The Laura and Wagner Foundation (LWF) is a non-profit NGO registered in Curaçao, and certified by the Belastingdienst in the ANBI Registry in the Netherlands, that serves to raise awareness about, and advocate for, the rights of persons of all ages living with sensory, physical, or learning disabilities, as well as those 'socially disabled' because of poverty, domestic abuse or inaccessible education opportunities.
Founded in February of 2008 by Laura de Haseth Meddens, herself, visually impaired, the LWF is working to 'DisAble The Dis' by changing attitudes about disability. Laura, and her guide dog Wagner from The Seeing Eye, have been 'opening eyes and opening doors' raising awareness about disability rights and issues, and obtaining access for persons with guide dogs to all the places normally sighted people go.
The Foundation is now developing new options for learning, training, employment and improved daily living for persons with special needs through our ABLED® software application for the iPad, iPhone and other devices,and through the www.Abled.com global network of websites we are building.
2014 marks the opening of new chapters on many fronts. After training with her new Seeing Eye® guide dog Nugget (as in Golden Nugget), a beautiful Chocolate Labrador, in Morristown, New Jersey, Laura and the Abled.com development team are working to build out our global portal of networks that will help everyone to live a more Abled® life by making better informed choices, and by providing accessible and inclusive Communities | Content | Products | Services | Technology.
We look forward to being of service and to your continued support throughout 2014.
FAREWELL DEAR WAGNER
DECEMBER 31, 2004 - MAY 21, 2013
With broken hearts, all of us at The Laura And Wagner Foundation and Abled.com announce the passing of Laura's beloved guide dog Wagner.
But everyone who loved him knew him simply as 'Waggie'.
It is a sad irony that Waggie's passing comes on the same day Texas A&M University published the story seen in our previous post about his role in a great research program being conducted by the university in partnership with the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
His T-Cell infusions at Texas A&M dramatically reduced his tumor load, putting him, essentially, into remission. However, Waggie was recently diagnosed with erlichia (tick disease), likely picked up in Texas despite wearing a tick collar and being up to date on his frontline injections.
That overloaded his immune system which had already been weakened by a double dose of chemotherapy prior to the T-Cell infusions.
Waggie's condition rapidly deteriorated over the past week, and Laura had to feed and water him by hand. He started to have very labored breathing, and difficulty walking.
After fighting the bravest fight possible against the lymphoma for two years and 7 months, it was for the heartbreaking decision to end his suffering.
With the help of Dr. Carreen Loriaux from the Dierenkliniek Ijburglaan in Amsterdam, Waggie was put to sleep earlier today.
It's a devastating loss for Laura, and an absence that will always be felt. But she takes comfort in hoping that the knowledge gained from Waggie's T-Cell treatment's will soon help to save other dogs and human cancer patients as the T-Cell therapies are refined.
We'll be writing more in the days ahead about Waggie's treatments and the generous people who helped to make them possible.
For now, we are all just simply hurting, and mourning the loss of a dear, sweet dog who was the best ambassador a Foundation could ask for.
Rest in Peace Dear Waggie.
LAURA'S TRIBUTE TO WAGNER
My dear Waggie,
You were my first wonderful guide dog. You were a real character, sometimes full of mischief, but you were always a trustworthy and loyal gentleman.
You helped me in very hard times, and saved my life on two occasions.
I tried to help you as best as I could in fighting the cancer from 2010 onwards. But because you contracted tick fever in Texas, it became too much for your immune system over the past few weeks.
It is so very hard to say goodbye, but it was even harder to feel you getting so weak, despite what a brave, brave fight you were putting up.
Your legacy will live on in all the lives of everyone you've touched in Curaçao, the Netherlands, the United States and around the world and through the research knowledge that will be gained from your T-Cell treatments.
I want to thank everyone who contributed to our indiegogo campaign to be able to take Waggie to Texas, because your contribution continues to help build towards finding non-toxic cancer treatments for dogs and people with lymphoma and other cancers, especially children, because canine blood is so similar to children's blood composition.
The best I can close with for now, because the tears won't stop, is a favourite quote of mine from Linden: "Those with the brightest spirits are sometimes handed the darkest challenges to light the way for the rest of us".
