CamWeppTV’s Charity Stream Gives Thanks by Giving Back
Illuminating Invisible Disabilities
Living with a Mental DisorderPsychiatric disabilities, an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of mental health issues, are as common as 1 in 2 people. This is something people deal with every single day. These people do not require use of a cane or any accessibility device, as they have no actual physical disability. Keep in mind, people suffering from Psychiatric Disabilities can have years of experience, but still suffer from their condition. One mustn’t confuse experience with curing of a disability. Think of it as a scale, day to day, ranging from mild to severe. For example with the right amount of experience, people living with Bipolar Disorder will be able to notice signs of a disturbance and might even be able to contain their emotions, to a degree. Other days, the person may not even notice their mental disorder.
Knowing the SignsAlthough some invisible disabilities can be kept low-key, some will actually need to be presented to everyone around them. Due to the possible life-or-death situation, conditions such as Epilepsy, Diabetes, and Learning Disabilities should be shared as soon as you get to know someone. There is no shame in telling someone about your condition. especially if you spend a lot of time with them. The triggering of your disability can spark a wide variety of health issues and symptoms that can have you thrown for a loop, and can even lead to death. Keeping loved ones in mind, there should be no judgement. It may be a hard conversation to have, but one that needs to happen.
Being the Support they NeedLiving around someone with an Invisible Disability may sound like a rigorous task, but actually it’s pretty simple. With the right experience, someone will be able to “get into the mind” of their mentally disabled friend. These skills can be learned through personal experience, knowledge of previous events, and works best when you’re very close to the person. Catching someone slipping can save hours if not days of grueling mental laps that the invisible disability affects on the person afflicted. A simple, “Let’s step outside and get a breather” or “Hey, drink some water” can go a long way! Tackling Invisible Disabilities can be as easy as changing the pace of the day. Get some fresh air, take your mind of what it bringing you down. Staying positive is one of the best ways to deal with Invisible Disabilities. Without the right attitude, the afflicted will never get better. With the help of loved ones and the advice of professionals, Invisible Disabilities can be identified and dealt with accordingly. « PreviousNext »
The Truth about Quadriplegics
Quadriplegia, also known as Tetraplegia, is a type of paralysis that causes partial or full loss of use to the persons body and four limbs. Quadriplegia can be caused by a Spinal Cord Injury, or be a lasting effect of another illness. (Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, etc.) Simply put: Quadriplegics can’t move anything below the neck. A common question that comes up will always be: How does one find happiness through such hardship?
How Disabling is Quadriplegia?
When is comes to which Disability is the most “disabling”, Quadriplegia is high up on the list. In fact, not having control over most of your body is the clearest cut definition of a visible disability. (See our article on Invisible Disabilities) Caregivers are of utmost importance due to the lack of mobility. Interactions like getting out of bed in the morning, eating a meal, even going to the bathroom may give someone the sense of dependence. While it seems like you are living a completely different life, there are some things that are still available to the disabled. Due to the mouth being above the neck, speaking is still an ability Quadriplegics maintain. (varying from from person to person)
The ‘lesser’ diagnosis of Quadriplegia, where the person is only paralyzed below their hips, is known a Paraplegia. This gives people the use of their arms and torso, which luckily allows the person more independence in life. With the use of their upper body, Paraplegics are still able to drive a car, make food, use the bathroom, and overall live a mostly private life. There’s one thing every ‘-plegic’ has in common though.. those dang stairs!
Can Quadriplegics feel pain?
A common misconception people have about Quadriplegics is that they do not feel pain under the neck. While this may be true about the external stimuli, Quadriplegics can still feel the sensations internally in areas that do not respond to external pain. We advise anyone who feels these sensations to speak with their doctor as pain medication will be available for prescription.
