Therapy For Chronically Ill Children

Hello, I’m Ona Brown.I’m a freshmen at Science Leadership Academy.In my English 1 Class we were asked to chose a topic that we were concerned about and write about it .The topic I chose was therapy for chronically ill children. After my research I found that music and smiling are very therapeutic. I know I can’t cure the illnesses they have, but lifting their spirits and getting their minds off of their situations can help.


Smiling is a form of therapy.It takes more muscles to frown than to smile.When you smile your brain excites the left anterior of it then triggers two muscles in your face to rouse.The zygomatic major which is in your cheek tug your lips upward and the orbicularis oculi which encircle the eye socket squeezes the corners of your lips.When you smile a chemical called edorphins is released into your brain, that makes you happy. I’m interested in this topic, because I love to make people laugh and smile.Especially those that are going through such life altering things. To be able to help them take their mind off of their problems makes me feel wonderful. I think is amazing that people can go through the most horrible things, but still manage to be happy and thankful for everything at the end of the day.It inspires me to go on and endure any problem I’m faced with.

(This is a sick cancer patient that is playing the drum as a form of Music therapy.)

This issue is so important, because children are going through these life threatening illnesses and some of them need hope to stay strong. Musical activities and reading are therapeutic.Music helps your memory and it changes your mood, which would really help the patients.The connection between the human brain and music is very strong.When you listen to music our ears convert the sound waves into “ear movement” by moving certain parts of your ear the movement is turned into electrical signals that go through the eighth cranial nerve then  into the brain.They travel all over the brain this affects your emotion.

(Here is a picture of the inside of our brain and how music has an affect on it.)

A great deal of patients use music to find peace. Even though their physical bodies are not able to do certain things their minds are still able to soar.Their physical limitations do not limit their imagination and their minds. Playing musical instruments help enhance your hand and eye coordination. All these activities are helpful to the patient in its own way.

Zach Sobiech was a 18 year old teen. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma an unusual bone cancer. He used music as an outlet. He found peace with his guitar.He enjoyed writing songs.Music kept him strong through the all the treatments.He wrote and performed songs.It gave him a sense of courage and hope.He never gave up and still kept a smile on his face. Zach said, “I wanted to be remembered as a kid that went down fighting, and really didn't lose”. We should all have the same attitude as Zach in life.

Music and being happy can have a great impact on chronically ill patients. They are forms of therapy and help the brain while actually helping pass  time in the hospital.They encourage and give hope when you think its all gone. Chronically ill patients will always inspire me. From here I would like to look into organizations that go to hospitals and perform for the patients and entertain them. I would really enjoy making some of the children smile.

Click Here for the Annotated Bibliography

YATW #1: People aren't ready for a major storm. Here's why.

Hurricane Sandy caused more than 4.6 billion dollars in damage. That’s 217 thousand years of work for somebody making minimum wage and working 8-hour days and weekends. That’s just what FEMA paid out in insurance money and aid to states. That doesn't count the losses in property, medical bills, and productivity from states Vermont to North Carolina having declared states of emergency. All in all, Sandy was one of the three most expensive hurricanes in recorded US history, said CNBC.

It’s okay if hurricanes aren’t exactly on your mind right now.What you might not realize is that Sandy had its 1-year anniversary in late October. And yet, a quick google search yields results mostly for the similarly-named Sandy Hook shooting at time of writing. Why is this so? My personal guess is that while gun control will always be a hot-button issue, no hurricanes have nailed the mid-atlantic in the past year. Despite this, the risk of further hurricanes will only grow as the sea level rises, which poses a hazard for people living from the Caribbean to Cape Cod.

Although there is a storm survival kit available on NOAA subsidiary, I had not heard of it despite the fact that I’ve been riding out storms in Sea Isle since I was very young. While I can only assume that some people were prompted to collect the things on the list by Sandy’s arrival, many probably did not go through the hassle of collecting all of the items. It also doesn’t help that I had to follow three links in order to get to the list. One must want to know how many people could jump through those hoops to get the list, and how many of those who did actually obtained the contents of the list.

It’s a simple chain. News outlets don’t report on the hurricanes after they’ve happened. People forget about the disasters, and stop being prepared. Then, the next hurricane comes and people have only a few days to prepare. With so few people and properties ready, the hurricane arrives and causes millions of dollars in damage. An amazing fact you may not realize is that 2013 was the first year this decade in which a major hurricane did not hit the mid-atlantic region.

Hurricanes can and have caused billions of dollars in damage all over the Eastern Seaboard. This even though the media don’t report on the phenomenon of extreme storms outside of directly when they’re happening. This, combined with the hassle of getting the recommended items, can cause people to not be ready for the storms. This contributes to the damage storms deal, which makes the media hype up storms more, making them not good stories for later. That is why people aren’t ready for the storms, and why that is a bad thing.


