Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

“If we want a world that works for the many, not the few, we need to tackle inequality.” Ben Phillips, Campaigns, Policy and Influencing Dir,(GB) Oxfam International

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

What is Blog Action Day? Today is Blog Action Day and the focus is on the topic of Inequality. You may participate and use the following tags for this year: #BAD2014 #Blogaction14, #Inequality, #Oct16  In case you are wondering what this is about, Blog Action Day was founded in 2007 by a group of passionate bloggers who felt that, as a collective voice, we can raise awareness about issues that affect us all. It is a day that brings together bloggers from around the world to write about one key global topic on the same day. Each year, we focus on one pressing concern; this year we are writing about Inequality. In the past, we wrote about Water, Climate Change, Poverty, Food, Power of We and Human Rights. Since 2007, over 25,000 blogs have participated in this blogging challenge. It is never too late to join the effort to address issues that affect us all. Go here to register and if you can’t write a post this year, aim to write one next year

“Inequality can be overcome if we work together to combat discrimination of marginalized and minority groups.” Karen Johnson, the Global Campaign Coordinator, International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality


TheRulesOrg: Global Wealth Inequality – What you never knew you never knew.

Why use Inequality instead of Global Inequality? As much as I wanted to call specific attention to this universal problem by using the term global inequality with my post title, I didn’t. Why? Because, sadly, when some hear the term global, they think “not in my country, it’s happening elsewhere.” By including the generic term – Inequality  – to my post, my wish is that we see that word as a problem that has enormous ramifications for all of us. Inequality is local, national and global. It is here and everywhere.  It is a humanity issue. While examples of inequality are glaring in so-called 3rd world countries, frankly, it remains a systemic problem in the USA, in Europe, and everywhere else.

What does inequality look like? Do you have adequate healthcare, full access to a quality education, a safe place to live, decent clothing, dental care, healthy food to eat, clean water, a decent paying job, retirement savings on earned income, basic freedoms and rights? What about your neighbors?  And the marginalized minority? And the family across the train tracks? What systems are in place to combat or to perpetuate poverty and other forms of inequity in your society? How do you contribute to the problem? How do you suffer because of this problem?  What are you/we doing to help? How are we contributing to the disenfranchisement and unequal treatment of others? Pause for a moment and ask yourself these questions. How do they make you feel?

“Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations, and equality of opportunity will be just a dream.”  Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

Why is there inequality in the world? Can we end it?
When we think of inequality, what comes to mind is the control and division of resources by big business/the powerful elite, and the impact on all of us running this rat race we call life.  It is heartbreaking to think that there are kids going to bed hungry in an unsafe environment in almost every country on this planet.  It is frightening that the World Bank identified 111 of the top 175 economic entities in the world as corporations; these corporations wield great power over democratic institutions, and their influence affects us and our environment. It is disturbing that the richest 300 people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion. YES, even in your country.  It is equally disturbing that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund step aside after funding corporations that grab land and resources from developing nations. These multinational corps force indigenous people from their homes and locals from their land by what is known as accumulation by dispossession.  We live in a world of international inequalities and the atrocities go on and on…

Why such inequality? Here are some facts: Over the years, the Wealth Gap has grown from a ratio of 3:1 to 35:1 and is now at 80:1.  Large Corporations hide behind tax breaks, unfair trade agreements and control of resources that take $900 Billion dollars out of poor nations yearly.  The feminization of poverty means larger numbers of females, uneducated and underemployed, fall below the poverty line. Greed, waste, corporate corruption, secret arrangements, marginalization of minority groups, disenfranchisement of communities of people, and other types of discriminatory practices help keep the poor down and most of us struggling.  Social and Financial exclusion,  creation of  a cycle of poverty, Economic inequality, Income disparity, harsh structural adjustment programs, illiteracy, hunger, disease, corrupt governments and inept policies all contribute to maintain and control a poor underclass and a struggling middle class.

Can we end it?  Yes, we can end it by being mindful of our actions and how we use our natural resources. We can end it by choosing to be informed about how we can make a difference instead of burying our heads in the sand.  We can end it by speaking up and demanding fair and compassionate policies from our governments. We can speak up and put an end to the $9 billion dollar PR propaganda machines that shirk all decency rules by offering “cultural change” services to corrupt governments to keep them in power and keep their citizens impoverished. Ignorance is not bliss! It will take time. According to a blog post by Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International, Executive Director, there are international agreements responding to “the need to take action against rising and damaging economic inequality” and that is an important shift. To learn more about this subject and the courageous non-profits that work hard to make sure we don’t ever forget the plight of the poor, read more below. There are interviews and insights gathered from organizations that support the eradication of extreme poverty and inequality globally.  This is a global human issue. Where do you stand on the subject?

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ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

This post is brought to you by ViaCord and BlogHer.

“Working together to explore new uses for cord blood and cord tissue” ViaCord & Research Collaborations.

ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

“This post is sponsored by ViaCord and BlogHer”

Are you familiar with the term Cord Blood Banking? What about ViaCord?

