Billboards paid off for Calgary teacher. . . . Hemodialysis patients enjoying some exercise

Ryan McLennan, a teacher in Calgary, needed a kidney. So his wife mounted a billboard campaign. . . . Tony Timmons, a FedEx driver, saw one of the billboards. . . . Timmons, originally from Gander, Nfld., answered the call. . . . Shawn Logan of Postmedia has the entire story — and it’s a good one — right here.


I have been hearing about people doing hemodialysis and getting some exercise at the same time for a year or so now. I’m thinking this is going to become more and more common in dialysis units.



Facing The Facts About Organ Donation 2019


From the website photosforkidneys.com: “If you’re waiting for a kidney transplant, or have had one in the past, or if you’re a kidney donor yourself, please feel free to contact us if you would like to participate in our photo project. We would love to meet you!” 






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Scattershooting on a Wednesday night with swans on the river and Christmas movies on the way . . .

Scattershooting

Larry Brooks, the New York Post’s veteran hockey scribe, had a column in Sunday’s paper that carried this headline: Disgusting hockey knockout shows why fighting must go ASAP. . . . Included in the column was this paragraph: “This is not about manliness. It is about evolution. We are nearing the 2020s and fisticuffs are still sanctioned and sold as part of the pro hockey entertainment experience. Enough. Enough, already.” . . . That column is right here.

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Brooks is exactly right, and it’s long past time for the WHL to stop dragging its knuckles on the ground and get rid of fighting. . . . F Jake McGrew of the Spokane Chiefs hasn’t played since Oct. 6. A 31-goal scorer last season, he had five goals and three assists in six games when he fought D Gianni Fairbrother of the Everett Silvertips. . . . Kevin Dudley, who covers the Chiefs for the Spokane Spokesman-Review, tweeted that McGrew “was knocked out” in that fight. Later, McGrew was listed as out indefinitely with upper- and lower-body injuries. He mentioned on his Instagram page that he was to have surgery, and has since reported that it “was a success.” . . . One has to think the San Jose Sharks must be really happy with McGrew’s status, what with their having drafted and signed the 20-year-old.


Phone


Was watching Game 7 of the World Series when I flipped over to the Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings game between innings. Got there just in time to see a fight featuring Vancouver F Micheal Ferland. Flipped back to baseball immediately. . . . Ferland didn’t come out for the second period thanks to what the Canucks are calling an upper-body injury. . . . But, hey, by all means, let’s keep fighting in the game.



The headline in the Houston Chronicle after the Washington Nationals beat the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series: Nats ding Cole.

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Now that was a great World Series. Yes, MLB has a problem with the length of games, but all that is forgotten during a seven-game series as entertaining as this one. Once again live sports proves that it is the only real reality TV.

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Winnie


A report from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Ex-outfielder Milton Bradley sold his home in L.A. for $3.7 million. And you thought Parker Brothers getting $350 for Park Place was steep?”


A couple of weeks ago, quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers finished a game with a perfect rating of 158.3. That brought this question from Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com: “Whoever thought of a system where a perfect score is 158.3?”



Silly me. I was naive enought to think that Sportsnet would televise Sunday afternoon’s outdoor game between the Calgary Hitmen and the Pats at Mosaic Stadium in Regina. One might have thought that the Sportsnet folks could have found room for the game somewhere in their multi-channel universe. When that game doesn’t end up on TV, you really have to wonder what kind of partnership the TV people have with the CHL.


The tundra and trumpeter swans that winter in our little corner of the world arrived on the South Thompson River over the weekend. On Monday, the LGIW was scouring the television guide for Christmas movies and setting the PVR to record a whack of them. . . . Ahh, yes, the first signs of winter!



One day this week, Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle found himself without power in his home due to the blackouts in California, so he ventured outside with his laptop and ended up reporting back: “No power at home, but I found this really cool place to set up shop. It has coffee, internet and tables. It’s like a huge Starbucks, but with all kinds of books! Sign says ‘Library,’ but don’t ask me how to pronounce it. I think it’s a chain.”


BaskinRobins

Scattershooting on a Thursday night while wondering what it is about Regina drivers and their phones . . .

Scattershooting


The New York Yankees and host Houston Astros combined to use 14 pitchers — seven apiece — in Game 6 of the ALCS. The game, won 6-4 by the Astros as they won the series, took four hours nine minutes.

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On Oct. 13, 1960, Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski hit a ninth-inning home run to give the Pirates a 10-9 victory over the Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series. That game featured nine pitchers, five by the Yankees, and took two hours 36 minutes.

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Yes, Major League Baseball has a problem.


Messages


I really don’t know what was more fun — social media in the two weeks before the Canadian election or social media on Tuesday, the day after said election.