YATW Blog Post #1 - Literacy In Philadelphia

Hi, my name is Adlynn Gonzalez, I am currently a student at Science Leadership Academy, and this is my You and The World blog. In our English class we are required to choose a topic that we care about and write 3 blogs about it. My topic is Literacy in Philadelphia. This is important to me because I grew up loving to read, thanks to my mother and my grade school (they were big advocates of reading). My earliest memory of reading was when I was in kindergarten, and I read Are You My Mother by Dr. Seuss to my classmates. In the grades 5th-8th, I was part of Reading Olympics; which is a city wide reading competition. So you could basically say that reading has been important to me all my life.

People who read passionately usually tend to have higher GPA’s, are usually smarter, and have more general knowledge than those who don’t. It also improves writing skills and increases vocabulary ( Knowing how to read is also important when you’re applying for a job, or when you have an interview for college.

According to the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership Eagles Book Mobile, which is an organization made by the Philadelphia Eagles to promote reading in schools:

  • 25% of Americans cannot read a book to their child.

  • Approximately 45% of children in Philadelphia's public schools are not reading at grade level by 4th grade.

  • If students cannot read well by the end of 3rd grade, chances for future school success greatly diminish. Illiteracy increases delinquent behavior and school dropout rates.

Overall that means about 79,250,000 Americans are unable to read to their children. It also means that about half of Philadelphia’s public schools’ children aren’t up to par when it comes to reading. These statistics are just simply appalling and not something Philadelphians and Americans should be proud of.

So what is the issue at hand? Is it just general laziness on the children’s behalf? Are parents lazy and just don’t want to read to their kids? Do teachers simply not care enough to enforce how important reading is? Are kids unmotivated to read? Answers are that children are both unmotivated and lazy. They say it’s “boring”, “not fun”, “too hard”, and “ not important”. Parents say “ they don’t have time”. Teachers say they teach but do we really know what’s going on in those childrens’ classes?

If we want the future generations of Philadelphia to not only get their reading scores back up to what they should be, but to love reading again then we have to do something about it. We need to know why children are getting disinterested in reading,when they are getting disinterested, and how to get them interested in it again.  All I want is for the children of Philadelphia to love to read again and to show them how important reading is. Stay tuned for my next blog to see ways that we can help Philadelphia’s children with reading.

Here are some websites:

The Importance Of Reading Aloud

Why Children Don’t Read

My Annotated Bibliography

What is Leukemia? -YATW Blog post #1

Hello, my name is Talya Laver and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy. In our English class we are working on a project entitled You and The World. This project gets us to think about an issue that is meaningful to us and what we could do to fix it. The issue that I chose was Leukemia. Leukemia, as well as Lymphoma, Myeloma and Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), are all blood cancers. I have chosen this topic because my aunt recently passed away after a three year battle with Leukemia. She was one of my inspirations and I was very struck by the way she faced her disease; with constant determination and positivity. I hope to educate people about what blood cancers actually are and help to raise money to find a cure.

Blood cancers are caused by changes in the DNA of one stem cell. That cell then multiplies and accumulates, interfering with the productiveness of the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. When your white blood cells are affected, you can no longer fight infection as well. These mutated cells affect bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system. Leukemia, specifically, is caused by a change of the DNA in a white blood cell.

There are two categories in which a specific type of Leukemia can be sorted into; Acute Leukemia and Chronic Leukemia. Acute Leukemia progresses very quickly and is more common. Chronic Leukemia worsens slowly over time. Within    those two categories there are two different types of Leukemia. The two types of Acute Leukemia are Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia starts in the white blood cells and affects the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes flow in the bloodstream to help fight infection. When they do not mature properly, they can no longer fight infection. Acute Myeloid Leukemia can start in many types of developing blood cells. It affects myeloid stem cells, which later mature into red blood cells, platelets or myeloblasts. Myeloblasts later turn into white blood cells. Acute Myeloid Leukemia prohibits the myeloid cells from maturing the way they should and myeloblasts do not go on to become white blood cells which help fight infection; leaving the carrier susceptible and unable to defend themselves. The two types of chronic leukemia are Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is very similar to Acute Myeloid Leukemia with the exception that the disease progress more slowly because in the beginning some of the blood cells mature and work properly. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia is identified by the presence of too many abnormal lymphocytes found in the bloodstream. These abnormal cells crowd around the healthy cells prohibiting the production of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. All four of these types of leukemia will result in death if the proper treatment is not received. 


                                   This diagram shows the the breakdown of the different types of  

           Leukemia diagnosed in 2013 in both adults and children.

