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BioHouston to Honor Dr. Dianna M. Milewicz for Scientific Leadership

Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Dianna M. Milewicz, MD, PhD, Director of the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases and holder of the President George H.W. Bush Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, will be honored on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 by BioHouston at its Fourth Annual Lunch Celebrating Women in Science.

To be held at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston, TX, the luncheon also will honor Dr. Lydia Kavraki, Rice University; Dr. Renu Khator, University of Houston; and Sara Ortwein, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company.

The four will be celebrated for demonstrating “extraordinary leadership in science and technology.”

The mission of BioHouston is to “create an environment that will stimulate technology transfer and research commercialization, thereby generating economic wealth for the Houston region and making it a global competitor in life science commercialization.”

Registration deadline is Friday, November 9 at 3:00 p.m. Central time.

Congratulations, Dr. Milewicz!


The Sofia Gutierrez Second Annual Brain Aneurysm Fund Raiser Event – November 10, 2012

Posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, by with Comments Off

The second annual Sofia Gutierrez Brain Aneurysm Awareness Fund Raiser Event will be held from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 10, at the Orange Park Mall in Orange Park, Florida (20 miles south of Jacksonville).  Here is the very touching story of the Gutierrez family’s motivation to find answers about cerebral aneurysms:  Family warns parents about condition that killed daughter.

The event will benefit the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health, and all funds raised will go to the Sofia Alejandra Gutierrez Brain Aneurysm Research Fund to support research the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is doing on the genetics of cerebral aneurysms.  The Director of the JRRP, Dianna M. Milewicz, MD, PhD, will attend and be available to answer questions about the genetics of cerebral and other vascular aneurysms.

The event will feature the Clay County Fire Department, Shands Hospital Trauma One Helicopter, bounce houses, live entertainment, silent auction, door prizes, vendors, and much more.

If you’re in the Orange Park area and looking for something fun for the family to do, come on out!


Meet Monica Slack of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Monica Slack will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Monica: 

Acute care nurse practitioner Monica Slack has daily encounters with patients who have suffered acute aortic dissections and aneurysms, as well as other cardiovascular diseases. Working in the cardiac surgical intensive care unit at The University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, she works hard to educate her patients about their disease. The 25-year-old is also a dedicated marathon runner and she didn’t hesitate to sign up for Team Ritter. “As someone who works with these patients firsthand, I would like nothing more than to combine my love of running with a cause about which I am passionate and feel as though I can incorporate into my daily work-life. These patients are often unaware of the function of the aorta, how it dissects and the high likelihood of mortality following perforation of the aorta. They are also unaware of the importance of blood pressure control in preventing aortic pathology,” Slack said. “A charity such as this one can contribute to preventative aortic health education in the outpatient/public spectrum.”

Text RITTERMS to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Monica’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/monicaslack.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


Meet Nicole Kreisler of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Nicole Kreisler will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Nicole: 

As an operating room nurse, Nicole Kreisler has seen her share of what cardiovascular disease can do to patients. She also has fond memories of watching John Ritter in “Three’s Company.” So the Milwaukee resident was excited to learn that she will be part of Team Ritter at the ING NYC Marathon. “Jack Tripper’s character and physical humor gave my brother and me many laughs,” said Kreisler, who is married to a fellow marathon runner and has two children. “I think we know every episode by heart. With my work background, I have a great understanding of aortic and vascular disease. By running for the John Ritter Foundation, I am able to support someone I was fond of, as well as share information and educate people on an important disease.” A longtime runner, the 37-year-old has run four marathons in the last two years, including the Boston Marathon. This will be her first time in the NYC event.

Text RITTERNK to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Nicole’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/nicolekreisler.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


Meet Robin Plonsker of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Robin Plonsker will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Robin: 

When Robin Plonsker’s father felt almost unbearable pain in the left side of his chest nine years ago, he thought he was having a heart attack. Robert Tauber, D.D.S., called his cardiologist, who told him to dial 911. The emergency operator asked careful questions about the pain. He told her it was the worst pain he had ever experienced, that it was not radiating into his left arm and he could almost point to exactly where the pain was located. She recognized the possible symptoms of an aortic dissection and set him on a treatment path that would save his life. If an aortic aneurysm is misdiagnosed as a heart attack and anticoagulants are administered to the patient, the patient can bleed to death through the dissection. “He was very fortunate in that the dissection occurred in his descending aorta and he had a 911 operator and a team of emergency department physicians and nurses treating him who recognized that he was not having a heart attack as he initially thought and did the imaging necessary to diagnose a dissecting aorta,” said Plonsker, a Larchmont, N.Y., resident. “Therefore, my father was given the medical treatment he required to address this acute, life-threatening situation. I know that others have not been as fortunate, and I am supporting this cause to raise awareness of aortic dissection and, I hope, improve the likelihood that it is properly diagnosed.”

