Thursday, October 30, 2008

Buy a Dram, Save a Lansing Farm

There's nothing like coming together as a community to help a neighbor out to make you feel like you can really make a difference. Today is no exception.

There's a great story in this morning's LSJ and Detroit Free Press about a brother and sister in St. Johns that are literally struggling to save their family's mint farm from being foreclosed. It also happens to be the country's oldest mint farm.

ST. JOHNS - Jim Crosby's voice chokes with emotion when he talks about the oldest mint farm in the country, a 140-acre patch of fragrant green about 15 miles north of Lansing that's been in Crosby's family for four generations.

He and his sister Linette Crosby, who co-owns the property, are desperately trying to sell 70,000 bottles of farm-distilled peppermint and spearmint oil by Saturday.

If they don't raise $348,000 by then, their lender has the right to confiscate the oil and their farm equipment, effectively ending the family business.

"That oil is our hope," Jim Crosby said Wednesday. "In each bottle is all my hope, my dreams and my prayers."

We can do this, people! Please, stop by their website, and spare $5, $10, $35 or as much as you can give. I'm off to buy mine now! (due to high traffic, the website maybe a little slow, but patience, it's worth it!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This is about as personal as it gets

This is me and my mother, and really, this is about as personal as it gets.

Watch this, send it to every registered Michigan voter and tell them why YOU are voting on Proposal 2.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Brought together by pain and disease, moving forward toward hope

Thanks to this campaign, I had the opportunity to meet another really great person who's working just as hard on this issue. Mitch is a freshman at MSU who has chronic hereditary pancreatitis. If it sounds painful, it's because it is. Mitch is someone who just like me, could personally benefit from embryonic stem cell research. Check out this great piece he did in his hometown paper, the Holland Sentinel.

I am constantly awed by the amazing people that I am blessed to meet along this journey. We're brought together by pain and suffering, and I think it's safe to say that we all feel lucky to be able to channel that through working towards something that could benefit so many of us. All we can do is pray that Michigan voters give us an opportunity to hope by passing Proposal 2.

More Good News on Prop 2 Abounds

I was invited to write a piece for RH Reality Check about why Michigan needs embryonic stem cell research. RH Reality Check is a nationally-recognized site for reproductive health issues (hence the "RH") with a large audience. I hope that my piece can be used to sway some more Michigan voters in favor of saying YES on Prop 2.

This weekend my column also ran in the Lansing State Journal, coming days after the LSJ endorsed the proposal, along with the Flint Journal, Ann Arbor News, Jackson Citizen Patriot, and many other media outlets. What great news!!!

Already Going to Vote Yes? Great, there's one more thing you can do!

If you're already planning on saying Yes on Prop 2, will send you a brief email to everyone you know in Michigan and share with them your personal story why you're voting Yes? Personal stories of hope and even pain are what can bring us together and defeat the messages of fear-mongering and deception that the opposition is banking on. Who knows, your email could be the difference between Prop 2 passing and not.

Please, say yes to Prop 2 and allow us all to have hope for cures and relief.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Tubes are buzzing with Yes on Prop 2

Eleven days to go. Just 11 short days until so much is decided both here in Michigan and across the country. The ads will stop, the yard signs will come down, and people like me who are working so hard on it can sleep and breathe again.

But there's still so much to do in those 11 short days, especially make sure we turn out the Yes vote on Proposal 2.

Here's Cure Michigan's latest ad, Clinics

These blogs are all proud to show their support for Prop 2, so please show them a little love and stop by to say hello -

The Trusty Getto (Ypsilanti)
Conservative Media (Livingston County)
60 Second Blog (Metro Detroit)
The Only Baggage You Can Bring (Metro Detroit)
West Michigan Rising (do I need to explain this?)
Blogging for Michigan (statewide)
MichiganLiberal (statewide)
The Enlightened Spartan (Go GREEN!)
Michigan Sports Center (Wolverines, the other white meat)
Got Detroit (In the 'D')

CureMichigan is also on Twitter, so be sure to follow them along as well.

