So last Saturday March 27th, 2021 I went to NE Dragways in Epping, NH to shoot some pics and video of this fund raiser for my friends, Matt Rogers and his wife Val. They have four children. Three girls and one boy. I know them through our local Veterans Post here in Hampton.
The photo below was after our last GWOT/9-11 Observance in 2019. Looking at this photo, you see nothing but happiness and love. In this photo, the future looked bright. Very bright. Unfortunately, this photo was taken before they knew what DIPG was.
I remember thinking after I took this pic that they should use it for something nice. Maybe a profile pic on Facebook, or just a nice couple pic.
Little did I know, that I'd end up using it for the reason behind this poster, and this story about DIPG. Like most people, I had no idea what DIPG was. I simply never heard of it until recently. Now that I know what it is, I can't stop thinking about it. To know more about this disease that strikes mostly children between the ages of 7 and 10 click on any of the pics with the TEAM NASH logo.
This is young Nash climbing a tree. Doing what young boys do.
The photo below is Nash today. To find out more about Nash and DIPG just click on the photo to go their website and read Nash's story.
Life can throw you a curve ball when you least expect it.
And the Rogers family are dealing with something they never saw coming.
But they are fighters. Military families are all fighters. They deal with long deployments as well as the risk in war zones. Little did they think that when Matt came back from the Middle East, the real battle would be at home.
Click on the images below to find out more about DIPG and what you can do to help NASH and every other family that is going through this.
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is a tumor that grows in the brainstem. The brainstem controls functions like hearing, vision, smell, heart rate, breathing, and balance among other essential functions. The first sign parents notice is vision issues and balance problems. The delicate location, and the spider web-like growth pattern, within healthy cells, makes it impossible to remove surgically. Only 300-400 children are diagnosed every year with DIPG.
Diffuse means that the tumor is not well-contained – it grows out into other tissue so that cancer cells mix with healthy cells.
Intrinsic simply means “in”, referring to the point or origin.
Pontine indicates that the tumor is found in a part of the brainstem called the pons. The pons is responsible for a number of important bodily functions, like breathing, sleeping, bladder control, and balance.
Glioma is a general term for tumors originating from glial cells. Glial cells are found throughout the brain. They make up the white matter of the brain that surrounds and supports the neurons (neurons are cells that carry messages in the brain).
The rarity of the diagnosis, along with the minimal funding allocated for childhood cancers, results in conventional treatments not changing in over 50 years. These include possible biopsy, radiation to shrink the tumor, and available clinical trials.
Parents are desperate to find treatments and cures to save their children from this terrible disease. Bringing awareness to the importance of funding for childhood cancers is something everyone can have a hand in.
Who is affected by DIPG?
- DIPG primarily affects children, with most diagnoses occurring between 5 and 7 years of age.
- It makes up 10-15% of all brain tumors in children, with about 150-300 new diagnoses per year in the United States.
- Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of children survive two years from diagnosis.
- Brain tumors are now the most common cancer and cause of cancer-related death in children less than 15 years of age.
- They are the most common solid tumor in children – accounting for approximately 25% of all childhood cancers.
- Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) are the most common brainstem tumors in children, representing approximately 75-80% of all pediatric brainstem tumors.
Clinical signs of DIPG
- Sometimes parents notice:
- Odd eye movements
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Trouble maintaining balance
- Drooping of one part of their child’s face
- Pontine tumors can press on and interfere with the function of these nerves, leading to weakness in an arm and/or a leg.
- Tumors in the brainstem can also cause increased pressure within the skull. Increased pressure can cause patients to complain of persistent headaches and in some patients can lead to nausea and vomiting.
I love this message. WHEN WE FIGHT FOR NASH, WE FIGHT FOR
THEM ALL! That's a solid slogan. That's the military mindset.
It's a TEAM Effort.
On this EASTER SUNDAY, we pray for all the families who are dealing with DIPG, but especially the Rogers family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and PLEASE donate whatever you can. Thank you.
Be sure and check out the gallery of photos that I shot of the BASH FOR NASH down in the photos section.