The best course of treatment for Leukemia depends upon many things: the type of Leukemia, the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed, the patients age, and the patients general health. The goal of the treatment is to target the Leukemia cells and kill them, allowing healthy cells to grow in their place. A patient is considered “in remission” when there are no longer any signs of Leukemia cells. Normally the first plan of attack for patients with Acute Leukemia is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy attacks the Leukemia with the use of drugs, which are normally received in stages. In the event that the cancer had spread to the brain or spinal cord, intrathecal chemotherapy attacks the cells in these areas by injecting the drugs directly into the spinal canal. Radiation can also be used to treat acute leukemia. Radiation therapy targets the cancer cells with large amounts of radiation, and can also be used to target Leukemia cells in the spinal cord or brain.  For people that have high-risk Leukemia, doctors may suggest a stem cell transplant. Stem cell transplants destroy all of the cells in the bone marrow, both good and bad, and replaces them with new, healthy cells. Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia may choose not to pursue treatment right away because the cancer progresses much slower. When the patient decides to pursue treatment, there are a few different ways to target the cancer and the course of action is decided upon by the patients doctor. Radiation therapy can be used to destroy cancer cells or to shrink swollen lymph nodes or spleen. Chemotherapy can also be pursued should that course of treatment best attack the cancer cells in a patient. The cancer cells can also be targeted with a monoclonal antibody to destroy or stop the growth of the cancer cells. Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia should receive treatment right away because the gene can develop more mutations that make the cancer more resistant to treatment. The first course of treatment is targeted with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, a drug to help fight the cancer. More treatment options can include chemotherapy and biological therapy. Biological therapy includes medicines given to a patient to help improve their body’s natural defences against the cancer. To learn more about treatment options, please read this overview of Leukemia treatment options.  

Many organizations have been dedicated to helping Leukemia patients and trying to find a cure for Leukemia. One of these organizations is The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Their goal is to both find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma as well as improve the quality of life for patients and their families. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also publishes a lot of information about Leukemia and Lymphoma if you are interested in learning more about either type of cancer. The National Children’s Leukemia Foundation’s main goal is to find a cure for Leukemia that can help everyone regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, with a focus on children. The Moffitt Center, located in Florida, treats cancer patients as well as researches to find cures for different types of cancers. The chart located below shows their success rate as well as the national success rates for patients with all four types of Leukemia. All of these organizations, as well as many others, accept donations to help find a cure.


To view the works cited, click here.

Effects of Adoption 1 Blog

My name is Tuyet, or Tea. I am writing this blog for my English class. I go to a school called Science Leadership Academy. My assignment is to write a blog about a topic I want to find out more about or something I am passion it about. I will also do outside project about this topic. Its called You In the World. My topic is The Effects of Adoption. Adoption is something that I wanted to talk about because I was adopted from Vietnam and I had a hard time with being adopted.

"Adoption" For some that would means hope. Others that means a life. There are many children and young teens that are without a home and are in adoption programs across the world. This topic hits home for me because I was adopted. I know for me adoption made me feel different. So I wanted to find out how adoption has effected others. Adoption opens a lot of doors for children and teens but adoption can also close doors. Everyone has a story to tell and this blog is to show how adoption can change someone for life.

We are different from others. Most cases children don't get to chose who they live with. Sometimes there are families that take adopted kids in and treat them different from their own blood. There is a question I want to answer before I really get in to adopting and the effects. This question is What's the difference between foster care and adoption. Foster care and adoption are two different things but have a common line between them. There are kids involved in adoption we are given away by our parents where as foster care is where kids are given to a family for a period of time then are given back to their parents. There are some cases where a child would be given to the state and put in foster care and then be put up for adoption because their parents have some reason on why they wouldn't be able to take them out of foster care.

I know what adoption can do to some. This site explains why We sometime don't understand why we are not with our family that were supposed to rise us. I know I am not the only one who has gone through this. When children are adopted they get a roof over their heads and a family that wants to care for them for life. Children know where the have been and understand that they are not blood bond to the people they are with. They also know that even though they are not blood bond to these people they understand that they are loved. Children that are adopted mature very quickly. My best friend in sixth grade went through a really hard time with his family because he felt out of place. He always acted older then his age he wanted a wall between him and his family. Now I can't say I been through the same but there was a point I felt I wasn't wanted. But as I grow I have learned that no matter what petty problems my family loves me and I love them.


I wanted to share my story about the way I handled being adopted. But their are a lot of children who also have stories. So here is their stories and tide bites about what being adopted is like. There has been a long history of adoption in the world. Adoption was not always about building a family or growing a family. In the past kids used to be adopted to become slaves. I found an article abut adoption and it history. History of adoption I believe we can learn a lot on how modern as well as the past had adoption. 

atoned bibliography

This picture is from an event from an adoption charity called Paul's Kids. 

