Putting the Hilarity in Charity

CUPIDS Undies 1Residents and visitors to the nation’s capital prepare for a big surprise.  No, we’re not talking about the upcoming inauguration, but something altogether more fun. So what could be more captivating than the swearing in of the 57th President you ask?

Well how about 1,000 scantily clad runners?  That’s right!  In less than a month, on Valentine’s day weekend to be exact, the streets of Washington, DC will be filled with belles in bras and boys in boxers.  All will be participating in the third annual Cupid’s Undie Run to raise donations for the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF).

Childrens-Tumor-FoundationThe Children’s Tumor Foundation is dedicated to ending neurofibromatosis (NF) through research. NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, causing blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain. NF affects roughly 1:3,000 births in the U.S. Currently, there is no cure and there are frighteningly few treatment options. The Foundation’s mission is to advance peer-reviewed research to develop treatments and cures for NF; support persons with NF and their families by making thorough and accurate information readily available; to assist in developing clinical centers and best practices to improve access to quality healthcare for those who live with NF; and expand public awareness of NF to improve diagnoses, increase understanding of the challenges that NF presents, and encourage support for NF research.

Cupids founders

Cupid’s Undie Run founders Brendan Hanrahan, Chad Leathers, and Bobby Gill

Cupid’s Undie Run was born three years ago after Chad Leathers learned of his brother Drew’s diagnosis of neurofibromatosis.

Since then, the Cupid’s Undie Run has expanded into 17 cities across the US and to Sydney, Australia with the goal of raising more than one million dollars for neurofibromatosis research.  By 2012, they’d surpassed the $100k mark.  This year, their main is to spread Cupid’s love around the country and get folks in new cities excited about the event and the charity.

The Cupid’s Undie Run DC will take participants on a 1.5 mile run past the US Capitol and the Supreme Court.  Pre- and post-run festivities are held at Pour House and Capitol Lounge. Festivities start at noon on Saturday, February 9th 2013*, before runners strip down for the Undie Run at 2pm. Post-race, there will be numerous festivities and awards. Prizes include custom undies, VIP Open Bar, embroidered bathrobes, engraved iPod Nanos, and even romantic getaways.

cupids1Charitable cherubs can either fundraise as an individual or join a team.

In addition to the DC event, there will be Cupid’s undies runs in NYC, Atlanta, Seattle, Denver and Cincinnati, LA, San Fran, Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Orlando, Minneapolis, Philly, Cleveland, St. Louis and Detroit.  Get ready!

So if you’re ready to run 1.5 miles in your bedroom-best click here for more information.

See you in your skivvies!

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Were You Heartbroken this Valentine’s Day?

Did your loved one forget the flowers or cancel the candlelight yesterday? Worse still, did cupids arrow miss entirely, and you ended up getting ditched or dumped?

If so, you may well be feeling brokenhearted today. And before someone tells you there’s no such thing as a broken heart, take heart!

According to Dr. Binh An P. Phan, a cardiologist at  Loyola University, a broken heart is an actual medical condition. Broken heart syndrome can occur during highly stressful or emotional times, such as a painful breakup, the death of a spouse, the loss of a job or extreme anger.

Not that you’ll find the term “broken heart syndrome” in any medical text book.  Professionals refer to it as stress cardiomyopathy. During an extremely stressful event, the heart can be overwhelmed by a surge of adrenalin and other stress hormones. This can cause a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, similar to what happens during a heart attack. Symptoms are also similar to those of a heart attack, and include chest pain and difficulty breathing.

But, unlike a heart attack, broken heart syndrome is reversible.  Over time, the symptoms go away. And unlike heart attack patients, people with broken heart syndrome do not suffer lasting damage to their hearts.  Their wallets maybe, their pride – almost certainly – but not their hearts!

Still, as it’s difficult to distinguish between broken heart syndrome and a heart attack, SRxA’s Word on Health advises anyone experiencing symptoms such as chest pain and difficulty breathing to call 911.

Who knows?  You could even meet your Valentine while getting checked out at the hospital!

Allergic to Valentine’s Day?

Does Valentine’s Day make you sick?

Those of us who don’t expect to receive cards and flowers tomorrow, would probably rather fast-forward to February 15th than endure a day of being surrounded by loved-up romantics.

However, it seems that it’s not only singletons who want to forget the 14th. People with food allergies may also want to give cupid a wide berth.

Having an allergic reaction immediately after kissing someone who has eaten the food or taken the medication that you are allergic to isn’t highly unusual,” says allergist Sami Bahna, MD. “However some patients react after their partner has brushed his or her teeth or several hours after eating. It turns out that their partners’ saliva is excreting the allergen hours after the food or medicine has been absorbed by their body.”

Symptoms of kissing allergies include swelling of the lips or throat, rash, hives, itching and wheezing.

When things turn more intimate, allergies can be even more disruptive. Allergists have seen cases of people experiencing allergies to chemicals in spermicides, lubricants, latex or even a partner’s semen. Some people even develop hives or wheezing from the natural chemicals released by their own body during sexual interaction.

So what are lovebirds to do?

If you suffer from food or medication allergies, before puckering up you should ask your partner to brush his or her teeth, rinse his or her mouth and avoid the offending food for 16 to 24 hours before smooching.  For people allergic to their partner’s semen, we suggest the use of condoms or better still, that you visit your allergist to discuss immunotherapy or allergy shots.

Whether you’re celebrating  Valentine’s Day tomorrow or not, SRxA’s Word on Health wishes you a happy and healthy February 14th.