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Monday, March 28, 2016



Collabrative Partnership Will Promote Community Support and Research for People with Charcot-Marie-Tooth and Inherited Neuropathies


The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) announces its new national network designating medical Centers of Excellence (COE) for the hereditary neuropathy patient community, which includes those with a rare disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) and inherited neuropathies (IN).  The designated COEs demonstrate strengths in providing excellence in clinical care and research for this patient community and will collaborate with HNF to expand their role as CMT/IN patient community hubs for clinical care, community engagement, research and training/education.

CMT is the most common inherited peripheral neuropathy, affecting 1 in 2,500 people or approximately 2.6 million people worldwide at any age. CMT is disease with progressive nerve damage:  early signs can include high arched feet, curled toes, and claw-like hands.  Many of these signs begin subtly and may go undiagnosed for years, leading to legs and arms becoming deformed and difficult to use. Those with CMT often lose the ability to walk and may become dependent upon assistive devices to remain mobile.  Severe, chronic pain is common. Scientists have discovered over 80 related genes, however, there are currently no cures and only palliative treatments.

The program launches with the following ten institutions receiving HNF COE designation:

  • Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, MA)
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Columbia University Neuropathy Research Center (New York, NY)
  • Hospital for Special Care (New Britain, CT)
  • Saint Louis University Medical Center (St. Louis, MO)
  • Saint Luke's Rehabilitation Institute (Spokane, WA)
  • University of Florida College of Medicine (Gainesville, FL)
  • University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, KS)
  • University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine (Miami, FL)
  • University of Minnesota Medical School (Minneapolis, MN)
"HNF's primary goal for the HNF Centers of Excellence (COE) program and designation process is to ensure that care access and processes result in positive outcomes for each individual patient's clinical experience," shares Allison Moore, HNF founder and CEO.  "We are honored to have these premier Centers and their leading experts in partnership with us to improve the future for people with inherited neuropathies."

HNF's goals for the COE program are to:

  • Centralize care/clinical research into a collaborative research consortium with improved standard of best practice multi-disciplinary care in the management of CMT and providing services for families with CMT (e.g. therapeutic education);
  • Select and support institutions that excel with regard to knowledge and experience in CMT/IN care with a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Establish effective partnerships between institutions and local communities to conduct innovative research and to improve care/eliminate health disparities;
  • Strengthen existing training activities used to prepare clinicians and researchers to improve CMT care; and,
  • Conduct community engagement and outreach efforts, including on-going workshops and forums to serve the local community with therapeutic education and support.
"Based on the recent implementation of clinical trials for CMT, and HNF's goals in implementing more trials in the next 2-5 years, a geographically diverse network of local/and or regional clinical centers is critical to our plans and funding programs," continues Moore. "This new network will have the possibility to be mobilized and enrolled rapidly in new trials—which will ultimately save time and improve the chances of giving patients the therapies they currently do not have."

As part of HNF's community engagement goal for the COE network, Centers will have a chance to participate in HNF's new patient-focused CMT-Connect™ educational program, aimed at bringing wellness and empowerment workshops to local patients and their families.  These programs are due to launch in April/May timeframe in Rochester, NY, Holbrook, NY and New York City. 

Information on dates and locations is available at  www.hnf-cure.org/centersofexcellence.

**************************

Chris Wodke
Founder and Manager Team CMT

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Super Food Saturday Lemon Curd Cookies



Today I did a little bit of baking for Easter and a lot of thinking about my mom.  She died five years ago today. She loved Easter. It was her favorite holiday.  She also loved to bake. Every Easter she made lots of homemade treats. Some were for us and some for the Easter breakfast at her church.

I remember one year she made homemade raised doughnuts for our family Easter breakfast. She made them the day before and no one could have any, not even one taste. There were nine of us in our family so it was about three dozen doughnuts.  She put then on the counter of our walk-in pantry and closed the door.  She had  hours invested in them because raised doughnuts are made with yeast and take time to rise.

The whole family was watching TV that evening. My dad was laying on the sofa as he normally did.
My dad was a hunter and his hunting dog a black lab named Sam was also our family pet.  Sam trotted over to my dad bringing him a raised doughnut. It turned out it was the very last one left.  He had eaten the entire plate of doughnuts and brought the last one to my dad.  My poor mom was in tears. All her hard work went to the dog and now she had nothing to serve for our breakfast.
Trooper that she was, she went in the kitchen and whipped up a batch of baking powder doughnuts. Not quite as good as raised ones, but a pretty good substitute  on short notice.   To this day I am not really that big a fan of bakery doughnuts. They just cannot compare to my mom's fresh out of the fryer. She would always save a plain one for me because she knew that was how I liked mine.