VIETNAM VETERANS DAY MARCH 29th, 2021
This past Monday March 29th, 2021 was National Vietnam Veterans Day.
Now PLEASE don't go thanking me, before you read this. As a Vietnam Veteran, I personally feel that we should NOT have our own day.
Is there a WWII Veterans Day? Is there a KOREAN WAR Veterans Day?
Is there a BEIRUT Veterans Day? Is there an IRAQ War Veteran Day? Is there an AFGHANISTAN Veteran Day? Is there a PERSIAN GULF Veterans Day? Is there a SOMALIA Veterans Day? Is there a PANAMA Veterans Day? HELL NO!
None of these Veterans get their own special day.
This VIETNAM VETERANS DAY was more than likely thought up by some group of politicians who thought by giving us our own day, it would make us feel better, and it would somehow wash over the shame that we all endured when we came home. It does not. It is in my honest opinion, embarrassing. Besides, the day they picked? March 29th, 1973? Why this day? That's the day when all combat troops left Vietnam.
Yet, we had American forces in Vietnam right up until the bloody end in 1975. One of the last to die in Vietnam was Cpl Charles McMahon USMC who died on April 29th, 1975. Charlie was a Hampton Beach Lifeguard. He was from Woburn, MA. Sorry Charlie, you didn't make the cut on "National Vietnam Veterans Day." Nor did those who died on Koh Tang island in Cambodia two weeks later. It's true. Google it.
So Vietnam Veterans Day is not a day that all Vietnam Vets acknowledge.
I am one of them. I believe that we should celebrate and THANK ALL Veterans from all wars, conflicts, and during peacetime on VETERANS DAY. And we should honor and remember ALL the fallen from ALL the wars and conflicts on MEMORIAL DAY. Period. Enough with this trying to divide us all. We are all VETERANS. There's no need to separate us and give us our own day.
This is just my own personal opinion.
Call it food for thought.
"TEAM NASH, ALL VETERANS, and SURFING HEALS ALL WOUNDS!"
This week's Ed's corner pic is from December 2012. This image hangs in my kitchen. I look at it every single day. This is the kind of photo that I love to show people who question whether or not we have surf in NH. All you have to do is look at this photo from December of 2012. ANY QUESTIONS? I didn't think so. Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local and National News
Well would you look at this. Last week I reported on the EVERGREEN finally being freed from the SUEZ canal. It was a one hell of a shit show that cost billions and billions of dollars. Not to mention another shortage of toilet paper. (Here we go again.) If 2020 wasn't bad enough trying to supply our bathrooms with TP this damn ship the EVERGREEN caused a back up that not many plumbers saw coming.
But the real inside story was, that a local Hampton, NH lobster-man/comedian "Jimmy Dunn" piloted his trusty water craft the "GORDIE HOWE" all the way over to the SUEZ Canal and somehow was able to free up the EVERGREEN, and all that Toilet Paper. I don't know how he did it. But photos don't lie. (says the guy who photoshops KSM every single week). But one thing is for certain. Jimmy is a hero! HAIL JIMMY and The GORDIE HOWE! The next time you're in the shitter wiping your ass you can thank Jimmy and the GORDIE HOWE for that thick and soft 8ply TP in your hand.
Here he is flying along and away in SUEZ canal after freeing up tanker/barge the EVERGREEN. Not all heroes wear a cape.
Some of them smell like Lobster.
WELCOME COMMUNITY OVEN TO RALPH'S PIC!
We welcome the COMMUNITY OVEN from Hampton and Epping, NH this week as our latest advertiser to our Blog.
Owner Shane Pine has been a fixture here on the NH seacoast for many years. His involvement with local community fund raisers is legendary. With two restaurants locally, one in Hampton, and the other in Epping, it's the Perfect Spot to get the "PERFECT PIZZA AFTER SURFING THE PERFECT WAVE.
That surfer in the ad? Yeah that's local surfer Curt Hanig.
