Vital Signs: Top health stories this week

When Makenna Ward entered her Houlton classroom in the fall of 2013, her fellow elementary school students learned some very adult words, including neuroblastoma, chemotherapy, and most heartbreakingly, death. Six-year-old Makenna died from cancer on Dec. 29, 2013. Young students and others in her school community rallied to honor her, making “Kenna Comfort Bags” filled with books, small games, and other items. The bags were bound for Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer, where Makenna received treatment, to cheer up children on their first day of chemotherapy.

‘I told them they were helping Makenna and helping change the world’: Houlton school creates care packages to honor 6-year-old cancer victim

Other top health stories this week:

Former Jackson Lab scientist who won international prizes dies

Douglas Coleman, 82, died April 16 at his home in Lamoine. He was highly regarded for research he conducted at the lab in the 1960s and 1970s that provided some of the earliest evidence that obesity was not just about willpower and eating habits but also involved chemical and genetic factors.

National investment firm pays $19 million for central Maine medical buildings

A national medical real estate investment company has purchased a $4.3 million building leased by MaineGeneral Health at FirstPark in Oakland, adding to its $14.7 million acquisition in February of another building leased by the group that opened a new hospital in Augusta last year.

From our bloggers:

Pattie Reaves, After the Couch

Here’s my unpopular opinion: It’s not your fault that you’re fat

I’m sick of hearing assumptions about someone’s moral fortitude because of how they look. In my value system, food is not a moral issue.

Diane Atwood, Catching Health

Thirty-three years and two kidney transplants later …

“Kidney transplantation is not a cure. It’s a means to live a normal life for as long as you can with that transplant. You know that at some point it’s probably going to give up, but you just hope that day never comes.”

From the source:

The FDA has proposed new rules to give it the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes. If finalized, the rules will allow kid-friendly flavors but buyers must be at least 18. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg explains in a blog post.

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.