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Governor Quinn Statement on Abner Mikva Receiving Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katie Hickey   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 16:27

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today made the following statement regarding Abner Mikva, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama:

“There are few people in our nation’s history who have served the public for as many years and in as many ways as Abner Mikva.

“As a former state lawmaker, U.S. Representative, federal judge and key White House aide, he has always served the public with integrity, dedication and hard work.

“Through his historic career and his Mikva Challenge, which helps engage young people in politics, he has helped ensure that everyone has an opportunity to get involved in the political process, and our country is better for it.

“I join the people of Illinois in congratulating Abner Mikva on receiving our nation’s highest civilian honor.”

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Senator Harkin and Congressman McCaul to Present the Congressional Gold Medal to the Civil Air Patrol PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 15:50

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) will be joined by leaders of the U.S. House and Senate to present a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of members of the Civil Air Patrol whose valor and dedication saved countless lives during World War II.  Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.

Senator Harkin and Congressman McCaul introduced the legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Civil Air Patrol. The legislation passed the Senate in May 2013 and the House in May 2014. Their bipartisan bill received unanimous support and was signed by the President into law in May 2014.

“As the Commander of the Congressional Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, I am happy that the World War II members will receive this overdue recognition. Thousands of volunteers, many too young or too old to serve in the active military, took their own, often rudimentary, aircraft into the skies at great risk to themselves and successfully cleared the American coastline of enemy U-boats,” said Harkin. “Between that mission, search and rescue missions, and even towing targets for live fire target practice, CAP helped us win the war and saved countless lives. I can think of no more fitting award for these men and women than the Congressional Gold Medal, and I am honored to have introduced this legislation.”

“Decades after the end of WWII, it is long overdue and altogether fitting that Congress finally bestows this honor upon the WWII members of the Civil Air Patrol. The valiant efforts of these brave men and women who volunteered to defend our coastlines, provide essential combat support services, and fly dangerous humanitarian missions in America during World War II embodies the American Spirit of volunteerism. As the son of a WWII bombardier, this honor is especially significant,” said McCaul. “I had the opportunity to meet with Jayne Price, a 92 year old member of the Civil Air Patrol earlier this year. I was impressed by her tales of perilous flights and inspired by her love for her country. This Gold Medal has been well earned by all members of the Civil Air Patrol, and I thank them for their dedication and service to our country.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will take part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.

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How to Ski Through Life without Crashing PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 15:48
4 Lessons from the Slope from Sought-after Instructor & Keynote Speaker

If you’ve ever been told that you cannot do something, but you refuse to give up on your dream, you have something in common with Chalky White.

After repeatedly failing to achieve full ski instructor certification in the United Kingdom, then being repeatedly denied entry into another certification program, White eventually accomplished his goal of being a world-class ski instructor. He’s been inspiring confidence in skiers of all levels for more than three decades.

“Adversity is simply the flipside of success; I was told that I had the ‘wrong body shape’ for skiing and I experienced three consecutive failures at achieving the full British certification,” says Chalky, who flew across the world to New Zealand for training and certification there. Denied entry, his tenacity finally convinced the coach to take him on.

“The negativity I’d experienced in following my dreams only served to increase my determination. Also, I believe the difficulty I had helped me be far more empathetic as an instructor.”

Chalky is the author of Amazon’s bestselling “The 7 Secrets of Skiing.” The enormous response to the how-to book enabled him to craft a new program for business professionals and celebrities, called Ski the World with Chalky White, (www.the7secretsofskiing.com).

He discusses lessons in skiing, both for the slopes and in life.

•  Keep in mind the “calculated risk factor.” Of course, giving your all can be scary, because no matter how much you invest in time, effort and money, there’s no guarantee it will work. And, even for experienced skiers, standing at the top of a big, steep hill with the intention of throwing your body down it – albeit with the intention of control – can be nerve-racking.