This charity connected me to my family.

You and the World: Philly's Dirty Streets

Hi, my name is Colin Pierce and I’m a freshman at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. For English this quarter, we have been assigned to research and write a blog about how to combat a recent problem in our society. I decided to address the large amounts of litter in our streets because it seems to have gone out of control in the past few years. It’s degrading to our city and harmful to our ecosystem.

According to this CBS Philly article, Philadelphia was ranked as the “second dirtiest city in the U.S., according to a recently released survey by Travel and Leisure magazine”, and this isn’t just a baseless claim. If you take a walk in South Philly, you can see trash everywhere like it’s on display! You see it in the gutters, in plants, window boxes, in storm drains, and even on people’s porches! It’s not just that it’s making our city look ugly, either. Litter is also making its way into the Schuylkill River and interfering with marine life, which is shown below.

This photo, showing trash in the Schuylkill River, was This diagram from The Living Ocean shows

       taken in 2005.     how exactly trash affects marine life.

This trash won’t just disappear. If we keep going on like this without making some sort of effort to fix these mistakes, then we can say goodbye to clean drinking water, goodbye to all of our resources, and hello to the rodents and bugs that are attracted to what we leave out. If we continue on this path, then soon we’ll end up having to wear gas masks to work and having smog days instead of snow days, like in China. It seems so easy to not litter, too! There’s trash and recycle bins at almost every corner, and even weekly trash pickup, so why aren't people taking advantage? Is there anything we could do to encourage people to be cleaner? If you have any ideas, leave a comment or go to the Philadelphia Streets website here for more information.

For a complete list of resources, check out my annotated bibliography.

YATW Blog#1: Music

Makhi Richburg


In middle school, I took part in an extracurricular program called Play On Philly, or POP. POP started in 2011. It was a music program that was fairly socially intuitive. In fact, I made many friends from different grades there and between my colleagues and I, there was a family bond between us. Students that were in POP had to go 5 times a week for at least 2 hours during the weekdays. The teachers’ teaching skills were phenomenal. They would play the song so that you get the idea of how it sounds, then they’d start the students out slow and have them play parts of the piece separately  

Being there was always the highlight of my day because I enjoyed learning about music let alone playing an instrument. The instrument that I played was the viola, like the violin but bigger and one different string. The best parts of being apart of the program were the places we’ve traveled for our concerts. We’ve been to many places: Mann Center, nursing homes, New Jersey, Kimmel Center, Baltimore, etc. We’ve even played with Sir Simon Rattle, a world famous conductor.

To show my gratitude for all the great times I’ve had and for the knowledge I’ve gained at POP, I’m going to assist the younger kids with their musical studies. The younger kids are the future of POP and if they get a boost of knowledge from an excellent young musician like myself, the outcome can be extraordinary.

Music is important because it is beneficial to the mind. Playing an instrument increases one’s intelligence, problem solving skills, enhances their hand-eye coordination, increases memory capacity, improves discipline, builds self-esteem, etc. In general, music is therapeutic. It can change your mood and can even change your entire worldview. There’s been plenty of tests and comparisons between a musician and non-musicians and they all end up with the musician having a brain that’s smarter and more active. It’s evident that music is highly influential!

Being a musician has multiple benefits and I recommend all non-musicians to play an instrument. If music generally can make anyone smarter, imagine the minds of people who have been surrounded by music since the beginning of their lives. I want to give the children in POP a jumpstart to benefit their futures. Not only will they be incredibly intelligent people, but they are likely to be living happy and calm lives because of how therapeutic music is.

Annotated Bibliography



Blog #1 Toby Mast

Malaria is a parasitic disease that is carried by mosquitoes. The disease is most common in Africa  and southwest  Asia (especially in tropical countries). In 2012, more than half a million children were killed by this deadly disease. The horrible part about this is they could have been saved. One dollar can buy a life saving treatment that will save a child with malaria. Bed nets prevent the disease from spreading and save people sleeping under them. Also multiple vaccines are close to success and with more funding there could be complete eradication of the disease.  Despite an impending solution, every 60 seconds a child dies as the parasite destroys their body. According to the Lancet  (a medical journal) malaria is one of the top ten causes of death we could prevent.

