Saturday, April 29, 2017

Tara K. Telford Graduate Student Award 2016-2017

The 2016-2017 UC Davis Tara K. Telford Graduate Student Award went to a very lovely young man pursuing a Ph. D. in Chemistry at UC Davis named Jackson. Below is a short biography he wrote about himself:

"I grew up in poverty in a single parent home in Oakland, one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. I needed to take student loans every year to support me and my dad for the past eight years. Due to the strong financial position that Telford award put me in, this is the first year ever that I was able to 'decline' my student loan package. To be recognized with this fellowship at such an early stage of my own doctoral training means a great deal. 

Thank you for believing in me!"

Here is a brief summary of Jackson's research:

Jackson has continued his research in the lab of Dr. Kurth, where the research focus is on cystic fibrosis (CF) a highly lethal genetic disease affecting about 70,000 individuals worldwide, with about 1,000 new diagnoses per year. CF is caused by the misfolding of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a transmembrane protein ion channel responsible for the transportation of chloride ions. This misfolding is due to mutations to the CFTR gene alleles, and the most common mutation is a single codon deletion, F508_del. CF causes a thick buildup of mucus on the lungs and causes them to be inflamed due to reduced airway surface liquids (ASL), and some opportunistic pathogens thrive in this type of environment - bacterial infection is one of the main causes of death among CF patients. 

Jackson's research focuses on a protein ion channel called pendrin (PDS). The reduced activity of this protein is associated with reduced lung inflammation, pathology and hyperreactivity. Furthermore, inhibition of this protein increases the ASL volume by a significant amount.  Through the potent molecules and chemical probes Jackson developed for these protein targets, he wants to bring hope to the community by showcasing the active research related to these rare diseases. 

The above information was provided by UC Davis at the annual luncheon with the award winning graduate student in Dr. Mark Kurth's chemistry laboratory. 

If you would like to donate to the Tara K. Telford Graduate Student Award please visit this link:

If you would prefer to send a check please click here, and scroll down to the second page. 

Thank you to all my friends, family, and friends of friends that continue to support CF research year after year! 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Terrible Twos All Over Again

Yesterday I took Tom and Abby to their annual physical with their pediatrician. They both have perfect vision and perfect health. Isn't it amazing that someone so sick, like me, can have these strong beautiful children?

At 11 years old + 1 month, Tom clocked in at 90 pounds and 4'9.25". That puts him at the 70th percentile for weight and the 50th percentile for height.  That is exactly the average height for an 11 year old and exactly the average weight for a 12 year old. Since last year he's gained 3 pounds and grown about 1.5".

At 11 years old + 1 month Abby clocked in at 55 pounds and 4'5.25".  That puts her not even on the chart for weight and the 10th percentile for height. She is exactly the average weight of an 8.5 year old and the average height of a 9 year old.  Since last year she has lost 3 pounds and grown about 1.5". To be honest, she was almost 60 pounds a little over a week ago, but she lost 5 pounds after not being able to eat for three days last week.  She had a fever and nothing sounded good.  She's been eating great and fully recovered since Thursday, but even 5 days of eating great has not lead to one ounce of weight gain. The doctor is not concerned at all. She will just always be my little peanut.

All day yesterday I thought I was taking my 11 year olds to their physical. I didn't tell them I was going to let the nurses give them a shot. Once Tom found out, he leapt off the examination table and ran around it to the corner to hide. He immediately started crying and we weren't even due to give the shots for another 20 minutes, until after the doctor did his examination. Oh, he sobbed all the way through the appointment and then when the nurse came in with the shots he completely melted down sobbing and screaming. I honestly thought, who is this kid? Is he two, or is he eleven?

I ended up holding him on my lap while Abby climbed on the exam table and received her flu mist and meningitis vaccine like a cool, calm, and collected adult.