Well I dedicated today's recipe to my mom. I hope she is proud of her kids.

Lemon Curd Cookie
 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 1/2 cups flour

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs, lemon juice and zest.  Add the flour and mix to form a soft dough.  Form in 1 inch balls.  Use a finger to indent a deep hole in the center of each cookie. Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are light brown.  Allow the cookies to cool and then fill with lemon curd.

Lemon Curd

3/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4  sugar
3 eggs

Add all the ingredients and whisk until well blended. Cook until thickened, about six minutes.  Let cool


*******************

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 2016

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 186 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.

CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tranformation Tuesday -Gratitude Study and CMT


I was reading a book recently on gratitude by Dr. Robert Emmons of  UC Davis.  He researches gratitude and its connect to healthy, success and happiness.

What caught my attention was a reference made to a study that he did with  a group neuro-muscular patients including patients with CMT.

The CMT patient came from the center of excellence at UC Davis.  I actually went on-line and pulled the original paper by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough  titled  "Counting Blessings versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life".

There have been several studies that have linked the practise of gratitude with greater happiness. The ability to notice, savor and appreciate the elements in life has been linked by several research studies to overall greater well-being.  I know of no study with the exception of this one that has used CMT patients.

The purpose of the McCullough and Emmons study was to understand if there was a link between gratitude and happiness. They wanted to test if a negative, neutral or positive outlook on life has any health effects.

The researches believed that self-guided exercises designed to induce a state of gratitude would lead to a heightened well-being over time.

They studied three groups of people:

  • 241 freshmen university students in a health psychology class at a public university.
  • 166 undergraduate students in a healthy psychology class at a public university
  • 65 people with congenital or adult on-set neuro-muscular diseases including polio, Charcot-Marie-Tooth)
There was a control group and a gratitude group for the CMT study The control group did nothing and the gratitude was asked to write down the things they were grateful for once a day for 21 days.

Then both groups were asked to fill out a self assessment on their optimism and how they connected to others. They rated how much pain they had,  and any other limitations from their disease.  Their partners were also fill out an assessment.

The study showed those in the study group practicing gratitude:
  • Reported more satisfaction with their life as a whole.
  • Felt more optimism in their upcoming week
  • Felt more connected to others
  • Got more sleep each night
  • Spent more time exercising
  • Had fewer symptoms (less negative effects from the disease)
  • More likely to have helped someone else.
  • Were rated by their partners as being higher on life satisfaction
The researches found that the practise of gratitude was most effective when it focused on hassles or complaints. Study members received the benefits when they realize they are better off in comparison to others.  Practicing gratitude switches self-focus to focus on the good things in our lives.

Here are some suggestions for practicing gratitude from Dr. Emmons:
  • Journal- keep a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes everyday to record what you are grateful for.  If you do this right before bed, it will help you sleep better.
  • Remember - remember the hard times in your life.  Strangely taking the time to remember when times were hard, helps us to appreciate what we have and be grateful.
  • Three Questions-  Ask yourself these questions: "What have I received from______?, What have I given to _____?, What troubles and difficulties have I caused?"
  • Act the Part- Act as if you are grateful. Smile, say thank you, write thank you notes and pretty soon you will feel grateful. 
Being grateful will increase the happiness in your life.  Dr. Emmons has found that the practise of gratitude can increase happiness by 25%.
When you feel grateful you will reap the health and life benefits gained by gratitude. More about that in future postings.


*********************


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 2016

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 183 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing



Sunday, March 20, 2016

Soup Sunday- Southwestern Shrimp, Corn and Sweet Potato Soup


I got this recipe from my brother. He made it for dinner the last time I visited Texas.  It is still soup weather here in Wisconsin. We are expected temperatures in the 30's all week and even some possible snow showers later in the week.

Southwestern Shrimp, Corn and Sweet Potato Soup


1 white onion chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups diced sweet potatoes
16 ounces frozen corn
1 can cream style corn
2 ( 18 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 cups shredded chicken
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 lb uncooked shrimp peeled.
1 can black beans

Add all of the ingredients to a stockpot except the shrimp. Bring to a boil and then add the shrimp. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes.

Serves 12 (1 cup size)

********************

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 2016

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 183 members in 32 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Super Food Saturday- Food as Medicine



No recipe today because I am in the middle of a 10 day smoothie cleanse.  I will probably blog about it in the next couple of weeks if I think it will be helpful.

