Weighing in a hefty 12 pounds at birth Darren Fenice's right shoulder was damaged by forceps during delivery. Erb's palsy resulted from the injury that stunted his arm and significantly impairs his range of motion. In school, he lashed out at the kids who were tormenting him him and was once expelled. When he grew up he began to practice martial arts as a means of self-defense, focusing on American Kenpo. A back injury sustained in competition has now sidelined him. Based on his experience being picked on growing up, he remains a strong advocate against any form of bullying. He is currently pursuing a career in science education and he pursues another of his passions - cooking dishes from his Austro-Italian heritage. Watch video interview here.
Dental hygienist Kara Hershey assiduously removes tartar from your correspondent's teeth while more than holding up her end of the conversation and guardedly discloses her ideas for inventions that she thinks could revolutionize dental care!
The images on "ReAnimator Coffee Roasters" bags of a skeleton reaching up with a bony hand to perhaps clasp a flask containing some potion held high up by a priestlike figure come from old wood etchings. The name "ReAnimator" is taken from the HP Lovecraft story, "Herbert West - Reanimator," about a doctor who experiments with bringing the dead back to life through ingestion of reagents. Sleep, a state akin to unconsciousness may be an analog for death, a barista at the outdoor Clover Market in Chestnut Hill philosophizes and a workmate adds that coffee drinkers love the revitalizing effect of caffeine. Coffee "reanimates" them.
Minister Betty Jones Alston was paralyzed from the waist down this January due to multiple sclerosis which she was diagnosed with in 1990. She had begun dropping things and attributed it to being very busy and worn down directing a food ministry and prison ministry, but it was not so.
But she is walking again and on a recent chilly spring day, she was methodically making her way down the steep entrance steps of the J.S. Jenks School after a meeting about her grandson, a student. She placed her three-footed aluminum cane on the step below her before taking each step.
Also afflicted with lupus, Minister Alston credits her faith, positive attitude and taking control of her body for enabling her to continue to lead an active life. She also sings gospel but due to a recent illness, was not able to sing in the accompanying video.
College students majoring in exercise science are not just a bunch of meatheads who love to work out and run around lifting up things, says Tristan VanderMeer, majoring in the field at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. VanderMeer was drawn to the field as a way of learning more about his body and how to live a healthy life. Graduates in the field can work in a variety of careers such as in nutrition, physical therapy or as a personal trainer but for VanderMeer, it will be a component of a nursing career.
He explains the metabolic and hormonal basis of why he advocates a high non-saturated fat, low carb and low processed food diet. He also stressed the importance of regular exercise, getting out and moving about whether it’s biking or walking, and getting some strength training in.
For some “action” scenes, VanderMeer indulged your correspondent by demonstrating some beneficial exercises- hanging from rungs while twisting his trunk like a windshield wiper, sprinting barefoot and doing push-ups.
Watch video here. (At the J.S. Jenks children's park, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia)
The majority of patients who visit Chestnut Hill Hospital’s physical therapy center at the Top of the Hill come in with spine pain- neck or lower back- according to therapist Bethany Nolan. Lots of tall windows at the facility behind the Children of America building allow natural light to brighten up the large open multi-station workroom area where a few therapists are busy tending to patients.
Nolan says the cause of back pain, often, is not a traumatic injury but maintaining prolonged positions like being sedentary too long. With a model of the spine, Nolan demonstrates how pressure can build up in the spine’s discs. Imaging like X-rays is not necessary to begin therapy. An initial evaluation is done and a plan of exercises that can be done at home to reverse the pressure buildup is devised. At therapy sessions she demonstrates the exercises, has patients practice and adjust the exercises and notes the patient’s progress. Exercises may first include just press-ups to ease the pain. Later in the process, core-strengthening exercises like holding the plank position or balancing one’s legs on an exercise ball may be introduced. Nolan stresses the importance of consulting a physician and then working with the therapist to develop a plan of exercises tailored to the patient’s individual needs.
“Back pain doesn’t need to be a reason to stop living your life!” Nolan cheerily declaims.
Kirsten Fischler captures neuronal imagery in her paintings. She has been inspired by her partner, a neuropathologist. Neurons are nerve cells that communicate information electrically/chemically with other cells. In her artist’s conception neurons are the “essence that occurs inside the mind that helps develop the mind” or “the spark that makes the mind happen.” Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Francisville. Watch video interview here.
>> MIKAELA JENSON ROSEMAN (MJR): You want me to tell you the story of my tattoos? Okay. So my left arm is pretty much a dedication to my grandfather. I have this one up here which is a line drawing of him. He served in World War II so that’s why I have the Purple Heart in there ‘cause he received one of those awards. He passed away in 2001 and then I got this one to memorialize him which is a biblical passage.
>> CLOSE UP: DO YOU KNOW IT BY HEART?
I know the passage but to be honest with you I don’t know any more the verse.
>> CU: “SEE UPON THE PALMS OF MY HAND, I HAVE CARVED YOUR NAME.” WHAT DO YOU RECALL ABOUT THAT PASSAGE?
I actually first heard about it in a class I was taking at Temple. I was a religion minor. And when I heard it I thought that it was a very good, a really good quote for a memorial tattoo. And I sort have always moderately considered adding more to my arm, like more pictures of my grandfather. He did a lot of stained glass work when he was still alive and I have a lot of that left. So I wanted to have some of those pictures maybe added. A lot of my tattoos I’d say aside from these ones are not – not that they have no point but they’re not as personally, I think, angled. And so I’ve sort of decided that since this is my arm obviously closer to my heart that I’ll have that dedicated for him.
WHAT WAS YOUR RLEATIONSHIP WITH HIM THAT YOU’D…
He was wonderful. He was born in 1907. His name was Albert Furman Jensen and he passed away in 2001. He had a very lucky, nice passing I think. And I just remember being really close with him growing up. So I remember being a kid, he had white hair, his nickname was “Whitey.” Even when he was a kid he had white hair. I just remember combing his hair at their house in Upper Darby when I was a little girl. He got Alzheimer’s later in life and he would have lucid moments as well. And so he always knew who I was, even when he was …Alzheimer’s. I remember one day I tried to microwave a thing of peanut butter And it had the wrapper on it still. It burst into flames in the microwave. And my 89 year old grandfather at the time sprinted through the house to get to the kitchen to put it out. So you know I have all these varied distinct memories of him, all really positive ones and even though it’s been a while, I was twelve. Yeah, I was eleven or twelve when he passed away. Now I’m twenty-five but I still think about him all the time.
Here’s the only picture that I have in my wallet. And this is the one that I always considered getting a portrait of him
So I have these puzzle pieces that I have on my arm that are meant to be for me and my best friend who I’ve known since I was four. I have “Love” and “Peace” on my wrist because those are ideals I’d like to live by contrary to how it usually goes. I have a fish on my neck because I was very interested in marine biology. And then on my back which you really won’t be able to see. I have wings on my back and a William Blake quote in between them that says “Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained," which is a quote from his piece, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”
>> CU; DO YOU EVER WORRY THAT YOU’LL FALL OUT OF LOVE WITH SOMETHING YOU’VE TATTOOED ON?
No. Never. I haven’t so far. You know some of my tattoos, on the back of my neck up here I have this little heart which has no sentimental meaning whatsoever- it was something I got because I was in New York City and I wanted a tattoo in New York City and I picked it off of the wall and I really don’t regret any of them at all. I still like them. You know for me it’s either that I remember something that happened when I got it or for the ones that like actually do mean something more personal to me, you know like in ten years I’m not going to decide all of a sudden that I don’t like my grandfather anymore, you know?