Bryan Tate | Philanthropy

Bryan Tate is a dedicated philanthropist

Bryan Tate What is the Giving Pledge?

What is the Giving Pledge?

Philanthropy is crucial to society. For those who have been lucky enough to amass large fortunes, it is important to give as much of their money as they can to better their individual communities and the world. Just recently, 14 of the world’s billionaires have pledged to donate large amounts of their fortunes to charities through the Giving Pledge. While this is terrific for philanthropy, it still begs the question: What is the Giving Pledge?

 

Started in 2010, the Giving Pledge is an agreement between some of the world’s wealthiest individuals to donate their money to good and charitable causes. The program was founded by world-renowned billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.

 

According to the organization’s website, new members of the pledge tend to draft a letter that explains their reasons for signing and the causes they will be donating to. Members already give to a wide array of charitable causes, ranging from disaster relief to environmental protection.

 

The original pledge was formed by 40 of America’s billionaires and billionaire couples. Today, however, the organization’s numbers have grown dramatically. Originally implemented in the US, the Giving Pledge has taken off since its original debut, and gained a whopping 169 members from across the globe. These wealthy, philanthropic individuals represent a wide array of countries, from Germany to Israel to Russia and everywhere in between.

 

The main point of the pledge is to not only get billionaires involved in philanthropy, but for anyone around the world to get involved in donating and giving money for the betterment of the human race. The pledge’s members also hope that the sheer size of the organization can help open up a dialogue about the importance of philanthropy to everybody, not just the wealthy.

The 14 new additions include: Leonard Ainsworth (Australia), Mohammed Dewji (Tanzania), Dagmar Dolby (United States), Dong Fangjun (People’s Republic of China), Anne Grete Eidsvig and Kjell Inge Røkke (Norway), Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Monaco), Nick and Leslie Hanauer (United States), Iza and Samo Login (Slovenia), Dean and Marianne Metropoulos (United States), Terry and Susan Ragon (United States), Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons (United States), Robert Frederick Smith (United States), Harry Stine (United States) and You Zhonghui (People’s Republic of China).

 

For any of you billionaires out there reading this, make sure to sign the Giving Pledge. It is making the world a far better, kinder place to live in, and with your support, it will make the process even easier.

Bryan Tate Best Cancer Organizations to Give to

Best Cancer Organizations to Give to

I’ve said this before in previous blogs, but cancer research is an incredibly important part of my life. And that is why I am constantly looking for ways to give to charities, organizations and institutes that are seeking to find a cure for all types of cancer. For any of you that have been affected by the terrible disease, you know just how important it is to find a cure. That being said, it may be hard to find a charity that you want to dedicate your time and funds to. Here are a few of the best and most reputable cancer organizations to donate to.

 

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

For anyone familiar with cancer research, it may come as no surprise that the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is featured on this list. As the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, MSKCC is an absolutely fantastic cancer research facility that is worthy of your hard-earned money. With the center’s cutting edge technology, leading educational programs and world-renowned patient care, there is no doubt that MSKCC is one of the world’s greatest cancer research centers. Not only do their scientists and researchers study new and innovative ways to treat cancer, they also teach the next generation of researchers with their latest findings and information.

 

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

As one of the most well-known forms of cancer, breast cancer, like any other form of cancer, is an incredibly dangerous and serious illness. The foundation has made it their mission to rid the world of breast cancer. The foundation plans on achieving this by conducting research through innovative means and state-of-the-art technology. They are one of the world’s highest ranking breast cancer organizations in the country and have funded over 10 million hours of research since 1993. This is another foundation that thrives on donations and is one of the best places to focus your contributions to.

Cancer Research Institute

The Cancer Research Institute is another terrific institute to look at when considering donating. The institute, much like the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, focuses on finding cures for multiple types of cancer. Since its founding, the institute has raised a whopping $336 million dollars for research and funded over 120 clinical trials. The institute focuses mainly on immunotherapy, being one of the pioneers of the method. The Cancer Research Institute believes that immunotherapy has the potential to harness the human immune system and cure the body of cancer.

