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‘Not done’: Now that UP is in Final Four, Paul Desiderio not letting this chance slip

first_imgLATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal ONE: Expect more careful, flexible Eduard Folayang vs dangerous Amir Khan For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)03:34PH’s Carlo Paalam boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “We’re not done, there’s still work to be done,” said Desiderio. “We still have to play in the Final Four to get our chance at the Finals and we will grab that opportunity.” Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title View comments The Cebuano gunner has experienced both utmost heartbreak and absolute euphoria since joining the team in 2013.After a miserable 0-14 season, Desiderio witnessed how the Fighting Maroons slowly improved their winning totals but still miss out on the Final Four like in Season 80 when they finished fifth with a 6-8 card.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissBut with UP ending a 21-year drought in the Final Four, Desiderio is excited to show that UP truly belongs in the elite company in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.“Of course I’m excited for my first Final Four and we still have a chance to enter the championship and we’ll do everything in our power to fulfill that,” said Desiderio in Filipino Thursday at the Maroons’ training facility at Epsilon Chi Center in UP Diliman. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Desiderio, who went to University of Visayas in high school, said he was aware of UP’s reputation when arrived in Metro Manila for his collegiate career.Still, he took on the challenge of improving UP’s lackluster basketball program.“This was the challenge for me when I got here, I know we lacked some star players and we didn’t have a dominant big man but I knew we would get this chance to prove to everyone, and to ourselves, that we are winners,” said Desiderio.Desiderio put the Fighting Maroons on his back in Season 80 when he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists en route to becoming the first Maroon since Marvin Cruz in 2006 to be named to the Mythical Team.And although he’s been relegated to the team’s second and sometimes third offensive option, Desiderio still has the fire that made him on of the most beloved Maroons of his era.ADVERTISEMENT If there’s one man who knows the real hardships of University of the Philippines’ long road back to the Final Four, that’s outgoing guard Paul Desiderio.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Welterweight Henchman Dances like a Butterfly

first_imgHe stood before the mirror at the national boxing gym, on Broad Street, next to the Sports Commission.In a classic demonstration of footwork, the Liberian welterweight boxer moved back and forth, sweeping his head this way and that way.His hands folded before him, and like he was engaged in a serious fight, he would bend slightly, as if he was dodging an opponent’s blow and swiftly counter attack with a right upper cut.His face was without a smile, and with sweat streamed down his face, indication that he had been be in action for the last thirty minutes when I sneaked into the empty gym.Without turning to look at the intruder, Henchmen, who last fought in a real fight in 2010, in a friendly bout organized by the now dormant Liberia Boxing Association, kept his focus.Though a little over fight feet, Henchman ducked from left to right and danced around the gym.Allowing his body to move to the left and to the right, the 27-year-old boxer kept his focus and like a butterfly kept dancing across the gym, not even looking at the broken ring to his left that he has pleaded for its replacement.Outside, the inscription at the door said, ‘Baby Joe House of Pain’ which aptly describes the current condition of Liberian boxing.Not many sports loving Liberians can ever mention the last time there was a boxing bout in the country or how exciting the sport is or who their favorite boxers are?But Henchman hopes the future can be better if, “we can get a new boxing ring.”“We train here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” Henchman told the Daily Observer yesterday, during training, “we are about seven boxers.”The current training, he said is part of the preparation for the 2016 Brazil Olympics.“The 2016 Brazil Olympics is far away,” the boxer was told, “is there any immediate tournament to keep the seven boxers active?”Henchman said he had no idea but as a boxer, “it is better for me to train and get myself in shape,” which suggests that something is seriously wrong here.Actually, athletes prepare for a competition because an athlete cannot train because he wants.But in the current case, if Henchman is train for the 2016 Brazil Olympics, more than one year from now, then there is something fundamentally wrong.Though I was impressed with the young man’s sense of purpose, there is absolutely no way that without a ring and a regular tournament to sharpen his skills, he would be able to withstand a serious fight like in the Olympics.Thankfully, Henchman is motivated by Liberian professional boxer Archie Weah of Atlanta, Georgia, (United States), who has expressed his desire to be part of the Liberian delegation for the Brazil Olympics.“I’ve heard of him (Archie Weah) and it is helping me to focus,” Henchman said, while at the same time pleading for a boxing ring, hoping that Archie Weah would continue to inspire many other boxers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ORANGE Liberia, KWESE TV Enter Historic Partnership

