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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Quitter's Quilt now on display at the Lawrence Co. Health Dept.


Pat_and_carolynPat_and_carolynYou’ve heard the story of the Traveling Pants, but have you heard about the Traveling Quilt?

The quilt has not only traveled throughout Lawrence County, but across the United States.

Proudly displayed at the Lawrence County Health Department is the 'Tree of Life Quilt'. The quilt’s design represents the stories of both current and former smokers of Lawrence County.

Pat Machir and Carolyn McGinn and the LC Health Department were chosen from hundreds of organizations all over the state to keep the quilt as its home base. “We are very proud to be chosen,” both Pat and Carolyn said.

  • The Crosses and Crowns representing that faith is an important factor in quitting.
  • Tea and Conversation is the invitation to conversation, encouragement and helpful messages to those who want to quit.
  • The Eight Hands all around lets smokers know that there is help all around.
  • The Kentucky Chain piece symbolizes the different choices or roads that could be taken.
  • The traditional Sunbonnet Sue reflects the theme of quitting for one’s children.
  • Mixed emotions of the Tobacco Leaf represent the indecision of the tobacco industry. While tobacco fields are beautiful, yet tobacco is killing us.
  • The Heart pattern indisputably represents health. 
  • The Hearth and Home symbolizes the importance of family and friend support.

Smoke cessation classes are given free of charge at the LC Health Department. The next available classes will be held Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 5:30 PM. If you are interested in attending, contact Pat Machir or Carolyn McGinn at 606-638-4389. Or call Kentucky’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-Quit Now for more information.

Breast Cancer Trust Fund Grant for $19,777 to implement new awareness


LOUISA -- The Lawrence County Health Department recently received a  Breast Cancer Trust Fund Grant for $19,777 to implement new awareness education through local businesses and other health partners. It should increase availability for no cost screenings in the next fiscal year.

Lawrence County’s breast cancer death rate at 32.7 percent compared to 27.0 percent for Kentucky is alarming. Past outreach efforts have revealed several barriers for women seeking breast cancer screenings. Lawrence County Health Department proposes to address these identified barriers for women needing breast screening services with collaboration of community partners and innovative outreach to local businesses.

These outreach activities will focus on recruitment of never and rarely screened women. Cost-free breast screenings will be provided for qualifying women through the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program (KWCSP). Community partners will host a charitable bikers’ run to promote awareness and raise funds for the KWCSP.

Implementing the 'Make It My Business for Breast Cancer Awareness' campaign would break down barriers of misconceptions and medical isolation. Through these coordinated community efforts, we expect to see a 15 percent increase in the number of participants of the Health Department’s KWCSP.


No Simple Explanation


Multiple sclerosis (MS) disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body.  In the worst cases, it can bring partial or complete paralysis. Researchers don’t yet know what causes this disease or how to cure it, but they’ve been making progress on both fronts.

Symptoms of MS arise most often between the ages of 20 and 40. It often begins with blurred or double vision, color distortion, or even blindness in one eye. It can cause muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness or tingling, and difficulty with coordination and balance. MS can bring many other symptoms as well.

In some people, doctors may not be able to readily identify the cause of these symptoms. Patients may endure years of uncertainty and multiple diagnoses while baffling symptoms come and go.  The vast majority of patients are mildly affected, but in the worst cases, MS can leave a person unable to write, speak or walk.

MS is a disease in which the body’s immune system inappropriately attacks the brain and spinal cord. Specifically, the immune system targets the fatty insulating material around nerves called myelin. When myelin is damaged, the messages that nerve cells send and receive can be interrupted.

Researchers estimate that 250,000 to 350,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with MS. Scientists don’t yet understand what triggers the immune system to attack myelin in these people. But researchers do know that whites are more than twice as likely as others to develop MS, and women almost twice as likely as men.

Geography seems to play a role in MS. The disease is much more prevalent in temperate climates than in tropical regions. Your risk for MS seems to depend on where you live 
before the age of 15. Some studies have found that a person who moves before the age of 15 tends to adopt the risk of the new area. People moving after age 15 seem to maintain the risk level of the area where they grew up. Some researchers believe that vitamin D, which the body makes when sunlight strikes the skin, may lower the risk of MS and help explain these findings, but studies haven’t yet confirmed this link.

Some microbes, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, have been suspected of causing MS. But researchers haven’t been able to prove for certain that any microbes raise your chances of getting MS. Cigarette smoking, however, does appear to raise your risk.

Genes clearly affect how likely you are to develop MS. Having a sibling with MS raises your risk of getting MS to about 4% to 5%; having an identical twin raises your risk to about 25% to 30%. These facts suggest a strong genetic component to MS. However, although some studies have linked specific genes to MS, most of the results haven’t been definitive. Researchers are now working on more detailed studies.

There’s no cure yet for MS, but various therapies can treat it. Researchers are continuing to develop new and better therapies for MS, with several now in the pipeline.


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