With the NBA regular season opening this week, Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, writes: “I would like to pose a rhetorical question to the players on the team that wins the NBA Championship next June. I am sure that many — if not most — of those players would choose not to accept an invitation to go to the White House as part of their championship celebration — and I have no problem at all with that. Here is my question: If President Xi Jinping of China invites the NBA champions to come to his office for an honorary visit, would you go, or would you stiff the President of the PRC? . . . Oh, while I am at it, let me ask Commissioner Silver what his position might be in this circumstance?”


Hey, Regina, this police officer wrote 1,134 distracted driving tickets all of last year. . . .


Patti Dawn Swansson, the River City Renegade, writes: “Tiger Woods has taken up the quill and will write a memoir to tell the ‘definitive story’ of his life as a golf prodigy and icon. So we’ll finally get the answer to that burning question: ‘When Elin found out about all the blonde cocktail waitresses and escorts that Tiger was shagging, did she attack him with a nine-iron or a pitching wedge?’ ” . . . There is a lot more Swansson gold right here.


AirportSecurity


“Some 310 birds crashed into the windows of the NASCAR Hall of Fame building in Charlotte, N.C.,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Even more stunning, the birds were chimney swifts, not racing pigeons.”


Here’s a memory from Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Welterweight boxing champ Errol Spence spectacularly flipped his Ferrari, but he apparently got off easy with fairly minor injuries. Spence, unbelted, was ejected from his chariot. Flash back decades. A flight attendant asks then-heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali to fasten his seatbelt. Ali: ‘Superman don’t need no seat belt.’ Flight attendant: ‘Superman don’t need no airplane.’ ”



Alexander Gulyavtsev is the head coach of the KHL team Amur Khabarovsk. He is from the Russian city of Perm, as is Victor Gashilov, a referee in a game on Monday. During that game, an unhappy Gulyavtsev told Gashilov: “I’m going to set fire to your car in Perm.” . . . The KHL has fined the coach 300,000 rubles, or about US$4,700. . . . Gulyavtsev later said it was a joke. As he put it: “I just said car; it’s not as if I said apartment.” . . . The score in the game? Dynamo Moscow won, 5-1.


In all of hockey, there may be nothing more over-rated than the game-day morning skate. In an era when the importance of rest finally is being recognized, more and more teams are doing away with something that has been there seemingly forever. Here is Mike Sullivan, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, explaining why he has done away with them to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey: “It’s like, ‘Why does the whole league have morning skates?’ It reminds me of why my mother cut the side of the hams off before she cooked ‘em. I asked her, ‘Why do you cut the sides of the hams off?’ She said, ‘I don’t know. Because that’s how my mother taught me.’ So I asked my grandmother. I said, ‘Why do you cut the side of the hams off before you put ’em in the oven?’ She said, ‘That was easy. I didn’t have a pan that was big enough.’ That’s my analogy.”


Here’s Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: “Kenyan superstar runner Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2-hour marathon barrier in 1:59.40.2, a once unfathomable feat. I once covered 26.2 miles even quicker, but didn’t get credit because I was in a car.”


ICYMI . . . the WHL returned to Cranbrook on Thursday . . .

RE/MAX, WHL back with Don Cherry on organ donation promotion . . . WHL has 17 Canadian teams involved

DonCherry
(Photo: whl.ca)

A tip of the Taking Note chapeau to the WHL and RE/MAX of Western Canada for their decision to once again show such terrific support for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

For a third straight season, they are backing the promotion that they call — take a deep breath — RE/MAX Presents: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation.”

To date, the promotion has raised more than $460,000 for the Kidney Foundation.

From a news release:

“From January to March 2020, all 17 WHL (teams) in Canadian markets will host a theme game complete with special-edition Hockey Night in Canada-themed sweaters, crested with the fan-favourite powder-blue logo that represented Hockey Night in Canada until 1998. Representing a picture long stamped in the memories of Canadians, this (season’s) collectible bobblehead welcomes Cherry alongside his affable Hockey Night in Canada co-host Ron MacLean, wearing his signature powder-blue Hockey Night in Canada blazer. . . .

“Fans will have a chance to get their hands on the limited-edition Hockey Night in Canada-themed WHL sweaters through local auctions with (each team). The Kidney Foundation of Canada will again be the benefactor, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going towards local chapters of the foundation. In addition to game-worn uniforms, fans will have the chance to bid on a Don Cherry-autographed theme jersey in each participating WHL market.”

If you are wondering why Cherry is involved in this promotion — and has been since Day 1 — it’s because his daughter, Cindy, gave a kidney to her brother, Tim, more than 40 years ago.

Representatives of the Kidney Foundation will be on hand at each of the 17 games to answer questions and provide information regarding organ donation. If you are interested in registering as a donor, there is more info at CanadaDonates.ca.