first_img-Thousands view inauguration online for freeThousands of Liberians were able to view an online live streaming of Monday’s inauguration of the new President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah, for free, even if they did not have internet data, thanks to an innovative partnership between Orange Liberia and Kwesé TV, according to a press release issued in Monrovia.Kwesé TV is an African owned media company that provides Pay TV, Free-to-Air TV and Digital TV in multiple countries in Africa. The company made its first contribution to Liberia’s television market by producing video content and packaging it into a web platform (, while Orange delivered the streaming for free, with great quality, to thousands of simultaneous users on their mobile phones, thanks to its powerful 4G-LTE network, the release added.The two companies noted that the inauguration broadcast is the first of many innovative projects that will be announced in the future. The Chief Marketing Officer for Orange Liberia, Noel Chateau, said availing this content totally free of charge was important for the company, which saw it as a gift to the Liberian people to watch this historic event from everywhere, “without paying anything.”Chateau said mobile TV, with news and entertainment, has grown significantly around the world and that Orange was planning to avail such services in Liberia.“We will be working hard to provide a new, innovative, affordable, no-hassle way for Liberians to get access on their mobile to all of the great entertainment they get on satellite television,” Chateau said, adding that it was part Orange Liberia’s plan to revolutionize the way Liberians get their music and television content.Orange subscribers who were able to view the inauguration via Kwesé TV described it as “God sent” on social media.“I had been trying to figure out how I would get to see the inauguration and once Orange said that they would stream the event and I would be able to see it totally for free was a relief. Orange is the masses’ GSM Company that cares about the Liberian people,” noted one subscriber.Orange meanwhile announced that its customers can continue to access the inauguration event online on for free and without having to use their internet data until Wednesday, January 24th (today), the release said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Williams accuses Communities Ministry of stymieing work of LGC

first_imgUnpaid employeesAfter waiting almost two years for the People’s National Congress-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (AFC/APNU) coalition Government to nominate its candidates to the Local Government Commission (LGC) to constitute the body designed to remove control over Local Government entities from the Communities Ministry, the minor partner in the coalition, the AFC, has accused the Communities Ministry of stymieing the work of the LGC by withholding funds that were allocated by the National Assembly to fund its operations.Communities Minister Ronald BulkanAFC General Secretary Marlon Williams is now appealing to the authorities – that is, the Government of which it is a partner – to look into the issues confronting the Local Government Commission (LGC), with the intention of having them addressed at the soonest possible time.Williams said his party would also like to see all impasses at the Commission come to an end. He was at the time addressing the media during a press conference held on Wednesday at the AFC’s Georgetown office.The AFC executive explained that because the Commission is not registered as a constitutional agency, funding has been funnelled through the Communities Ministry.“It also falls under the influence of the Permanent Secretary. I believe that infringes on the Commission’s independence, and for that reason I believe it should be placed on the register of constitutional agencies,” he added.Williams, a Commissioner of the LGC himself, said this is why over 30 staff members of the Commission have not been paid for the month of January.AFC General Secretary Marlon Williams“The AFC recognised that since our last press conference there has been no change… We urge all the interested parties to work diligently in ensuring that the LGC is placed on the register of constitutional agencies and all impasses should come to an end as early as possible,” he stated.Unfortunately, for these same reasons, the Commission has not been able to pay their utility bills too. Only recently, Chairman of the LGC, Mortimer Mingo complained that the Commission is being hampered in its functions due to the non-payment of salaries.Mingo claimed that Permanent Secretary of the Communities Ministry, Emil McGarrell, is withholding the salaries on the ground that the LGC is not a constitutional body.According to Mingo, McGarrell informed that the Commission, itself, cannot regulate salaries or hire employees without permission from the Ministers of Communities (Ronald Bulkan) and State (Joseph Harmon).Mingo says he finds this decision baffling.Three Commissioners recommended by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – Clinton Collymore, Norman Whittaker and Carol Sooba – laid the blame at the feet of the Communities Minister, contending that he is interfering in the work of the Commission and starving it of resources.Minister Bulkan said recently that accountability on its spending is paramount to the Commission. When the Commission submitted documents for the Ministry to countersign on January 15, 2019, it prompted the Ministry to uncover that the level of payment of staff exceeded that of public service levels.Bulkan argued that there was no authorisation of increases from the Finance Ministry, and that his Ministry is awaiting information from the LGC on its operational cost for 2019.The Commission’s 2019 payroll is $113 million, which accounts for 91 per cent of the Commission’s annual budget.The Ministry has since refused to sign off on the operational cost requested by the Commission, given that it has not yet received a cash flow and work programme.If this was to be approved, the cost without these prerequisites would be in breach of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act of 2003.The Commission, through the Ministry, is mandated to oversee, monitor, investigate and examine the actions of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and the municipalities.last_img read more