When it was Tom's turn he was still on my lap and we were getting sweaty together and he was so upset his body temperature was rising and he started sweating, which made me sweat. I held him tight while they did the flu mist and he complained and sniffed and screamed and cried and sobbed and sobbed. Then when it came time to prep his arm for the vaccine he freaked out. The nurse explained it's just a cotton ball, there's no needle. No needle don't care, he was upset! Trying to hold him still was near impossible. When the shot came out and it was time for the injection he screamed at the top of his lungs "Wait! Wait! Wait! Let me relax my arm!" sob sob sob sob shrieking again, "Wait!".  Well the nurse found her opening and just went for it and it was done.

The whole incident reminds me of taking him for his first haircut at the barber. We both ended up in puddles of sweat and he was crying the whole time.

I'll have you know, he did recover rather quickly and I don't think he had any pain in his arm after the shot because he was acting completely himself. I took him to one of his favorite lunch spots in downtown Sacramento and that was the end of that.

We still have to get the Guradasil vaccine and that one is a 3 shot series over 6 months. I asked him if it would help if he picked out the date and time for those shots. We'll see if that approach works better than the "Surprise! It's shot time!"  I thought not telling him would be better, as that's how I've always done it in the past. Otherwise he'd be dreading it for the days leading up to the appointment. We could have started the Guradasil  yesterday, but I decided two vaccines in one day was enough. So we'll start it maybe later this month.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Telford Twins Turn Eleven!

I say my heart split into three pieces on this day in 2004. Two of those pieces walk around outside my body, inside their own, they are my precious twins, Tom and Abby. Today they are 11 years old.

ELEVEN! We are officially tweens. Tom spends his hours after school at his (girl) friend's house. She's not his girlfriend but she is a friend that is a girl and he sure spends a lot of time with her. Abby spends her evenings texting her besties.

They still do a lot of things together, but they do a lot of things on their own too. They are the lights of my life. And they are really amazing.

This morning they opened some gifts on my bed before they went to school. Tom got a remote control  Millennium Falcon and some PEZ he had his eye on at the convention last February. Abby got some cute clothes and a ring with a purple stone in the shape of a heart, one of her favorite colors!

They came home from school with no homework. This is really unusual for Monday-Thursday, an no quizzes or tests tomorrow. So we can celebrate birthday day all night long.

Here are some pics of my grow(ing) up babies!

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Birthday Week Begins!

This is a big week for our little family. The Telford Twins turn 11 years old so soon! Too soon! They re growing up so fast. I love them to death.

They both got amazing progress reports from school today. They are on track to be on the honor roll, which will be a first for Abby since she was eligible since the third grade (when they start getting letter grades.) She has all A's and one B. I'm so proud! Tom has the same, but a B, in a different subject. I'm so proud of both of them. They've been working hard and they have a fabulous teacher this year that is teaching independence and getting them ready for the rigors of Junior High next year. Did I say I was proud of my kids? So proud.

Unrelated, I had a root canal today. They had to shoot me up four times to get me numb enough for the procedure. My usual is 5 times, so I guess this guy was good! I had no pain during the procedure and I'm still numb, so I guess I will have to wait and see if I have any jaw pain from the shots or from keeping my mouth open for 90 minutes while they worked and filed away. This will hopefully cure my toothache that I've had since my dentist put on a new crown in March this year. It's been 7 months and I finally had enough. I couldn't chew food on the right side the whole 7 months. My dentist explained that my tooth was dying inside and a root canal would fix my pain. I've had a successful root canal before so I'm hoping this one is a success as well. I was a little tense for the procedure but my blood pressure was good, considering how tense I was, 117/77. I took some tramadol and ativan before the procedure to take the nervous bugs out of my stomach. It seemed to work. I think I would have had a death grip on the endodontist's chair if I hadn't taken those anti-anxiety and pain meds first.

Well, this week is starting off well with a lunar eclipse of a super moon last night and ending with birthday celebrations. I can't wait until the twins see what we bought for them. I hope they like their gifts. It's always a surprise! Even though, I keep wishlists on Amazon for them for the rest of the family.