 

These three institutes all thrive on charitable donations from everyone. So if you have been personally impacted by cancer, or if you are feeling charitable, please do not hesitate to look into any of these three institutes, or even all three. Also remember that there are several other institutes, charities and organizations that can benefit from charitable contributions.

Bryan-tate-cell

History of Cancer

Cancer has existed since the beginning of the human experience. It is defined as abnormal cell growth that can spread throughout the body. There are many factors that increase the risk of cancer like tobacco use, obesity, and even poor diet. It took many years of research and experimentation to be able to develop treatments that are currently used. 

 

The First Cases

The earliest cases of cancer date back to early ancient Egypt due to cancerous bone tumors found in mummies. There has also been recorded information about cancer in Egyptian times. The recorded data is called the Edwin Smith Papyrus and is part of an old Egyptian text regarding trauma surgery with procedures that involved cauterization.

The word cancer was created by the “Father of Medicine”, Hippocrates. He used the term carcinoma to describe tumors. Carcinoma refers to a crab because cancer cells spread in thread-like projections that resemble crab’s legs.

 

Creation of Medicine

The most common practice for cancer removal was surgery. This, of course, did not always guarantee that cancer was fully removed. Currently, treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy are all now 19th-century advancements in treating cancer.

The treatment of cancer by radiation stems back to the invention of the x-ray. German physicists, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen created the x-ray in 1896 which allowed the identification of cancerous tumors. Then three years after the invention of the x-ray lead to the creation of radiation as a cancer treatment.

In World War II, certain soldiers were exposed to mustard gas during battle. While studying mustard gas and chemicals relating to it, they discovered that nitrogen mustard was effective in treating cancer in the lymph nodes. Not long after the nitrogen mustard discovery, vitamin folic acid showed results of remission in young children with acute leukemia. This discovery then sparked the model for similar treatments in killing cancer cells such as chemotherapy.

 

Where it is Today

Multiple different treatments of cancer stem from these moments in history. New ideas such as nanovaccines are beginning to break through in slowing cell growth. From 2004 to 2013 alone, the overall death rate of cancer in the United States fell by 13%. Cancer still remains to be a major issue in society but it takes small steps to advance in medicine and health with a widespread and common disease like cancer.

3 Most Charitable Companies

 

Large companies have the option to be philanthropic or take in large amounts of dollars from consumers and not give back to the general public. Surprisingly, many well-known companies do give back to society. The following are some big corporations that have done a lot to give back.

 

  1. Walmart

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and also the largest donor in their industry. The company has plans to advance job mobility and economic opportunity by investing in career skill sets. Women and veterans in the workforce, hunger, and education are all top priorities for the Walmart Foundation. In 2016, it donated $250,000 toward recovery and relief of specific parts of Tennessee that were affected by wildfires. This company makes a lot of money and makes sure it gives back to the people who shop there, appropriately.

More recently, Walmart has been aiding in the fight of world hunger. It has created an initiative called “Fight Hunger: Spark Change,” with a $1.5 million donation and an overall goal of raising $3 million for Feeding America.

 

  1. Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences is the leader in providing HIV/AIDS medication around the world. This company’s mission is to truly end the HIV/AIDS epidemic across the globe. It offers products like Truvada that prevents the spread of the virus. It was second in line as the largest corporate donor in 2016. It offers free medication to qualified individuals and also provides AIDS centers across the countries with grants and multiple resources. It recently gave a grant to the organization, AIDS Alabama, to get a van to test the community for HIV/AIDS.

 

  1. Pfizer

This healthcare company is known for being charitable for people living with a major disease. They are not afraid to offer needed cancer drugs for free during transitional legal times. They gave away a breast cancer drug, Ibrance, for free while waiting for a cost approval by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It has also lowered prices of vaccines for refugees and people in emergencies.
There are many more companies that give back their time and money for philanthropic purposes but these are the top donators.

