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Thread: Hello from Hong Kong

  1. #41
    Senior Member Imight's Avatar
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    wow. very impressive. China is currently in my top 3 places to visit. I have yet to set foot in the east except southeast asia. It would be such a goal to make it to China. My goal is to hit every continent (excluding the polars) by the time I die. This earth was given to us to roam as pleased.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by betheny View Post
    OMG was that good to read! Lately I've been working on marketing Working 2 Walk, doing my research, looking for groups of cure-minded paralyzed people. I've done this for years but yesterday was feeling discouraged, because I was feeling like people have regressed this past year, it feels like when we first started.

    The economy isn't helping. It's hard to get enthused about even the greatest cure advocacy events if you don't know where your next wheelchair is coming from.

    Another thing that had me down, the schedules for the Abilities Expos were so discouraging for a cure advocate. NOT ONE SPEAKER is seriously promoting cure, or cure advocacy, unless you count this as a positive thing..."Cure-Hope, Hype and Cure Tourism". There are some workshops scheduled that will be important, on topics like sexuality, exercise, all the crucial things we need to know. But cure research isn't even a thing people care about, if you go by the topics under discussion.

    Maybe that Cure speech I mentioned will be inspirational, and about the legitimate basis for hope for a cure and why we need to push it in the U.S, but the title gave me an ominous feeling. I hope I'm wrong but I'm afraid it will be more about how hoping for progress leaves us as targets for hype. As though we cure-mongers are crazy and delusional. I was used to feeling that way 5 years ago but thought we'd come further than this. Suddenly I have this feeling we're ahead of our time again. I can't imagine how Wise has felt all this time!

    I read what you wrote, and thought maybe cure tourism isn't all bad, if people use some judgment and don't make emotional decisions. What if we just went to China for the killer PT, for instance? It sounds like there is a lot we could learn from the Chinese approach to sci. When I was in rehab, I never saw one single person on the treadmill. I got in trouble for standing myself up in the pool, and had to argue for 2 weeks to get to use the standing frame.

    I wish you would give a speech at the Abilities Expo... a topic like Cure: Hope is a Good Thing, Dammit.

    Another example of why I was feeling disheartened: The Expos all have "Ambassadors", basically attractive young disabled people signed up as press liaisons (or that's how I interpreted it.) When I read their bios, out of 16 or so Ambassadors, ONE expressed an interest in cure research! There were lots of athletes and Miss Wheelchair America participants but nary a cure advocate to be found, just one guy (amazing guy, veteran and athlete, injured in line of duty) that said one of his hobbies is tracking cure research. Thank goodness for him!

    And thank goodness you posted all this fascinating stuff. If you can take your wheelchair to Hong Kong, and Wise can fly back and forth 10 times a year, I suppose I can promote a darned good cure event.

    Those Expos should be a marketing gold mine for us cure-mongers, an obvious place to reach the maximum number of paralyzed folks at one time, in one specific region. Apparently they ARE a gold mine, but only if you sell catheters LOL.

    One more complaint-the Care vs. Cure division needs to END. I wish I could convey to the Care advocates that I would never ever undermine them, because I am fully aware of what they've accomplished and how much of my quality of life can be tracked directly to their ongoing efforts. ADAPT chained themselves to the White House gates this week; in no way are they irrelevant in today's world. They kick ass, and I wish I could work with them instead of being perceived as an adversary.

    That's yet another lesson we could learn from the Chinese, that there is strength in numbers. Thanks for the reports and all the food for thought!
    Bet,

    I understand 100% how you feel. Nevertheless we mast go forward.

    Paolo

  3. #43
    Betheny,

    It is hard to put down on paper what I experienced.
    I have never been in the presence of such a large group of people who care so much, and believe they will find a cure. From most junior nurse at the Army Hospital, to the top man in the Chinese Army, they are 100% committed. The patients believe in these people and their hard work yields results.

    After seeing the dedication and drive to achieve over there it is somewhat frustrating to see the level of apathy here. I am really not concerned though. Once we get this fundraising in full swing I think most people will get excited and get on board. I hope our community realizes that we must to be the driving force behind these clinical trials. If we don't make this happen, no one else will.

    I registered for Working 2 Walk Chicago- http://www.working2walk.org/

  4. #44
    Very interesting. It's good to hear about what they're doing in China. I've always heard of people that have, or wanted to go, to China for treatment, and could'nt figure out why. Now I know.

    Jim and Wise, I've read here, and on another thread with more comments from Wise, about the therapy they're doing. It's awesome! I hope and pray that soon the United States and other countries will follow suit and give the badly needed dollars for more research for the cure.