Recently, I attended a presentation on Cord blood stem cells research arranged by ViaCord. It was probably one of the most enlightening sessions I’ve attended to date. Even though I had a cursory knowledge of cord blood research, when I was pregnant with my twins, it was not a topic on my radar. So my answer would be “No!”, I was not familiar with both names. Did your ObGyn initiate a conversation about it when you were pregnant? Like many other moms, when I was pregnant, back in the early 1990s, I wasn’t aware of it and don’t recall it coming up in doctor visits with my ObGyn.

Granted, Cord Blood Banking was in its formative years and not every doctor knew enough to recommend it. I wish I knew then as I would have happily participated in it. The good thing about learning now is that I can inform other members of my large family, and even my own kids, so babies born within the family would benefit from this scientific breakthrough. By now, I bet you’d love to know more. Below are basic questions/answers to help you learn about it and make an informed decision when the time comes to have your baby.

What is Cord Blood?
As stated in ViaCord’s informational brochure, “Cord blood is the blood that remains in a newborn’s umbilical cord after birth, and the stem cells it contains have been used to help replace damaged blood cells with healthy ones, with the potential to strengthen the immune system.” So before your baby is born, you can discuss your options with your ObGyn, and give permission to collect this precious substance for your baby.

Who is ViaCord and what role do they play in disseminating information on Cord blood banking?
ViaCord is a well established and highly regarded private family cord blood bank that has, for over 20 years, provided families with high quality stem cell and tissue preservation service. As part of the PerkinElmer global company, which focuses on improving human and environmental health, ViaCord provides exceptional service and care to their patients, families, and their physicians. They collaborate with hospitals around the country, are dedicated to advancing studies on cord blood stem cells, and have the highest published treatment success rates out of any cord blood banking company. When you sign up with them you know you are in good hands.

“If one person reads our story and it gives them hope — if we inspire one person to hang on, then we’ve done something special.” The Byrd Family

ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

Why do families choose to bank?
With over 30,000 cord blood cell transplants/treatments worldwide to date4, cord blood stem cells have been used in the treatment of nearly 80 diseases2 and remain the fastest growing source of stem cells in pediatric transplants; its use for the treatment of a growing range of diseases has doubled since 2007 and continues to grow. The research potential is also growing. Research shows that “both cord blood and cord tissue are great sources of stem cells, which have the ability to heal damaged cells, tissues, organs, blood and the immune system.”

Why should you choose to preserve your baby’s cord blood?
It makes sense that if you have your newborn baby’s cord blood banked, and you/your baby has a marker for any of the 80 diseases treated by it, down the road if your child develops any symptoms, that banked cord blood would be a life saver. To date, the potential for successful treatment for pediatric diseases from using the cord blood stem cells has grown. So your decision to preserve your child’s cord blood can one day save his/her life.


How Cord Blood Stem Cells Are Collected | ViaCord

ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

ViaCord: Important Facts To Know About Cord Blood Banking

How are Cord Blood Stem Cells collected?
Above is a video with Kate Falcon walking you through the steps on how it is collected. Some key points: the cord blood and cord tissue stem cells are collected at the time of your baby’s birth by your ObGyn or attending nurse and carefully packed, shipped and stored at a ViaCord facility. Your family has full access to the stem cells at anytime they need it for treatment, and the stored cells don’t expire. ViaCord has a special process they use that ensures your baby’s cord blood is not contaminated or misplaced.

What is the ViaCord Process?
At ViaCord, they take great pride in collecting, storing and caring for your baby’s stem cell. They provide a kit with an FDA approved bag to collect cord blood stem cells, then they pack it carefully and transport it, within 48 hours, to their laboratory in Hebron, KY. They use testing methods that are proven to be accurate and reliable to collect the stem cells; extracting stem cells from cord tissue before freezing. Their method saves 8 times the stem cells. Using a sophisticated freezer system, they have found their collections to be healthy even 25 years later. Whenever you are ready to use the stem cells, ViaCord is ready to move quickly to deliver it where needed.

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Haiku: Will 25/7 Give Us More Time?

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” Nelson Mandela

Haiku:  Will 25/7 Give Us More Time?

Haiku: Will 25/7 Give Us More Time?

We gained an hour
Twenty-Five Seven won’t do…
Why, you ask? Time flies!

Icarus found out
Our time is ephemeral…
Heaven holds the truth

First I imagined how great it could be. Then I realized what a time suck it might become. If I manage my current time well, I have nothing to worry about. If I don’t then the extra hour wont help me much… Pity really but that’s a fact. We say we need it, and then we abuse it.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” Albert Einstein

Haiku:  Will 25/7 Give Us More Time?

Haiku: Will 25/7 Give Us More Time?

We danced in the street
As If 25/7
Will save us some time…

We took a long ride
And lay waste that extra time.
An hour here, there…

Giving us extra time won’t make much of a difference. Those who manage it well, won’t notice. Those who waste time, will procrastinate. We’ve barely mastered 24/7 so 25/7 won’t make a difference. I say ditch it and let’s figure out how to make the best of the time we already have…. 24/7 all the way.

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