Blizzards hold race on Beatton Cactus Trails

first_img**SubmittedIt was a two lap race at the Beatton Cactus Trails on Sunday. Richard Howes finished first with 33:49, Gary Hilderman was second with 35:11, followed by Kevin Shaw at 36:23, and Brandy Svenson with 52:02.Next up is the Wednesday Mountain Bike race at 6:PM at the Cactus Trails, and Thursday is our first Toony Cross Cyclocross race at the North Peace School, also at 6:PM. – Advertisement –last_img

In a handful of cases, victims’ identities difficult to ascertain

first_img Aug. 21, 1986 Young man found dead in an abandoned house on Holt Boulevard in Ontario. Believed to have died between Aug. 15 and 18. He was white, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 175 pounds and had light brown hair. He had two scars running across the front of his chin and was missing an upper left front tooth. The other front teeth crookedly filled the gap. Ontario Police Department and San Bernardino County sheriff’s case. Jan. 5, 1981 Partial skeletal remains located in a riverbed in Sierra Madre along with a blue football jersey with two stripes on the sleeve and “44” on the back. He was white, 20 to 29, hair may have been blonde, about 5 feet 8 inches tall. Los Angeles County sheriff’s case. Oct. 2, 1979 Remains of a boy, 4 to 6 years old, found near Glendora Mountain Road in San Dimas. Probably died two weeks before he was discovered. The child was either white or Latino, 3 feet 8 inches tall and 35 to 45 pounds. Los Angeles County sheriff’s case. April 20, 1978 The remains of a woman were discovered buried in a commercial flower field in the 19300 block of South Wilmington Avenue in Carson. She was either white or Latina, 14 to 20, 5 feet 2 inches tall, about 130 pounds, had long black hair, brown eyes and fingernails painted pink. Her upper teeth overlapped on the right side. Possibly had a child because of a scar on her stomach and stretch marks. Two Latinos were seen driving away from where she was found in a 1970 dark blue Chevrolet Vega hatchback. Los Angeles County sheriff’s case. July 8, 1977 African-American woman discovered at the rear of a paint company on Figueroa Street in Carson. She was about 20, 5 feet 4 inches, approximately 130 pounds, black hair, brown eyes and had an old, inch-long scar on her chin. Wore a one-piece red jumpsuit with red shoulder straps crisscrossed in the front, a white Gabardine waist jacket and a 14-inch long turquoise Native-American-style necklace of silver tubes with a single turquoise nugget. Her left shoe was missing. Los Angeles County sheriff’s case. Aug. 20, 1976 Young woman spotted 20 feet from Descending Drive in Hacienda Heights. On her left ankle was a homemade tattoo of a cross with three rays on top and the name “Louie” or “Louise” under it. She was either white or Latina, 18 to 20 years old, 95 to 100 pounds, 5 feet 3 inches tall, brown eyes and medium-length dark brown hair. She may have been dead several days before she was found. Los Angeles County sheriff’s case. Nov. 5, 1972 Man discovered in a wooded area in Hacienda Heights. He was white, 19 to 21, had brown shoulder-length hair, 6 feet tall and 175 pounds. He wore a denim Levi’s jacket with a zipper-down front, pink T-shirt, boots and blue bellbottom Oshkosh brand jeans with “peace” embroidered on the bottom left leg and “love” on the bottom right leg. He also had a small yellow metal earring with a peace symbol and a white metal chain with black beads around his neck. There was a 3-inch surgical scar on his right knee and a 41/2-inch scar on his spine. A pair of yellow eyeglasses found nearby could have been his. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s case. Source: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office and Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A woman discovered at the bottom of a ravine near Covina Hills Road in Covina. Her body had been put into a sleeping bag. She was white, had fair complexion, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 130 pounds, had brown eyes and brown hair. There was a thin half-inch scar above her left eyebrow. Los Angeles County sheriff’s case. Feb. 7, 1993 Young woman found near the 200 block of Oak Meadow Road in Sierra Madre. She was Asian, 17 to 20, 5 feet 2 inches tall, 112 pounds, had long dark curly (permed) hair and brown eyes. She wore a black coat, a black mesh body stocking and a black mini skirt. The skirt had a label marked “Lisa S.” and Japanese writing that indicated it may have been made for someone named Lisa. Los Angeles County sheriff’s case. May 17, 1987 Woman’s body discovered on the Edison right of way, just east of the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway and south of Valley Boulevard in Industry. She was white, 20 to 30, 5 feet 8, 130 pounds, had brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair. There were recent puncture marks on her right and left arms and she wore earrings of simulated pearls and plastic leaves. Los Angeles County sheriff’s case. The following local cases can be found at, the Web site for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: Sept. 24, 2005 Young woman hit by cars on the San Bernardino (10) Freeway, east of Central Avenue in Montclair. She was seen running in the No. 3 lane. She was white, 15 to 20, 5 feet tall, about 130 pounds, was of medium build and had brown hair that fell just below the shoulders. She was clad in a black tank top, blue jerseylike stretch pants and white sneakers. She had a small scar just below the right knee. San Bernardino County sheriff’s case. Oct. 28, 1995 last_img read more

