Not everybody gets a second chance

two person doing surgery inside room
Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com

Last week, the details of the first double lung transplant to a 17 year-old due to vaping were revealed. The procedure took place on October 15th at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Although the identity of the patient is being kept anonymous, the hospital shared a written statement from the family.

First, they underscored that the effects of vaping are real. They described their son as a regular, young athlete, who went to school, socialized with friends, and played video games. But one day, he woke up breathing with a pair of lungs that were not his own. (See the hospital press release) Continue reading “Not everybody gets a second chance”

An Oath of Gratitude

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This post was originally published last December, but the story is timeless. I want to salute our troops and thank them for their service, today and always. X.S.


Sgt. Lippencott is a father of four. He joined the Marine Corps in 1996 in Chantilly, VA, and since then, he has completed seven tours of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan for the operations Iraq Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn. He is planning his retirement for June next year after almost 23 years of service.

Needless to say, the wounds of his sacrifice to defend our country’s freedom are not only the ones he bares on his body, but also the ones on his soul.

After our first visit, I emailed Sgt. Lippencott and asked him a couple of questions to write this blog. The first one was, what would you say to a seven-year-old boy’s mother, like me, if my son decides to enlist in the military in the future? I asked him this because when we met, he said that he never thought about joining the military. His answer brought me to tears. Continue reading “An Oath of Gratitude”

Divide and conquer

Hilda Molina
Copyright BBC.com

Last Sunday, October 27th, Argentina elected Alberto Fernandez as its new president; he will take office on December 10th. Nonetheless, his triumph has not been the main focus of the media spotlight. Center stage is the return of the controversial and former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his V.P.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became the first female president of Argentina in 2007 succeeding her husband, Nestor Kirchner; she was re-elected for a second term. Together, The Kirchners became the power couple of the Judicialist Party, amassing twelve years in office from 2003 to 2015.

The center left elected government will face the challenge to steer the third largest economy in Latin America with inflation over 50%, US$100 billion in foreign debt, and more than 30% of its population in poverty, according to Argentinian media outlets.

The results of this election have sent shock waves across the markets. Why? Perhaps it is the phantom of Fidel Castro’s ideology that haunts Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Continue reading “Divide and conquer”

Taking a deep breath

backlit beach dawn dusk
Photo by Cedric Lim on Pexels.com

Last year, my eight-year-old son started struggling with his second-grade math. For a few days, I felt as if our kitchen table transformed into a Medieval torture dungeon while doing homework. Who would have thought that the unanswered 3+2 question could trigger so much anxiety?

Once I decided to stop inflicting pain on myself and causing my son’s irreversible psychological damage–imagine his face trying to understand mathematics smothered in a thick Spanish accent–I searched and found a tutoring facility close to home.

After I dropped him off for his first session, I noticed the yoga studio* next door and realized that I too, needed some tutoring. The next Thursday, and almost every Thursday since then, I have been religiously practicing yoga with one simple goal: taking a deep breath from life. Continue reading “Taking a deep breath”

The real clown is Hollywood

Joker
Photo: @JokerMovie Twitter

Last week, there was a controversy in the U.S. that had nothing to do with President Trump. I’m not kidding. It was in reference to the premiere of the film Joker next Friday, October 4th. (See trailer)

In April 1940, DC Comics introduced the Joker, a bank robber with clown grandeur. However, throughout the years, the creators of Batman’s arch-enemy transformed the character into a psychopath with genocidal desires capable of the most abhorrent acts.

In the 2008 version, The Dark Knight, the Joker was played by Australian actor Heath Ledger, who died from a prescription drug overdose a few months after finishing the movie. Continue reading “The real clown is Hollywood”

E-cigarettes’ catch is coming to the light

photo of person holding vape
Photo by Rafael Lisita on Pexels.com

The most recent data from the World Health Organization estimates that there are 1.1 billion smokers around the world, and about eight million die annually. Out of those deaths, seven million are first-hand smokers and more than one million are second-hand smokers. 

To cease smoking is not an easy journey. Therefore, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), commonly known e-cigs or vapers, rapidly became a popular alternative to combustion cigarettes since their origin in 2003 in China.

However, on September 2008, WHO stripped electronic cigarettes of their good reputation as a smoking quitting aid and forced their manufactures to remove literature from their ads and packages.

Continue reading “E-cigarettes’ catch is coming to the light”

Glowing LasVegas

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The Venetian Resort, Las Vegas, NV

Last week, I had the privilege to spend four days in Las Vegas to celebrate my mother’s birthday. We left my husband and son in charge of the house and our dog, Sasha, and ventured to Sin City.

The last time I visited the jewel of Nevada was 2007. That year, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the city received 39,196,761 tourists who accounted for a record revenue of $10.8 billion.

Eleven years later, in 2018, the number of tourists were 42,116,800 and the revenue was $10.2 billion. By comparing the numbers, I reached a conclusion that was evident during our stay. Continue reading “Glowing LasVegas”