Working in the medical field is certainly stressful and reducing the strain of saving lives is much needed by doctors, nurses, and other such workers. Most will turn to the average stress relievers such as exercise and reading; however, a certain group of doctors joins together once a month to blow off steam in in a much more nonconventional way: through a band called the Providence Hospital Stage Band.
The band formed in the 1960’s and has remained strong in Portland, Oregon for over half a century. Larry Morrell, the music director of the band, said in an interview with Oregon Live: “They [the players] all started playing music in high school. Maybe they were in a rock group or the school band. At a certain point, they had to get serious about making a living. They knew music wasn’t the way. They were drawn to medicine and went to college and then to medical school. They never lost their love of music.”
Dr. Mark Loveless, a guitarist in the band, is a testament to how the band has brought doctors together to diffuse the stress while enjoying a much-loved hobby. Loveless was part of a team working on HIV research. “Early in your career, you quickly find out you can’t do it all alone,” he stated. “In our HIV research, I was part of a great team. When we did something good for a patient, the team celebrated. I feel the same way when I don’t make mistakes in the bad. I’ve done my part.”
The band has a variety of gigs around the Portland area, including a dance party for disabled adults and a prom for dental students. The Providence Hospital Stage Band will be performing on December 2nd at the Oregon Convention Center in the Providence Festival of Trees.
The Portland International Airport (PDX) is certainly known for its great features and popularity, having been named the best domestic airport in the United States numerous times. But this won’t stop the airport from continually striving for excellence in pleasing its travelers, resulting in several new features to help passengers and traffic.
PDX plans to build columns at the airport labeled with large, noticeable numbers to help passengers and drivers connect more quickly. This should help the flow of traffic in front of the terminals so people won’t have to wait so long to get in and out of the airport.
The hotel and rental car shuttles will be moved closer to the terminal on Island 1 on the lower level to increase traffic flow. Lyft and Uber have an allotted areas on Island 2 as well. Signs will also be displayed in the terminals to help people find their cars faster in economy parking.
The last edition PDX will implement will include an app to let passengers know when the next parking shuttle will be passing by.
In an interview with Koin6, Kama Simonds, spokesperson for the airport, stated that the general goal is to save time for passengers. “Hopefully travelers get on the right bus at the terminals, saving themselves time.”
On May 26th, two people were killed and one man was wounded while protecting two women who were being verbally assaulted by a man on the MAX in Portland. Now, the brave actions of Ricky Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, and Micah Fletcher will be honored by the city of Portland.
Now, several months later, TriMet announced on Thursday plans to create two tributes to the two victims: one permanent memorial and one temporary. The tributes, according to TriMet spokeswoman Robert Altstadt, will also honor the women verbally assaulted.
The first tribute will be a “large commemorative plaque” will be located at the Hollywood Transit Center in downtown Portland and is being designed by John Larsen. It will be 4 feet by 6 feet and made of porcelain enamel on steel. The plaque will include images of the memorial created by friends, families, and strangers after the initial attack.
The temporary work of art will represent the messages that covered the walls of the transit center after the attack, and the artist will include some of the original messages.
The art will be installed in the transit center around May 2018.
Jack Schumacher is an eighth-grade student at Straub Middle School in Salem, Oregon and facing a difficult challenge compared to most students his age: bone cancer. He is currently at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, fighting hard to recover.
However, he’s not alone in his fight against cancer. The middle school had a pep rally for Jack on Friday morning to support him.
In an interview with Koin6, The Principal, Laura Perez, explained, ” When we found out that Jack had cancer, leadership kids wanted to do something more, so they started selling boo grams.”
In the end, the kids raised over $1,000 for Jack’s treatment, and Jack’s friend, Brayden, who had also been diagnosed with cancer two years earlier, was able to present the check. Even though Jack could not be physically present at the rally and had to FaceTime in, several of his family members were there to accept the check, and his entire family was very moved by the show of support.
Jack’s grandmother, Pam Tucker, stated in the interview, “I’m so overwhelmed with what these kids did for Jack.”
Principal Perez was very proud of the leadership students that took the initiative to raise the money. “This is what we want kids to be learning, is how to care for one another.”
There is no doubt, facing a cancer diagnosis is extremely difficult and comes with many insecurities. Fighting Pretty, centered in Portland, aims to help women facing any cancer diagnosis to feel empowered and has sent over 4,500 packages nationally and internationally.
Kara Skaflestad, the founder of the non-profit, was inspired to create the organization after fighting her own battle with breast cancer, which resulted in a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, fertility treatments, and hormone therapy.
In the midst of her fight, someone gave her pink boxing gloves, and the unique gift eventually became Kara’s symbol to never give up. In an interview with Koin 6 News, she said “It was really my symbol to keep fighting and to never give up.”
After completing her treatment, she gave the pink boxing gloves along with some makeup to a friend who was also diagnosed with breast cancer; with this gift, the idea for Fighting Pretty began to form.
“It was kind of the first pretty package that I ever sent. Then she went on to pass on her boxing gloves, and they went on to five people.” Kara said.
The packages now include a bright pink box, items to motivate the receiver, including a pair of mini pink boxing gloves, and beauty products such as scarves and makeup. Each box has the greeting, “Hello Beautiful!”
“Fighting Pretty really encourages and empowers women to remember how strong and beautiful and amazing they are. Whether they have hair or no hair, breasts or no breasts, they are still an incredible, amazing woman.”
Reflecting on her own experience, Kayla hopes that Fighting Pretty will remind cancer fighters and survivors that they are still special, beautiful, and loved, even if they lose their hair or breasts.
“I lost my hair, my eye lashes, and had a double mastectomy. I lost my breasts. That was really hard. I mean, at first looking at myself in the mirror coming out of the shower, it was shocking.”
The boxes are funded through $30 donations to the non-profit and are usually sent by someone the cancer fighter knows and loves.