Sunday, September 29, 2013

Childhood Cancer Gold Awareness Ribbon Angel

Childhood Cancer Awareness Gold Ribbon Angel Art
Leukemias and cancers of the brain and central nervous system account for more than half of childhood cancers.  About one-third of childhood cancers are leukemias. The most common type of leukemia in children is acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The most common solid tumors are brain tumors.

The causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown.  A few conditions, such as Down syndrome, other specific chromosomal and genetic abnormalities, and ionizing radiation exposures, explain a small percentage of cases.  Environmental causes of childhood cancer have long been suspected by many scientists but have been difficult to pin down, partly because cancer in children is rare and because it is difficult to identify past exposure levels in children.

Survival rates for childhood cancer have risen sharply over the past 25 years. In the United States, more than 80 percent of children with cancer are alive 5 years after diagnosis, compared with about 62 percent in the mid-1970s. Much of this dramatic improvement is due to the development of improved therapies at children’s cancer centers, where the majority of children with cancer have their treatment. 

Children's cancer centers are hospitals or units in hospitals that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in children and adolescents. Most children's, or pediatric, cancer centers treat patients up to the age of 20.  Because childhood cancer is relatively rare, it is important to seek treatment in centers that specialize in the treatment of children with cancer. 

Specialized cancer programs at comprehensive, multidisciplinary cancer centers follow established protocols (step-by-step guidelines for treatment). These protocols are carried out using a team approach. The team of health professionals is involved in designing the appropriate treatment and support program for the child and the child's family. 

In addition, these centers participate in specially designed and monitored research studies that help develop more effective treatments and address issues of long-term childhood cancer survival.  

The above information is from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health.

May this Gold Ribbon Angel help bring Awareness to Childhood Cancers!  September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Purple Awareness Ribbon Meanings

Purple Guardian Angel Awareness Ribbon Image Picture
Purple Awareness Ribbon Angel Art Painting
The purple awareness ribbon is used my many causes.  Here are a few of the meanings for purple ribbons:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Animal Abuse (End Animal Cruelty & Promote Animal Welfare)
  • Anti-Gay or LGBT Bullying (Spirit Day)
  • Cancer Survivor (Any Type of Cancer)
  • Colitis 
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis 
  • Domestic Violence 
  • Drug Overdose 
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Leiomyosarcoma 
  • Lupus 
  • Migraine 
  • Multiple System Atrophy 
  • Pancreatic Cancer 
  • Religious Tolerance

Angel art painting shows a purple colored angel holding a purple awareness ribbon.  The art was created using pencils on watercolor paper.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Ribbon Angel

Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Ribbon Angel Art
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks of daily living. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear after age 60. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people.

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of daily living.
Alzheimer's Disease Purple Ribbon Color Awareness Angel Art Photo Image
Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Ribbon Angel
Plaques and tangles in the brain are two of the main features of Alzheimer’s disease. The third is the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain.  Although treatment can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and help manage symptoms in some people, currently there is no cure for this devastating disease.
Although we still don’t know how the Alzheimer’s disease process begins, it seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before problems become evident. During the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, people are free of symptoms, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain. Abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques and tau tangles throughout the brain, and once-healthy neurons begin to work less efficiently. Over time, neurons lose the ability to function and communicate with each other, and eventually they die.
Before long, the damage spreads to a nearby structure in the brain called the hippocampus, which is essential in forming memories. As more neurons die, affected brain regions begin to shrink. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s, damage is widespread, and brain tissue has shrunk significantly.

The above information was from the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Let this Alzheimer’s Disease Ribbon Angel help bring awareness and understanding to this disease.

Read more about Alzheimer’s Disease on the NIA website at:

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Autism Spectrum Disorder Awareness Ribbon Angel

Puzzle Piece Awareness Ribbon Angel Art Painting Image
Autism Awareness Ribbon Angel Art
Autism is a group of developmental brain disorders, collectively called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The term "spectrum" refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment, or disability, that children with ASD can have. Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, but others are severely disabled.
ASD is broken out into one of five disorders, sometimes called pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs), as ASD:
  • Autistic disorder (classic autism)
  • Asperger's disorder (Asperger syndrome)
  • Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Rett's disorder (Rett syndrome)
  •  Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD).

Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) vary from one child to the next, but in general, they fall into three areas: 
  • Social impairment 
  • Communication difficulties
  • Repetitive and stereotyped behaviors.

1 in 88 Children are Diagnosed with Autism Awareness Ribbon Puzzle Piece Angel Art Painting
Autism Awareness Ribbon Angel ~ 1 in 88 diagnosed with ASD
Children with ASD do not follow typical patterns when developing social and communication skills. Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child. Often, certain behaviors become more noticeable when comparing children of the same age.
Most children with ASD have trouble engaging in everyday social interactions, some children with ASD may: 
  •  Make little eye contact 
  • Tend to look and listen less to people in their environment or fail to respond to other people
  • Do not readily seek to share their enjoyment of toys or activities by pointing or showing things to others
  • Respond unusually when others show anger, distress, or affection.

Recent research suggests that children with ASD do not respond to emotional cues in human social interactions because they may not pay attention to the social cues that others typically notice
Scientists don't know the exact causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but research suggests that both genes and environment play important roles.  In identical twins who share the exact same genetic code, if one has ASD, the other twin also has ASD in nearly 9 out of 10 cases. If one sibling has ASD, the other siblings have 35 times the normal risk of also developing the disorder. Researchers are starting to identify particular genes that may increase the risk for ASD.
Twitter Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Awareness Puzzle Piece Ribbon Angel Art Painting
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Awareness Ribbon Angel Art

Most people who develop ASD have no reported family history of autism, suggesting that random, rare, and possibly many gene mutations are likely to affect a person's risk.  Having increased genetic risk does not mean a child will definitely develop ASD.
In medicine, "environment" refers to anything outside of the body that can affect health. This includes the air we breathe, the water we drink and bathe in, the food we eat, the medicines we take, and many other things that our bodies may come in contact with. Environment also includes our surroundings in the womb, when our mother's health directly affects our growth and earliest development.  Researchers are studying many environmental factors such as family medical conditions, parental age and other demographic factors, exposure to toxins, and complications during birth or pregnancy.
Children in the United States receive several vaccines during their first 2 years of life, around the same age that ASD symptoms often appear or become noticeable. A minority of parents suspect that vaccines are somehow related to their child's disorder. Some may be concerned about these vaccines due to the unproven theory that ASD may be caused by thimerosal. Thimerosal is a mercury-based chemical once added to some, but not all, vaccines to help extend their shelf life. However, except for some flu vaccines, no vaccine routinely given to preschool aged children in the United States has contained thimerosal since 2001. Despite this change, the rate of children diagnosed with ASD has continued to rise.  Many studies have been conducted to try to determine if vaccines are a possible cause of autism. As of 2010, none of the studies has linked autism and vaccines.
The above information was obtained from the US National Institute of Mental Health.  Read more about ASD on the NIMH website:    

May this Autism Spectrum Disorder Angel help bring Awareness!  You can buy ASD Puzzle Awareness Ribbon Gifts at the Awareness Gallery Art Store or CafePress Unique Gifts Store!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Awareness Ribbon Angels for Remembering the 9/11/01 Attacks

9/11 Attacks We Remember ~ United We Stand Awareness Ribbon Angel

We remember loved ones hurt, heroes, and lives lost in the 9/11/01 attacks.  

