By Cora Beyer
Many students at Red Lion High School look forward to attending Mini-THON each spring. As a chair of this year’s Mini-THON, it is encouraging to know that students are excited to participate in the games and activities of our event. As a Four Diamonds Child, however, Mini-THON holds a different meaning.
The summer after my fifth birthday, my parents noticed a significant decrease in my appetite and an increase in my thirst. My need to drink superseded all else.
Confused and worried, my parents took me to many doctors, but no one could understand the cause of my symptoms.
I went for seven months only drinking and not eating. At the age of five, I barely weighed 25 pounds.
Finally, I went to a feeding therapist. After meeting a few times, he didn’t feel I had an eating disorder and ordered an MRI of my brain. The MRI showed a mass in my brain, attached to my pituitary gland.
The damage the mass inflicted on this gland was caused by an uncommon disorder called Diabetes Insipidus or DI. This means that I am unable to control my water. I have to take medication several times a day to control it.
After I went to an oncologist, it was decided that I would need a brain biopsy. Through the biopsy, I learned that I have a rare cancer, Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis or LCH.
By Taylor Resh
Students, parents and even some teachers seem to hate it. It can take an average of 13 percent of a student’s day. It’s the cause of fights, anxiety, stress, and a lack of physical activity.
It’s homework. And it’s unnecessary.
Homework tires students out which results in them not getting enough sleep for the next day of school. This sleeplessness also limits their physical activity resulting in students being unhealthy.
By Austin Kelly
John is a typical high school football player. He’s muscular, because he works out with the team several times a week. One day during practice, he was missing blocks and was always a step behind his teammates.
John’s teammates use supplements before workouts and he doesn’t.
Now John has a question: “Should I take supplements or not?”
Many student athletes are facing this same question, but they get mixed messages about the risks and benefits of taking a regiment of supplements.
By Julia Adams
In 2014, a single occurrence of measles turned into over 300 unvaccinated people catching the disease, the biggest outbreak of measles in 20 years.
Many parents around the U.S. have been deciding not to vaccinate their children. It is believed that the reliability of the vaccines in comparison to their possible side effects isn’t proportional. It’s also believed that such diseases that vaccines protect against don’t exist anymore and that being vaccinated isn’t necessary.
By Marina Foursevitch
Recently, coconut oil has been the center of attention for it’s health and beauty benefits and uses. People have grown fond of this “super food”.
Coconut oil is pressed from aged coconut meat, and melts at 76 degrees. This oil has a high heat resistance, therefore it is great for sauteing.
There are different versions of coconut oil such as the refined, unrefined, cold-pressed, and expeller-pressed.
The unrefined version of coconut oil (also known as extra-virgin coconut oil) is known to be the healthiest version because there are not any chemicals added. In addition to the health benefits of the unrefined version of coconut oil, it also has a slight coconut flavor and scent.
Sixty-two percent of the oil is healthy fatty acids and ninety-one percent of the fat is healthy saturated fat. Coconut oil also consists MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) which are easy to digest, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and does not store as a fat. It goes straight to the liver where it is converted to energy immediately. This oil also has the ability to kill harmful pathogens and prevent infections.
Many people use coconut oil as a substitute for other cooking oils due to the health benefits that coconut oil provides. Also, one of coconut oil’s modern popular uses are hair masks. Coconut oil helps hair re-grow and regain moisture that has been lost due to factors such as heat damage.
Other uses of coconut oil are oil pulling (teeth whitening), a breath freshener, body lotion, and weight loss. Since coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat, many people like to use it as substitute for butter and other oils.
“It’s good for the skin,” stated health teacher, Mr. Dennish. “And as far as cooking, it’s a healthier alternative to some of the saturated fatty oils such as canola oil.”
By Julia Adams
Most people have at one point been told that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. It has been proven that it accounts for more than 480,000 deaths per year, which is equivalent to 1 in 5 deaths being related to cigarette use.
This topic has been discussed so many times that it seems to have watered down the concept.
Many people are hearing about this dilemma over and over again, and it soon becomes old news.
Along the lines of the over-saturated information about smoking, cigarettes contain carcinogens that can cause cancer. This is part of the reason why smoking causes more deaths than HIV, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents combined.
The discussion of smoking has become merely an echo whenever it is brought up in this day and age. The best way to understand the true effect of this issue is reality and there is plenty of reality when it comes to a situation like this.
My grandfather, who had smoked since he was young, had a stroke a few years back. He was lucky that the effects of it were not as serious as they could be. During his recovery, he was forced to quit smoking, as he couldn’t walk well enough to get outside by himself.
A few years later, he was hospitalized after he was sick and didn’t get better. The doctors never could confirm for certain what he had, as the procedure to test what they thought he had would be too much for him, but they believed strongly that he had myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a condition in which both red and white blood cells struggle to be replaced.
My mom and I drove up every day for two months to be with him as he moved from place to place. I watched as his health declined more and more gradually throughout the process.
He began to struggle to even breathe and it was hard to watch him in such a miserable state. He eventually passed away at the age of 85. He was extremely lucky to have lived that long for all the years he smoked.
Eighteen months later, my grandmother was hospitalized for stomach pains and a urinary tract infection. She was found to have a tumor in her abdomen. There was no way they could find out if it was cancerous or not, but it was highly suspected.
She, too, suffered tremendously, and it was similarly as brutal. She wanted to live to 100, as old as her mother, but she died at 86.
She might not have suffered this way if it were not for the decades of secondhand smoke. Smoking doesn’t just affect the smoker, but the people around them as well.
These accounts help to expose the true nature of smoking. Facts and statistics only show part of the story. The reality is that smoking takes so much from the quality of one’s life.
Luckily, this problem is beginning to subside. According to reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of adults in the U.S. that smoke has reduced by 20.9 percent. This shows that the popular discussion does in fact have somewhat of an influence. But this issue isn’t over yet.
It is imperative that campaigns against smoking be taken seriously. The problem of smoking is not a light topic in the least. Smoking takes up so much of one’s life and it even causes serious damage to their health. It is hard to understand until it comes down to witnessing a loved one suffer from the effects that smoking creates.
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