Charter schools go to head of the class

first_imgAt a time when the LAUSD is searching for answers, and the superintendent is asking all the right questions, it might be worthwhile for the district’s leadership to take a good, close look at some of the successes of the Los Angeles charter movement. William E.B. Siart is founder and chairman of ExED, a nonprofit organization that assists Southern California charter schools.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! IN late April, Superintendent David Brewer III released a scathing audit of the Los Angeles Unified School District, charging that lack of accountability and insufficient urgency are among the greatest problems hindering student performance at the mammoth district. Buried deep in the report was a brief section on charter schools that might contain some of the answers. The report stated: “Charter schools operate without the hindrances of many regulatory provisions and stand in a good position to be creative in many ways in contrast to traditional schooling. This creativity, as well as their smaller sizes, should enable these schools to extend approaches to schooling in broader ways, meeting student needs in ways that LAUSD schools might not be able to.” Translation: Charter schools are leaner, more agile and able to implement reforms much more quickly than the sprawling, 700,000-student district. Furthermore, in stark contrast to a district that is said to shun accountability, charter schools have a built-in mechanism to ensure that they are doing their jobs: Students and families can leave, removing critical funding, and charters are subject to renewal within three to five years of being granted. Given the role charters can serve as a model for reforming the LAUSD, the following lessons might be in order: Charters do more with less. Because they are not subject to the same regulations, bureaucracy and red tape as traditional district schools, charters are able to deliver similar or better service for less money. In fact, Los Angeles charter schools spend an average of $1,200 per pupil less than their LAUSD counterparts. Charters are ahead of their peers in student achievement: Although the Academic Performance Index scores of L.A. charters are only modestly higher (708 vs. 700) than their LAUSD peers, it is worth noting that nearly half of these charters have been operating for two years or less. Studies have shown that charters post their strongest gains after three years or more. In fact, independent charters in L.A. Unified grew an average of 15 points on the API from 2005 to 2006, compared with only 11 points for other L.A. Unified schools. Despite what charter school opponents may claim, charters do not “cherry-pick” students. Demographically, charter students in L.A. Unified are not that different from noncharter students. Students at independent charters are 17 percent African-American versus 11 percent in the rest of L.A. Unified, and 60 percent Latino versus 74 percent in L.A. Unified. At independent charters, 70 percent of students are eligible for the subsidized federal meal program, a measure of poverty, versus 78 percent in the LAUSD. Teachers at charters report higher job satisfaction. There is less paperwork to detract attention from the primary job of teaching, and more autonomy and flexibility to construct classrooms to best fit students’ needs. Charter schools are also smaller learning centers with an increased focus on security, so that student-discipline issues do not rule the classroom. A more positive working environment for teachers in turn produces better learning environments, and higher expectations, for our kids. last_img read more

Bengals fall from ranks of unbeaten

first_img The Bengals started 4-0 for the first time since 1988 – the franchise’s last Super Bowl season – and entered the game as one of the last two undefeated teams in the league. But the Jaguars (3-2) took advantage of good field position early and had two key stops in the fourth quarter that left AFC South rival Indianapolis as the lone unbeaten. Josh Scobee kicked three field goals, including a 51-yarder in the second period and a 53-yarder with 9:45 to play that gave the Jaguars a 10-point lead. Jacksonville’s defense held on from there – barely – and kept Palmer, a former USC standout, from engineering a dramatic comeback. Bobby McCray knocked the ball out of Palmer’s hand at the Jacksonville 45-yard line with 1:28 to play. Akin Ayodele, who dropped a possible interception the play before, recovered it. The defense’s other key stop came on fourth-and-1 at the Jags 39-yard line with 14:30 remaining. Rudi Johnson ran up the middle, and John Henderson and Marcus Stroud stuffed him for no gain. The Jags then drove 26 yards to set up Scobee’s final field goal. Cincinnati fell behind 13-0 before Chad Johnson caught a 14-yard TD pass from Palmer. Cincinnati had a 69-yard punt nullified by penalty, dropped an interception, shanked a punt and had another one blocked – all in the first half. Johnson complained after the game that Palmer wasn’t trying hard enough to get him the ball. “They didn’t get it to me, period!” said Johnson, who had five receptions for 52 yards. “They doubled me the whole game. That happens every week. Does that mean that when a team doubles me that I’m through?” Johnson made good on his promise of having something special planned if he scored during Cincinnati’s lone appearance in prime time this season. He beat Rashean Mathis in the corner of the end zone, then performed CPR on the football. He pretended to give it mouth-to-mouth and three chest compressions. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Byron Leftwich threw for two touchdowns, Fred Taylor ran for a season-high 132 yards and the Jaguars made a huge stop in the closing minutes to hand the Bengals their first loss of the season, 23-20 on Sunday night. “This shows how good of a team we have,” said Jags receiver Ernest Wilford, who caught an 11-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. center_img JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Chad Johnson jokingly resuscitated the football early, and Carson Palmer nearly brought the Cincinnati Bengals back to life late. Then Jacksonville’s defense put an end to all that. last_img read more

