Obama invokes mother’s battles against cancer, insurers

August 12, 2009

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“She was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known,” Obama wrote, “and that what is best in me I owe to her.” – I know exactly how he feels…love you Mom!
– FlashAddict

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WASHINGTON (AFP) – Among the heartrending tales invoked by President Barack Obama as he stumps for healthcare reform, none is more poignant than that of his own mother’s losing fight against cancer.

As he presses for an overhaul of the healthcare system, Obama often recounts the crises faced by Americans who with their jobs have lost their medical coverage, or who file for bankruptcy when faced with a health calamity.

But Exhibit A among the tragic examples is that of his own mother, Ann Dunham, who lost her fight to cancer nearly a decade and a half ago as she battled insurance companies.

“It’s… personal for me,” Obama told a crowd at a high-profile forum on Tuesday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“I will never forget my own mother as she fought cancer in her final months, having to worry about whether her insurance would refuse to pay for her treatment,” he told the crowd.

He was reprising a story he told frequently on the campaign trail, and more recently on the road, while drumming up support for his health industry reform agenda.

“The insurance company was arguing that somehow she should have known that she had cancer when she took her new job, even though it hadn’t been diagnosed yet,” Obama told the New Hampshire audience Tuesday.

“If it could happen to her, it could happen to any one of us. And I’ve heard from so many Americans who have the same worries.”

In the preface to his first book, “Dreams From My Father,” an elegy to his absentee dad, Obama also eulogizes the mother “whom we lost, with a brutal swiftness, to cancer a few months after this book was originally published.”

According to some news accounts, Ann Dunham’s cancer at first had been misdiagnosed in Indonesia as indigestion.

It was later determined by experts at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to be a fast-moving uterine cancer that had spread to her ovaries.

In remarks that seem informed by his mother’s ordeal, Obama added that his goal now with healthcare reform is to set up a system “that gives a little bit of help to people who currently are working hard every day but they don’t have healthcare insurance on the job.”

He also hopes to ensure that patients already insured “are not going to be dropped because of a pre-existing conditions or because you lose your job or because you change your job — that you’re actually going to get what you pay for, that you’re not going to find out when you’re sick that you got cheated.”

“If we can set up a system that gives you some security, that’s worth a lot,” he said.

His mother, who held a doctorate degree in anthropology, forged a career in international economic development, working for a while with the Ford Foundation in Jakarta and later with the US Agency for International Development and the World Bank, and helping to guide micro-enterprise projects to aid poor women.

Her mother’s frustrating odyssey as a cancer patient also figured into his historic presidential campaign, when he vowed to remake the medical coverage system.

“In (her) last painful months, she was more worried about paying her medical bills than getting well,” Obama said in one campaign advertisement that aired in 2008.

“I hear stories like hers everyday. For 20 years Washington has talked about healthcare reform and reformed nothing. Unless we stop the bickering and the lobbyists we will be in the same place 20 years from now,” he said.

Ann Dunham returned to her home state of Hawaii where she lived out the final months of her life, and died at the age of 53 on November 7, 1995, before Obama — who by then was living in Chicago — could get to her bedside to say goodbye.

Obama has said that his greatest regret is not being at his mother’s side when she died, and has called her the most influential person in his life.

“I think sometimes that had I known she would not survive her illness, I might have written a different book — less a meditation on the absent parent, more a celebration of the one who was the single constant in my life,” he wrote in “Dreams From My Father.”

“She was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known,” Obama wrote, “and that what is best in me I owe to her.”

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090812/usa/us_politics_obama_health_mother


My Personal Journey

April 9, 2009
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For my Video Art class at Emily Carr, I decided to move forward with the “Personal Journeys” project and so I went ahead and recorded the story of the day my mom died from ovarian cancer in 1994 and the Journey that I and my family went through that day and made a video about it. I published it on YouTube last night and wanted to share it with all of you:
– FlashAddict

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John DeVeaux is a second year Film, Video and Integrated Media student at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Classifying himself as a Digital Artist with future aspirations to work in either the film or video game industry, his work focuses on combining a wide range of media including crowd sourcing, data capture, film/video, installation, storytelling and web based material.

My Personal Journey tells the story of the day John’s mother died from ovarian cancer in 1994 and features the artist providing a solitary monologue over a black screen with white text providing an ongoing narrative, as he describes the mental images that haunt him to this day.

Inspiration for this video comes from Derek Jarman’s film, Blue, which showcases the director looking back on his life as he was losing his sight and dying from AIDS. The film is 79 minutes in length and features a single shot of saturated blue covering the entire frame of the screen.

My Personal Journey is also part of an ongoing digital art project dealing with personal storylines about significant or memorable Journeys in peoples respective lives and can be viewed at:

http://personaljourneys.wordpress.com


Monday’s CrossFit WOD

September 22, 2008

Stupid me went into the gym this morning to work out during the 11am class, only to find out that they don’t have 11am classes on Monday :S

BUT Popeye (one of the CF personal trainers) was there with 2 of his clients and let me do my own thing while he worked with them. Unfortunately for me, I still have a bit of an abdominal strain from last week’s workouts (pullups killed me) so Popeye told me to skip today’s WOD:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of
wall balls (20 lbs)
pull-ups
box jumps
sit ups

and to just focus on my legs only – best to work other muscles then to strain my abs further and not be able to workout at all.

So after my warmup, I ended up doing 4 rounds of the following:

400m run
50 x squats

TOTAL TIME: 36:19 – not the greatest of times, but my conditioning during the last run and squat round was better then my third, so it’s all coming together nicely.

PS: When I first joined CrossFit 2 months ago, I weighed 235 pounds – when I weighed myself this morning…I was 215 pounds!!! 20 pounds down in 8 weeks and I am well on my way to get down to my goal in the 200-205 lbs range.


Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball…

September 16, 2008

[ open on three kids playing with their Happy Fun Ball ]

Kid 1: It’s happy!

Kid 2: It’s fun!

All Three Kids: It’s Happy Fun Ball!

Announcer: Yes, it’s Happy Fun Ball! The toy sensation that’s sweeping the nation! Only $14.95 at participating stores! Get one today!

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.

Caution: Happy Fun Ball may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.

Happy Fun Ball contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.

Do not use Happy Fun Ball on concrete.

Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:

  • itching
  • vertigo
  • dizziness
  • tingling in extremities
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • slurred speech
  • temporary blindness
  • profuse sweating
  • or heart palpitations.

If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.

When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration. Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company, Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.

Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing green substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

Happy Fun Ball has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Happy Fun Ball comes with a lifetime warranty.

Announcer: Happy Fun Ball! Accept no substitutes!

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/90/90mhappyfunball.phtml


Return to Innocence – Enigma

September 12, 2008

This came out shortly after my mom passed away from ovarian cancer on January 28, 1994. Needless to say, both the song and video affected me a great deal during those hard times and I always feel the emotions come up a bit inside me whenever I hear it. With that being said, I would like to share it with the rest of you.