January 2018-Identifying Challenges, Creating Solutions

Aurelie-Acacia-Darcy.GovBakersOffice11-28-17

As we now enter a whole new year of 2018, I am excited to refocus on where we are going and share some Food For Thought!  As a Mom who is raising a millenial and cares about health, education, the environment and the future, I have concerns about the direction of our global community at this moment in time…I am guessing you do too!!  It is a world in transformation.  There are issues, there is inequity, there is a system and an environment which needs healing.  There are moments when it is easy to feel discouraged.  So what do we do about it?  I invite you to keep focused on an image of where you envision the direction of our world.  I also want to introduce you to 3 amazing people/groups who are doing their part to create this new world by making a difference for our kids, our families, and our world.  They have seen challenges and they are creating solutions in Big and Small ways.  Let me introduce you to Current Day Champions for our Kids!

strawesome2First is Daedra and Brian Surowiec who have a company called, Strawesome!  They had heard about all the plastic that is disposed of in our oceans and threatening the health of the marine life.  They came up with the idea to make glass straws which would be better for our kids and better for our environment!  Posted is a picture of Daedra and Brian with one of their sons who is fortunate enough to grow up only knowing how to use glass straws!  As a team, they design and make the straws by hand-they are beautiful!!  You too can have some in your family!  I bought a set for myself this month and absolutely LOVE them!  Many different colors and designs.  Check them out at www.strawesome.com   Better for your kids; Better for the planet!

Robin-Palliative Care Ctr-FairfieldUniv8-17Second is my dear friend, Robin Bennett Kanarek.  Robin is a wise and experienced nurse who has faced many challenges. Robin and her husband, Joe, lost their son David when he was 15 years old to Leukemia.  It was a very painful experience and Robin identified aspects of the health care system that was so focused on cure that there was no discussion of symptom management or identifying what was important to David/ his parents throughout the course of his illness and the choices that he/ his parents could make to prevent his suffering.  Out of this experience, Robin has become a champion for Pediatric Palliative Care.   Last month, Robin’s vision of nursing becoming a key member of helping patients to navigate this journey was  birthed with the opening of the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care at Fairfield University.   Housed in the Nursing School, it is the first Nursing School in the US to offer expert Palliative Care Training for nursing students.  It was a 16 year journey for Robin that had come full circle and is a lasting tribute to her son and will hopefully provide the guidance for future patients that Robin wished had been there when her son was very ill.  Check out www.kanarekfamilyfoundation.org for more information on the work that Robin is doing!

Aurelie-Acacia-RepDylanFernandes-DarcyCreech11-28-17The third person and group that I want to honor is Moms Across America led by Zen Honeycutt.  Featured in this photo taken at the State House is the Massachusetts Group with Acacia Warren, Darcy Creech and myself, along with Representative Dylan Fernandes.   One moment making a difference for kids through the work to advocate for and inspire all about the harm of glyphosate and toxic pesticides to our kids, our families, our neighbors, our pets, our seafood/ marine life, our aquifers and our environment.  Glyphosate is a neurotoxicant and has been found to be a risk for leukemia, lymphoma (a 50% increase), multiple myeloma, breast cancer and prostate cancer.  In agricultural workers it has been associated with liver and kidney dysfunction and kidney failure.  Rep Dylan Fernandes has submitted Massachusetts House bill H.3927 “An act empowering towns to protect their environment and residents from harmful pesticides”.  You too can be part of this effort by connecting with your friends, community and other moms and dads to create a network of support.  Then connect with your legislators to voice your concerns and be the change!  Check out www.MomsAcrossAmerica.com and www.dylanfernandes.com

All of these groups, Strawesome, Robin Bennett Kanarek, Moms Across America and Rep Dylan Fernandes are making a difference every day by Identifying Challenges and Creating Solutions!  Kudos for all they do to give our kids, our communities and our world a better chance at a better life!!

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