Miliaria starts in the saliva of the mosquito. When the mosquito bites a human, the mosquito injects its saliva numbing the wound. The parasite enters the bloodstream with the salvia. Then the parasite travels through the blood and into the liver. The parasite lives there for a year maturing and re-enters the bloodstream. The parasite enters red blood cells and reproduces  inside of the cells until they rupture. The destruction of red blood cells eventually

The malaria parasite destroying red blood cells

From: medilinks.blogspot

                Here you can see the malaria cycle


kills the human unless their immune system manages to kill the parasite. This is why malaria is deadly to children, the elderly or the weak who are more likely to have weaker immune systems.

Unique components of malaria are what causes difficulties in eradication. For example, mosquitoes are killed in one area in an expensive endeavour to eliminate mosquito born diseases. A year later when the mosquito population returns, the parasite within the liver could mature and enter the bloodstream. The infected person is bitten by the mosquito and some of the parasites are pulled back into the mosquito. The next person the mosquito bites receives the parasite.

in this diagram, the Malaria spreads as one person is bitten multiple times, then the mosquitoes that bite other humans spreading the disease. This pattern would continue making the spread exponential.

Another part of the disease that makes it deadly is the difficulty  to diagnose without a blood test. Almost all the symptoms could be from more common diseases, and require thorough examination or an expansive blood test to diagnose. The final

The symptoms of malaria are very common in many diseases excluding spleen enlargement. This image is from medilinks.blogspot

examination or an expansive blood test to diagnose. The final reason it is difficult to eradicate is it will requires a unique vaccine. The vaccine would ideally need to:

- have a  way to effectively transport without the need for liquid nitrogen

-Be versatile and convert to face multiple subspecies of malaria.

-be inexpensive and easy to manufacture

-have less than 3 treatments

-have a high percentage of prevention

Despite the difficulty, there are organizations that work to create vaccines. One organization is known as PATH Malaria vaccine initiative. They fund promising research for vaccines and help them move to the approval process. There is hope: there is a vaccine that would save millions of lives. The problem is  according to MVI, it would take half a billion dollars to eradicate.

Therefore, the making of these vaccines is not eminent. They will be made later while in the mean time people slowly die while a dollar could buy life-saving treatment. In the  program called the Power of One,  a dollar treatment will be given to a dying child. Bed nets prevent the the spreading and original infection. Malaria treatments have saved 5.1 million people. You could save another and take a step to make the world a better place.

See my bibliography

Una Entrevista: Claudia, Graciela y Daniela

Para este proyecto tuvimos a hacer una video de una entrevista. Por ese unidad hicimos resúmenes y hablábamos sobre que queremos ser cuando estamos grande. Este entrevista toma todo lo que hicimos y puso en un solo proyecto. En este entrevista, Claudia quiere una trabaja con Kreidie Arqutecturas, una negocio muy popular en Filadelfia. ¡Esperamos que le gustas este entrevista y tienes una día buena!
Click here to view the interview!

YATW Blog #1: Late Effects in Childhood Cancer

Hi, my name is Imani Weeks. I am a 9th grader at Science Leadership Academy. For English, we have started a year long project called You and the World (YATW). We had to choose a subject to write about in three blog posts and I chose childhood cancer. I especially focused on late effects of childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is something that people don’t like to talk about. I believe (and others might agree with me) that though those who have childhood cancer are some of bravest people and that they deserve to live. However, sometimes there are side effects to the treatment they receive to help battle the cancer cells.

     Child undergoing chemotherapy 

First we need to talk about childhood cancer. Many children are diagnosed with cancer every year, 13,500 to be more exact. 1/5 children who are diagnosed do not survive. Though over the past 40 years survival rate has gone up from 10% to 80%. 3/5 children who survive suffer illnesses afterwards.
These illnesses after survival are known as late effects, late effects are caused by the chemotherapy. Some late effects are a second cancer occurring, the first cancer coming back, or heart and lung damage. It may seem like the odds are against you when 
you get late effects but kids and their family learn to cope. In 
the article, 
“For childhood cancer survivors, the gift of life can carry new challenges” some late effects statistics were noted: 

“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital research shows that 80 percent of 
adults who beat cancer as kids have a chronic, perhaps life-threatening health condition by the time they reach age 45. More than half have heart abnormalities 
by that age. Another 65 percent have impaired lung function,and 48 percent have memory impairment.”

That means that most people go, for quite some time in their life, thinking they have beaten the odds then the late effects start to show; and it seems like most of these late effects are serious problems. Hopefully in the future, doctors will be able to find a way to use chemotherapy without the occurrence of late effects later in life so that when someone beats cancer, they beat it for real!

Be sure to read my next post!

All about me

Tech Power point about Myself
Tech Power point about Myself
My slide represents me. I chose purple for the background because it is my favorite color and it compliments the the letters. Simply amazing and my name are big because I did not want to leave out a lot of open space. Also I needed them to even each other out. On the sides I have a picture of me and my favorite quote on the other to even out both sides. 

