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Archive for : Healthcare

Tractors over Touchdowns: How One Football Player Became a Food Justice Hero

Football players, like most professional athletes, live glamorous lives. With contracts regularly topping 10 million dollars, they can afford to. But what if one of them decided to give up the cars, the glory, and the worship of thousands of fans to become a…farmer.

Meet Jason Brown. At the age of 29, after spending seven years as a professional football player, Brown decided to trade in his helmet for a bundle of hay. As self-taught farmer (he watched You Tube videos for instructions on the basics and consulted with other nearby farmers), he launched First Fruits Farm – a faith-based agricultural operation that grows food to be donated to food pantries. He has already given away tens of thousands of pounds of food and he has no plans for stopping soon. (If the notion of giving first fruits sounds familiar, it should – it is a concept found in the Torah.)

Brown and his family took an incredible leap of faith to make such a radical life change. Asked on CBS why, he said two beautiful things. The first: “When I think about a life of greatness, I think about a life of service.” And then, “Love is the most wonderful currency you can give anyone.” We kind of love this guy.

In other news, Brown also recently delivered his own baby when his wife went into surprisingly fast labor and the midwife couldn’t arrive in time. So, yeah he’s mensch.

Check out the video for more of his remarkable story.

Repair Inspiration: The Body Image Movement

File this under LOVE! Most women (and many men too) are all too familiar with the words “I hate my body.” From magazines, to TV commercials to our own inner monologues, there are a million narratives out there telling us – both subtly and explicitly – to do exactly that.

One woman from Australia, Taryn Brumfitt, is out to change the conversation about body image. Her Body Image Movement is, “on a quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty” and “harness and facilitate positive body image activism.” Brumfitt and her team want to reach as many women as possible and help them accept, embrace, and celebrate exactly who they are.

Check out the video below to learn more about Brumfitt’s story, and hear more about the movement.

Spotlight On: Black Women’s Health Imperative

All February long during Black History Month, Repair the World is checking in with people and organizations working on the forefront of Black issues in America. Today we’ve got our spotlight on: Black Women’s Health Imperative – an incredible organization that educates and advocates for health equality for Black women.

Founded in 1981, BWHI has been a champion of health for more than three decades. Their campaigns focus on diseases that disproportionately impact Black women – things like cervical and breast cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They educate women about their healthcare options and provide the information and tools needed to get covered by medical insurance.

My Sister's Keeper

Meanwhile their campaigns – like Black Women Matter (an initiative focused on increasing the numbers of healthy black women in America) and My Sister’s Keeper (an advocacy initiative on Historically Black College campuses) – help raise awareness and foster a community of empowered, strong women.

Similar to the Black community, the Jewish community faces its own unique health risks – from genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs to a higher risk of breast cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women. (Check out the amazing education and advocacy work Sharsheret is doing on that front.) That’s just one reason of many why we support and salute the amazing work of BWHI!

To find out more about Black Women’s Health Imperative’s work, check out their website and Facebook page.

Repair Inspiration: Teen Activists Taking Down Ebola in Liberia

In the fight against Ebola, it has typically been doctors and nurses who get named the heroes. And for good reason – these medical professionals, like those from Doctors Without Borders, put their lives at risk to help others. But in Liberia, there’s another type of activist fighting the deadly virus: teenage girls.

A recent article in The Daily Beast tells the story of A-LIFE: Adolescents Leading an Intense Fight Against Ebola. The organization is making important strides on the ground in educating and raising awareness about the virus. And the whole thing is led by some incredibly awesome teens. Read more about their story below, and get the whole story over at The Daily Beast.

Meet the Liberian Girls Beating Ebola
By: Abby Haglage

Two hundred girls are weaving in and out of dirty alleys in the seaside slum of West Point, Liberia. One man, straddling a large drum, keeps time as their voices rise in song: “Believe it, people, Ebola can kill.” Passers-by emerge from concrete buildings to watch the girls, now nearly dancing down the dirt roads in rows of two. One voice rises above the others: “Let’s come together to stop Ebola.”

The march, held Sept. 17, marked the official launch of Adolescents Leading an Intense Fight Against Ebola, or A-LIFE. Made up of girls aged 16-19 and a handful of boys around the same age, the group was formed to spread awareness and education about Ebola to help curb its spread in their community. The group members came up with the name themselves and launched their mission on their own. They have already reached more than 4,000 homes in West Point.

Their community, their city, their country, desperately needs them.

Of the 10,141 cases and 4,922 deaths from Ebola reported by the World Health Organization this week, more than half are in Liberia. Experts from the WHO say the real toll is likely 2.5 times more than their recorded numbers for cases and deaths in Liberia—which now stand at 4,665 and 2,705, respectively. Guinea, where the epidemic began, has half as many cases as Liberia.

Enter A-LIFE.

The story of this teenage mission to spread awareness about Ebola began two years ago, when UNICEF launched an educational group for girls in West Point. The neighborhood is extremely dangerous—even in a country with one of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world. UNICEF’s group was formed in 2012, with the intention of teaching young girls how to protect themselves from sexual violence.

Read the rest of the story over at The Daily Beast.

Sharsharet Rocks Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Have you noticed an uptick in the amount of pink you’re seeing around? It’s not a coincidence – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! All around the country, people are getting involved – participating in walks, talks, and other events to get the word out about women’s health, and particularly breast health.

High up there among them, is Sharsheret – an organization dedicated to supporting Jewish women who have breast cancer, and also their families, friends, and care givers. Ashkenazi Jewish women are more likely to have the alterations to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which make them more susceptible to eventually getting breast cancer.

Sharsheret works year round to provide resources and loving networks for women facing the challenges of breast cancer. But this month, they and their partners on campuses, synagogues, and in communities are stepping it up even more, with events like Sharsheret Pink Week, Pink Shabbats, and a Rock ‘n Run awareness raising event.

Find out more about all of Sharsheret’s work – during October and throughout the year – at their website.