I plan to keep this blog more regularly updated. That is my plan. We will see if it comes to fruition. Wish me luck!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Do Curses Really Come in Threes? You Bet!

Tom had a terrible day yesterday.

The first curse.

We had to leave around 10AM to get to Tom's soccer tournament on Sunday. Around 9:45AM, Paul asked Tom to put Mozzi outside. Instead of putting Mozzi outside he decided to throw one of her toys, a 12" squeaking rubber chicken, over the back of the couch toward the kitchen. The rubber chicken flew across the kitchen table and like a bad game of Shuffleboard, the chicken cruised across the kitchen table, knocked the glass salt shaker down and off the table sending it crashing to the floor in glassy bits. And the salt, well, it was everywhere.

Tom immediately broke down in tears. He knew I had just purchased these salt and pepper shakers for Paul in May. They had elephants on top of them. We had just celebrated 14 years of marriage and the 14 year gift is ivory. Since hunting elephants for game/tusks is illegal, I did my best to play along with the elephant theme. Tom especially likes these shakers for some reason. We asked him to get the broom, dust pan, and small vacuum so Paul could clean up the mess before we left. I was thinking well, maybe I'll be buying a new set soon.

The second curse.

We were home from the soccer tournament around 3:30PM. Paul went out to run errands and grocery shop for the week. Tom and Abby were doing the usual, watching Youtube or Netflix on their iPads. Note: The twins don't actually own the iPads. They are the family iPads, but Tom has taken over the iPad Air and Abby has taken over the other one, not sure of the generation.

Around 4PM Tom comes running into my room hysterically crying, tosses the iPad onto my bed and crumbles onto the floor. The screen, well it was shattered to bits. He was walking into the kitchen, which has a tile floor, and he dropped the iPad onto the floor. Could have happened to anyone but since these kids are so careless and walk around with this expensive technology like it's attached to them all day long, it was bound to happen sooner or later.  The screen was shattered so bad that we eventually decided it shouldn't be used because as we kept using it throughout the day, we were losing shards of glass. It just wasn't safe. Replacement cost $300 minimum. Considering the cost of a new iPad is about $449, it's not worth it. I was thinking, well, maybe we'll be buying a new iPad soon. A little pit in my stomach for the cost of that one.

The third curse.

Around 6PM Tom was on the broken iPad, Facetiming his friend, while using the iMac (read very large expensive computer) for Minecraft. Suddenly there was a crash and I hear Tom say, "I have to go." He ran out of the den, to his room. Paul and I walked into the den to find the computer had been pushed off the desk, onto the carpeted floor. Paul called Tom back into the den to find out how this could have happened. He said he was playing Minecraft and he pushed the computer off the back of the desk. First of all, why was he touching the computer screen? We've asked the him repeatedly not to touch computer screens. Alas, he is 10 years old and he just doesn't think before he does these things.  The back case of the computer is bent, which would need to be replaced, and the screen is shattered, which would also need to be replaced. It will cost a lot of money is not worth the replacement costs. I was thinking, well, maybe we'll be buying a new computer before we planned to upgrade in March next year. Gulp. Another pit in the stomach.

So how does one kid destroy thousands of dollars worth of equipment in one day? It's easier than you think.

I talked to Tom last night and told him Dad and I decided he is on technology restriction, except for homework. He cannot use his iPod, any iPad, or the computer for two weeks. He's not allowed to watch Youtube or Netflix on any of the TV's either. He can watch regular TV. He's taking it pretty well. I feel bad for reprimanding him but we're hoping he can learn from this and have some respect for any and all of his or our property.

So yeah, I think the curses do come in threes. I hope we're done, for now. Not to mention, all of this happened after we decided, the day before, it's time to replace our washer and dryer. We're going to be bleeding money around here for awhile. What's that saying? It's only money and you can't take it with you. At least we all have our health! (Some more than others. Heh.)