All posts in "Health"

#1177 Dr. Bob heals the poor

By Cathryn Wellner / December 15, 2014

Dr. Robert Paeglow works in a country that thinks medical care is the province of the rich. If you are not wealthy enough to afford it, well…too bad. You don’t deserve it. That attitude does not fill a doctor’s bank account. In fact, if a patient cannot afford the drugs Dr. Bob recommends, he writes […]


#1176 Second grader’s lesson in compassion

By Cathryn Wellner / December 12, 2014

Caiden Perez wanted to make homeless people happy. At first the 7-year-old figured a pizza party would be a good idea, but he talked it over with his dad. The two of them came up with a better idea: “blessing bags”. The second grader and his dad put together bags filled with items such as […]


#1172 Street Books, a library for Portland’s homeless

By Cathryn Wellner / December 3, 2014

“Read any good books lately?” would probably not be a conversation opener for most people passing a homeless person on the street. For the Street Books librarians, it would be a perfectly normal interaction. The bicycle-powered library started in Portland, Oregon in 2011 when Laura Moulton was given a three-month grant to establish a mobile […]


#1171 We can build cities on a human scale

By Cathryn Wellner / December 1, 2014

Whenever a high rise is proposed for my small city of Kelowna, British Columbia, residents who fear densification’s worst impacts come to public meetings to oppose it. And although I live in a condo building myself, I understand where they are coming from. Take a look at the high rise neighbourhoods that clog cities around […]


#1169 Old people are good for the planet

By Cathryn Wellner / November 26, 2014

As humans hit their “productive” years in industrial societies, they buy cars and houses and consumer goods. They drive children to ballet lessons and hockey games. While all that adds money into an economic system that relies on our lining up to shed cash as quickly as we acquire it, the cost to the planet […]


#1168 Gratitude for a cracked skull

By Cathryn Wellner / November 24, 2014

With no ice to slip on, no major trip hazard to catch my foot, I took a head-splitting tumble…literally. The crack in my skull is small. My brain appears to be fine. The bruises in various parts of my body are already healing. But the unexpected blessings keep rolling in.   The sun broke through […]


#1158 They brought sockeye salmon back to the river

By Cathryn Wellner / October 31, 2014

A few years ago the Okanagan Indian Band was hosting a food security event at the En’owkin Centre in Penticton, British Columbia. Dr. Jeannette Armstrong welcomed us to her traditional territory, and then she did something we colonizers would never do to kick off a conference. She introduced her grandson, a 9-year-old boy who had […]


#1153 Muscular dystrophy slows their bodies but not their love

By Cathryn Wellner / October 20, 2014

They were both in wheelchairs when they met. Muscular dystrophy had weakened Margaret “Muffi” Lavigne and Chris Plum. The incurable disease had put them both in wheelchairs and in hospital. But in the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, Connecticut, they found love. Thanks to Good Night Margaret, a New York Times documentary, we […]


#1151 A vaccine against addiction, crime and despair? And it works.

By Cathryn Wellner / October 15, 2014

You are a single mother, trying to prepare dinner for your three-year-old daughter. You have worked eight hours and commuted another two. You are exhausted. You ask her to pick up her toys, and she erupts, screaming and kicking and refusing to comply with a simple request. Every time she is angry or frustrated, she […]


#1146 Dear future mom, I have Down syndrome and a lifetime of love to give

By Cathryn Wellner / October 10, 2014

The worried mother’s letter to CoorDown, expressed a fear I’ve heard many times from pregnant friends: “I’m expecting a baby. I’ve discovered he has Down syndrome. I’m scared: what kind of life will my child have?” CoorDown, a national organization for Italians with Down syndrome, hired the advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, to create an […]

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