Young couple’s MS love story captures hearts

first_imgNeil Glackin from Dungloe is earning much admiration for sharing a heartfelt account of how his fiancee’s MS plays a role in their relationship.The young couple’s story, charting the ups and downs of love and illness, has fast become a source of inspiration as Neil prepares to run the Dublin City Marathon in aid of MS Ireland this month.Susan White from Dublin, the love of Neil’s life, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 17. It was around this time that she met Neil, as her father Frank and family are from Dungloe. Neil (now aged 28) and Susan ( now 26) grew closer through the years of school, university, work and visits to Donegal. Susan’s MS symptoms and treatments regularly impacted on their lives, but she remained strong throughout and refused to let her illness hold her back. Neil fell in love with Susan’s strength and became more proud of her with every achievement she made in spite of her MS.Susan and NeilNeil proposed to Susan on Mahery Beach last Easter, the same place where they walked on Valentine’s Day as teenagers when Susan’s symptoms first started to show. The young couple now live in Dublin and are planning to wed in Dungloe next September.Before this though, Neil has a challenge of his own to overcome. Neil was so inspired by Susan that he decided to run the 2017 Dublin City Marathon to raise funds for the MS Society of Ireland. As part of his campaign he wrote a moving account of Susan’s story which has had a big emotional response online.Neil told Donegal Woman: “We never really told people about Susan’s MS and the effects of it, even our family and friends were hearing about it for the first time.“Susan has come to terms with her MS a bit better so that’s why she agreed to let me tell her story. You could list off the symptoms of MS but no one really makes the connection. The story shows the human side of MS, while other people are seeing their own MS experience,” Neil said.Susan’s story has given Neil’s fundraising campaign a boost and motivated him as he prepares to run his first marathon on October 29th. Neil fits training in around his work in banking in Dublin and has been amazed as he already smashed his fundraising target of by over 200%.Here is Neil’s account of Susan’s story in full, and if you wish to support his marathon click here: For eighteen years of my life I had no idea what MS was.But in March 2008 I found out about the disease multiple sclerosis for the first time and it’s been playing a big role in my life ever since.Back then I was attempting to woo a girl from Dublin. It was a long distance courtship and a lot of our communication was done over the phone. Most of our conversations were about trivial things — the usual back-and-forth between two teenagers who liked each other. But sometimes the talk would get more serious as the girl on the other end of the line was having some unexplained medical issues.On those occasions my role was to do some cheering up work and, as I was smitten, it was a task I gladly took upon myself. These diversions into more weighty conversations helped to strengthen our bond and now over nine years later that girl is my fiancée and we are long past the days of long distance. Her name is Susan. And though she is my partner, she is also my inspiration. Her path over these past ten years has been a tough one, littered with setbacks and unimaginable obstacles, but she has never given up or stopped trying and she has stubbornly refused to let an illness define her life.On Sunday 29 October I plan to run the Dublin Marathon. My chosen charity is the MS Society of Ireland. My inspiration is Susan. Here, with her permission, I will tell you her story and her battle with MS.It is uncomfortable at times and words cannot do justice to some of the tough moments she has gone through. But I hope you take inspiration from her attitude and I hope you can also share something towards the fundraising campaign, even if it’s just by sharing this story.In 2007, at the age of 16, Susan received the first indication that something was wrong. Susan was a sporty teenager and played camogie and hockey. It’s no coincidence both her chosen sports involved holding a weapon.During a school hockey match Susan suddenly felt as if she was unable to run. She tried moving her legs but to no avail. It was a surreal and terrifying moment, and one she naturally could not understand.Other symptoms followed. Her hand would shake when trying to write, turning her once neat handwriting into a series of squiggles. She found it difficult to focus her eyesight and her head would sometimes shake involuntarily. Her balance was off. Her speech became slightly slurred at times. And she experienced sharp pains throughout her body including some very painful headaches.As a result, Susan missed most of her fifth year of secondary school.Medical tests were run, including an MRI, a brain scan and a particularly painful lumbar puncture procedure.Susan’s mother Anne was with her for every appointment and every test. Anne has been living with MS since her own diagnosis in 2003. When discussing possible causes of Susan’s symptoms with the neurologist, the topic of MS was brought up. The doctor reassured that if he was a betting man he would bet against it being MS.While waiting for the results Susan took a trip up from Dublin to Donegal to visit the young man doing his best to woo her. At this stage Susan required a crutch to get around but she was still as positive as anything and steadfastly refused any help I would try to give.The visit was in February 2008 and coincided with Valentine’s Day, a perfect time to try cement my place in her affections. When we walked the beach she finally let in and said I could link her arm.She returned to Dublin and we continued our budding relationship via long distance phone calls.One month later, aged 17 and four months, Susan was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (she later gave that neurologist a thank you letter with a note saying “don’t take up betting anytime soon!”).On hearing the news I did what anyone in my position would have done, and took to Google to find out more about MS.Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system which affects the way the brain interacts with the rest of the body. It disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the nerves of the body, which can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the person affected.By and large it will affect the person’s coordination and balance, which in turns affects almost every aspect of their day-to-day lives.The cause of MS in a person is unclear, but it can strike anyone from prize athletes to couch potatoes. MS is not defined as a hereditary disease so it is particularly bad luck that two members of the same family should be affected.The MS Society were one of the first ports of call for Susan to try understand and come to terms with her diagnosis. They produce some brilliant information booklets on how to manage the disease and practical advice for getting by on a daily basis.They also produce information for people like me explaining the disease in simple terms and giving a guide as to what to expect. All of MS Ireland’s services including counseling and information days were immediately made available to Susan.There are different types of MS as defined by the medical profession and Susan’s fell into the type known as relapse-remitting MS, basically meaning her symptoms can flare up from time to time before improving again.Her treatment was to take an injection of interferon every second day.The injections were to be taken alternately on her stomach and on her thighs. This was not easy. The medication came with side effects including bad temperatures the night of taking the injection. It could also leave nasty bruises on the point of the injection.Mentally this was a tough time and the hours before taking the injection were the worst. On top of everything else, it wasn’t easy for a young woman to look down and see bruises covering her legs.However, the treatment reduced the symptoms and the crutch was soon consigned to the attic. That summer Susan spent a lot of her time in Donegal and by extension a lot of her time with me. I was driving a rickety old Toyota Starlet at the time and we would go off to the cinema or the beach or wherever the road took us.Susan, in her more soppy moments, claims that that was the summer we fell in love.I had taken my Leaving Cert that June and depending on the results I was either going to Maynooth or Derry. Maynooth was the preferred choice, for purely academic reasons of course — nothing to do with being closer to Susan.The results came in and I was on my way to Maynooth. Not long after, the 25 August 2008 to be exact, we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend.That September Susan returned to school for her final year, determined to achieve the best Leaving Cert results she possibly could.Susan had missed so much of the previous year that her school, St Dominic’s College Cabra, allowed her to drop one subject completely and also helped her by putting on early morning classes and by appointing a scribe to Susan to help her take notes.Susan threw herself into the task of catching up on her school work and in the end scored an incredible 410 points on the Leaving Cert. This was Susan’s first big victory over her MS.The points tally earned Susan her first choice on the CAO and soon she was joining me in Maynooth to study Business and Accounting. The transition from secondary school to college was not the easiest. In the smaller confines of the secondary school, teachers and pupils alike were aware of the situation and stepped up to help Susan any way they could.But college is a different animal. Instead of moving within the same building between classes, you might have to cross campuses in the space of five minutes between lectures. The sheer number of students is much higher and the connection between teachers and students is much more distant than in secondary school.The course itself was a demanding one. The exams weren’t made any easier by the disease’s effects on concentration and memory. Again, Susan got support from the college through specialist note-takers who sat in on lectures and transcribed them for Susan. She also had scribes to help her during exams.The Access department in particular was of great help to Susan throughout her time in Maynooth and they helped arrange for Susan to complete her final year over the space of two years to lessen the workload.Despite all the obstacles Susan again was determined to get her degree and earn another victory over MS. In all aspects this is how Susan has reacted to her diagnosis. She is the most stubborn person I know and she absolutely refuses to let MS control her life no matter what the disease throws at her.The medication helped the symptoms but simple things we take for granted like handwriting and balance are still affected. Being quicker to fatigue is also a daily reality.Sometimes new effects would show up out of nowhere. In the summer of 2012 Susan began to complain that the left side of her face was going numb every so often. It would come on at random times and her hearing on that side would become muffled, almost like her ears needed to pop. Susan had met the doctors and they ran a couple of tests, but they said it was probably just another consequence of the MS.That same summer Susan and I were both in Donegal. Susan loves going for walks and that summer she set a goal of getting up to a 5km distance. So everyday we went out walking, gradually building up our distances.Sometimes by the end of a walk Susan needed to hold onto my arm for support as her legs would get tired. But as the days went by she was getting stronger and stronger and anytime she didn’t need to link my arm she would proudly boast that she didn’t even need me on the walk.Eventually Susan surpassed her goal and we walked 5.2km. Susan didn’t even need my help on that walk.When Susan went back to Dublin and back to the doctor they told her that she had relapsed and this was the reason behind the numb feeling on the side of the face.This meant she was no longer responding to her medication.She was told that they would have to review her options and assess which medication would be most suitable going forward. This was a big setback and a real time of uncertainty. The disease becomes very real in those moments. Obviously, you live with it every day but you get into a rhythm and let it interfere in your life as little as possible. When something like this happens it brings the realities of the illness back into sharp focus again.In those testing moments, something dawned on me. Susan had been walking all summer and had achieved her target of walking 5km despite being in the middle of a relapse.I don’t think I’ve ever felt as proud of someone as I did in that moment.In February 2013 Susan’s medications were switched. No longer would she have to take interferon injections every second day. Instead, she would take a Fingolimod tablet daily. There was a great deal of happiness that the injections were gone, but there was still uncertainty over whether the new medication would work.Thankfully it did and still does, but the whole experience was a stark reminder of the power of the disease.A couple of months later it was my turn to face medical issues. I woke up one morning with a slight pain in my stomach which became gradually worse throughout the day. I tried making myself sick to relieve it but still the pain got worse and by evening time it had become unbearable. A couple of painkillers dulled the pain somewhat but there was still a lot of discomfort on the right side of my stomach.It was, of course, my appendix and it was subsequently removed. While I recovered in Donegal, Susan was preparing for summer exams. She had completed one but before her second exam she came down with stomach pains. As she described the symptoms to me over the phone I couldn’t help but feel they were vaguely familiar.Five weeks after I had my appendix removed Susan underwent an operation to remove hers. This time it wasn’t the MS, instead I joked that it was down to love. If I couldn’t have an appendix