“That’s where preparation and systematic training comes in,” Chalky says. “You’re not simply hurling yourself down the mountain; you’re taking a calculated risk, estimating that your training and ability to stay calm and focused will serve your purpose. The same goes with any risk you take in life.”

•  Always show up first. Whether you’re the most gifted person in your field of passion or, like Chalky, you have the “wrong body shape,” be so enthusiastic about learning and working, you’re always the first one on the slope. Never take your talent or your experience for granted. The always-show-up-first mentality keeps you humble, hungry and sharp.

“I was extremely fortunate to have a ski instructor trainer in Peter Curtis; after I’d finally achieved my dream of becoming a fully certified instructor, he said to me, ‘Congratulations, now go and learn to ski,’ ” Chalky says. “Initially taken aback at such a key juncture in my life and career, the simple command set me on the path that I still follow today. With each ski season, I try eking out that little bit of improvement that helps both me and my clients.”

•  Skiing is balancing on a moving platform. Simply put, skiing is balance. An efficiently poised skier who has found his or her balance can ski harder, better and longer through difficult twists and turns. That’s true for skiing and an excellent metaphor for attacking the slalom of life.

“The right balance of physical and mental preparation and determination can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go,” he says.

•  Never take “no” for an answer; be willing to alter your plan to achieve your goal. In order to fund his attempt to make his living as a fully certified instructor, Chalky needed money. At age 26, he left his position as a British policeman and took a job that no one wanted as an encyclopedia salesman in Germany.

“Nearly every step along the way, I wanted to quit -- from the tedious job selection process to knocking on my first German door on a cold, wet evening to continuing the position month after month,” he says. “But I did it, and I did it well, which taught me the rewards of persevering through the tough stuff. I didn’t say ‘no,’ and I’ve since lived the life I’ve wanted. Sometimes, in order to fulfill a dream, one must do things that are not part of the original plan.”

About Chalky White

For many years, Chalky White has been a professional ski instructor who is highly regarded for being able to help develop balance and confidence in beginners and new insights for intermediate and advanced skiers. Through his business, Seven Secrets International Ski Services LLC, he has taught students in the Alps, New Zealand and the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, where he remains a longtime member of the esteemed Vail and Beaver Creek Ski School. Since 2011, his book, “The 7 Secrets of Skiing,” (www.the7secretsofskiing.com), has been at or near the No.1 for ski books on Amazon. White is a sought-after inspirational/motivational speaker on his specialty subject and his keynote, “The Calculated Risk Factor – What a wonderful World - If you Don’t Quit!”

 
WHEN FAMILIES GRIEVE AT THE HOLIDAYS: SUPPORTING CHILDREN COPING WITH LOSS PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bonnie Carroll   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 12:09
Recognized Organization in Child Bereavement Offers Advice for Caregivers & Parents Helping Children

WASHINGTON – The holidays can be a magical time of year, but for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or another significant person in their lives, the holiday season can be tough. It also poses challenges for still-grieving family members and caregivers around them.

“The holiday season can be particularly difficult for families, because children carry their own expectations about the holidays, as well as their own grief over the death,” said Bonnie Carroll, military widow and founder of the nonprofit organization Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). “The holidays can be full of bittersweet moments. They can also be an opportunity to honor and remember the person who died and the legacy that special person left for a child.”

Since its founding in 1994 by bereaved military families, TAPS has offered comfort and care to more than 50,000 people grieving the death of someone who served in the military and their caregivers, and is a recognized expert in child bereavement. TAPS Good Grief Camps are attended by thousands of children and teens annually. TAPS offers the following tips to help families supporting a bereaved child over the holidays:

Talk with your child about the holiday season. Anticipating the holiday, especially if it’s the first holiday without a family member, can be worse than the actual holiday. Talk with your child about their feelings and expectations for the holiday season. Discuss the activities your child would like to participate in or attend.

Even if your child does not talk frequently about the death, do not expect for your child to be “over it.” Children grieve on their own time frame and differently from adults. Significant milestones, such as the first holiday after the loss, may cause the child’s feelings about the loss to re-surface, even if the child has not talked about the death for a while.