Curt works at the Community Oven and I've personally known Curt and Shane for years. We've been getting our fill of COMMUNITY OVEN pizza for years. And I'm here to tell you that their pizza is really good. I mean it's good. Otherwise I wouldn't get it.
Shane also owns SHANE'S BBQ TEX MEX. Clearly the Best rib joint in town. So if you've got a hankering for Ribs instead of pizza? Stop by on your way out of town. You have to drive right by it on your way home. You can't lose either way.
Pizza or ribs.
We're stoked to have them on board. The COMMUNITY OVEN.
This pic popped up on my News Feed on FACEBOOK yesterday. It's a family photo taken on Easter Sunday at 10th Street in Hampton. I'm guessing late 90's. We would always go to 10th street after Easter Sunday Mass. I would stop a random Wall walker and have them take our photo. We never knew 90% of them over the years. Though this particular one became our favorite. I wish that we could go back in time for just one day to this time period. Those were such fun times. I miss them.
Every single GERMAN SHORTHAIR POINTER we ever owned had a run in with porcupines. Zorro has joined that esteemed group. Somehow he got his left hind paw in the quills of a porcupine. We had to go to the ER to have them removed. He's been limping and dealing with all kinds of nasty side affects. We're hoping that it's only a matter of time before he gets back to his regular GSP self. Gotta hand it to those porcupines. They sure know how to defend themselves.
Here's to a quick recovery Zorro!
KSM Photoshop of the Week
You guys are in for a real treat this week, we were able to dig up an old photo of KSM sitting on the lap of twin Easter Bunnies when he was a young child. He told one of the prison guards in GITMO, that he still has nightmares to this day about these evil Easter Bunnies. I can see why. Those dam EB's would scare the snot out of any kid. Let alone an Extreme Radical Muslim Terrorist like Khaliddy. I'm not saying this was an excuse for 9-11, but I can see the reason for his recurring nightmares. Ha ha. .
And so my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
*Note to self -must pick up a case of Chocolate Easter Bunnies
Home Depot this week.
HAPPY EASTER Sunday April 4th, 2021!
CONGRATS to Perry and Sarah Reynolds expecting their first child at the end of August, 2021!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY David Robinson April 2nd, 2021!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Don Rose April 2nd, 2021!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mike Keefe, Casey Lockwood, Duffy McCarthy, and Demetri Valhouli
April 9th, 2021!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Noelle Rizzo March 27th, 2021!
HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY Gus and Angelo Fatello
Both Born on March 27th. Gus in 1924 and Angelo 1929.
HEAL QUICKLY Tony Berardini on the new Hip Surgery!
PLEASE Keep 90 yr old Chuck Dreyer (Kim Grondin's dad)
in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers from surgery.
PLEASE Keep longtime NH Surfer Greg Smith in your Prayers.
PLEASE Keep local Surfer/Musician Pete Kowalski in your thoughts and prayers throughout the year.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 16 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.
Yesterday- Kevin "DOC" Grondin in NH December 1987.
(Below) I admit, I had never seen this pic before. It's from Old Iron Balls himself Michael "IB" Baytoff. No need to get into how I gave IB that nickname suffice it to say, he earned it, the hard way. But back to this pic. At first I thought IB was wrong. The reason being is that Kevin would not be surfing without a hood on. According to IB he did have a hood on, it was just pulled back. But knowing these guys like I do. It was pulled back not because it was too warm, It was pulled back to look better for the camera. Like I always say, BETTER TO LOOK GOOD-THAN TO FEEL GOOD.
Photo by Michael Baytoff
*Click on the pic to see a larger version.
I kept a daily Blog on my CATCH A WAVE FOR MOLLY surf campaign, when I surfed every single day for 365 consecutive days. Click on the Banner above to read entries of my daily journey. There's some really interesting and true expereinces
that happened during that year. Some of which are to this day, unexplainable. Some are just mind blowing. But all true.
I started on July 26th, 2010 and ended on July 26th, 2011.
Some rainy Sunday, pour yourself a cup and go through the journal.
Pay close attention to the month of May in 2011. Read that month and let me know what you think of that. Be forewarned it will change you forever.