I am on the mailing list for USA triathlon because I am a member.  The newsletter has lots of tips on training and nutrition.

A few weeks ago there was an article on anti-inflammatory foods by coach and exercise physiologist Marni Sumbal.

Inflammation in our bodies can be caused by training eating foods we are sensitive to or eating lots of processed foods. Inflammation can show itself in conditions like arthritis,

There are a number of foods that can help fight inflammation in your body:


  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Pineapple
  • Rosemary
  • Turmeric
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon and in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Celery
  • Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, yogurt, miso, kombucha
  • Vitamin C Rich foods like strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers, mangos and cherries.
The spices are easy to add to foods.  These fruits and greens are a big part of my smoothie cleanse program.  Many of these like ginger, turmeric and omega-3 can be taken as supplements.

So try some of the supplements. Try one at a time to see what works for you. Consult your doctor if you are taking any medication to be sure there will be no interaction. I know my doctors office has a list of all the supplements I take.

So the next time you feel achy, sore or have tight muscles, try upgrading your diet with some anti-inflammatory foods.

To read more about Marni Sumbal check out her web site at trimarnicoach.com

**********************


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 2016

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 176 members in 31 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing



Friday, March 18, 2016

HNF Sponsors CMT Connect Workshop



Participate in an HNF CMT-Connect workshop in your area!
HNF encourages a holistic-educational and empowerment approach to its workshops.  We will provide participants with a safe environment to talk about the emotional dynamics of dealing with a chronic illness.  By acknowledging the physical and emotional challenges patients face on a daily basis, we will encourage and empower participants to be proactive advocates for their care, quality of life, and wellness needs.
Our holistic-educational approach to our support workshops offers participants:
  • A spirit of empowerment to enable members to improve their quality of life
  • Safety, empathy, validation, and much-needed support
  • Factual information and new coping strategies
  • A decreased sense of isolation and alienation for dealing with CMT
  • Interactions with others dealing with similar experiences
  • A sense of community
  • Restoration of a member’s spirit of hope and self-confidence
  • Increased self-awareness and a focus on an individual’s strengths
  • An enlarged social support network
In addition, our findings from these workshops may help to engage research projects to support our community. Quality of life data is critical to implementing evidence-based  clinical studies, which will have an overall positive impact, both physically and emotionally, on patients and families living with CMT.

Long Island, New York:  Friday, May 6, 2016 (7:00pm-9:00pm)
Sachem Library 
150 Holbrook Road
Holbrook, NY 11741
New York City: Thursday, April 28, 2016 (7:00pm-9:00pm)
401 Park Avenue South, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Rochester, New York: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 (6:00pm-8:00pm)EquiCenter
3247 Rush Mendon Road
Honeoye Falls, NY 14472
 
Questions? Email cmtconnect@hnf-cure.org

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Transformation Tuesday- Doing Good is Good for You



"You can't help someone up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself." -General H Norman Schwarzkopf Jr

I recently read two on-line articles that lay out the case that helping others also helps us.  It seems doing good is good for our health. It helps us to live healthier and happier lives.

An article in Health Progress in July of 2009 looked at a variety of altruistic activities including:

  • Participation in informal helping networks
  • Self-help groups
  • Working in a helping profession
  • Volunteering
  • Engaging in philanthropy (spending your money) to help others
Informal Networks/Self Help Groups

Research and psychologist Frank Riessman observed that in self-help groups that helping others was regarded as essential to the process of helping oneself.  He thought the act of helping someone else healed the helper more than the person they were helping.  The helper model is the basis of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.  

Research from Brown University medical school found that AA members that helped other members were less likely to re-lapse.  The success rate in avoiding alcohol was 40% for those that provided help and 22% for those that did not help others.

The benefits were similar for Multiple Sclerosis patients. A group of MS patients was trained to provide compassionate support by placing monthly supportive phone calls lasting 15 minutes per month to other MS patients. Over the course of the two year study the MS helpers showed large improvements in self-confidence, self-esteem, depression and role functioning.  Helping others gave them protections against depression and anxiety. The researchers surmised that helping others helped the MS patients get away from a pattern of thinking just about themselves.  This improved the quality of their life and added personal meaning.

Similar results have been seen in patients with AIDS, cancer, cardiac disease and chronic pain. Those suffering from chronic pain that provided help to others decreased pain intensity, levels of disability and depression.

I think this could benefit us in the CMT community.  I volunteered for several years at a career network helping job seekers with interview skills and resumes. I know I felt like I got more benefit from the experience than those I helped.

