13-Year Old Finds Kidney Donor On The Web

Sofia Manfredi, a Brooklyn teen, is getting a new kidney this week thanks to an online kidney matchmaker and a New Jersey teacher.

With severe damage to both kidneys from complications during her birth, 13-year old Sofia has been relying on medication throughout her life. Now, her undersized kidneys are unable to cope with her growing body.

Last summer, the Manfredi family sought the help of Chaya Lipschutz, who runs an online kidney matchmaking agency, SaveALife-DonateAKidney.com. When she sent out an alert, she immediately got a response from Cherry Hill teacher Jennifer Rothstein, 39, who volunteered to donate one of her kidneys. After a few months of tests, doctors found Rothstein to be a perfect match for Sofia. The transplant surgery is scheduled for this coming Tuesday at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

“It just felt like it was the right thing to do,” Rothstein said. “I was blessed with good health. There was no reason not to.”

“I feel like I won the lottery,” Rothstein added. “It’s like giving birth. It’s giving life.”

Sofia’s mom, Tami Manfredi, said “It’s amazing that someone I’d never met before could be so giving. She is giving my daughter a second chance.”

New York Health Comissioner Dr. Thomas Farley Launches Ad Campaign

According to the New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, a new ad campaign will be hitting the streets of the Big Apple within the month. The ad aims to expose people to the dangers of drinking soda and other sugary drinks on a regular basis. Drinking one soda every day is like consuming a fifty pound bag of sugar annually. Drinks such as these can lead to diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, arthritis and even some forms of cancer.

According to Farley, sugary drinks are the most common source of added sugar to a child’s diet, increasing the obesity risk dramatically with each serving. The New York ad campaign will include a YouTube video showing how far a person would need to walk to burn off the calories from a single drink, as well as bilingual posters which will strengthen the message.

Ex-Vivo Lung Transplant Procedure Opens New Opportunities

Manhattan’s NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is conducting a groundbreaking lung transplant trial. The new method differs from traditional transplants in that it is conducted “ex-vivo,” or, outside the body. Instead of making a quick decision regarding whether an organ is suitable for transplant, the ex vivo procedure allows doctors to revive the lung and determine its potential by pumping it with oxygen and a nourishing solution.

“These would have been lungs we would have turned down because of poor quality. This provides the opportunity to increase lung transplants performed,” explained Frank D’Ovidio, the head doctor on the FDA trial.

New Study Links Alcoholism to Poor Diet

A recent study was published by HealthDay News which linked alcoholism and poor diets. The study analyzed the drinking and eating habits of 12,000 adults, aged 18 to 64. Those who drank heavily before, after and during meals were found to have bad nutrition.

One of the study authors explained that “Drinking alcohol may reduce maintaining a healthy diet…. And may indirectly contribute to several chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, mellitus, cardiovascular disease or cancer.” The research also indicated that alcoholism may reduce fruit and vegetable intake, while increasing that of fast foods and animal proteins.

“If your alcohol consumption is excessive or if you find it results in poor dietary choices, you need to reduce or stop your drinking,” says author Tom Griesel. “This may seem a little radical, but if alcohol or anything else is affecting your health or keeping you from experiencing optimal health, you need to do something about it right away.”

Griesel added that alcohol consumption has an effect on sleep cycles, as well. His sister, Dian Grisel, Ph.D., explained “When reviewing your health habits, closely examine your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is empty calories and difficult for your body to process. Your body primarily treats alcohol as a toxic substance. It is not a necessary nutrient. Although we feel red wine is probably the best choice when it comes to alcohol, it can still be a serious health hazard if it results in poor diet choices or is consumed excessively.”

Scientist Awarded Nobel Prize Revealed Dead

Ralph Steinman, a pioneering scientist who worked on the immune system, was just awarded the Nobel Prize for science, as the committee was unaware of his death mere days before the award. The Nobel Prize, which is worth 10 million kronor or $1.5 million, is meant to be awarded only to living scientists. Nonetheless, Steinman’s award still stands.

The committee explained that “The Nobel Prize to Ralph Steinman was made in good faith, based on the assumption that the Nobel laureate was alive.”

Steinman studied and worked at Rockefeller University in New York since 1970. It was the university that revealed his death from pancreatic cancer, mere hours after the award was announced.

The Nobel Foundation spokeswoman Annika Pontikis said “I think you can safely say this hasn’t happened before. In a further statement, the Nobel Prize Committee said “It is with deep sadness and regret that the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute has learned that Professor Ralph Steinman, one of this year’s three Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine, passed away on September 30th.”

Middle-Aged Women and Moderate Exercise

Women across the globe, and especially in the Big Apple, have been hearing about the physical and emotional benefits of exercise non-stop, and many attempt to incorporate a fitness regime into their schedules. Why, then, is it so hard to stay committed?

According to a new study, middle-aged women are more likely to stick with an exercise routine at a moderate intensity, as opposed to those who push their limits.

255 women between the ages 40 and 60 were recruited for research. The women were told to do either moderate or vigorous exercise for a limited amount of time, during which volunteers monitored their reactions. Women who participated in moderate exercise were twice as energized and confident that they’d be able to exercise in the future. In comparison, the women who had undergone intense exercise were more anxious and depressed as a result of their work outs.

“Exercise makes you feel better, but it is going to be more pleasant when performed at moderate intensity as compared to vigorous, especially when you have been previously inactive or may be overweight,” explained Dr. Steriani Elavsky of Penn State University. She continued, stating that it is important for women to monitor their intensity levels.

Some moderate-intensity exercises include brisk walking, ballroom or line dancing, biking, canoeing, general gardening, baseball, softball, volleyball and water aerobics. Recommended activities are those that would “allow you to talk in short sentences while doing them, but would not allow you to sing,” said Elavsky.

She added, “The effects we observed were large and moderate intensity is sufficient, in fact, it is optimal. We also hope that clinicians will realize the importance of considering the proper exercise intensity when making recommendations about exercise. Moderate intensity exercise should be recommended for patients who are not meeting physical activity guidelines, or those who may be decondition, overweight or obese.”