then Susan wasn’t going to have one either.She missed four exams, meaning she would have to take them in the autumn and face a full summer of studying. It was a frustrating time but Susan knuckled down and put in the work. Thankfully, when the autumn re-sits came around there were no problems and Susan was able to complete all four.One week later she had a seizure.The seizure came out of nowhere and was the last thing anyone expected. Susan was taken by ambulance to Connolly Hospital and placed in an induced coma. It was a scary moment for all involved and undoubtedly the worst single moment throughout this journey.The fatigue that came from the stress of the exams mixed with the MS was too much for the mind and body and in turn this led to the seizure. The MS and the fatigue “were having a scrap” as Susan puts it.When Susan came to, she was understandably shaken up and again questions over the medication surfaced — questions about everything really.Along with all the other medications, an anti-epileptic was now added to the cocktail as a precaution. Thankfully, the doctors advised Susan to continue with the new MS medication which came as a great relief. After being discharged from hospital, it took a while for Susan’s appetite to come back and she was not allowed to drive for one year, a source of great frustration as Susan was building towards taking a driving test at the time.Once again, Susan had to find the strength to regroup and carry on. Like always, she did.Despite missing the start of her final year of college, Susan threw herself into her course work with a fiery determination to earn her degree. Both the winter and summer exams went off without a hitch this time.On the day the final results came out I was just about to step into work when I got the call from an ecstatic Susan telling me she had passed everything. Over the phone I could hear tears, laughter and just about every other emotion known to man.A few months later Susan officially graduated and collected her certificate in the conferring ceremony. It was one of the hardest earned degrees NUI Maynooth has ever given out.To Susan, that was much more than just a degree. That was an act of defiance, a show that no matter what the disease was going throw at her, no matter how many times it would push her down and try to stop her living her life, she would overcome. Throughout her time in Maynooth the disease knocked her back so many times and caused so many problems but she came out the other end stronger than she’d ever been and she earned every little bit of that degree.The problem is when you come out into the working world, people don’t get to see all those struggles. Hiring managers look at a CV and if they don’t see the first-class results they need they will pass onto the next applicant. The struggles and trials that actually went into achieving that degree are not taken into account.This was the next battle Susan had to face. She had overcome secondary school and college, the next step was employment. Looking to enter the workforce at a time of high unemployment didn’t help.There are a lot of dilemmas that come with having a disability like MS. Stepping into interviews there was the question of whether to declare the disability to potential employers at that stage. Would it be seen as a positive or a negative? The pro of course was demonstrating how much fight Susan had shown in earning her degree. The con was the potential for employers to discriminate based on her disability.We’d all love to say it doesn’t happen in this day and age but in reality there are plenty of employers who would rather avoid having a disabled person on their books, though of course they would never admit it.Susan is not the only one facing these problems. According to officials figures, less than 50% of people with MS in Ireland are in employment, while the EU average is almost at 70%.Susan, being Susan, found her way and is now employed in the public service, though those struggles are not forgotten.In August 2016 Susan moved out of her family home for the first time — a very brave move considering the comforts of the home and the familiarity. It was even braver considering she was moving out to move in with me. But again, she wasn’t going to let MS dictate what she could and couldn’t do.On Easter Saturday this year we went back to the beach where Susan had first allowed me to walk with her arm-in-arm and I asked her to be my wife. In doing so, I was also committing myself to a life with MS. There are three in this relationship but generally we ignore MS as much as possible and we don’t talk to it if we go out on a date. It’s just, kind of, there.And though there may be advances in treatments and medications in years to come, it will always be there. It will always be a big part of our story. Susan and I argue like any other couple, we have stupid fights. But the diagnosis of MS and subsequently living with it everyday has strengthened our bond and it forced both of us to grow up very quickly.The MS Society of Ireland has been a great resource throughout it all. As mentioned above, they produce brilliant booklets to help those diagnosed understand the disease as well as providing information for families and loved ones.When Susan goes to Beaumont Hospital for her twice-yearly check-in there is always a representative from the MS Society going around to all the patients in the waiting room seeing how they’re getting on and finding out if there’s anything they need help with.From dietary and wellness information to physio services, MS Ireland do everything they can to help those affected by the disease. But they are also constantly battling against the tide.Approximately 9,000 people in Ireland suffer from MS and they all need help and support. So do the people around them and when you add all of us in the actual number of people affected by MS is much higher.In order to help MS Ireland continue the trojan work they do I will be raising funds for their cause by running the Dublin Marathon. I want to help the people who have helped us so much and I am asking you to help me by donating to the cause through the website listed below.And if you can’t spare anything financially I ask you to share Susan’s story and help get the word out there. Any help is greatly appreciated.Susan is the strongest person I know.Of course, sometimes the disease and its effects get her down, sometimes it makes her angry, sometimes it can be a scary, scary thing. But after every setback Susan dusts herself down and gets back up.And she has never lost her razor-sharp sense of humour. She has never lost her smile. Most importantly, she has never lost her attitude. The attitude that tells MS where to go and allows her to keep living her life.That’s why I will be running the Dublin Marathon on 29 October for her and for everyone else affected by MS.Please donate through this link – Neil Glackin’s blog page here: neilglackin.wordpress.comYoung couple’s MS love story captures hearts was last modified: October 8th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Visitor ban continues as flu outbreak grips Letterkenny Hospital