Finding Happiness in Loss of Functionality.This can be one of the hardest challenges being a Quadriplegic. (Depending on the person) Happiness and joy is one of the most sought after emotions for every living being. The struggle of ones challenges in life will always be that, a personal battle that one must overcome. Some things just come naturally to people, like the ability to find happiness in a dark situation. To others, they may have to search for a reason to keep waking up in the morning. Sometimes it is easier to just see happiness in action: With so many different curve balls happening in ones life, you might just want to step back and think “I’m so lucky to be alive right now”. Nothing can prepare you for a life altering injury, or radical changes to your health. What you can do though, is stay positive through hard times, and find support in loved ones and health professionals. With the right willpower, anyone can go through anything, and come out a better person in the end. « PreviousNext »
Dreamscape Foundation: A Charity for the Disabled & Our Community
Accessibility FirstWe know that living with a disability can negatively impact one’s chances of success in education and employment, but at Dreamscape Foundation, we believe that we have the power to do something to address this. While nothing can prepare us for an unanticipated disability, Dreamscape Foundation offers hope. Our non-profit provides accommodations for individuals with disabilities in their pursuit of education and life-fulfilling work. Our mission is to aid the small population of people affected by sensory impairments to help them achieve success and to fund a cure. We encourage the community to embrace the use of accessible technology to ensure independence. In the past, Dreamscape Foundation had partnered with IT consulting company Intone Networks and accessibility software company User1st to build out our accessibility platform. The program is unique in that we are not aware of any other non-profit organizations who are committed to holding accessibility to such a high standard and provide similar services.
Dreamscape Foundation’s MissionThe commitment of Dreamscape comes from Joe Sehwani’s struggles and difficulties after he lost his vision in high school at sixteen. It is a privilege to work with a charity that works hard to ensure others struggling with similar disabilities are well taken care of and know that they are not alone.The prevalence of visual disabilities also stands to show the need for support for those who are blind or living with low vision. Across the world, 285 million people live with some type of visual impairment, with 39 million living with blindness and 246 million with low vision. In the United States, those with a visual disability account for about 2.2% of the total population. Without accessibility, we do a disservice not just to the quality of life for those living with a disability – we also prevent them living to their fullest potential. Our charity can better justify program expenses that involve accessibility. This is illustrated clearly when we look at the number of working-age persons with disabilities in the United States who are employed. Right now, that number is only 35% – Dreamscape believes that with accessibility, that number can be much higher.
Helping our CommunityDreamscape partners with many other charities on both a local and national scale with many different missions. We support local charities by partnering with them on fundraisers, campaigns and events as well as support them with various product donations. At Dreamscape, we’re committed to addressing these issues and advocating for the changes needed to help those living with disabilities. Although living with a disability can be a struggle, we are here to assist and support. « PreviousNext »
Adjusting to Challenges of Being a Young Adult with Disabilities
Facing the real worldFor most of us high school is the time of our lives. We get to see our friends everyday, 3 months off during the year, and the only thing we have to worry about is homework and if our crush likes us back. Being a teenager, it is only natural to focus on the things that make you happy, but did anyone ever stop to think about the other types of kids in high school? The ones who struggled or had it more difficult than everyone else. Not many people think much about it, so don’t feel bad. Having a disability means a lot of things and while you’re in school you can receive special education tailored to the specific disability. This is really great… until you wonder what happens after they are no longer in the school system. The reality is, this special education doesn’t help them prepare for adulthood or living on their own after high school. After they exceed the age limit, which in most states is 22, a lot of people lose their support services. For example, the service could be their pediatric therapies are terminated.
What happens next?After high school the average person will either go to college or go straight to working. Then, they will proceed on with their normal lives. But, For people with disabilities it’s not so simple. In 2014, a poll was taken of people 25 and older to determine the percentage of people with disabilities who have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics only 16.4% received a bachelor’s degree. After that, 25.5% received some college or an associate’s degree, 36.8% received a high school diploma and no college, and 21.3% received less than a high school education. These percentages are extremely low compared to the average person. This makes it more than difficult for these young adults to find jobs, or even live an independent lifestyle. Not to mention that on top of their daily struggles they go through the constant discrimination, dirty looks, and feeling as if they’re slowing the people around them down. Could you imagine what that life is even like?