I love you Waggie. I know your spirit will continue to guide me from heaven and you will live in my heart forever.
|CLICK ON THE ICONS BELOW TO VISIT THE LAURA AND WAGNER FOUNDATION ONLINE COMMUNITIES|
The Ongoing Saga of Two Survivors
The Fight To Save Laura's Vision and The Fight To Save Wagner
Since late 2010, Laura's faithful guide dog, Wagner, has been battling Stage 3 canine lymphoma form of cancer.
His diagnosis came as Laura faced the worst possible news:
the impaired vision in her remaining eye that she fought so hard to have restored was finally lost because of the physical consequences of domestic violence.
After being hit and kicked in the face in several assaults by her, now, ex-husband, as documented by the Police, the physical trauma caused an immediate and ongoing loss of eye pressure, requiring painful injections of an artificial substance every six weeks to try to save her eye, which also suffered a detached retina because of the blunt-force trauma and the scar tissue it created.
Continued bullying and financial abuse during the divorce process made it impossible for Laura to pay for Waggie's ongoing chemotherapy, let alone have enough food in the house for her and her children on numerous occasions. She was forced to borrow money from family and friends as she does not draw a salary from The Laura And Wagner Foundation, and social service agencies wouldn't help because they said it was her husband's responsibility.
Laura didn't make this public before because of the shame and embarrassment that most victims of domestic abuse experience, and because of further cowardly threats of violence if she did. Laura never wanted to be portrayed as a "poor me", or to draw attention away from the work of her Foundation, but she felt it was important to finally take a stand to tell other women & men in abusive relationships to come forward to stop the violence and intimidation, because abusers lose their power when exposed.
It was time to turn the shame in the other direction.
Persons with disabilities face a much higher risk of abuse as detailed in our Special Report on Abuse of the Disabled.
Laura also wants social service agencies to improve their responses to families in crisis when faced with this abuse.
Despite all this, Laura persevered and put her focus on her children and Wagner, helping her devoted guide through his treatment regimens. Thanks to the initial efforts of Dr. Erik Teske & his team at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and the team at the Medisch Centrum voor Dieren in Amsterdam, Wagner went into remission.
As predicted, however, a year later, the tumors eventually returned and the chemotherapy treatments were taking a very heavy toll on his bone marrow.
At that point, the veterinarians recommended putting him to sleep, because further chemotherapy treatments would be out of the question. Waggie again rallied after immediately being put on a raw food diet and eventually became strong enough for more chemotherapy and Asparaginase enzyme treatments.
Then, he was been accepted into a clinical trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas and Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in College Station, Texas which would re-infuse Waggie's expanded T-cells into his own blood to fight the cancer. Because canine blood is very close in composition to human blood, particularly in children, it's hoped new treatment protocols will be developed for persons battling Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
You can read more about the world-wide effort to help at our Abled website.
In the meantime, Laura was on a standby list for a cornea transplant, and in late November 2012 during an almost 3 hour operation, Prof. Dr. Peter Walter at the Augenklink at the Universitatsklinikum in Aachen, Germany, attached the donor cornea after performing other reparative procedures in an effort to stabilize her eye pressure.
Laura wishes to thank the anonymous donor, as well as Prof. Dr. Walter, his assistant Sotiria Manetta and all the interns and nursing staff at the Universitatsklinikum in Aachen for this new chance at possibly getting some vision restored, as well as thanking Dr. J.D. Ferwerda, her eye specialist in Curaçao and Dr. Mauk Tilanus at St. Radboud in Nijmegen for their efforts to sustain the pressure in her eye to help keep it "alive" for the eventual transplant procedure.
Then, Laura and her eye just needed time to heal, which would usually take 3 to 6 months, and she thanks everyone for their kind words of support. Unfortunately, the damage from the domestic abuse was too great, and Laura now faces a future without her sight.
Then, in May 2013, the toll from the cancer and tick disease contracted in Texas despite preventative medication proved to be too much for Wagner's immune system and he was put to rest at home.