Helping Professions
Some occupations such as teacher, clergy, psychology and medicine give people a chance to help others on the job. A study of 27,000 workers in helping professions showed they had higher job satisfaction with their work and greater overall happiness. Volunteers get a similar benefit.

According to a study of volunteers in update New York, those that volunteered at least once a week live longer and had better physical function.

Studies with the elderly volunteering 100 hours in a year were 30 percent less likely to experience limitations in physical functioning compared to those that did not volunteer. Other studies have shown a 25 percent decrease in mortality rate for older adults that volunteer sometimes, 30 percent for frequent volunteers.

There are benefits for adolescents as well. Volunteer work in this age group enhances social competence and self-esteem. protects against anti-social behavior and substance abuse and lowers teen pregnancies and academic failures.

Philanthropy
Giving money to others is a form of doing good. A research project gave 19 subjects money and a list of cause they could give to.  The brains of the subjects were examined by MRI.  The MRI showed that making a donation activated the brain's reward center responsible for dopamine-medicated euphoria. When the subjects did good, it lit up the pleasure center of their brains.  They also found that just thinking about giving had a positive physiological impact.


A Harvard study found subjects watching a film about Mother Teresa's work in India showed significant antibody production over subjects watching a neutral film.

So what is going on here? Negative emotions and self-centered though have a negative effect on health. Replace that by doing good and you have a powerful positive effect.


Have you ever done something good for someone and got a rush of good feeling?  Research by Allan Luks first describes the "helpers high"; a pleasurable and euphoric emotional sensation of energy and warmth.  He surveyed volunteers from around the country. Those surveyed reported their health improved when they started to volunteer.

Other benefits found include:
  • Stress reduction- giving back was found to lower blood pressure
  • More happiness at work-those that volunteer are more likely to be engaged and less likely to leave their jobs.
  • Better mental health- produces helper high, which makes us feel good. Also generates feelings of  satisfaction and gratitude. Volunteering is linked to lower rates of depression.
  • Happiness- long term happiness is promoted by volunteer work. It helps to improve health and life satisfactions.
There are lots of benefits to volunteering. I can testify to the benefits in my own life as a over 25 year volunteer as a member of the National Ski Patrol. We provide first aid to injured skiers and help out skiers on the hill. I have felt the rush of good feelings after helping someone that has been hurt.  I got my start as a professional trainer when I learned to deliver first aid training for this organization. I have made life long friends from being in this group.

My work to raise awareness of CMT has given me a purpose to my life and helped me to have something good come from having CMT.

I hope everyone will consider doing good....because it is good for you!
***********



Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 2016

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 176 members in 31 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Skillet Sunday- Dan Dan Noodles



8 ounces dried thin lo mein wheat noodles
1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 lb sugar snap peas
1 red or orange bell pepper.
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add noodles and cook according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

Combine ginger, cornstarch, soy sauce, broth, peanut butter, and sesame oil. St aside.

Add grape seed oil to wok.  Heat so oil is hot. Add ground turkey and onion. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Add sauce mixture. Add noodles and heat through. Add peppers and peas.
Sprinkle with crushed red peppers and additional green onions.

Serves 6

*****************

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 2016

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 176 members in 31 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Super Food Saturday- Carrot Orange Smoothie





Carrot Orange Smoothie



1 cup orange Kefir
1 frozen banana
2 small carrots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped dates
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Super Foods featured: Kefir, dates

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cliff Hanger Parable

Cheryl Kearney and Chris Wodke at 2014 Triathlon National Championship

"We have known for over 2000 years, from the writing of Plato and Galen that there is a direct correlation between the mind, boy and one's health."- Dr. Ernest Rosenbaum

I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately on the effect of gratitude and happiness. I'm  doing a presentation on the business and personal benefits of happiness and gratitude.  When I was doing the research I came across this parable called "The Cliffhanger".  I think it is something we can all benefit from.

One day while walking through the wilderness, a man stumbled across a vicious tiger. To save himself, he climbed down a vine over a fatal precipice.  As he hung over the precipice, he noticed two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began chewing on the vine holding him.

Suddenly he noticed a very plumb wild strawberry on the vine. He plucked it and popped it into his mouth. It was incredibly delicious.

Moral

Seize the opportunity. Always focus on the positive. The enjoyment of the wild strawberry emphasizes we should focus more on the positives (the beauty and simple joys of life) than the minuses (the danger and troubles of life) during each moment of our lives.