A life of independenceYou may now be wondering how someone with a disability could manage any sense of in-dependency. It’s not easy and sometimes, not possible. There are numerous reasons on top of being under-prepared by education on why it is incredibly difficult for someone to live on their own. These reasons could be that the family member or caregiver simply lacks the easily accessible comprehensive up-to-date resources, options and possibilities. Or, something that is out of their control would be that the funding is extremely scarce. It could also be something as simple as the person has spent too much time with their caregiver or family member. This is extremely typical because someone with a disability doesn’t have personal control of access to transportation or personal assistance. This also results in them having no experience in a social life, making it extremely difficult for someone to pursue a friendship or relationship. In spite of that, listed below are just a few options for a disabled person to begin living independently.
- Speak to your physician about local support groups
- Seek employment or volunteer opportunities
- Practice good health and nutrition/ remain active
- Join in on community activities
- Caring for a pet
Good360: The Charity That Never Stops Giving
The MissionGood360 is a product philanthropy, partner based nonprofit organization. This means they work with large and responsible companies to donate their excess merchandise to charities or other nonprofits. They then partner with the charities and nonprofits to help them receive goods for their specific needs. Their mission is to help people, whether it be individuals, families, or a community, who are impacted by disasters or other challenging life circumstances. By providing nonprofits with the goods they need, they can free up their resources to spend on more important aspects of their organization including programs and events. Good360 views the products as more than just stuff, to them it could be providing a bed to a child for a much-needed good night’s rest. Or even something as little as a pair of soccer cleats to help someone pursue their passion confidently. They have a 35-year track record and have distributed more than $9 billion worth of products. Currently their organization has 400+ corporate donors and 800,000+ nonprofit members. By doing this they are able to give old products new life and reducing waste by keeping it all out of landfills. The hard workers of Good360 take pride in not only the product donations, but in their help with disaster recovery. In the first few days of a disaster they will be there for people who have been displaced from their homes. They could supply them with products including toiletries, socks, diapers for babies, toys, games, and snacks for kids. When it comes to clean up, Good360 will partner with other organizations to help provide various cleaning supplies to help with things such as the debris and mold. After the cleaning is complete, they will then work on getting donations of the reconstruction materials needed. These materials could be something as small as paint or as large as kitchen appliances. This is extremely important to them because it’s helping people get their homes and lives back. The best part about their disaster recovery is that even years after the impact, they will still be there to help people with things like mattresses, furniture and other home goods.
But wait, there’s more!This organization even has a blog to discuss all of the wonderful nonprofits and donors they work with. A lot of their blogs will include information on how the programs have given back to the community. Their articles talk about a variety of different things. Some of them will have information on current or previous disaster relief and even articles about how they have helped women dress for success! You might even get a little emotional when reading their impact stories and true testimonies from the numerous lives they have helped and transformed. Not only do they have a great amount of pride and value in themselves but also in their partnerships. They are constantly talking highly of all the people they work with and this shows even when only reading one of their articles. Dreamscape has recently had the pleasure of starting a partnership with Good360. We started in mid-July of this year, and we have been more than impressed. They have made it easy on us start to finish. The employees listened to what we needed and walked us through to make sure everything smooth and accordingly. We have had the pleasure of starting with two donors and they have yet to disappoint. This program has been a tremendous asset to our organization. We are supplied the goods and products that we need and give back to the community what we don’t. This program has also been extremely beneficial for us to partner with other nonprofits in our community. Anything that we don’t need or can’t use, we reach out to other local charities to see if we can donate to them. This is such a great asset for everyone because it helps us with creating relationships with other local nonprofits and it helps them get a donation of things, they need but don’t typically get. Aside from the products