Not Just for Kids

This special edition of Not Just for Kids is written by kids age 11 to 13 from Anne Arundel Community College's summer Youth Expo journalism class. Students learned to choose a subject they know something about and to interview others who know more about their subject. They learned to listen to what people said as well as to observe their outlook and attitude. They learned to observe the setting and the weather, too. They then wrote up their stories, checked facts and polished their work. Finally, the class learned how to lay out their stories on a newspaper page.

Kids, Diseases and My Experience

By Mark Rose


Do you have questions about diseases that are common in kids? I'm writing this article about some medical problems I have. The first one is asthma.

Asthma is the narrowing of airways due to swelling which causes difficulty breathing. Ten million Americans have asthma. Doctors find it mainly in children.

Your case of asthma can be mild to severe. Some symptoms of asthma are wheezing, tightness in chest and coughing up mucus. Due to new medications, asthma can be fairly well controlled in some people. Some of the causes of asthma are infections, exercise and allergies. Your immune system releases a chemical called histamine. This causes the lining in the airways to swell and mucus production increases. Then you have difficulty breathing - an asthma attack.

Allergies develop when a person's body reacts to allergens to which they were exposed. Allergens are substances that cause

allergies. A person can have allergies any time in their life, but they frequently develop during childhood. You can receive allergy shots to help your allergies, but shots are not always effective in decreasing asthma attacks.

Another disease is epilepsy. I had a grand mal seizure. It was a status epilepticus episode. Most seizures stop within a few minutes without treatment. Status episodes require immediate treatment to prevent brain damage or death.

When I was three years old I received adult dosages of three medications - this caused me to stop breathing and I was put on a respirator. During this time I was unconscious. When I woke up my speech was slurred and I was unable to sit, stand or walk without help, for about ten days. My parents weren't sure if I had brain damage. Fortunately, I recovered fully. Now, I take medications twice a day to prevent seizures. I haven't had one for five years.

Even though I have all of these medical problems, I can still participate in normal kids' activities. When I was ten years old I was able to receive my black belt in tae kwon do, after four years of physical training.

Imagine ...

To me, the United States doesn't need another role model. After observing athletes all my life, I began to realize that athletes on the field or court are getting better. Athletes are bigger, stronger, faster and generally more talented than they ever have been. But on and off the field there have been some of the worst actions that sports have ever seen. From Dennis Rodman's kicking of a reporter, to Michael Irvin's off-field drug and abuse charges to Allen Iverson's latest drug and firearms possession charge.

Imagine this

Screaming zealous fans yelling all day. From the time you wake up till the time you go to bed you've seen thousands of fans scream your name. They greet you as you approach a day and see you off as it ends. Fans craving to get a glimpse of your 21-year-old face. You're a young, black self-made millionaire. Not bad, right. Well, it's not necessarily all that, either.

Imagine this

People love you when you are hot and hate you when you're not. The world watching your every move, trying to highlight on your negatives rather than positives. Some like you; some don't.

Sound paranoid? Not exactly. This is a day in the life of NBA superstar Allen Iverson, the nation's Rookie of the Year.

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VolumeVI Number 2
January 15-21, 1998
New Bay Times

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