Bryan Tate - 3 of the World’s Strangest Strategies

3 of the World’s Strangest Charities

I am a huge proponent of charitable efforts and philanthropic endeavors. Anybody who knows me can attest to this. And while being generous is absolutely an important societal factor, every now and then there comes a charity that has an interesting twist.

 

Just recently, famed saxophonist, Kenny G, serenaded the passengers of a Delta Airlines flight. While many were curious as to why they were experiencing such a random mid-flight concert, there was an honorable motive behind it: charity. Kenny had managed to raise $2,000 for the American Cancer Society. And while the charity itself is not out of the ordinary, the “fundraising event” was.

 

And this got me thinking, what strange charities are out there in the world?

 

ISPCA’s Dog-sledding

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals is Ireland’s foremost animal welfare charity. And, as most charities do, they held a fundraiser event in 2010. Unfortunately, the event was not exactly animal friendly. The ISPCA held a dog-sled race in order to raise money. While the motive behind the race was noble, the execution was not necessarily well-thought out. The huskies that would be used for the race would be forced to endure hours of freezing cold and exhaustive running, which is exactly the opposite of what the ISPCA stands for. Needless to say, the event received quite a bit of backlash.

 

Tall Clubs International

This organization, founded in 1938, is solely dedicated to helping “promote tall awareness among tall men and women, and within the community.” The charity holds multiple events such as social gatherings, hikes and dinners. And while this is somewhat strange enough, the club even offers a scholarship for being tall. The $1,000 scholarship requires that the student be in his or her first year of college, and be at least 5’10” (women) or 6’2” (men).

 

The Order of the Azure Rose

Many believe that chivalry in today’s society is dead. And this charity is doing something about it. Founded in 2002, the Order of the Azure Rose is an educational lesson in chivalry and etiquette in the form of renaissance-era reenactments. The organization’s official website claims that all of the proceeds collected at events are spent on bolstering their educational offerings, operational expenses and other charitable donations. A noble motive, but a strange one nonetheless.

Bryan Tate - A Fishy Solution for Breast Cancer

A Fishy Solution for Breast Cancer

I’ve mentioned the tragedy that is cancer. Whether it is of the breast or the pancreas, cancer is not something to be toyed with. And, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, there have been many scientific breakthroughs that could lead to long-term cures. And now, new scientific research could lead to another possible breakthrough.

 

According to an article from Futurity.com, scientists at the Boston University Medical Campus have been testing zebrafish in order to understand breast cancer further.

 

Why zebrafish? These zebrafish in particular have mutated genes that have made their skin transparent. And in that transparency lies the potential answer. Hui Feng, director of Boston University’s Lab of Zebrafish Genetics and Cancer Therapeutics, and his team of researchers are studying the development and progression of cancerous cells in the fish. As you could imagine, this is already a difficult process, so having the ability to see directly through the test subject without the use of x-rays or any other technological means is a tremendous boon.

 

David Farb, a professor at the School of Medicine, explained the benefit of using transparent zebrafish, stating, “The zebrafish can model human systems, and using them allows her to do pharmacological and genetics work quickly and relatively cheaply.”

 

The final goal of the tests is to find long-term remedies for breast cancer.

 

Feng and her team study the fish by inserting cancerous cells into the yolk sack of the fish, and, as it matures and grows, watch the cancerous cells grow and multiply.

 

Fabrice Laroche, a postdoctoral researcher working with Feng, has already learned quite a bit about breast cancer’s process. “When we make the breast cancer cell make more of this gene, or overexpress this gene, then the cancer cells spread more into the fish.” The gene that Laroche is referring to is S1PR1. The gene can be disastrous, as it codes for a cellular receptor that affects cell migration.
Hopefully these new studies offer enough insight into the growth of cancerous cells to allow for some sort of cure. Until then, we do the best we can to prolong the lives of those afflicted by the disease.