Many thanks (again) to my family, who posted their first blog post ever yesterday at MichLib.

So please, keep spreading the word, passing the yard signs out, and of course - make sure to flip your ballot over on November 4th and vote YES on Proposal 2!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

YouTube, Widgets, and Endorsements, Oh My!

My family recently took to YouTube to talk about why they're supporting Proposal 2, and I'm thankful to them for speaking out!

Most of you have probably already seen Laura Jackson's ad on tv. We need to make sure that every Michigan voter has the chance to hear her story and understand why voting YES on Proposal 2 is so important. We can make this happen by donating to the campaign today.

Also, if you give to the campaign before midnight tonight, your gift will be doubled, thanks to a generous donor. Please give as much as you can today so we can keep these ads on the air. Perhaps you'd even be willing to give in honor or memory of someone you know whose live could be improved through the hope that embryonic stem cell research brings.

Are you a fellow blogger? You too can have this great blog widget located to the right to put on your blog to show your support of Prop 2, made by the good folks at Cure Michigan. Email me if you're interested.

And in the last bit of good news, I'm pleased as punch to see that the Lansing State Journal has endorsed Proposal 2, because they too recognize how much our state needs it.

Here's to you and yours and making it a day we can all be proud of!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My governor could kick your governor's butt...

I'm a huge fan of Jennifer M. Granholm. I think she's an incredible role model for women like me who are political, and unlike certain other female governors *cough* Sarah Palin, *cough, cough,* she's smart, savvy, charismatic, and could trample you in a debate with a smile. That's not to mention how fabulous she looks. The woman's a complete package.

That being said, I've decided it's official - my governor could kick your governor's butt.

Today was the Detroit Free Press' 31st annual marathon. From one of their many stories on the event -
Starting anonymously with the 7,266 half marathoners was Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a rookie who ran with husband Dan Mulhern. She didn’t wear one of the shoelace tags that electronically records the start and finish time for each runner, but with a single security officer running alongside Granholm finished in 1:56:04, achieving her goal of breaking the two hour mark in her first long race (the same time as her husband, who did wear an electronic tag and waited to cross the lined with her after running a couple of minutes ahead during most of the event).

“I kept it real low-key because I was afraid I wouldn’t make it,” said Granholm, who wore blue running shorts, a black Barack Obama T-shirt and pearl earrings. “I didn’t want anyone to know I was here until I finished. It was a grueling experience, but because you’re out there with so many other people, and you’ve got the crowds cheering you on and clanging cowbells, it seems a lot shorter, like a 6-mile run.”
The Freep's sports editor had an entire blog post devoted to the subject and here's a great photo of the Lady Gov as she celebrates with First Gentleman Dan Mulhern.

Like I said - my governor could kick your governor's butt. Gosh knows she already took care of that pesky woman from Wasilla in Joe Biden's debate prep!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

And now a word from Laura

Say 'Yes' to Hope.

Say 'Yes' to Prop 2.

Prop 2 is all about Hope

This has been a busy week for me as I continue to try and get the word out about the importance of Proposal 2, and why Michigan needs to vote 'Yes' on it.

I've been doing plenty of outreach to friends, family, and acquaintances. I've written my fair share of blog posts, I've spoken with multiple media outlets and helped participate in a couple press conferences on the topic as well.

But it's more than just a need to see something positive happen for our state. It's a very personal issue, and the more I meet people around the state who are working just as hard as I am, the more I am touched by not only their dedication, but how much this means to them as well.

As I've said before, my case of Crohn's Disease is significantly more severe than most. While I'm now technically in remission, there's not much more than can be done surgically should my disease flare up again.

That being said, I truthfully do not know that I could personally benefit from an advancement in the research and understanding of my disease should it happen as a result of the passage of Proposal 2 to allow embryonic stem cell research in Michigan.

But that's okay.