that Good360 has helped provide us, this has helped us with saving resources to use on other important things within our charity. For example, being able to receive the donated products this has made us be able to save and use our finances towards other things such as the prizes we give away during a fundraiser event. Now, I know you’re probably thinking that this is a scam because there can’t possibly be a nonprofit organization out there that does all of this. But, I’m here to tell you that this is not a scam and it is true. When we first heard about Good360 and all of the great things they do we were a little skeptical at first, but we cast our worries aside and gave them a try and now we are more than pleased with the outstanding partnerships we have developed. The best part is whether you’re looking to receive products as a nonprofit, a person who is struggling, or a business who wants to donate their surplus of goods, Good360 has a valuable place for you. « PreviousNext »
Returning Fire on Parkinson’s Disease
What is Parkinson’s Disease and its Symptoms?Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain known as the substantia nigra. This results in a progressive loss of movement and coordination since dopamine is used by the body to pass signals between neurons. Essentially, the brain’s delivery system for muscle movement signals is shut down or extremely limited. Over time, the symptoms worsen, as more and more dopamine-producing neurons die until the individual is incapable of controlling his or her movements. Typically, this progression is slow, acting over a duration of time, but for some can progress at a much quicker rate. Symptoms of Parkinson’s and the extent of them can vary from person to person. The most common symptoms consistent with the disease are as follows:
- Tremor: mainly taking effect while at rest
- Bradykinesia: slowness of movement
- Rigidity: stiffness or inflexible muscles, most commonly occurring in the limbs
- Gait: causing movement to be limited to small shuffling steps and the inability to keep balanced
David’s StoryDavid was only 38 years old at the time he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and since then has been doing all he can to fight back and regain his independence. In the beginning, David was confined to a handicap scooter to help him get around. He reported he was in the scooter because he could walk to his mailbox outside but any further and he would have a frozen episode and become unable to move. As time went on the shakes increased and David began looking into other forms of treatment. Just as most individuals affected by the disease, he was prescribed a set of medications to help him with his various symptoms. But after some time, he realized the side effects of the meds were worse than his symptoms. David wanted to find a way that would help him improve and not just supplement with medication. He read about a study on dance and the effects it has on helping with Parkinson’s. When attending the study, they had him listen to lectures about the science behind it while others got to dance. What stuck with him the most from the lecture was “neuroplasticity”. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Essentially, it allows neurons in the brain to pick up the slack for damaged or diseased cells to help the body adapt and heal itself. After learning more about this, David immediately signed up for the dance portion of the study. But unfortunately, he did not meet the physical and cognitive measurement requirements and had to drop out. As David says, “the only thing left for me to do was shoot”. David went to talk to some people at the NRA and realized when he went to aim his gun, the shaking stopped. Since then it’s all he does. David claims the shooting helps him not only with the shaking but also with his hand-eye coordination and keeping him physically active. Additionally, “Parkinson’s has an effect on memory, and I know I’m not as sharp as I used to be”, says David. He further explained, “when shooting in competitions and courses, I need to take out 40+ targets as quickly as possible. So remembering where the targets are strengthening my brain, physical ability, and clarity as well as my self-confidence.” He never expected it to go this far, he originally started just to help himself and to try to enjoy his life. In an attempt to get himself better and to minimize his medication, David began using “Gun Therapy” daily, to help him improve his ability and to fight back against Parkinson’s. The way he saw it, by taking in synthetic dopamine it only synthetically fixes that broken pathway and in his belief the pathway will never rebuild itself or improve. Now, David spends 90% of his day shooting, the only thing that helps him truly feel himself again and improve his condition. “When I measured my shakes at 25 yards out, my shots would travel 6 feet of shake from my aim, but when I go to pull the trigger my arm steadies and I am on target”, David said. Before Gun Therapy, he was taking roughly 25 pills a day and last year, he successfully got himself down to only 6! An incredible accomplishment, only to be topped by his continued ability to win a number of shooting competitions, despite his condition.