    By the way Jim, I read somewhere about the toasting at formal dinners in China. I heard it's best to take small sips for every toast!

    Thanks again for all the information.


    Trudy

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by smokymtn memories View Post
    Very interesting. It's good to hear about what they're doing in China. I've always heard of people that have, or wanted to go, to China for treatment, and could'nt figure out why. Now I know.

    Jim and Wise, I've read here, and on another thread with more comments from Wise, about the therapy they're doing. It's awesome! I hope and pray that soon the United States and other countries will follow suit and give the badly needed dollars for more research for the cure.

    By the way Jim, I read somewhere about the toasting at formal dinners in China. I heard it's best to take small sips for every toast!

    Thanks again for all the information.


    Trudy
    Not all of China is into drinking as much as the Western and Northern regions. What was most interesting is that Chinese friends protect each other when they are drinking. About 50% of Chinese cannot drink any alcohol because they have a deficiency of either aldehyde dehydrogenase or alcohol dehydrogenase. The former turn red and get sick when they drink too much (by the way aldehyde dehydrogenase is the enzyme that antabuse blocks). The latter get drunk very quickly (many American Indians have this deficiency) because they don't break down their alcohol. Anyway, for such friends, the Chinese frequently would sneak water in their friend's glasses (which looks just like the Mao Tai liquor which looks like vodka but tastes like kerosene). Or they share the drinking when the toasting comes around. You know that you have friends when they jump in to take the drink for you. I would love to know how these drinking traditions started; the three cities where they drink the most (in my experience) is Xi'an, Kunming, and Zhengzhou. They don't drink as much in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing.

    Regarding the passion for treatment, doctors in China are more like what doctors in the United States use to be in the 1960's. But, things are changing in China. When I first went to China in 1999, doctors did not get very much pay at all (the typical doctor probably earned less than US$10,000 per year) and most were paid by the government. By 2004, medical care was almost completely cash based. In 2008, over 90% of employed people have some kind of insurance but with a 50% co-pay. So, there is tremendous consumer pressure on reducing costs. The doctors are earning much more than they use to.

    In 2007, surveys of China's wealth showed that at least 345,000 people were US$ millionaires and there was at least 108 US$ billionaires (Source). In April of 2009, despite the recession, the number of US$ millionaires in China rose to 825,000 (Source). I think that this number is an underestimate. In 1999, when the first of these millionaire lists was compiled, the Chinese government cracked down on the people on the list because they did not pay their income tax. So, many wealthy people are not divulging information about their wealth. So, let's say conservatively that there are a million millionaires in China. This group of people can afford to pay cash for their medical care. They are willing to pay the most for the best. In the past, they use to go overseas but they like the service and the care in China. So, surgeons are flying all over China. Private hospitals are springing up everywhere. Most major hospitals have VIP suites for wealthy patients. Of course, more important than wealth, there are hospitals for powerful patients. Most of these include the top military hospitals in China.

    One of the most refreshing aspects of the Army General Hospital in Kunming is that they take care of many poor people. The military hospitals, in addition to taking care of the military, now take care of many civilian patients. A substantial number of the people in the hospital were injured in mining accidents (a major source of spinal cord injury in China). One should also remember that China suffered a devastating earthquake that killed at least 69,000 people but, more important, it injured over 280,000 people in one day. This occurred just 3 months before the Olympics but the Chinese mobilized literally hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses to take care of all the injured people. The little girl that you see here was one of many who lost her leg. To take care of all these people, they had set up a city of tents during that summer. They also built th largest rehabilitation hospital in the world there. Someday, the story of this heroic effort will be told. It belongs to one of the most incredible medical care stories of all time.

    Wise.

  6. #46
    I don't know how the drinking traditions got started either, but I had read in a book, the time period around the turn of the century involving the upper class, when toasts were made at a social event one must participate or it was considered an insult. The only way around it was to take small sips.

    It did'nt take them long to become cash based for medical care. At a 50% co-pay, it would still be hard to afford medical care. How much of the poorer population is still without any insurance?

    The number of people who have become wealthy certainly has grown quickly in such a short time. If it has to do with production of products and exportation, I wonder what benefits the emplyees reap, wages? health care?

    Is it the Chinese government that is paying for all the research, or are private individuals and businesses paying for some of it in donations?

    Are the military hospitals the only ones that take care of many of the poor?

    You've given us a wonderful insight of the country and its peoples. I have to admit until recently, when they showed the Olympic games, I use to picture coolies and rice paddies. I think visiting China would be an awesome trip.

  7. #47
    Dr.Young or Jim.

    Can you give me the complete address and contact info if any of this Kunming Hospital? A friend of mine is interested to know more about it. Thank you

    Chak

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