Diane Cotter knew cancer was a risk of her husband’s job. Paul had been a firefighter for 27 years, and they had been advised of not only the safety risks, but also the health implications from exposure to diesel exhaust and products of combustion. But when Paul, a 55-year-old in great shape, who ate healthy and took care of himself, received a prostate cancer diagnosis, Diane suspected something other than smoke was the culprit.
The human heart beats 70 times per minute, 4,200 times per hour and 100,800 times per day. In that day, it pumps more than 2,000 gallons of blood through the body and provides essential oxygen, nutrients and sustenance to other organs. But for the 60,000 patients in advanced stages of heart failure, their hearts can no longer do the job and their survival rests upon a heart transplant.
Marissa Koscielski ’17, ’18M.S., was in eighth grade when she fractured her pelvis and lower back in a gymnastics accident. Instead of slowly healing, she developed flu symptoms, bruising, numbness and then grueling pain. She endured numerous infections, and then an allergic reaction caused a platelet dysfunction. Her skin began to break down and her hair began to fall out. By May 2012, she was paralyzed on her left side from the waist down and was losing neurologic function on her right side.
When recent Notre Dame graduate Christina Casino started as an intern in the Cyber Crimes Unit three years ago, she did not expect the stark reality she confronted in her second week on the job.