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(Also posted on Artie’s Facebook, please join!)

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(#1) Today is Daniel Kamiya’s birthday – 24!! As you may have noticed, the entire format of the Great Activities Newspaper (the country’s premier PE magazine – born in 1982) has changed recently. That’s because Daniel and older brother, Jeremy, have been putting their graphic skills together to make it just a little bit better. Daniel graduated from NC State University with a degree in Industrial Design. While he’s waiting for a “real job” (i.e., designing furniture or cars or other stuff), we get to use his talents right here!

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(#2) THE UNIMAGINED LIFE is the title of a book written by Dr. Jim Wyngaarden. I really don’t know Jim that well. I do know he’s 85 years old (and looks great!) and attends Blacknall Presbyterian Church, as does our family. I bumped into Jim last month (old Wellspring Market, now Whole Foods) and talked about Life over a cup of coffee.

* BACKGROUND NOTE: In the United States, there are two major federal funders for health promotion/disease prevention – NIH (National Institutes of Health) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Lately, both agencies have been doing alot in the area of childhood overweight/nutrition/physical activity, etc. When I worked at the state level (1983-2001), North Carolina received a $3.4 million grant from CDC to promote the Coordinated School Health Programs model and HIV/AIDS prevention. So have about 20 other states.

When Jim told me he was a former Director of NIH (1982-1989), I was stunned!! “Director of NIH!!!,” I thought to myself. “Wow!” I knew he worked at Duke, but the Director of NIH!!! That’s something…

I later found out that it was Jim who asked (and got) Congress to provide HIV/AIDS funding – (President of the World AIDS Foundation, 1987-1989) ) and the same with the Human Genome Project – (Director, Human Genome Organization – 1990-1992). Double and triple “Wow!!”

Anyway, Jim came by the house yesterday, book in hand, ’cause he knew I was interested in federal level stuff.  After reading his book, I know more about Jim:

  • He was born in Michigan in 1924,
  • Pretty good athlete in high school (basketball and tennis),
  • Calvin College and med school in Michigan,
  • US Naval Hospital during WW II (When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the US had the 13th largest Army in the world – just below Romania and a “one ocean Navy” – 1/2 of this number being sunk on 12/7/1941),
  • Physican in Chief, University of Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Chair, Department of Medicine, Duke Hospital
  • Physican in Chief, Duke Hospital
  • Etc, etc…

Mostly, I know more about who he loves and who loves him.

As Jim writes:

“Yet my greatest earthly blessing have been my home and family; my marriage; my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and my abiding Christian faith that I first learned at my mother’s knee, a lifetime ago. The first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism express this faith well:

  • Q: What is your only comfort in life and death?
  • A: That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and death – to my gracious savior Jesus Christ.”

Amen!

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