Bryan Tate - Simple Ways to Volunteer

Simple Ways to Volunteer

We all have busy and hectic lives, which can make it incredibly difficult to find any free time to donate to charitable efforts. And while it may be hard to set aside time to give back to your community, it is not only important, it is also a remarkably rewarding experience. And if you aren’t necessarily sure of where to start, this list of quick and easy ways to give back to your community should help out.

 

Soup Kitchen

Probably one of the most stereotypical ways to give back to your community is by volunteering at a soup kitchen. And there’s a good reason for it, it’s a great experience. By volunteering at a soup kitchen, you can quickly connect to your community in a meaningful way. According to DOSomething.com, 49 million people struggle to provide food for their families. At a soup kitchen, you could personally assist those in your area gain one of humanity’s most basic necessities. You could even make deep, personal connections with individuals, and even make new friends. Simply spending an hour or two of your day could greatly improve someone else’s life. Don’t know where to find a soup kitchen in your area? This site will help locate one for you!

 

Senior Citizen Centers

Aging is inevitable. It is a well known fact that someday, we will all become senior citizens. And, depending on your circumstances, you would want to spend time with friends and family. Unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury. And for those senior citizens that are in retirement homes and have no friends or family to talk to, life can be quite difficult. That is why volunteering a few moments at a senior citizen center can be incredibly rewarding and simple. Senior citizens are, in essence, libraries of wisdom and knowledge. Listen to incredible stories and show seniors a fun time. Much like a soup kitchen, it’s a great way to meet new potential friends.

 

Animal Shelter

Human beings aren’t the only creatures on this planet; and we certainly aren’t the only ones who need love. So why not spend some time at a local animal shelter? Shelters provide a variety of animals to not only play with, but adopt as well, ranging anywhere from dogs to cats to birds—depending on your area. Most animals who enter a shelter, if not adopted, will be euthanized. If you could use a little company around your house, why not look into adopting an animal from a shelter and saving them from that fate? And even if you don’t adopt one, at least heading over and spending some time with a dog or two can truly make a difference in their lives.
By giving back to our individual communities and helping each other out, we continually move closer towards a peaceful planet. I cannot overstate how important philanthropy and all of its efforts are to this planet. Hopefully this short list can help convince you to get out there and make a difference.

Bryan Tate - Eversense: The Future of Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Eversense: The Future of Continuous Glucose Monitoring

I’ve spoken a bit in the past on the topic of diabetes and how serious it is. I’ve also discussed new artificial pancreases that have the ability to automatically supply insulin to its user. And while those pancreases are still a ways off from becoming widely available, there are other advanced methods that are attempting to reduce the amount of human involvement in regulating glucose levels. With so many technology companies working on this solution, we could soon see a day where those afflicted with diabetes no longer need to worry about monitoring their glucose with invasive finger pricking. One such company, Senseonics, has created a viable solution to constant glucose monitoring.

 

Eversense is a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM), which, by itself is nothing new. What makes Eversense stand out from other CGM devices available is its implantable chip technology that lasts up to 90 days. The chip is inserted underneath the skin of the arm, and a removable transmitter is then applied directly over the chip’s location on the outer skin of the arm. This transmitter can then send a signal to the chip in order to activate it; once activated, the chip measures glucose levels in the body’s bloodstream using state-of-the-art fluorescence technology. The transmitter can accurately report the body’s current glucose level and how fast and where it is headed.

 

You’re probably thinking to yourself that this incredibly smart transmitter requires a specially designed receiver that is either not aesthetically pleasing or is large and incumbent. You’d be wrong. What makes Eversense so unique and attractive is that it makes use of a portable device that you probably would be carrying around with you anyways: your cell phone. Using bluetooth technology, the transmitter can relay the glucose information it receives directly to your smartphone and display it quickly and efficiently using the Eversense app. The application, working in tandem with the transmitter, can then notify you on changes to your glucose levels periodically.