YATW: Sickle Cell Anemia

Hello, My name is Dejah Smith and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy high school. In my English class we are discussing topics that are going on in the world. I will be addressing Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle cell anemia is a disease passed down through a family. When you have Sickle Cell your red blood cells are not shaped like a disc instead they take the shape of a sickle or a crescent shape.

There is one main cause of Sickle Cell anemia. It is caused by an abnormal type of hemoglobin, which is a protein inside of your red blood cells. This carries your oxygen. Sickle cell anemia is passed down to you when you have both parents with it.  Many people that are diagnosed don't live a very long life. On average a males lives to he is 42 and women until they are 48. Mostly dying from organ failure. 50 percent live to see their 5th decade.  

Some symptoms of  Sickle cell anemia is joint, back, leg and chest pain. These pains and or “crisis” can last up to days. Sometimes these pains are so bad you could be hospitalized. Other symptoms of this disease is fatigue, fast heart beats, and yellowing of your eyes and skin. Younger children tend to have pains and sometimes mini strokes. They also can have confusion with their thoughts. Due to spleen failure overtime victims of this disease start to have different types of infections.

There are many different treatments that's trying to cure this disease. The main thing they are trying to do is maintain symptoms and put a stop to the crisis. Something called Folic Acid. This creates new red blood cells for the victims. Blood transfusions and pain medicines.

To deal with the pain of this awful disease, they have support groups. That way everyone is mentally supported. This gives everyone a shoulder to cry on and someone to relate to.     

This picture shows how normal red blood cells look compared to blood cells that are infected with the Sickle cell anemia disease.

Alzheimer's & Dementia; The Unknown And Hidden Facts

    Hey, My name is Jamilah Woodards. I am currently a Freshman at Science Leadership Academy. In my ninth grade English class, we are currently working on a project titled, “You And The World” (YATW). The YATW Project allows you to choose a topic that you are highly interested  in to research and discuss. For this specific project, I chose the topic of Alzheimer’s and Dementia; The Unknown & Hidden Facts. This topic hits really close to home because my Grandmother was diagnosed with Dementia around the year of 2006. With that being said, I decided to base this project off of a disease that really affected my family and I.

  Alzheimer’s disease is very well known all over the world, but Dementia is somewhat forgotten. Although many people have heard of this disease, not many people know what exactly is Alzheimers and/or Dementia. The medical definition for Alzheimers as described on, Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disorder in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and cognitive decline. A neurodegenerative type of dementia, the disease starts mild and gets progressively worse.” As briefly shown in the definition for Alzheimer’s, there is a difference between the two. Dementia’s medical definition found on a medical definition website stated as following, “Dementia is a loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily living, lasting more than six months, not present since birth, and not associated with a loss or alteration of consciousness.”

  Dealing with either of the two diseases can be very expensive. Yes, most insurances pay for portions of the costs and treatments, but the other portion is most likely put on the patient/their provider. A portion may not seem like it would be very costly because it is only a “portion”. Yet when Medicaid/Medicare is in the billions of dollars, that out-of-pocket portion can also be in the billions.

This picture shows the costs of supporting someone with Alzheimer's or Dementia disease

As seen in the chart above, about $142 billion would be the cost between Medicare and Medicaid. Although the cost that Medicaid provides on its own is just 1 billion dollars above the cost of personal money.

One stereotype about dealing with people who have these diseases is that they are completely unable to complete any tasks on their own. False. People believe that patients with Dementia cannot remember anything. That is also false. Since Dementia is basically a milder form of Alzheimer’s, it allows consumers to do some things that they can't. Although people with Alzheimer’s have more of a struggle than Dementia, it is still possible to do things on your own. They’re plenty of people out there who live a healthy life on a daily basis. Know that there is a mild and severe form of just about everything, so it all depends on the stage of your disease to know what exactly exceeds your abilities.   Check out the list of 5 Things You Should Know About Dementia to a further understanding.

Overall, Alzheimer’s and Dementia are diseases that should be even more now than they already are. They affect people and their families on a regular basis. I would like people to get to know and understand the stereotypes, costs, and know what the diseases actually are and do.

Blog #2 is on its way!!!

