WebMD the Magazine's 2006 Health Heroes
Meet four everyday Americans who faced their own health challenges and now give back to others.
Making Type 1 Diabetes a World Issue continued...
They chose the latter. Rosenfeld debuted as a group speaker three months later, served as the American Diabetes Association's first national youth advocate at 14, and, at 18, traveled to Third World countries to report on the devastating state of diabetes care.
Diabetes strikes more than 230 million people worldwide today. "I consider this to be the critical health crisis of our [era]," Rosenfeld says. "In a way, I'm glad I have it. I'm at the right place, at the right time."
Can diabetes be conquered? "Absolutely. I have a tremendous faith in medicine. My goal is that everyone who has diabetes now is alive when we get the cure."
Making the Rounds Post-Hurricane Katrina
Paul Villien, MD, is still engulfed in what he calls the "horror show" of Hurricane Katrina. The former medical director of the emergency room at Lindy Boggs Hospital -- located off Canal Street and destroyed by flooding, losing 27 of its 150 stranded patients to stalled generators and dead ventilator machines -- Villien now spends a lot of his time in his car.
He drives nearly three hours from his home in New Orleans to a hospital in St. Francisville, works a 24-hour shift there, gets 12 hours off, and then drives two hours in the other direction to a hospital in New Iberia to repeat the process.
"You do what you have to do to keep things moving along," he says of his dedicated treks and of the locals who returned to rebuild and are in need of care from the few remaining medical facilities in the area.
"It's gonna take a long time to fix this broken city," he says, his drawl slow and rueful. "The doctors and nurses who stayed during the crisis found their own homes destroyed, lost jobs due to closed hospitals that never reopened, and are now scattered all over the globe." Luckily for Louisiana, a few like Villien held their ground.
Preserving Fertility In Spite of Cancer Treatment
Cancer didn't scare Lindsay Nohr Beck. But the prospect of never becoming a mom did.