Never Forget ~ Remember 09/11/01 USA R.I.P. Ribbon Awareness Angel

Never Forget, United We Stand, Remember 911, R.I.P., USA, Manhattan, WTC, NYC, AA 11, UAL 175, Pentagon, AA 77, Washington, Shanksville, UAL 93, Memorial, Firefighters, Police, Heroes September 11,  911

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Colon Cancer Blue Ribbon Awareness Angel

Colon Cancer Awareness Blue Ribbon Angel Art
Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Early diagnosis, though, can often lead to a complete cure.  Almost all colon cancers start in glands in the lining of the colon and rectum. When doctors talk about colorectal cancer, this is usually what they are talking about.  There is no single cause of colon cancer. Nearly all colon cancers begin as noncancerous (benign) polyps, which slowly develop into cancer.
Colon cancer can almost always be caught by colonoscopy in its earliest and most curable stages. Almost all men and women age 50 and older should have a colon cancer screening. Patients at higher risk may need earlier screening.  Colon cancer screening can often find polyps before they become cancerous. Removing these polyps may prevent colon cancer.
The death rate for colon cancer has dropped in the last 15 years. This may be due to increased awareness and screening by colonoscopy.  How well you do depends on many things, especially the stage of the cancer. When treated at an early stage, many patients survive at least 5 years after diagnosis. This is called the 5-year survival rate.
What you eat may play a role in your risk of colon cancer.   Changing your diet and lifestyle is important. Colon cancer may be linked to a high-fat, low-fiber diet and to a high intake of red meat.   Medical research suggests that low-fat and high-fiber diets may reduce your risk of colon cancer.  Some studies, though, have found that the risk does not drop if you switch to a high-fiber diet, so this link is not yet clear.  Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are other risk factors for colorectal cancer.
Some studies have reported that NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib) may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. But these medicines can increase your risk of bleeding and heart problems. Your health care provider can tell you more about the risks and benefits of the medicines and other ways that help prevent colorectal cancer.
You have a high risk of colon cancer if you:
  • Are older than 60
  • Are African American of eastern European descent
  • Eat a lot of red or processed meats
  • Have colorectal polyps
  • Have inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Have a family history of colon cancer
  • Have a personal history of breast cancer
Certain inherited diseases also increase the risk of developing colon cancer. Two of the most common are:
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), also known as Lynch syndrome
The above information was provided by Medline Plus which a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Let this Blue Ribbon Angel help bring Awareness to Colon Cancer.

Read more about Colon Cancer’s risk factors, treatment, and prevention on Medline Plus at

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bipolar Disorder Awareness Green Ribbon Angel

Bipolar Disorder Guardian Angel Awareness Ribbon Image Picture
Bipolar Disorder Awareness Green Ribbon Angel
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
Bipolar disorder often appears in the late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases start before age 25. Some people have their first symptoms during childhood, while others may develop symptoms late in life.
Bipolar disorder is not easy to spot when it starts. Some people suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout your life.

People with bipolar disorder experience unusually intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called "mood episodes." Each mood episode represents a drastic change from a person's usual mood and behavior

Bipolar Guardian Angel Awareness Ribbon Image Picture
Bipolar Awareness Green Ribbon Angel
An overly joyful or overexcited state is called a manic episode, and an extremely sad or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. Sometimes, a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression. This is called a mixed state. Extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior go along with these changes in mood.

If you know someone who has bipolar disorder, it affects you too. The first and most important thing you can do is help him or her get the right diagnosis and treatment. You may need to make the appointment and go with him or her to see the doctor. Encourage your loved one to stay in treatment.
To help a friend or relative, you can:
  • ·   Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
  • ·   Learn about bipolar disorder so you can understand what your friend or relative is experiencing
  • ·   Talk to your friend or relative and listen carefully
  • ·   Listen to feelings your friend or relative expresses and be understanding about situations that may trigger bipolar symptoms
  • ·   Invite your friend or relative out for positive distractions, such as walks, outings, and other activities
  • ·   Remind your friend or relative that, with time and treatment, he or she can get better.
Green Guardian Angel Awareness Ribbon Image Picture
Green Awareness Ribbon Angel Art 
Never ignore comments from your friend or relative about harming himself or herself. Always report such comments to his or her therapist or doctor.

The above information is from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH).

Let this Green Ribbon Angel help bring Awareness to Bipolar Disorder.

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Alopecia Areata Blue Awareness Ribbon Angel Art

Alopecia Areata Awareness Blue Ribbon Angel
Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches on the scalp and can progress to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or complete body hair loss (alopecia universalis).