Here is the WHL’s schedule of organ donor awareness games:

Friday, Jan. 17 — Edmonton Oil Kings

Friday, Jan. 24 — Regina Pats

Saturday, Jan. 25 — Prince Albert Raiders

Friday, Jan. — Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince George Cougars, Red Deer Rebels

Friday, Feb. 7 — Brandon Wheat Kings

Saturday, Feb. 8 — Vancouver Giants

Friday, Feb. 21 — Lethbridge Hurricanes

Saturday, Feb. 29 — Swift Current Broncos

Friday, March 6 — Kamloops Blazers, Saskatoon Blades

Saturday, March 7 — Medicine Hat Tigers, Winnipeg Ice

Friday, March 13 — Victoria Royals

Saturday, March 14 — Kelowna Rockets

Sunday, March 15 — Calgary Hitmen.


Facing The Facts About Organ Donation 2019

Roed family hoping this one will be merriest of Christmases . . . Cypress prepping for transplant on Thursday

Cypress Roed of Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., is preparing to spend her third straight Christmas in Vancouver.

This one, though, will be different.

While she spent the first two of those holidays in hospital because she was ill, this time she will be healing and looking forward to a bright future.

That’s because Roed, an eight-year-old Grade 3 student, entered hospital on Monday as preparations began for a kidney transplant that is scheduled for Thursday (Oct. 24).

“Cypress has focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a disease that caused a scarring of her kidneys, preventing them from filtering protein from her urine,” Grace Kennedy wrote in the Agassiz-Harrison Observer. “The disease required that Cypress’s kidneys be removed, and now she is on dialysis and is a frequent visitor at BC Children’s Hospital.”

(Kennedy’s story is right here.)

Cypress had been on the transplant list in hopes a deceased donor match would be found. Then the news came in September that a match had been found through the Living Donor Paired Exchange Program.

“I felt guilty when we were on the deceased donor list, because you’re waiting for another family member of somebody to pass away so my child can survive,” Chantelle Deley, Cypress’s mother, said earlier this month. “But when we got a call that there’s a live donor, it kind of filled that guilt with gratitude.

“Before, I kept going to pack the hospital bags, and I would stop. I just couldn’t do it. And now they’re all packed and they’re ready to go.”

There is another side to stories like these, too, one that often is if not forgotten, certainly overlooked. That is the impact on family members.

As Deley told Kennedy, a lot of people “don’t realize the ripple effects and the trickles that an illness like this . . . has on families.”

Not only is Deley dealing with having to be in Vancouver, but she also has to keep the family home in Harrison Hot Springs afloat, something that became harder after she and Cypress’s father recently separated.

Friends suggested that Deley set up a GoFundMe page, and she has done that, although it wasn’t easy.

“I have a hard time reaching out,” Deley told Kennedy. “It’s pride. You want to do it yourself, take care of your kids yourself. But at this point, I can’t. So I’m reaching out for support and help so I can focus on her.

“It was a bit emotional. Before we got this call, I was thinking about putting off transplant so I could work. It’s not an option now. It’s not something we can put off anymore . . . it’s something she needs.”

If you are able to help, the GoFundMe Page is right here.

And while you’re out and about on Thursday, take a moment and have a thought for Cypress.

Mondays With Murray: Ravages of Time

Jim Murray was born on Dec. 29, 1919, so we are preparing for what would have been his 100th birthday. Today we take you back 50 years to a column Jim wrote about turning 50.

Enjoy!

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1969, SPORTS

Copyright 1969/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

Ravages of Time

   I woke up Monday morning and looked in the mirror — and an imposter winked back at me.

  That fellow in the mirror was 50 years old that day. Not me. I’m somewhere between 26 and 39.

  “Good morning, Mr. Hyde. How does it feel to be 50?” I asked him. I’ve been needling him for years.

  You see, this fella has been playing tricks on me for a long while. For instance, being mondaysmurray2young, I have a cast-iron stomach. HE gets gas on the stomach. Lately. When HE gets gas on the stomach, I belch.

  I never should have taken the old fool on. You know, I can hear perfectly well. The trouble is the sounds come through HIS ears. Therefore because of HIM, I find myself saying, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

  He’s insidious, implacable. My enemy was in that mirror. It’s like fighting China. He’s got all the time in the world. One of these days, I’m going to be lying on my back in bed with a sawbones looking grave above me and people crying in the corner, and I’m gonna say, “Do me a favor. Go in and take a look at that old creep in the mirror and tell him to get a new boy. That I’m going over the wall. I’ve had enough of carrying his load.”

  You see, I know what he’s going to do to me. He’s already begun. You know that nice turn I used to take off a teed-up golf ball? Well, now it sounds like twigs snapping under an elephant. My backbone was as supple and gristly as a baby shark’s. Shucks, it was only three years ago, I was the best twister at the office party.

  Now, he’s got me taking a 3-wood off the tee.