Text RITTERRP to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Robin’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/robinplonsker.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


Meet Amy Derksen of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Amy Derksen will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Amy: 

In 2009, with no known history of heart or aortic disease, then 37-year-old Amy Derksen was shocked to discover that she had a bicuspid aortic valve, a birth defect that led to a thoracic aortic aneurysm requiring immediate surgery. In a bicuspid valve, there are only two leaflets instead of the normal three, which allows blood to backwash and puts stress on the thoracic aorta. “At the time, I was busy raising an 18-month-old and a 3-year-old and I was in the best shape of my life,” said the Denver resident, who blogged about the experience. “I soon realized that I was so lucky and blessed that the condition was diagnosed before it was too late.” Now 40, the former public relations manager is a member of Mended Hearts and has visited patients in the hospital to share her story. She is also an avid runner with a lifelong goal to run a marathon. “I am passionate about telling people about aortic disease and passing on the Ritter Rules whenever the opportunity presents itself.  I proudly wear my scar as a reminder to live life to its fullest and be thankful for every day,” she said.

Text RITTERAD to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Amy’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/amyderksen.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


Meet Jaclyn Morrison of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Jaclyn Morrison will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Jaclyn: 

Jaclyn Morrison’s father was her biggest fan, as well as her coach, when she trained for last year’s New York City Marathon. So after he died in February from a thoracic aortic dissection and she found out about Team Ritter, the Long Island native didn’t hesitate to apply for the team. “I think it will be so awesome and it’s what my dad would want me to do to help raise awareness,” said Morrison, 24, a graduate student and Lacrosse coach who works at the family business, Rose Fence. Her father, 55, had been in good shape, worked out regularly and liked to take eight-mile walks. So when he complained of loss of vision and pressure in his chest, it came out of the blue. He was rushed to a nearby emergency room in Brooklyn, where doctors ruled out stroke and heart attack. But they missed the dissection, she said, and when he collapsed in his room, it was too late. “Running the marathon allows me to make something positive out of a horrible loss. It’s like it’s meant to be,” she said.

Text RITTERJM to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Jaclyn’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamRitterNYCMarathon2012/fundraiser/jaclynmorrison.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


Meet Victoria Ramirez of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Victoria Ramirez will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Victoria: 

When Washington, D.C., resident Victoria Ramirez, 26, learned that the John Ritter Foundation would be one of the official charities of the ING New York City Marathon, she did not hesitate to ask to join Team Ritter. Not only could she raise money to fight a disease that had taken her aunt, but she could fulfill her longtime goal of running the prestigious New York City marathon. “Aunt Michele was fun-loving; the life of every party. Since that awful day more than three years ago, there have been good and bad days,” said Ramirez, whose aunt died suddenly from a thoracic aortic dissection at the age of 45. “I sometimes feel helpless to do anything when I reflect on what happened, and I miss her terribly – but the John Ritter Foundation has provided me with an opportunity to do something. If I can raise money to support research and awareness, maybe I can help someone else’s aunt, mother, daughter. I think Michele would be glad to know that I am doing something positive in her memory.”

Text RITTERVR to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Victoria’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/victoriaramirez.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


Meet Edward M. Cooning IV of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Edward M. Cooning IV will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Ed: 

Six years ago, when Jonathan “Jonnie” Miller died suddenly of a thoracic aortic dissection as a result of suspected undiagnosed Marfan syndrome, Edward M. Cooning IV and fellow friends formed Jonnie’s Goodguys in his honor. Miller had planned to run the One America Mini Marathon in Indianapolis that year and his goal became their goal. The small group, committed to elevating awareness of Marfan syndrome, has grown into an organization that has raised nearly $2,200 for the National Marfan Foundation. It also donates to other charities and coaches new runners through training. This year, Cooning, 38, launched My Heart Run 2012 with a personal goal of running the five world major marathons in 2012, including the ING New York City Marathon. “It’s the goal of Jonnie’s Goodguys to educate and generally live a healthier lifestyle so that we are all around a little longer with our loved ones,” Cooning said.

Text RITTEREC to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Ed’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/emciv.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


Meet Catherine Quitania-Pool of Team Ritter

Posted on Sunday, October 28th, 2012, by with Comments Off

Cathy Quitania-Pool will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012.  Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections. 

Meet Cathy: 

Tomball, Texas resident Catherine Quitania-Pool lost both her 62-year-old father and her 39-year-old sister to aneurysms. Her father’s abdominal aneurysm ruptured in 1997 during a camping trip. As a nurse who knew aneurysms often have a genetic basis, she encouraged her family members to watch for any symptoms. But 11 years after the death of her father, her sister unexpectedly died of an acute aortic dissection. “Aneurysms and thoracic aortic diseases do not care if a person is a grandfather, husband or father; a mother, wife, sister, or daughter; or even a famous actor, husband, father, or son like John Ritter,” she wrote in a letter to the John Ritter Foundation. “Symptoms of back pain or discomfort may be not be taken seriously and health care providers, unless aware of familial medical history, may not treat appropriately or because of insurance constraints, may not order the proper tests. Thoracic disease is a silent killer that leaves loved ones lost and in despair.” Quintania-Pool began running in her sister Marianne’s memory to begin to heal. “I started running because she could not. I started running because I could. I started running to find some peace for myself. I started running because I needed a place to go and feel alive again,” said Quitania-Pool, who has two teenage children and will turn 40 just before the race.

Text RITTERCP to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Cathy’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/cathyquitaniapool.

Read the full press release here.

Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations
Media Hotline: 713-500-3030
 
                                                            
http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/                                                              http://www.nyrr.org/


 


 

 

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