What's not okay is the idea that today, tomorrow, this next week somewhere in this state, someone else is going to get the news that will turn their world upside down just like mine was almost 15 years ago.

They'll go through the pain of the disease, the frustration of learning about a disease of which they had probably never heard of, the anguish of discovering there is no known cure, and that as far as the medical community goes treatment is just a giant guessing game. And that's just for those who will share my illness.

There will be others like Laura from Livonia, someone who never got sick, but broke her neck during cheerleading tryouts and now lives her life in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down.

Yesterday the two of us did a press conference to announce the release of an ad for the Cure Michigan folks featuring her, and afterward her father was interviewed. I felt my heart break as I heard him say "All I want is my daughter to be able to give me a hug again."

Saying no to Proposal 2 is telling Laura's father that he can't have hope that one day his 19 year-old daughter will be able to wrap her arms around him and show him how much he means to her. Do you want to be that person to say no?

At the very least, Proposal 2 is about hope. It's about taking something that's being thrown away in the trash and turning it into hope. With times like these, and with people like Laura, her father, and the countless others that you know that live with a chronic illness or injury, can't we all use a little hope?

(Yes on Prop 2 yard signs are now available. Email Minda at Cure Michigan for yours today. Picture swiped from photo-genius WizardKitten over at Blogging for Michigan.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bill and I

Last night at the Cure Michigan event in Oakland County with this guy, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and many other wonderful folks all who came out to support Proposition 2 - a real cure for Michigan.
Kudos to the Cure Michigan team for a fabulous event, and to everyone who came out to support the event. Of course, a very special thank you to this man whom I so admire for his continuing efforts towards a very worthy and necessary cause. I'll post more pictures later.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My column in the Detroit News today on Prop 2

Many thanks to Richard Burr of the Detroit News for running it, and to all of you who have been so supportive. I cannot say it enough - please vote YES for Prop 2, and get involved with the Stem Cell Truth Squad here.

Imagine this: A terrible accident. A horrific diagnosis. A lifetime sentence of needles, medicine or expensive medical equipment. Even worse, a terminal illness.

These are the terrifying possibilities that may affect a friend, neighbor, a loved one -- even you. Every one of us is touched by devastating illnesses and conditions such as juvenile diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, Lou Gehrig's disease and auto-immune diseases.

For many of us, the best hope lies in stem cell research. But we need to explore all avenues of stem cell research -- from adult to embryonic stem cells.

That currently can't happen in Michigan, which is one of only five states that have the most severe restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. That's why it is important on Nov. 4 to approve Proposal 2.

My life took a gut-wrenching turn when I was 14 and diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, a little-understood illness that destroys the gastrointestinal system. There's no cure for it. The only treatment available to me is a regimen of regular surgeries and the steady removal of pieces of me.

Almost 15 years after my diagnosis, I'm missing entire portions of my body, including my colon and rectum. To stay alive and function, I spend $300 every month in ostomy supplies, among a long laundry list of needs that I'll live with for the rest of my life.

If I were to have children -- something I want -- I may pass this terrible disease down to them, and that's a choice that breaks my heart.

More than a million people across the nation have Crohn's. By engaging in all forms of stem cell research -- adult and embryonic -- researchers can better understand how to treat and hopefully cure patients suffering from diseases and injuries.

Unfortunately, this life-saving research can't be done in Michigan, which severely restricts embryonic stem cell research, one of the most promising areas of medical research. Under Michigan law, fertility clinics can throw away leftover unused embryos, but couples undergoing fertility treatments can't donate those embryos to researchers.

This is wrong. It shuts the door of hope to countless patients. It blocks researchers from doing work that can save lives.

Proposal 2 can change this situation.

Opponents say Proposal 2 opens the door to unregulated research. It won't. Proposal 2 is about joining the race for cures and treatments through ethical research that uses donated, leftover and unused embryos that would be thrown out anyway. It will allow couples to donate for research embryos that can't be used.