********************

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Soup Sunday-Chinese Corn and Chicken Soup


 Today we have a little different twist on chicken soup.  I used a combination of left over roast chicken and turkey.  This soup is really fast to put together.  The original recipe called for ginger, but I thought the five spice powder I used was more authentic. Feel free to variations

1 1/2 cups shredded chicken or turkey
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 cups chicken stock
2 ( 15 ounce) cans creamed corn
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons five spice powder
chopped green onions for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Place the stock in a stockpot. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then turn to a simmer.  While the stock is heating,  add the chicken and celery.  Combine the wine, soy sauce, water and corn starch.  Add once the soup is simmering.  Add the cream corn and bring back to a boil. Add the egg to the soup in a slow steady stream,  Cook 2 to 3 minutes to cook the eggs. Add the five spice powder.

Serves 6

**********************


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and 2016

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 176 members in 31 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.


Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Transformation Tuesday- Moving Forward to Success

My Inspiration Board 

"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement bu you never know if it's going forward, backward or sideways."- Author H. Jackson Brown Jr.

It is easy to measure success as an athlete. Every race is a yard stick that tells us how we are doing towards our goals and even how successful we are compared to others.

What are some steps can you take to enhance your success?

Lots of people have potential. Every year when it comes time to draft college football players into the NFL you will hear talk about an athlete’s potential.  But when it comes time to blossom many players potential wilts on the vine.  There are countless stories of players like college quarterback Ryan Leaf, drafted 2nd overall in the 1998 NFL draft.    Leaf drafted after Peyton Manning by the San Diego Chargers lasted 4 years in the NFL, Manning is still playing.  Many scouts thought Leaf had the stronger arm and had more upside. Manning was deemed to be more mature and NFL ready.
In an episode of NFL Top 10, the Ryan Leaf selection was deemed the biggest draft bust of all time.
Leaf plagued by drug and legal problems squandered his talent because of lack of discipline. Lack of discipline is at the root of many personal failures. It can keep you from being a success as an athlete, at work or in your personal life.  So here are some keys to being more disciplined and helping to turn potential into success:
\
What
What needs to change? In what areas are you lacking discipline?  What changes if you made them would lead to more success and more of the things you want? Write these down.

Benefits

What is the upside if you are successful? What will change if you are more disciplined and become successful. What would change for instance if you had the discipline to exercise every day? Write down all the positive things.

Obstacles

So you know what needs to change and the benefits to change, what is getting in the way?  What are the roadblocks? Is it time? Lack of knowledge? Lack of skills?  What behavior has to change for you to be successful? Write down all the reasons. Honestly evaluate them and get rid of the ones that are just excuses.  Act to remove legitimate obstacles. Start writing goals and an action plan.

Why

Always remember your why. This should be your core motivation every time things get tough. This is the thing that drives you and why you get up every morning. It needs to be at your core if you want to have the discipline to reach your potential.  Sit down and write out your goals and the reason why you are doing them. I set a goal to run the Boston Marathon and then to win a National

Championship. My why has always been to raise awareness, stay strong and healthy and to be a role model for those affected by CMT.    I remember when I was training for my first Paratriathlon National Championship, workouts were getting tough. I would always picture one of my competitors and say to myself “What you think she’s doing tonight. She’s swimming laps or she’s running” I would imagine my competition was working out and knew if I wanted to be competitive I had to work out too. That helped me many days when I was tired after a day of work.
Plan to be successful; it is within your power. Remember all the benefits and the why that motivates you!
Dr. Benjamin Bloom of the University of Chicago conducted a five year study on what makes people successful. He and his team not only interviewed successful athletes, musicians and scientists, but interviewed their families and friends. He found that drive, determination and desire, not great natural talent lead to the extraordinary success of individuals. So passion and self-discipline properly channeled can lead to great success.
John Maxwell said; “Only in the moment of discipline do you have the power to achieve your dream."


********
Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015.  

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Wodke/e/B00IJ02HX6


Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 175 members in 31 states. We also have members in Australia, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; www.run4cmt.com or www.hnf-cure.org


CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon
http://cmtamputee.wordpress.com/

Keywords: Running, Running and CMT, triathlon, triathlon and CMT, athlete and CMT, cycling and CMT, paratriathlon, challenged athlete, Team CMT, Running for My Life-Winning for CMT. Hereditary Neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
CMT and running, CMT and triathlon, CMT and athlete, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and running, Charcot-Marie-Tooth and triathlon, Team USA and Team CMT, Running for my life-Winning for CMT, CMT athlete, athlete and CMT, triathlete and CMT, Boston Marathon Bombing