Annotated Bibliography

Blog # 1 Autism Does Matter

My name is Chhievling Seng and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy. This is my YATW (You And The World) project that I am doing in my English class. I am focusing on kids and adults with autism. I have always loved young children and helping out the ones in need. This is why I think it’s crucial to provide care for autistic people, especially the children, because they are our future; they are our future doctors, lawyer, teachers, chefs, etc. People with autism struggle to live a normal independent everyday life, due to the fact that they are unable to articulate their thought process or actions

A child with autism will have trouble learning things, such as how to talk, understand, or do daily tasks as shown by Kidshealth From Nemours. How would you be if you were unable to express what you want to say; it’s almost like your voice is taken away, isn't it? Kids with autism have a hard time expressing their thoughts and what they want to say, on top of that they also are unable to understand words and feelings that are coming from other people. Researchers are still doing research today trying to figure out the causes of autism. The Autism Society informational page said that Autism is more likely to be developed by someone who has a certain medical condition, such as Fragile X symptom, or someone in their family who are already diagnosed.

There is still no cure for autism, as stated on many different websites I found while I was researching. Autism is one of the fastest growing disabilities at 1,148% growth rate and only about 56% of autistic students finish high school. Also a statistic from Autism Society states that, “1% of the population of children in the U.S, age 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder.” Yes, you might be wondering why is autism made into such a huge deal throughout this blog if only 1% of U.S children are diagnosed, but what if that 1% of children happens to be your child, sister or brother? Autism does not happen to large number of people compared to world population, but they need our help and support as much as anyone else does.

We need to have more school open with teachers specialized to teach kids with autism, because the sooner they start, the better they’ll overcome what they are struggling with. In the video I watched, it showed two school in New York that are teaching autistic children  The schools featured in the video does not focus just academically when it comes to teaching, they teach the kids based on what they are not understanding. The teacher might have to teach the kid how to brush their teeth, shave, sing, and whatever else needed.

 This picture shows Jon Kinyon learning how to clean with the help of Amanda Loman, a member in the Structured Teaching for Autism Summer Institute.

I think autism will have less questions asked and more answers if we start to care and look more into helping autistic people. Here is information from the website Autism SA on what helps with the development of autistic individuals.

Intervention should be implemented as early as possible in order to maximize development. Different types of intervention approaches available include: sensory integration, alternative and augmentative communication, speech and language therapy, facilitated communication, music therapy, play therapy, behavioral interventions, vitamins and supplements, nutritional approaches, academic support and social skill interventions. Structured and specific educational and developmental programs that address the difficulties experienced by people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder remain the most effective treatment to date.”  

This is why we must look into providing autistic children good education and help as soon as autism is detected. Over time autistic children who grow into adulthood won’t have such difficulty learning to live independently. Some autistic people also have unique sets of skill that they grasp over time. There’s actually a book called “The Reason I Jump” that is written by Naoki Higashida, an autistic 13 year old. There's still hope in making a change in autism for our world, and it can all start with our effort and support. Catch me on my next blog!

Click here for my annotated bibliography.

YATW Blog post #1 Finding a Cure for Cancer

Hello. My name is Gabrielle Cromley and I am a student at Science Leadership Academy. For my English class, we were asked to do a project called You and the World in which we were to write three blog posts about a subject that was important to us. We have to make a change in the world or the community to help benefit our cause.

I chose to write about finding a cure for cancer and how medical malpractice and lack of government funding is preventing researchers from reaching their full potential. This issue is meaningful to me because I lost my cousin to lymphoma cancer. He received a sepsis infection from the hospital and was never able to recover. Watching him suffer and holding his hand as he took his last dying breath made me realize that no one should ever have to go what he went through or die from the negligence of others. He was also my godfather and he has a special place in my heart so I want to do all I can to make sure that he receives vengeance against this illness. This is also an important issue to me because I want to become an oncologist one day and medical malpractice and cancer research would directly relate to this career.

Cancer is a disease that is caused by abnormal cell growth and reproduction rapidly. The cell’s DNA is damaged which causes the cell to not perform actions normally. There are many types of cancer that can attack parts of the body and spread throughout it. Cancer causes physical, mental, emotional, and financial suffering for patients and their loved ones. As stated by the World Health Organization, “It is the main cause of death worldwide. Deaths from cancer worldwide are expected to continually rise to an estimated 13.1 million deaths by 2030.” In the United States alone, cancer still causes a substantial amount of death, most of which should have never happened.

Amounts of new cancer cases and death

You may think a hospital is always the safest place for the sick, but this is not always true. Many hospital patients’ lives are prematurely ended due to infection which is caused by negligence, medical malpractice, and just plain carelessness. “More than 45,000 cancer patients die from hospital caused infections which also wastes $8.1 billion,” states Miriam Falco in “Hospital-acquired Infections Lead to Substantial Loss in Life and Wastes Billions” Since cancer patients have immune systems that are susceptible to disease and infection, more precautions and care needs to be taken in order for the patient to be safe. As described below by The National Center for Biotechnology information, patients who are unknowingly not responding to treatment are likely to receive an infection depending on their type of cancer.