What’s next for David?David has many goals in mind. He wants to spread the word of Gun Therapy, as well as spread awareness to help people understand not only Parkinson’s but all diseases/conditions impacting people around the world. However, next on David’s agenda is competing in this years World Rifle Shoot in Sweden. This competition is one of the most competitive of them all! David explains it as being the step above the Olympics! Only 24 people are accepted to enter and over 20k-30k competitors try every week to qualify. David is extremely excited and ready to get after it, bringing Gun Therapy and the Parkinson’s Shooter to the global stage. Training every day, firing over 100,000+ rounds a year, David is ready to take on the competition and hoping to land an ammo sponsor who can help him spread his Gun Therapy message and show the world, guns are not bad but actually useful tools for anyway. David is a man who refused to quit and instead chose to return fire on his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Reclaiming his freedom and keeping himself as mobile and fit as possible, David doesn’t plan on retiring from competitions or shooting any time soon. Instead he only has bigger hopes and greater dreams! Dreamscape Foundation wants to wish David luck this August as he competes at the World Rifle Shoot in Sweden and hopes he shows the world what the Parkinson’s Shooter is all about! If you wish to follow and support David, please follow him on Instagram and Facebook. « PreviousNext »
Hannibal YMCA’s Dedication to the Community
Hannibal YMCA’s Dedicated ProgramsThe Hannibal YMCA was established with one main goal in mind; to help strengthen the total person so everyone can reach their highest potential and enjoy an increased well-being. They work to achieve this goal through there three primary program categories. These include Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.
Youth Development ProgramsTheir Youth Development programs include child care, swimming/sports/play, as well as camping trips. The Y understands that families have enough to worry about as it is and don’t need the added stress of finding quality child care. Their child care programs are set up with more in mind then simply looking after your children. They focus on the development of the kids by providing a safe place to learn foundational skills and to build new healthy friendships. As for their sports and recreational activities, they take the time to teach kids about the importance of becoming and remaining active throughout their lives. According to the Y, “Whether it’s gaining the confidence that comes from learning to swim or building the positive relationships that lead to good sportsmanship and teamwork, participating in sports at the Y is about building the whole child, from the inside out.” The Hannibal YMCA believes highly in nurturing the potential of every child and teen, to help them learn their true values and abilities!
Healthy Living ProgramsThe provided Healthy Living programs go above and beyond what you would typically expect. Their wellness programs include different sports/recreation, physical fitness classes and facilities but also mind and spiritual strengthening programs. Additionally, they offer family time activities to help families grow greater connections and bonds. The wellness programs range from educational activities to promote healthier decision making, to programs supporting physical, intellectual and spiritual strength. The Hannibal YMCA knows that true well-being doesn’t only come from a clean diet or physical exercise. But instead, lies within strengthening the mind, body and spirit as a whole!
Social Services and Volunteer EffortsAccording to the Y, “We know that when we work as one, we move people and communities forward. That’s why we are committed to providing support to our neighbors and opportunities for kids, adults and families to give, join in or advocate in the name of stronger communities.” In order to bring the community together as one, the Hannibal YMCA orchestrates community service projects, donations, volunteer efforts and social services. A community is like a family. You all live in the same area and understand the needs of the people around you. Together, a community can achieve almost anything but when divided, can achieve nothing. Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” When we look out for those around us and show love to those in our community, it becomes contagious. Little by little, everyone starts to benefit and the community as a whole grows closer and stronger. « PreviousNext »
Best Ways To Adjust To Your Disability With Age
- Statistics and Medical concerns for people aging with a disability
- Functional Problems associated to aging with a disability
- Current actions being taken towards helping those with disabilities
Medical ProblemsStudies have shown the average person normally wouldn’t experience medical or functional issues directly related to aging until at least 70-75+ years old. However, it has been shown that people with a disability tend to develop these issues 20-25 years sooner! These same individuals are also 3-4 times more likely then their nondisabled peers, to develop secondary health problems. These include but are not limited to Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Fractures, and Osteoporosis. These are due to a number of different aspects depending on the type and severity of the disability.
Functional ProblemsAging with a disability is hard enough as it is and with the addition of functional problems can become over baring. Regardless of the original disability, it is common for individuals to begin experiencing a sudden weakness or loss of strength, decreased endurance, limited range of motion and in some cases an increase in pain. As these symptoms progress, it can become inherently difficult to complete basic daily tasks such as feeding or dressing oneself, shopping, or getting around from place to place. Seeing as many people with disabilities can develop these at an earlier age (40-50 years old), employment and being able to complete the necessary tasks associated to your career can also be affected. Between at home care, physical rehabilitation and permanent disability, people with disabilities now more then ever, can get the help they need to support themselves and their families. It is important for anyone struggling with a disability to conduct some research of your own, because everyone is different and so are their disabilities and needs.
