‘Elephant Man’ Refuses to Hide From Facial Deformity

Friday, May 30, 2008
news.com.au

O’Neal, of Kirkland, Wash., said he knows his deformity is shocking — but he refuses to hide like other people with his disorder. 

[This is an awesome and heartwarming article I came across.  The admiration I have for this man is tops and I truly commend him for doing what he does as you will see if you click on the link to see the photo.  I must warn you it is quite a shocking picture and probably not for the faint of heart but the article that is included with the picture shows such compassion for someone who has not let his physical disease/appearance hinder him in anyway…flagranny2] 

James O’Neal compares himself to John Hurt’s character in the 1980 film “The Elephant Man.”

A genetic disease known as neurofibromatosis has left O’Neal’s face horribly disfigured, but several surgeries may be able to reconstruct his facial features.

Click here to see a photo of O’Neal.

Although it was at one time believed that Joseph Carey Merrick, the subject of the 1980 film, also suffered from neurofibromatosis, he actually suffered from Proteus syndrome, a congenital disorder that causes skin overgrowth and atypical bone development, often accompanied by tumors over half the body.

Gina Agiostratidou, a biologist and scientific program manager for the Children’s Tumor Foundation in New York, told FOXNews.com that there are three types of neurofibromatosis: NF1, NF2 and schwannomatosis.

All three are caused by deletions or mutations of certain genes. NF1, which is the type suffered by O’Neal, is characterized by large benign tumors that grow on the cranial nerves, face, brain and spinal cord. The disease occurs in about 1 out of every 3,000 births and is more prevalent than cystic fibrosis, according to the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

NF2 is much rarer, occurring in 1 out of 25,000 births. It causes tumors to grow on the cranial and spinal nerves, as well as both auditory nerves. It often results in hearing loss beginning in the teens and 20’s.

Researchers know very little about schwannomatosis. It occurs in about 1 out of every 40,000 births and symptoms differ greatly among sufferers, according to the foundation.

O’Neal, of Kirkland, Wash., said he knows his deformity is shocking — but he refuses to hide like other people with his disorder.

“I just tell people this is who I am, it’s the way I am,” O’Neal told KOMONews.com. “If you don’t like me, you don’t like me.”

But O’Neal — who works as a cashier at Kingsgate Safeway — is well-liked by his customers.

In fact, his regular customers said O’Neal is an “inspiration” and they have started raising money for his surgeries, since insurance likely will not cover the full cost.

“He is an amazing man, and we love him,” said customer Aubrey Richins. “He’s the kind of person that makes your day.”

At the moment, there is no cure for neurofibromatosis, Agiostratidou said.

“There are so many different manifestations of the disease,” she explained. “Surgery is usually a last resort because it does affect the nerves and removing the tumor can create paralysis of the nerve. Currently, the treatment includes chemotherapy (and then) surgery, and we are working on clinical trials for different medications, but it is still very early for us.”

Contributing: Marrecca Fiore, FOXNews.com health editor

 

Rare Tornadoes Tear Through Calif.; 1 Killed in Colorado, Wyoming Twisters

Friday, May 23, 2008
SOURCE: AP to Foxnews.com

It could be me but it seems like there have been more Tornadoes this year than in the past.  Between earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes they all have been more prevelent from year to year with this year beginning to seemingly set a record….flagranny2

SANTA ANA, Calif. —  A wild weather system lashed Southern California on Thursday with fierce thunderstorms that unleashed mudslides in wildfire-scarred canyons, spawned a tornado and dusted mountains and even low-lying communities with snow and hail.

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for parts of Riverside County about 55 miles east of Los Angeles and area residents flooded TV stations with pictures and video of funnel clouds and at least one tornado on the ground.

Powerful wind or a funnel cloud toppled a tractor-trailer on a highway and freight cars on nearby railroad tracks, said Riverside County fire spokeswoman Jody Hageman. One person was rescued from the wrecked truck.

Click to view photos.

“It got real windy, the sky got real dark,” said James Smith, a manager at a fitness center at nearby March Air Reserve Base. He was not aware of any damage to the base.

Michael Ritter was scrambling to put away lawn furniture in his backyard in Riverside when he spotted a tornado and grabbed his camera.

“It looked like one of those dirt devils and then it got bigger. I’ve never seen anything remotely as big,” Ritter said. “We could hear the wind from a mile away and see the debris flying up. I thought, that’s the real thing.”

For the full article click [ Here ]

Breaking News >>Sen. Ted Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor, Doctors Say

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
SOURCE: Foxnews.com

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends

 BOSTON —  Sen. Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, FOX News confirms.

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat said Tuesday that “preliminary results” from tests conducted on Kennedy after a seizure sent him to the hospital over the weekend confirmed the diagnosis.

“Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,” the doctors said in a statement, adding that treatment would likely include “combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy.”                                                                                                                                 

The doctors said that he was in “good condition” and had not suffered any more seizures since Saturday.

“Decisions regarding the best course of treatment for Senator Kennedy will be determined after further testing and analysis,” they said. “Senator Kennedy will remain at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next couple of days according to routine protocol. He remains in good spirits and full of energy.”

The 76-year-old senator has been hospitalized in Boston since Saturday, when he was airlifted from Cape Cod after a seizure at his home.

His wife and children have been with him each day but have made no public statements.

Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults. It’s a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas — or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sen. Ted Kennedy Hospitalized After Suffering 2 Seizures

Saturday, May 17, 2008
Source FOXNews.com

Sen. Ted Kennedy has been hospitalized in Boston after apparently suffering two seizures Saturday morning.

The Massachusetts senator’s current condition is not known, but he does not appear to have had a stroke as was initially suspected.

One Democratic source told FOX News Kennedy suffered one seizure in the morning, and then another en route to Massachuetts General Hospital, where he is being evaluated.

A spokeswoman confirmed he had at least one seizure in the morning.

“He is undergoing a battery of tests at Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the cause of the seizure,” Kennedy’s Senate office said in a statement. “Senator Kennedy is resting comfortably, and it is unlikely we will know anything more for the next 48 hours.”

Kennedy is at the hospital with his wife, Victoria, and was visited there by Senate colleague John Kerry, D-Mass. The hospital is highly regarded and Kennedy has received treatment there before for other medical problems.

Kennedy was flown to the Boston hospital an hour after first being admitted to the emergency room at Cape Cod Hospital at about 9 a.m., hospital spokesman David Reilly told FOXNews.com.

Continue article

PHOTOS

Missouri Woman Indicted in MySpace Cyber-Bullying Case That Ended in Teen’s Suicide

Thursday, May 15, 2008  

Such a sad and senseless tragedy my heart goes out to Megan’s family and friends.

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted a Missouri woman Thursday for her alleged role in a MySpace hoax on a teen neighbor who committed suicide after being spurned by the “boy” in the fake profile.

Lori Drew, of Dardenne Prairie near St. Louis, was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress on the girl.

Drew allegedly helped create a false-identity MySpace account to contact Megan Meier, who thought she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named “Josh Evans.”

Megan, 13, hanged herself at home in October 2006 after receiving cruel messages, including one stating the world would be better off without her.

Drew’s attorney, Jim Briscoe, did not return FOXNews.com’s requests for comment about the indictment.

Click here to read the indictment.

Drew has denied creating the account and sending messages to Megan.

U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien said the federal statute on accessing protected computers has been used before to address Internet hacking, but this was the first time it has been used in a social-networking situation.  [For full Article]

Boyfriend of Woman Who Died Falling Off Cruise Ship Back in the U.S.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Source of Article is Fox News

Boyfriend returns after 5 days

Boyfriend of Mindy Jordan who died falling off the cruise ship has returned to New Jersey

Five days after Mindy Jordan fell from the cruise ship her boyfriend, Jorge Caputo is back in New Jersey.

At this time the FBI continue to investigate to rule out foul play although at this point they do not suspect foul play.

“Our objective is first to rule out whether or not there was a crime here,

To read the rest of article [ CLICK HERE ]

Surveillance Footage Reportedly Shows Cruise Passenger Falling Overboard

Wednesday, May 14, 2008   

         Accident, Suicide or Homocide????…Flagranny2

          Mindy Jordan and Jorge Caputo

A missing New Jersey woman thought to have fallen overboard Sunday from a Norwegian Cruise Line ship was caught by ship surveillance cameras alone in her room when the incident happened, the cruise line said in a statement released Wednesday.

The footage reportedly shows Mindy Jordan, a 46-year-old nurse, falling from her balcony two hours after boarding the ship in New York with her boyfriend, Jorge Caputo.

 The cruise line said Jordan and Caputo had dined that evening with friends before returing to their rooms at about 7:30 p.m. Minutes later, Caputo left Jordan alone to visit with the friends next door, the company said.

Surveillance footage from the exterior of the ship shows Jordan falling overboard into the water about 15 minutes later, according to Norwegian Cruise Line, and an emergency call was made from the friends’ room.

The cruise line said the initial indication was that Jordan fell as she tried to reach from one balcony to another on a windy night. The Coast Guard had given up its search Tuesday for her in the Atlantic Ocean off the New Jersey coast.

Jordan’s family fears, though, that her fall was not only tragic but also criminal, and the FBI is investigating.

To continue reading this article and related ones [CLICK HERE]