The frequency of infection is related to the type of underlying neoplastic disease, and most   infections occur in patients who are no longer responding to the therapy of their neoplasm. About 80% of patients with acute leukemia, 75% of patients with lymphoma, and 50% of patients with multiple myeloma develop infection during the course of their disease, and infection is the proximate cause of death in a substantial fraction of these patients.

If doctors are unknowledgable to the fact that a patient is unresponsive, it could cost the patient his or her life. To learn more in depth data about infections in cancer patients click here.

A patient can also die or get worse due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation are harsh treatments that greatly affect the body, and for some people the effects can be deadly. Click here to read more about these therapies and their effects in “Death by Doctoring”.  We should not limit ourselves to to only two main types of treatment. Through research, we can possibly find a more efficient treatment and maybe a cure.

The last obstacle that has to be faced before a cure can be found is government funding towards cancer research and for that matter all types of scientific research. According to  The United States government only gives 2% of their budget to all scientific research. Chief medical officer, Richard L. Schilsky said, “This trend could potentially devastate future cancer research, just when we are on the verge of achieving major progress against cancer and identifying the next generation of effective cancer therapies.” Science is the door to the future that holds advancements and new opportunities that can help our world and we are going to disregard findings that could save lives. Also, cancer research is very expensive along with other forms of scientific research. Research cannot be conducted if there is no money to pay for what is needed. You cannot put a price on a life, which is why we as a country should do everything we can to help cancer patients out of their pain and suffering.

Graph of the United states budget


YATW Blog post #1; School To Prison Pipeline

School To Prison PipelineThe picture depicts public education and Prison Industries as two business men and the public education is feeding the prisons students since as the small mouse states “ follow the money”.

Hey my name is Jesse Stevens and I am currently a freshman at Science Leadership Academy in Philly. For English 1 me and the rest of my peers were asked to choose an issue in the world that we cared about and create three blog post on the matter. The issue that I choose to type about is the School to prison pipeline that affecting students everywhere.This pipeline ruins lives and breaks families and needs to be stopped. In this first blog I would like to just bring this subject to your attention and draw you in so that not only I'm the one making a change but so that you the reader can too.

2 new prisons worth 400 million dollars. Now what happened to the schools and getting an education?Just like the title states this blog and the many that will come after will be about students who are pushed out of school and are being thrusted into prison as a result of the school districts negligence. Students cannot compete against the high risk testing, zero tolerance and are expelled from their schools or even drop out because of these harsh facts. Also the fact that schools are getting less funding for extra programs such as music or art and less funding for guidance counselors. Things that schools really need so that students can be successful.

This issue has great significance because It can and is happening to us.Students educations are being halted by all of the problems that the school districts are having. Since student are not being properly educated and getting kicked out of schools the future of this world is being destroyed since the kids are being sent through the criminal justice system and now have a record.With the record they can’t get a good job, get into the college they want and just overall just have a tougher life than people without a record. to add on once they get a record and can’t do any of the things I previously stated they are more likely when they get out of jail just to go right back for similar reasons that they got locked up for in the first place. Right now to me it feels like a power struggle between  Education v.s Incarceration. As you can see the significance of this issue is huge as it can dictate our future and should impact the way you think about the school district and what needs to be done.

Many students get suspended but here are a few specific statistics that explain my point further.Statistics from the American Civil Liberties Union show that:

  • Black students make up 13.6 percent of Pennsylvania's student population, but they received almost half of the out-of-school suspensions, at 48.25 percent.

  • Seventeen percent of black students were suspended at least once, a rate five times that of white students.

  • One out of every 10 Latino students were suspended at least once, one of the highest Latino suspension rates in the country.

  • Students with disabilities were almost twice as likely as other students to receive out-of-school suspensions – 11.1 percent versus 5.7 percent.

  • Black students with disabilities received OSSs at the highest rate of any group – 22 out of every 100 were suspended at least once.

These statistics are up to date and are very shocking. Not only are healthy kids are being suspended and getting put through the criminal justice system but disabled kids have a higher suspension rate! How come disabled kids are getting suspended more? They can’t help some of the things they do but thanks to certain school policies they don’t even get a chance. Beside the fact that there are more African-Americans and Latinos(so much for equality) being suspended but more importantly the ones that need a little more help in school are just getting kicked out and pushed towards the streets and eventually prison.We have to stop this but for that to happen we need to know more.Stay tune for my next two blog post so we can figure out how to break the school to prison pipeline and help students all over the world. Lets do this together. You the reader can now also be an Agent of change in your own way by getting more people to know about this.See you later!

Here is a link to my annotated bibliography

Also here is a link to a cool game so that you can learn more about the pipeline