Current Actions Around the WorldToday, doing all we can to help those struggling with a disability has become a global responsibility. In 2006, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). According to the UN the Convention, “takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as ‘objects’ of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as ‘subjects’ with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.” It highlights the legal obligation to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities both in society and individual development. Some key topics identified by the Convention are accessibility, living independently and being included in the community, personal mobility, and health. In addition to the CRPD, the UN has also implemented the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda which specifically references ending poverty, good health and well-being, decent work and sustainable communities, for older persons and persons with disabilities.
Striving to UnderstandAn associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Michigan Medicine and a member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, Michelle Meade, Ph.D., once said “When we work in a health care system, we interact with patients with disabilities, but we don’t always understand what it’s like to live with a physical disability”. In this statement, she expresses the notion that only those living with a disability can truly understand what they are going through. No matter how much you study or how much time you spend with people who have disabilities, you will never know what it is like to walk in their shoes, but we can lend a helping hand. In a world where people are living longer and new scientific/medical breakthroughs are happening regularly, we must remember to continue taking strides towards making life better for everyone, regardless of our own abilities. « PreviousNext »
11 Facts You Should Know About LHON
Onset effects Young AdultsWhen Dreamscape founder learned of his disability, he was only 16 years old. Often, we listen to similar stories of those effected by LHON. People usually develop LHON mid-late teens, and is described as loss of sharpness and a fading of color vision. The vision loss mainly affects central vision, which is needed for tasks such as reading, driving and recognizing faces. In a small percentage of cases, the central vision loss can improve; but in most cases loss of vision is permanent. It’s only after a year or so living with the disability, is when people fully adapt to their new surroundings. With the help of accessible technology, and charities like Dreamscape Foundation, you too can find the freedom you are looking for!
LHON is Painless but Quick ActingYou can rest a bit easier to learn that LHON’s onset is a painless one. The experience on the other hand, can throw quite a curve ball. It only takes a few moments for the central vision loss to kick in, leaving only peripheral view. We often hear stories of rapid blindness, usually after rubbing ones eye. In some cases, one eye will start to be effected before the other. The other eye’s condition soon worsens, at an average of 8 weeks after the initial onset. LHON is still has a cloudy reputation, as most people have never heard of the hereditary disability. It’s a good reminder to know that most of the visually disabled are not 100% blind! This can be a common misunderstanding, due to outdated stereotypes of the blind.
LHON is Transmitted by the MotherLHON is passed down to children primarily due to mutations in the mitochondrial (rather than the male nuclear) genome, and only the egg contributes mitochondria to the embryo. Mitochondria constantly convert energy locked in our food into energy that the cell can use, and are small sub-units that reside within the cell. LHON follows a mitochondrial pattern of inheritance, also known as maternal inheritance. Only egg cells contribute mitochondria to a developing embryo, therefore only females can pass mitochondrial conditions to their children. Fathers affected by LHON or carrying LHON mutations do not pass the condition to their children.
Discovery of DisabilityThis disease was first written and described by the German ophthalmologist Theodor Leber in 1871, only 31 years old at the time. In said paper, Leber described 4 families in which a number of young men suffered abrupt loss of vision in both eyes either simultaneously or sequentially. This disease was initially thought to be nuclear linked but was subsequently shown to be mitochondrial.
Other Useful LHON Facts
- LHON affects both males and females, but more commonly found in men.
- The birth prevalence of LHON is approximately 1 in 50,000 people.
- More than 50% of men and more than 85% of women with a mitochondrial mutation will never experience vision loss.
- Without a known family history of LHON the diagnosis usually requires a neuro-ophthalmological evaluation and blood testing for mitochondrial DNA assessment.
- “LHON Plus” is a name given to a rare variant of the disorder with eye disease together with other conditions. (Many cases of LHON plus have been comparable to multiple sclerosis because of the lack of muscular control.)
- In 1988 Wallace et al. identified the nature of the first known causative mutation (50-70% of all LHON cases).
- The other two mutations known to cause LHON were identified in 1991 (8-25% of all LHON cases) and 1992 (10-15% of all LHON cases).