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Harrison Ford's Extraordinary Measures

In his latest movie, the actor and producer brings to life the story of a father's quest to cure his children of Pompe disease.

An Extraordinary Man

As Extraordinary Measures premieres this month -- his 60th film -- Ford is excited about his latest big-screen offering, and also with his life's direction. He's in a happy relationship with Flockhart and feels great, too: "Calista and I like to cook, lots of grilling, salads, that sort of thing. We live a healthy lifestyle."

And with decades of experience figuring out the trappings of fame, he's learned to balance the whole Hollywood thing -- "Anonymity is a virtue that people seriously undervalue!" -- with his aerial escapes into the clouds. But don't mistake personal contentment for relaxation, either professionally or personally. Because Ford -- one of celluloid's most legendary heroes -- lives for one word, the very same one he so adamantly eschews: Action!

When a Child Is Chronically Ill

It's every parent's worst nightmare: Like the Crowleys' kids, your child has been diagnosed with a serious illness. How do you secure the very best care while keeping your home front -- not to mention your emotions -- intact? Carla Oliver, MSW, CCLS, manager of the Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life Department at The Children's Hospital in Aurora, Colo., offers these tips:

  • Pick the right hospital. Check up on a hospital before sending your child there, says Oliver. "The Joint Commission is an agency that is basically the 'police' of hospitals. Its staff randomly shows up at hospitals and either gives accreditation -- or doesn't. Also, you can find out what other doctors have to say about specific hospitals." Harvard Medical School's national hospital rating system is another good resource.
  • Partner with your doctor. Find a pediatric hospital that embraces a "family-centered care philosophy," Oliver advises. "Not all do. This basically means that the family of the child is the expert … they are in collaboration with their doctors. A lot of the time Mom really does know best."
  • Educate yourself. Nearly all U.S. pediatric hospitals employ at least one child life specialist, a health care professional trained to guide parents and their kids through upcoming medical procedures and the recovery, says Oliver. But parents should also arm themselves with the facts and challenges of their child's condition.

 

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Reviewed on December 22, 2009

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