times.  Most often the emotional support comes in the form of a mixture of physical touch and verbal words of encouragement.  When our words and our body language don’t match…people pick up on that and feel rejected.  But when you combine words with positive body language…that has the power to lift people up and help them to overcome obstacles and challenges that they face.

          Today, my family will be supporting three wonderful human beings that our family has been blessed to know.  All three are teachers at the core of who they are…in fact, they are “professionals”…teachers also by trade.

          One teacher, Mrs. K, has been battling cancer since her son was born 4 years ago.  She is a young woman who has given so much to her special education students and their families.  She has been making an impact on those around her by inspiring and teaching even during her illness.  

          Her husband and child have been a source of love and encouragement.  Her former students (she has not been able to work for the last 2 years because of her treatments) have motivated her and connected with her to communicate their love and support for her.  She has touched the lives of so many people that i think it surprises her how many people care about what she is going through.  Today, there is a community fundraiser to help her family out financially; as she continues to fight against the cancer that has spread in her body, even though her treatments have been aggressive.  This community support, i hope, goes along way to bring a surge of love and support to Mrs. K and her whole family.  I pray that they are lifted up and touched by the level of love (and finances) sent their way.

         Today also, we will go and support and celebrate a marital union of two other teachers who have been a big part of our family, for years.  They are blending a family officially and legally.  But more importantly, they are blending a family physically and emotionally.  One is a special education teacher who has been bringing educational support to our community’s families who have children with challenges.  We are blessed to know Mr. S.    His bride, J, will soon be Mrs. S.    She has waited 5 years for this day.  Together they will have 5 children in their family.  “J” has been teaching one of my children in a homeschool environment for the last year.  She has brought much love and support to our family as well.

         The thing about support is that it requires sacrifice.  What you put out there into the world comes back.  Support, either you’ve got what it takes…or you don’t.  Who can you find to support today?

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       Here is a story i could sink my teeth into since i am the parent of several special needs children.  A young boy, by the name of Adam Race, has been banned from the church that he has attended since 1996.  He has been banned because he is autistic, and is very large.   He has several behavioral challenges that the church is suggesting endangers other attendees.

        Adam’s priest by the name of Daniel Walz has filed a restraining order against the 13 year old’s parents; which the mother has violated.  Understand that Adam is only 13; however, he is six feet tall and weighs somewhere around 225 pounds.  The sheer size of the young man is definately something to consider. 

       The priest alledges that Adam has struck another child during services and that in his zeal to leave the building, has at times almost knocked over elderly parishioners.  Adam has also run out of the building and, started a couple of vehicles to hear the “calming roar of the engines”.  This is another danger concern.   Adam sometimes has a problem holding his urine; and, if he needs to be restrained during difficult behaviors, he fights it.  The mother and father, do at times, have to restrain him.  This can all be quite disruptive; and that, plus the concerns for safety, has led the priest to file the restraining order.  The priest felt they had no other choice.

        It seems that before that filing, the priest and a church trustee attempted to discuss their concerns with Adam’s parents.  They offered the family other options and accomodations to deal with the behavioral issues.  The family refused.  It hasn’t been revealed what those other accomodations were.  The family has defied the restraining order and continued to attend church with their son.  By the way, this is a family of seven.

       I have special needs children as i said before.  I have also been a foster parent to many special needs children who were behaviorally challenged.  I know the stress of that.  I know the need of sitting in church to receive peace and a strengthening of my faith.  I also, am well aware that most of the time…it is much more stressful trying to achieve that goal of peace and strength in a very public setting with others who have no idea of the daily struggles living and providing for special needs young people requires.

        You see, you need special training to deal with some of the behaviors and special requirements.  So you can’t just happily send a special needs child off to a sunday school classroom with people who are unprepared or untrained in those skills. 

        My husband and I have been teachers in several church settings.  We know what it is like to be the teachers or instructors in charge .  We have had to teach and sometimes handle special needs children or teens in that environment as well. 

          One time, we did have a young man who was also very large for his age and autistic.  It was a child that did not attend regularily, this program was a vaction bible school event.  The platform was a raised one.  All of the children were encouraged to stand in front of the platform during praise and worship.  Then, when that was done, they were encouraged to sit down in the rows of pews.  The young man in question, at one point, ran to the front while the puppets were performing.  My brother- in- law, who was a weight lifter, was operating a large puppet that included having his arm encased in a fur lined sleeve.

       The young man ran up on stage and grabbed my brother-in-laws arm and pulled it down over the front of the puppet stage and almost broke my brother-in-laws arm.  It took several people to disengage him.  It was something we were un-prepared for.  The parents had dropped him off during the services and left.  This was unusual…because the other days of that week, they had stayed with him and helped to keep him under control when he would get overly excited.  Communication is key in these situations.  Educate the workers or volunteers to the special skill sets that they will need to work with special needs youths successfully!

        Most of the time, having special needs children in church is workable.  You discuss with the family members or care givers what works for each child as an individual.   Maybe you can even get the parents to help volunteer in the children’s program to help out. You do your best so that the caregiver can get a couple of hours of peace and “down time” from the strains of 24/7 caregiving, if possible.   Raising awareness about those who live with special needs children and providing support is the goal of this website:  http://www.growingupspecial.com/  (more…)

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       The fostering system in America is not perfect.  It has so many problems and loopholes that at times if you are in the system, as a social worker, health care professional, court personel, foster parent, biological parent or a foster (child) the system appears to resemble swiss cheese!

        Still, the need for foster homes is always there.  Foster homes do great and mighty work when done correctly and for the right reasons.  Most of the time, we only hear the negative stories on the news.  It is horrible.   

         Success stories in foster care are rarely heard on the news. (more…)

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       Lately it feels like we have been on a roller coaster ride that i never wanted to experience.  So many people in our small circle of friends and family on this planet have been dealing with cancer. (more…)

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      Today is a half day of school.  I think this is a good thing for my kids.  See, on Wednesday at school my special needs son was physically punched out by another student.  This person my son named is also a special needs student.  (more…)

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