first_imgLetterkenny University Hospital is again asking the public to stay away and prevent the spread of infection from the flu.The North West is dealing with a significant number of flu cases and LUH has implemented a visitor ban to minimise the chances of it being brought into the hospital.Visiting restrictions remain in place and the public is being reminded that they should not visit the hospital. Seán Murphy General Manager Letterkenny University Hospital said, “We are appealing to people to co-operate with the visiting restrictions so that we can protect the many very sick patients in the hospital.“In exceptional cases only, family members may arrange an appointment with the ward manager to visit critically ill patients. To arrange an appointment, please call the hospital on 074 9125888 and ask to be put through to the manager on the ward who will decide if an appointment to visit can be facilitated without compromising the welfare of the patients on the ward or the welfare of the visitors.“We understand that it is difficult for people not to visit family and friends particularly as the visiting restrictions have been in place for more than 2 weeks now. However, anyone carrying the flu virus can spread it for 1-2 days before developing symptoms and up to 5 days after symptoms develop. You may be spreading the flu and not even know it.“Our staff are working very hard to care for the many seriously ill patients in the hospital and we need to do everything we can to support them and protect our patients from additional risks of the flu virus. “We are appealing to people to co-operate with hospital staff. Visitors who arrive without prior agreement from the ward manager will be asked to leave. This is necessary to protect the many very sick patients in the hospital who are vulnerable to infection. It is critical that their care and treatment is not further complicated by the flu.”Visitor ban continues as flu outbreak grips Letterkenny Hospital was last modified: December 19th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more