  You remember how I used to fire those long, arching passes to the boy out in the lot? Well, he’s taken all the lube out of the bow joint. I throw underhanded like a girl now.

  My eyes are just as good as they ever were — 20/200. He has clouded them over for reading fine print. My belly used to be as flat as Texas. HE has put on weight. I would try to outwit him by jogging 10 miles or so every day, but the doctor tells me dead men sell no scales.

  The worst he’s done is corrupted my mind. I mean, I still have 31 of my 32 teeth (they got more gold in them than the city of Florence) and two million separate strands of hair on my head, but I’ve got HIS neck. It’s beginning to wattle.

  But the worst disease he carried is nostalgia. I mean, I’ve always been a guy who wanted news, the latest thing, the newest gimmick. But, you see, this old creep I took in out of the cold 49 years 11 months and 30 days ago is now using me like a ventriloquist. Someone says an electric toothbrush is a great invention and — in my voice — my enemy says, “Anybody who doesn’t have the strength to push a brush up and down his teeth should put them in a glass, anyway.”

  But, worst of all, youngsters say, “Boy, that Rod Carew is a great hitter!” and you find yourself screaming, “Rod Carew! I thought he was a coxswain! Why, with the ’27 Yankees, he’d have to take batting practice with the bullpen crew. The regulars would be afraid to pick up bad habits just watching him. Now, Babe Ruth, THERE was a hitter. Used to warm up against machine gun bullets. He could bat .360 against the Gatling gun.”

  “Paul Warfield is a great end,” they say. “Paul Warfield! I thought he was a baritone! He’d be in a taxi on the 1950 Rams. Now, Hirsch and Fears, THERE were ends. They were, you might say, THE ends.”

  Or, they may bring up some hot-shot young golfer. “Couldn’t shag for Hogan,” you sniff.

  Well, my enemy’s gums hurt. His hands shake, his blood is tired, and he wants to go put on something by Lawrence Welk, and he’s worried about sitting in a draft and wants to go sit in a blanket with Musterole and do crossword puzzles. Me, I want to go surfing.

  I suppose now I’ll go out and get hit on the head by some young punk that a young athlete like me would kick under the car if I didn’t have that coward at the control. He’s jealous is what he is. He’s been trying to turn my hair gray for 10 years, but my hair is younger than both of us. I think he’s got one week to give me rheumatism or they make him turn in his scythe. He keeps telling them I’m only Shangri-la on the outside, but inside, I look like Ptolemy. He ought to know. He’s in there. Not me.

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Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

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What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.

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A dozen years ago, Linda McCoy-Murray compiled a book of Jim Murray’s columns on female athletes (1961-1998). While the book is idle waiting for an interested publisher, the JMMF thinks this is an appropriate year to get the book on the shelves, i.e., Jim Murray’s 100th birthday, 1919-2019.  

Our mission is to empower women of all ages to succeed and prosper — in and out of sports — while entertaining the reader with Jim Murray’s wit and hyperbole.  An excellent teaching tool for Women’s Studies.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing sports journalism scholarships at universities across the country.

Can polycystic kidney disease be reversed? Researchers make diet-based discovery

The Kamloops Kidney Support Group gathers twice a month and we almost always have someone there who has been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) or has a family member with it.

According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada:

PKD “is a genetic disorder that causes multiple cysts to form in the kidneys. Polycystic kidneys become very large, have a bumpy surface and contain many fluid-filled cysts. This can be associated with a number of conditions, including: High blood pressure, urinary and kidney infections, kidney stones, and kidney failure.”

Also from the foundation’s website: “PKD can strike anyone at any time. About five per cent of all people requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation have PKD.”

(That info, and more, can be found right here.)

Last week, though, there was some big news involving PKD.

In a piece headlined ‘Reversing polycystic kidney disease,’ Sonia Fernandez of the U of California Santa Barbara writes:

“Thanks to research conducted by UC Santa Barbara biochemist Thomas Weimbs, postdoctoral researcher Jacob Torres and their team, a solution may be no farther than the end of your fork. Diet, they discovered, could hold the key to treating PKD.”

Until now, PKD, as Fernandez writes, “has long been thought to be progressive and irreversible, condemning its sufferers to a long, slow and often painful decline as fluid-filled cysts develop in the kidneys, grow and eventually rob the organs of their function.”

The only options, at this point, are dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Now, though, scientists believe that they have “identified the specific metabolic process responsible for slowing the progress of the disease” in mice.

As Weimbs told Fernandez: “There’s a way of avoiding the development of the cysts through dietary interventions that lead to ketosis.”

Fernandez added: “You heard that right: Ketosis, the underlying metabolic state of popular diets such as the ketogenic diet, and, to a lesser extent, time-restricted feeding (a form of intermittent fasting), has been shown in the Weimbs group’s studies to stall and even reverse PKD.”

Fernandez’s complete story is right here.