 

Currently, the device is only available overseas in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Norway. Whether or not it will ever become available in North America is unclear. Regardless, it is truly an innovative device that could pave the way for even less intrusive methods of monitoring glucose levels.
Should any details regarding Eversense’s stateside release emerge, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Bryan Tate - Artificial Pancreas Trials to Move Forward

Artificial Pancreas Trials to Move Forward

Dealing with diabetes, like any major disease, is a challenge. One of the most difficult tasks is consistently checking blood sugar levels, which is achieved by pricking a finger in order to draw blood. However, with the rapid advancement of technology, those with diabetes may soon not need to manually check their blood.

 

According to a recent report from Time, The National Institutes of Health officially announced that they will be funding the last-stage trials of artificial pancreas devices. The devices are meant to solve the issue of manually checking blood sugar by automating the process altogether.

 

There are devices that already monitor blood sugar and automatically inject insulin when needed. However, these devices, which were approved last October by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, still require people with diabetes to manually request insulin after they eat.

 

The new devices being tested are designed specifically to be fully automated and remove any human input whatsoever. One study, which is scheduled to take place in 2018, will be headed by Dr. Steven Russell from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Ed Damiano from Boston University. The study will follow 312 people, aged 18 and older, who will spend six months using a bionic pancreas that uses insulin and glucagon to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day.

 

Damiano’s bionic pancreas came to be after his son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He hopes the bionic pancreas can be improved so that his son will never need to worry about the disease in the future.

 

In a statement, Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, reinforced the want and need for such a device, and how it would change the world of medicine. “For many people with type 1 diabetes, the realization of a successful, fully automated artificial pancreas is a dearly held dream. Nearly 100 years since the discovery of insulin, a successful artificial pancreas would mark another huge step toward better health for people with type 1 diabetes.”
Major technological breakthroughs such as these are exactly what we need in the world of medicine. Not only for those suffering from diabetes, but any other affliction, from cancer to Parkinson’s. Hopefully, these tests will prove fruitful, and at least provide a temporary solution while scientists come up with a cure once and for all.

Bryan Tate - Potential Cancer Therapy Breakthrough

Potential Cancer Therapy Breakthrough

As one of the world’s most devastating diseases, cancer has claimed millions of lives the world over. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 1,685,210 people died from the disease in 2016 alone. And although scientists have been working tirelessly for years to come up with a cure, they have yet to create one; however, recent tests in South Korea could change that.

 

According to a recent report from Gizmodo, scientists from South Korea have created a new strain of bacteria that can actually infiltrate cancerous tumors and trick the body’s immune system into attacking the cancerous cells. The studies have yet to be conducted on humans, however, the bacteria did reduce cancer in mice during experiments.

 

The bacteria was created by South Korean Biologists Joon Haeng Rhee and Jung-Joon Min and their team of researchers. The team took a strain of Salmonella and bioengineered it into something of a Trojan Horse. The bacteria finds its way inside of the tumor and calls out to nearby immune cells to attack the cancerous cells.

 

In preliminary tests, tumors were shrunk in over half of the mice who were injected with the bacteria. Although it is early, scientists hope that the immunotherapy will be effective, and most importantly, safe on humans. Bacterial cancer therapy had died down for quite some time until 2008, when the practice gained traction again. This latest effort by Min and Rhee to revitalize bacterial cancer therapy sought to make the Salmonella typhimurium bacteria far less toxic to the human body, while also retaining the bacterium’s ability to carry therapeutic properties.

 

The Trojan Horse bacteria was tested specifically on mice with colon cancer. Only three days after the injections, the Salmonella was 10,000 more times abundant than those found in the vital organs of the mice. The tumors were then shrunk by the strain of bacteria in more than half of the mice.

 

In an interview with Gizmodo, Rhee and Min explained the results of the study further, stating, “We [documented the] total eradication of tumors in approximately 60 percent of treated subjects. The remaining 20 percent of the animals remained stable.”
Again, these treatments are still very experimental, and haven’t been tested on humans yet, so it is not certain that they will have the same effect on humans. However, the preliminary tests are incredibly promising, and may lead us to a one true cure for cancer.

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