Interested in a cure for seizures? Here's where you can immediately help.

Feel free to share any of these posts. There are no copyrights on any of them, they are for anyone, anyplace, anytime for whatever reason. All of my love, from a man who just simply misses his son, and believes in the decency of people around the world,

**To reach the author of this blog Mike, the best email account is a silly one, but goes right to my phone. Technology is so cool. Its Thank you for reading this blog, and its been such a good project, in that it has helped others and me as well. May you all live life to the fullest, we have no idea when it shall be our last "dance."

With much love, I am proud of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. If you can help them, and families with this condition, please consider donating to them at They are on Charity Navigator, and have done a phenomenal job over the years, on the awareness and research side.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong: Man on the Moon and Humility

Like a lot of folks across the world, I was saddened by the passing of Neil Armstrong yesterday. As a self-confessed space geek, I often look up at the Moon, and think "Wow, to think that people have been there." Neil Armstrong's life is something out of central casting, as he was an accomplished pilot at a young age, and had what Thomas Wolfe aptly described in "The Right Stuff." He served valliantly in the Navy during the Korean conflict, went back to school at Purdue University, and was a part of the Gemini 8 and of course beyond famous Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. "The Eagle has landed, and that's one step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." He received multiple awards and accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Medal of Gold.

Yet for all of his accomplishments, Neil Armstrong was a humble man. He did not seek the limelight, and while a lot of that could be attributed to his desire for privacy that he brought up in his autobiography, he could have had whatever he wanted. Instead, he took part in helping other astronauts, whether through training, or as part of investigations in the Challenger disaster. Sitting on my couch here in 2012, is a android phone, that has more technological capability than Apollo 11 did. Its not going to the Moon. At least I hope its not, because I cannot get there, and do not want to spend $200 to replace it. Neil Armstrong's family released a statement yesterday, that sounded just like something he'd say, during his very few public appearances. That was "Everytime you look at the Moon, there's Neil winking."

So we've landed on the moon with Armstrong, and eleven other men. There were I believe six missions on the Lunar Surface, so why haven't seizures been cured? Why are children and adults, having from one to thousands of seizures a day, and some of them dying from this condition? I do not know the answer, because as a simple man, there are no easy answers. Yet I firmly believe that Steve Jobs, another pioneer was correct, when he said that "biology and technology will come together like never seen before, in the next ten years." His prediction rate was pretty good, and it is with the most sincere of prayers, the most depths of passion, that we must do exactly what Neil Armstrong did. Work together. His humility was not only shown after returning from the Moon, but even prior to that. He was a guy who worked with others, to accomplish even the most mundane of tasks.

65 million people across the world have epilepsy. That's right, this condition affects many individuals, and families. The costs to a person contending with this, and their families, if put into an economic formula would be mind boggling. That is why it is each and every one of our moral obligations, to put aside egos when necessary, our pride, and fight with solidarity for more funding and research. Only 1/2 of 1% of U.S. financed medical research goes towards seizures.(3-4% of the American population has this condition) Even though the U.S. and other nations around the world have dealt with financial struggles the past few years, it is a worldwide effort to eradicate seizures. We must constantly chip away, quietly brick by brick in our efforts, but at the same time find the right balance to have our voices heard. The White House must be turned purple for a day, as a reminder, that we must cure seizures, because John F. Kennedy was right when he said "Not because it is easy, but because it is hard."

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were on Apollo 11's mission. I have a coin from the Marshall Islands commemorating this historical event. A few months ago, I touched the lunar rocks at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. It was a surreal experience. I will not launch into space, nor get to fly in the Orion/Constellation Next Generation space craft. That is okay, but what is not, is that right now so many are having seizures as this is being typed. In honor of Neil Armstrong, and all pioneers who have done something amazing, let's all find ways to keep up the pressure on legislators, and foundations, that can push for seizure research. It does not matter what condition causes the seizures, but what does is the results. This is our generations challenge, and may we answer this call, united and ready to keep doing our work with rolled up sleeves and sheer determination.

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