Despite the personal challenges that have faced our namesakes, The Laura And Wagner Foundation continues the development of our Abled® software application for the iPhone and iPad and eventually, Android devices, that will create new learning, training and job opportunities for persons with disabilities who will then provide Abled® content, products and services for disabled and non-disabled users alike across our Abled.com network of websites which will build-out throughout 2014.
Our thanks this year to iCars, Europcar Aruba, Europcar Curaçao, Carensol, and The Genuine Curaçao of Curaçao Liqueur for their financial support, and Mr. Niels Verheij of Damasco Resort for the donation of Internet access. As a non-profit NGO , we rely on donations such as these, as well as from individuals like you to make this happen.
Please help us take the 'Dis' out of 'Disabled' by clicking on the banner below to help us build an Abled® future.
Thank you and our very best wishes to you for a healthy and happy 2014!
Mr. Lachu Boolchand of Boolchand's presents Laura Meddens, Founder and Chairman of The Laura And Wagner Foundation with the donation of an Apple® iPad as a contribution toward the Foundation's Abled application for disabled users that is being developed for the iPad, iPhone and desktop computers.
Acupuncture specialist Shik-Tong Chan presents Laura Meddens, Founder and Chairman of The Laura And Wagner Foundation with the donation of a Blue-THX Digital microphone as a contribution toward the Foundation's Abled application and suite of assistive software for the disabled. Shik-Tong also donated treatment to help raise Laura's eye pressure as part of the battle to try and save her remaining sight, and for this, he is one of our heroes.
| ABLED INITIATIVE|
New Assistive Technology
Our system of software and digital
devices to help take the 'Dis' out of
Disabled via more independence
New learning/training opportunities
An easier system for using the 'Net'
A new form of independent mobility
Massive Salmonella Alert
Contaminated flavor enhancer starts
a flood of voluntary recalls of many
food products - We have the list
Baby carrier recall in N.A. & Europe
Tylenol products recall is expanded
Soda fountains squirt fecal bacteria
The Seeing Eye & Beyond
A series of articles providing insight
into living with a disability - starting
with our Founder - Laura Meddens
Mobility training with a metal 'dog'
Echolocation: Seeing without eyes
Hearing restored -the challenges
Vegetative Patients 'Speak'
Brain scans show response when
questions are asked-Ethics impact
Paralysis Healed? Dr. Rewires Nerves
Retinal implant trial successful
New treatment for brain injury
Opening Eyes & Doors
Laura & Wagner raise awareness
about disabilities and guide dogs
ISC students learn about disabilities
Opening eyes at the Marnix School
Teaching executives about access
ABLED Fundraising Event
Our sincere thanks to all participants
attendees, sponsors or contributors
1Domains Online Benefit Auction
Autism Awareness month
international day of the guide dog
Melody Gardot's Survival
Music therapy helps launch a major
career after being hit by a car
Mike May: Adapting to seeing again
Adapting to hearing for the 1st time
Quotes of inspiration for motivation
ISSUESPoverty & The Disabled
An average 75% jobless rate leaves
many disabled persons behind
Shelters Illegally Bar Service Dogs
Making culture accessible for all
Autism Comfort Dogs vs Schools
Finding His Voice Again
Technology gives Roger Ebert back
the voice that cancer stole from him
Oprah's 'No Phone Zone' campaign
Oscar provides hope for Prudence
Avatar's hero inspires paraplegics
Our selection of Blogs, Foundations,
Links and Retailers of interest
Media Dis-n-dat Blog Link
Independent Living Aids Store
UN eNable Promotes Disabled Rights
The Heart Loves Chocolate
New long-term study shows dark
chocolate is good for your heart
Blind driver sets world speed record
Stem cells may reverse deafness
When a sore throat turns deadly
Prostate Cancer Reduced
Drug for BPH effecting in reducing
the development of prostate cancer
Chemical link to breast cancer
Overactive thyroid stroke risk
How to be part of a clinical trial
Abuse Of The Disabled
Pope under fire for ignoring abuse at
Catholic institutions for the disabled
Disabled Attitudes: Speaking Up
Haiti/Chile Quakes impact disabled
Health Care Reform for the disabled
Not Defined By Disability
Our series on Disabled Attitudes and
other videos help disable the 'dis'
'Opening Eyes & Opening Doors'
'The Specials'-online video series
The Voices of Autism @ NYT.com
WELLNESSLive Well Despite Disability
Conditions, treatments, recipes &
more for better wellbeing choices
Fitness is key for the disabled
Comparing natural painkillers
Mike May on regaining vision
A Section For Your WellbeingStudies have shown that it's very important for persons with disabilities or chronic health conditions to try to maintain a good diet, exercise, if possible in ways that are relevant to their condition, and to maintain a positive spirit. We've developed a new resource section of our website to help everyone, whether disabled or not, to learn more about recipes, natural supplements, exercise regimens from various sources to help you make informed choices about your health and wellbeing.