Make holiday plans that help your child feel nurtured, emotionally safe, and comfortable. Review your plans for the holidays with your child. Spend the holidays where you and your child feel supported, nurtured and comfortable.

Encourage your child to attend holiday functions. Consider attending holiday parties and activities, especially if you and your child will be able to spend time with supportive family members and friends. Make an escape plan in case the event is more than you or your child can handle and trust your hosts to understand if you need to slip out.

Laughter, play and joy are good for your child. Children do not grieve continuously and they need to take breaks from grieving. Encourage your child to play, run and do recreational activities he or she would normally do. Clowning around and laughing (which releases endorphins into the brain) are healthy and normal for children.

Be observant about your child’s emotions. Realize that familiar traditions, sights, smells and tastes, may be comforting, or may jolt emotions. Watch how your child responds to events and be ready to be supportive and comfort your child.

Comfort items that remind the child of the loved one who died may help. Allowing your child to sleep in a favorite shirt that belonged to the person who died may offer comfort. Letting your child carry a special item that reminds him or her of the person who died may help the child feel connected. Placing a photograph of the child with the person who died or from a holiday celebration in a special place, may help.

Pay attention to your child’s health. It’s often difficult for adults and children alike who have experienced a recent death to sleep. Make sure your child gets regular rest, eats well and drink lots of water. Holiday treats are ok, but in moderation. Bed wetting, acting out and nightmares may be signs of struggling. Talk with your medical care provider if you become concerned about your child’s health.

Do not pretend your family has not experienced a loss. Let your child know that you also miss the person who died. Tell your child that you don’t like that things cannot be exactly like they were before the person died, and that you love your child. Children may need to hear this in order to feel it is permissible to discuss their own feelings.

Find sustenance for the soul. Your church, synagogue, mosque, or another faith community may offer services, resources and support networks to help you and your child through the holiday season.

Talk with your child about holiday traditions and how they will be observed this year. Some children insist that holiday customs remain exactly the same each year. Discuss with your child why he or she wants to hold onto a particular tradition or custom. Do not feel that you must do something because you have always done it that way, but consider your child’s feelings when making a change. Talk with your child about any changes before they occur.

Stick to daily routines when possible. The holidays tend to cause a lot of upheaval in schedules and routines. The friends your child plays with may go out of town. The daily schedule your child is accustomed to may change when schools close for the holidays. Try to keep your child on a regular bedtime routine and talk with your child about any changes.

Allow your child to remember a lost loved one through a tribute. Light a candle together at dinner time to remember the person who died. Hang an ornament on the tree that reminds the child of the loved one who died. Help your child offer a blessing at a holiday meal that honors the person who died. Create a picture or collage with your child, display a favorite photograph in your home, or let your child help you set a place at the dinner table to represent the loved one who died.

Help your child write a letter to the person who died that honors the legacy that person gave the child. Help your child write a letter to the person they love who died thanking him or her for the gifts the person gave to the child, the special things they would do together and expressing how the child feels about the person. Some children may want to mail their letter to the person, take the letter to the cemetery or “send it to heaven” on a helium-filled balloon.

Honor the lost loved one through a gift. Encourage your child to draw pictures or create gifts for others that are inspired by the memories of the person who died. Help your child make a donation to a charity or cause the loved one cared about. Consider volunteering as a family at the charity.

Use family connections to help your child. Connections with other family members can help your child feel comforted, loved and safe. These family connections can also help you as a parent or caregiver cope with the holidays. Encourage your child to build ties with other family members, but you may need to remain nearby to reassure your child with your presence.

For more tips on dealing with grief during the holidays, go to the TAPS website at www.taps.org and look for our holiday survival guide.

About TAPS
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 50,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).

 
Why are the Holidays Hazardous to Our Health? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 08:56
Physician Shares Tips for Giving Your Body What It Needs
to Fight Illness

It’s a sad statistical fact: The holidays, from Christmas to New Year’s, are a treacherous time when it comes to our health.

