RadioRotary interviews Southern Ulster Rotarian B.N. Mikkelsen about available trips by rail or sea to exotic places around the world. Mikkwelsen, a native of Denmark, operated a travel agency for more than a decade before turning to his present occupation of representing companies that take travelers to interesting destinations. Among his favorite trips are rail tours on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Silk Road, Namibia, Turkey, and Australia. Many of these are by private train compartments, although for some you travel by train but stay in local hotels. He also facilitates cruises along rivers in Asia and is especially excited about a small ship, the Ocean Diamond, that will tour the coasts of Iceland and Greenland.
Michael Weitzman in this RadioRotary interview reveals that he has long suffered from a common form of mental illness—bipolar disorder (once known as manic-depressive state), although he was not diagnosed with the disease until age 40. Today he emphasizes the basic triangle for handling a mental illness—a psychiatrist to diagnose, medicine to alleviate, and therapy to help with coping. The depressive side of bipolar disorder tends to isolate a person in what Weitzman calls the “Cave of Hell,” where the person becomes nonfunctioning, while the manic side makes a person overly active and optimistic. In addition to the basic triangle, it helps to cope by masking a daily list of activities to prevent nonfunctioning and actually doing what is on the list; but mental recovery activities such as journaling and meditation; and by joining a support group for the disorder.
RadioRotary interviews Richard Tracino, President and Chief Executive for Hudson Valley Hospice (HVH) and Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation, and Kim Warner, Director of Psychosocial Services for HVH. Hospice serves people of all ages who have terminal illnesses, although hospice focuses on the entire family, not just the dying individual, helping them deal with medical, emotional, spiritual, and family issues during the last six months of life. HVH at any given time helps from 100 to 130 patients in Dutchess and Ulster Counties, guiding them to palliative care, offering programs such as music therapy, and even continuing to aid families after the death of the patient.
Casey MacDonald, who survived her own bout with cancer nearly 20 years ago only to confront cancers that attacked her husband, father, and best friend, has devoted her life to helping others navigate their way through the medical, financial, and lifestyle challenges of the disease. She founded The Hudson Valley Cancer Resource Center, which—with the help of many volunteers—serves nine counties in the Hudson Valley. They provide a kit of information for those newly diagnosed with the disease, and then offer information on available financial assistance, prescription help, lodging and transportation, and legal and insurance counseling. This RadioRotary interview describes these services and more, as well as telling Ms. MacDonald’s own cancer stories.