This content is for information purposes only and is not meant to replace proper diagnosis and treatment by your health professionals. We hope you find the information useful and if you have any comments or questions, please write to us at info@LauraAndWager.com.
| ||In our Spirit video section, you'll find Laura's interview with Mike May, an assistive technology pioneer who also participated in the 'Disabled Attitudes' discussion in our Special Reports section. Mike talks about some of the challenges in having partial vision restored after 43 years via stem cell surgery. It's not quite as easy as you think. Since the interview was done via Skype, the video connection quality wasn't as good as we'd like it to be, but we feel what Mike had to say was very important and should supercede any technical concerns. You can watch the video below & read more about Mike here.|
|THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SUPPORTERS - Watch The Video Below|
Press the play button and then click on the arrow beside 360p to choose 720HD for High Definition
Then click on the arrows to watch the video in full screen size
| Paraplegics Cheer Disabled 'Avatar' Hero James Cameron's 3-D blockbuster has been wowing audiences all|
over the world, but it is especially inspiring for many persons with
disabilities because its lead character overcomes his paralysis.
Read more at ABC News>>
| Autism Dogs: Service Animals or Pets? Two families fight for access to schools for their autistic children and|
their comfort dogs. School districts call them 'pets' but the parents
insist they are service dogs and a court agreed with one family.
Story 1 >> Story 2 >>
| Shelters Illegally Bar Disabled Homeless|
Some shelters for the homeless are violating the Americans With
Disabilities Act by refusing accommodation for homeless disabled
persons with guide or service dogs leaving them to sleep on the street.
Story 1 >> Story 2 >>
No Ash Cloud Health Risks
Iceland's erupting volcano is not
considered a big health risk
Salmonella In Chickens
Consumer Reports finds the bacteria
in 2/3rds of store-bought chickens
Reduce/Prevent Neck Pain
Leslie Nesbitt has tips for those who
experience neck pain from sitting
Play Wheelchair Basketball
Paralympic champ Mike Schlappi
explains the general aspects of it
Exercises For Person With Spinal Cord Injuries: Tetraplegia
This is a great at-home workout program for people with tetraplegia. This video can also be used as a seated exercise option for people with disabilities or chronic health conditions.
Through The Laura And Wagner Foundation (LWF), they are also campaigning to achieve access legislation for guide/assistance dogs to allow people who rely on these service animals for their mobility to be able to go everywhere non-disabled people go without discrimination.
Through it's ABLED Initiative, the LWF will be launching several projects to create new learning, training and employment opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged persons of all ages through a customized suite of software and devices that close the digital divide for those who don't see as well, hear as well, walk as well, or learn as easily as the rest of us, including those who can't afford the basic tools of communication and learning that many of us take for granted.
These projects are also designed to create new economic opportunities in in the sectors of Education, Communications and Tourism.
Please visit our website often to follow the progress of this ambitious multi-year initiative. And because we are a non-profit NGO (non-governmental organization), we rely on financial support from individual and corporate supporters like you. You can learn more about the Foundation and how you can help or get involved to make a difference here.
Please take your time exploring our site and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions. by sending us an eMail to info@LauraAndWagner.com. We hope you'll visit often and help spread the word about Laura and Wagner's efforts to 'Open Eyes & Open Doors'!
Web Searchdata recovery
Click here to submit your site to the search engines for free!