Medical researchers shouldn't be imprisoned or fined for working to save lives, and patients shouldn't be made to wait for cures and diseases because of an outdated law.

Proposal 2 will help patients, while at the same time strengthen Michigan's ban against cloning.

That's why I urge all citizens to vote "Yes" on Proposal 2 and open the door of hope for hundreds of thousands of patients in Michigan.

Julielyn Gibbons is a 28-year-old Lansing resident who has had Crohn's Disease since age 14.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tuesday Mish-Mash

Happy Tuesday to you and yours. (Sheesh, this is beginning to sound like my Tuesday Coffee Talk). It's probably because I've said it a few hundred times in the last couple years... :-)

But on to the serious stuff from 'The People that I like that Write' file.

Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press columnist and occasional NPR commentator has absolutely been on fire lately. I have to be honest, as far as a female perspective on the very real Sarah Palin problem, she's the one that I tend to agree with the most. From snarky bits like "Palin's run only setting women back' and 'Sarah Palin? Leave the race before you further hurt women' coupled with today's 'The Easy 18-Step Guide to Losing a Presidential Election' not only makes you shake your head, laugh, and savor the truth wrapped up in the bite. It's sooo good to be bad sometimes.

Andrew Heller is a columnist over at the Flint Journal that definitely doesn't get enough praise for his stuff. Today he brings up a very poignant, and some what humorous column - 'How come the Undecideds are Undecided?' which just happens to a question I've always asked myself. One of these days I'd like to ask one of these mysterious Undecideds exactly why it is they are so undecided about.

On to one of my pet issues - if you're not still not convinced why you should vote YES for Prop 2 next month for Cures for Michigan, perhaps you should check out my post on why the opposition are full of scares and that's about it.

That reminds me, with Halloween quickly approaching, you can put your progressive spirit on the right track with a Obama-riffic pumpkin from the folks at 'Yes We Carve!' and no, I'm not making that up.

If pumpkin carving isn't quite your thing, consider turning the kids out to be Trick or Treaters for Obama...and no, definitely not making that one up.

Have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

30 Days Out and Workin' Hard

Hello again.

Life's been quite crazy, and yes, we've got a very big election here in 30 days. I hope you're registered or will be doing so today, since it's the last day you can.

Don't mistake my silence for non-participation, but very active participation, through work, volunteer efforts and of course, blogging.

Of very importance to me this election season is Proposition 2, which seeks to overturn the state ban on Stem Cell research in Michigan, led by the folks at Cure Michigan. I've been working hard on the issue, and as my regular readers know, it's something I've been advocating on behalf of for a very long time.

If you've been following along over at Michigan Liberal, then you probably caught my post from a couple weeks ago. I'm not going to make like a broken record and repeat myself, but I cannot stress how important it is for our state, both medically and financially that this passes. Please check out the proposal, sign up to stay informed and help out, and most importantly, vote YES on Prop 2 next month. p.s. They could really use your donation in voter education. Will you make a donation today?

Speaking of Prop 2, the Detroit News has accepted a column from me that will run sometime this week, and I'll be posting it here. Stay tuned.

Speaking of staying tuned, I'm on Twitter, check it out and follow along.

I've missed blogging, but like anything, sometimes you need to step away from it and get recharged and now it's good to be back. Expect to see more from me over the next coming weeks.

Until then, consider checking out some of the other blogs I'm reading, both political and not from various other fabulous female bloggers across the Mitten State.

The Only Baggage You Can Bring - "Where politics, pop culture, media and common sense meet and stop to have coffee and caramels. Politics-Feminism-Movies-Music-Television-Detroit-Michigan" (Samantha Grace and I like to trade blog posts, btw)

My Library Ideas - Funny, smart, snarky, and a wee peek into the lives of those mysterious academics with the sexy glasses.

The Body Chronic -
Solitude, laughter, sanity and support amongst the pain and frustration of chronic illness and chronic pain.

See you back here soon!