Being sick and getting hurt

March 9, 2013

Hi! Welcome back to AS IT IS. I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.

Today we are talking about being sick and getting hurt. I know. That does not sound like a very happy subject. But all our stories today are about individuals who are doing better. They include people in India, who do not have to worry about the disease polio anymore. They also include American cowboys who have learned how to prevent injuries at a rodeo. But first, Jim Tedder tells you about some cancer survivors who are finding ways to deal with side effects of their treatment.

When Cathy Davelli started chemotherapy for breast cancer, she knew her body would change. But the cancer also changed her feelings about herself.

“I lost a piece of who I was. I would walk by the mirror and did not recognize myself.”

The Personal Care Products Council created a program called “Look Good, Feel Better” for cancer survivors like Cathy Davelli.

Free classes teach them how to use beauty products to deal with the problems caused by chemotherapy. The Personal Care Products Council says the beauty care industry donates seven to ten million dollars worth of products each year for the classes. But Cathy Davelli says looking better is not the only reason she took the classes.

“It’s been wonderful. Not only do you meet people, women, who are going through the same thing that you are going through and develop a camaraderie, but the tips that you learn are invaluable. They give you back some of what you’ve lost.”

Sometimes the program can help people who teach the classes, like make-up artist Jodie Hecker. “I lost my mother to cancer and I lost my aunt to cancer, within 9 months of each other. And one of my aunt’s best friends works here at the Vince Lombardi Center and told me that if I got involved here with my make-up skills, it would be a healing process for me. When I was cheering them up, it took all the emphasis off me.”

The Look Good Feel Better program has now helped more than 1.2 million women in 25 countries.

I’m Jim Tedder.

And we have good news, this time from the nation of India. The World Health Organization says the disease poliomyelitis, better known as polio, is no longer a threat there. In 2009, half of the world’s polio cases were in India. In 2011, only one new case was reported there. Karen Leggett tells how India has worked to stop the spread of the disease.

Polio is caused by a virus. It spreads very quickly from one person to another. Victims often lose the use of their arms and legs. In the most serious cases, polio can kill a person.

Twenty-five years ago, polio affected 200,000 children in India each year. The United Nations children’s organization, UNICEF, sent teams of health workers into local villages. Team members like Zareena Parveen told families in her neighborhood about the importance of giving liquid medicine to children to protect them against polio.

“They used to think that our children will become sterile and will not be able to have children when they grow up. They used to think like this before. But now they don’t.  Now they allow their kids to get the drop.”

Asma Khatun is a mother in the town of Ghaziabad in the northern state of Utter Pradesh.

“Whenever anyone comes, we get the children vaccinated. Even if nobody came to our house, we would send our children to get vaccinated.”

A local Muslim leader says the vaccination campaign has been successful because it is supported by religious leaders.

“The polio vaccination campaign has been successful here because our Muslim scholars are with us. With their support, we are able to make people understand that giving children the vaccine is beneficial and crucial.”

The Indian government has now launched a new campaign to vaccinate 170 million children under the age of five. The campaign will target newborn babies, migrants and people living in poor, crowded areas where the disease spreads more quickly.

I’m Karen Leggett .

Rodeo is considered one of the world’s most dangerous sports.

That is not surprising, since a rodeo involves people riding wild horses or bulls — adult male cows. The person who wins the prize money is usually the one who can stay on the animal the longest. But many riders fall off.

The risk of injury is one reason that safety is a top concern at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Texas. The preventative care includes taping arms, legs, and parts of the body that have been hurt before. Doctors say these measures, along with wearing protective equipment, have reduced serious injuries.

“Go on your back and I will stretch this out.”

Lesha Roberts says when cowboys do get hurt, she usually sees bruises and strained muscles, but not broken bones. However, this day, a bull rider named Sean Coleman may have a broken rib. He plans to compete for the prize money anyway.

“It’s going to hurt, I mean that’s obvious, but you just got to – they give $50,000 away, so you got to fight through that.”

Animals can also suffer injuries at a rodeo, but not very often. Rodeo Houston’s chief veterinarian, Gregg Knape, says rodeo animals are highly prized.

“These are very valuable animals. They are worth thousands of dollars. And we take care of those animals and the owners take good care of those animals.”

Some animal rights groups have criticized rodeos because they use animals for sport. But Dr. Knape says he thinks horses and bulls enjoy the competition.

“For eight seconds, they are going to do their best to get that rider off. And then after the end of that eight seconds, they are going to run back to the pen and they are going to go right back to eating hay.”

About 26,000 animals attended the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. When the show ends later this month, almost all of them will leave as healthy as when they arrived.

I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.

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