“There’s a spike in heart attacks and other cardiac issues,” says Dr. John Young, a physician specializing in the treatment of chronic illnesses through biochemical, physiological and nutraceutical technologies, and the author of “Beyond Treatment: Discover how to build a cellular foundation to achieve optimal health,” www.YoungHealth.com.

“The incidence of pneumonia cases spikes – in both cold and warm climates. And deaths from natural causes spike. In fact, more people die of natural causes on Christmas Day than any other day of the year!”

While those numbers are well-documented, the cause(s) are not.

“Stress plays a role, particularly if your immune system is weakened,” Dr. Young says. “If you look at how most of us eat from Halloween through New Year’s, it’s easy to see how the immune system takes a beating and otherwise healthy people become more susceptible to illness during the holidays.”

It’s basic biochemistry, he says.

“We eat a lot more refined sugar, for instance, which is a carbohydrate that’s been stripped of all the vitamins, minerals and proteins that make up a complete carbohydrate,” he says. “Our bodies can’t use that, so the cells in our digestive organs work overtime, burning up a lot of energy, vitamins and minerals to digest it, and they get nothing back. So, eventually, they grow weak.”

So – can we have a little sugar, and good health, too? Dr. Young says we can.

“The occasional slice of pumpkin pie is fine as long as you’re also feeding your cells with the nutrients they need – the minerals, vitamins, good quality protein, amino acids, essential fatty acids – to stay healthy.”
He offers these tips for staying healthy through the holidays and throughout the year.

•  Get your vitamin D!
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin, and one of our best sources for it is sunshine. Unfortunately, many people work indoors all day, so they get little sun exposure. When they do go outside, they wear long sleeves and sunblock to protect against skin cancer. And, of course, in the wintertime, people in cold climes tend to stay inside. As a result, many of us are vitamin D deficient, and should be taking supplements.

“Vitamin D is crucial to many physiological systems, including our immune defenses,” Dr. Young says. “It helps fight bacterial and viral infections, including the flu. It supports our cardiovascular system; optimal vitamin D levels can reduce hypertension, heart attacks and stroke.

“If I feel I’m coming down with a cold, I’ll take 40,000 units of vitamin D at bedtime,” he says. “The next morning, I usually feel like a new person.”

•  Eat your protein – 1 gram for every 2.2 pounds of body weight daily.
In this country, we think a healthy diet means eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. We’ve forgotten protein, Dr. Young says.

“Our immune system is made up of proteins – our bones are 40 percent protein,” he says. “We need protein.”

When calculating your protein intake, consider: an egg has about 8 grams, and 8 ounces of fish, chicken, beef or pork have about 30 grams.

Dr. Young does not give any of his patients more than 100 grams of protein a day.

•  Get a good night’s sleep, exercise, and manage your stress.
Yup, some doctors’ orders never change. Rest, exercise and finding effective, healthy ways to cope with stress are simple ways to pamper your cells.

“One of the many cellular benefits of exercise is that it increases the oxygen in our bloodstream. Every cell in our body requires oxygen, so consider exercise another means of feeding your cells.”

It’s also important to manage stress during the holidays. With unchecked stress, our body releases large amounts of cortisol which, among other things, suppresses the immune system.

“Take time out to meditate, listen to music, or take a walk in the woods,” Dr. Young says. “It feels good – and it’s good for you!”

About John Young, M.D.

Dr. John Young, (www.YoungHealth.com), is a medical doctor with more than 15 years’ experience working in emergency rooms and pediatric burn units. He’s the medical director of Young Foundational Health Center, specializing in treating patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes by addressing the physiological issues and not just the symptoms. He's also medical director of Young Health Products, which incorporate the latest biochemical, physiological and Nobel Prize-winning protocols for optimal cellular nutrition. Dr. Young is the author of “Beyond Treatment.” He takes questions via a call-in conference call every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. Call (760) 569-7676, access code 772967.

 
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