Alopecia areata affects approximately two percent of the population overall, including more than 5 million people in the United States alone. This common skin disease is highly unpredictable and cyclical. Hair can grow back in or fall out again at any time, and the disease course is different for each person.
Current research suggests that something triggers the immune system to suppress the hair follicle. It isn't known what this trigger is, and whether it comes from outside the body like a virus, or from inside. Recent research indicates that some persons have genetic markers that increase both their susceptibility to develop alopecia areata, as well as the degree of disease severity.

In alopecia areata, the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked in groups by a person's own immune system (white blood cells), resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. These affected follicles become very small, drastically slow down production, and grow no hair visible above the surface for months or years.

The scalp is the most commonly affected area, but the beard or any hair-bearing site can be affected alone or together with the scalp. Some people develop only a few bare patches that regrow hair within a year. No matter how widespread the hair loss, the hair follicles remain alive and are ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal.
At present, there is no cure for alopecia areata, although the hair may return by itself. There are various treatments, which are most effective in milder cases, but none are universally effective.

Alopecia areata is not medically disabling; persons with alopecia areata are usually in excellent health. But emotionally, this disease can be challenging, especially for those with extensive hair loss. There are thousands of successful, well-adjusted, contented people living with this disease. The emotional pain of alopecia areata can be overcome with one's own inner resources, sound medical facts, and the support of others. 

Sometimes professional counseling from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker is needed to develop one's self-confidence and positive self-image.
The above information came from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF). One of the purposes of the NAAF is to reach out to individuals and families with alopecia areata and help them live full, productive lives. 

Let this Blue Ribbon Angel help bring Awareness to the cause for Alopecia Areata.

Read more about Alopecia Areata on NAAF website:

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Suicide Awareness Yellow Ribbon Angel

Yellow Suicide Awareness Ribbon Angel Art
In 2010, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for Americans. That year, someone in the U.S. died by suicide every 13.7 minutes.  At least 90 percent of all people who died by suicide were suffering from a mental illness at the time, most often depression. Among people who are depressed, intense emotional states such as desperation, hopelessness, anxiety, or rage increase the risk of suicide. People who are impulsive, or who use alcohol and drugs, are also at higher risk.
In all age groups in the U.S., about 75 to 80 percent of people who die by suicide are male. However, females account for about 75 percent of all non-fatal suicide attempts. This reflects the more frequent use by males of firearms and other highly lethal suicide methods. Females more frequently make suicide attempts using medications and other poisons, increasing the opportunity to save their lives. As the use of firearms as a suicide method has increased among females in recent years, we are seeing a gradual increase in the percentage of suicide decedents who are female.

Sometimes, even close friends or family members don’t know that their loved one is depressed. People who are depressed don’t always act the way we expect they would. They may not seem sad, tearful, or withdrawn. Men who are depressed may seem angry or irritable rather than sad. Not all people who end their lives are depressed. Some experience anxiety, are abusing drugs or alcohol, or have an eating disorder. For teens, becoming physically aggressive or destructive, or persistently breaking rules, is a risk factor for suicide.
Some suicides appear to be impulsive or spur-of-the-moment, or may follow a very upsetting event. But while we all go through painful experiences, suicide is not a normal response, and only a small percentage of people react by taking their lives. Suicide almost always results from the pain and desperation of a mental illness. When researchers carefully examine suicide deaths through a "psychological autopsy," they often find that the person had been suffering from an unrecognized, untreated mental disorder, like depression or bipolar disorder.
Studies show that people do not start thinking about suicide just because someone asks them about it. If you suspect a friend or loved one is suicidal, tell them that you are worried and want to help them. Don’t be afraid to ask whether they are considering suicide, and if they have a specific plan in mind. Having a plan may indicate that they are farther along and need help right away. Sometimes people who are thinking about suicide won’t tell you so because they don’t want you to stop them. Your direct, non-judgmental questions can encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings. Regardless of their response, if you suspect that the person may be suicidal, get help immediately.

The above information is from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSF).

Let this Yellow Ribbon Angel help bring awareness to Suicide and its prevention.

Read more about suicide on the AFSF website at:

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