Danny Lamb has always been a dreamer.
The Niagara-on-the-Lake native has been a fixture on the Niagara music scene since his days fronting Mrs. Johnson a decade ago to his philanthropic efforts to raise awareness for spina bifida and hydrocephalus, something he lives with, through his Song a City initiative. The latter has shown him there is much more he can be than an entertainer.
“So much of what I am doing today as an artist is bigger than that,” Lamb said. “Stuff like Song a City, and how it plays a role in those things that are bigger than me.”
Lamb was just three years old when he was diagnosed with spina bifida, a defect in the neural tubes. The spinal column fails to develop properly, resulting in varying degrees of permanent damage to the spinal cord and nervous system. Hydrocephalus, which often occurs alongside spina bifida, is a neurological condition that exists when excess cerebrospinal fluid builds up in cavities, called ventricles, inside the brain. Hydrocephalus is usually treated by surgically implanting a shunt that takes excess CSF from the brain to another part of the body.
Lamb’s continuing advocacy work has resulted in him moving beyond producing music for the sake of making music. To him, it means much more.
That is the inspiration behind his new single, “Bigger than Me,” released with the help of longtime friends Kayd and Jason Golden under the banner Danny Lamb and the Association.
“The three of us are the foundation,” Lamb said. “And we’ve always been lucky to have very talented people come in to play bass and drums.”
“Bigger than Me” is Lamb’s way of acknowledging what he sees as his purpose as a musician.
“It’s kind of where the song comes from — my own personal growth as a big dreamer.”
What inspires him today is the music being written by younger musicians he has worked with over the years through his music school in Niagara Falls.
“I work with a lot of young people who are doing a lot of cool things through their music. They’re very aware of what’s going on, what is right and wrong about things in the world. We work hard to create spaces to have their voices heard. It’s inspiring for to hold myself to that standard.”
His career as a teacher also helped him navigate the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. While venues were shut down and many musicians were left scrambling for an income, he counts himself blessed that he didn’t face that problem.
“I’m grateful that as a music person, I don’t rely on gigging and performing,” he said. “I’ve been very lucky for that.”
Lamb is still deciding where his musical journey will take him next. One thing’s for sure, he has no plans to stop any time soon.
“I haven’t put out an EP or record for a while, but I’m definitely thinking about it,” he said.
The song is also going to be a part of a livestream on Oct. 25 that will be aired by the PUSH (People and organizations United for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus) Global Alliance.
“Bigger than Me” is available on all streaming platforms and at www.dannylamb.com.
Children’s hospital in Newfoundland and Labrador is cancelling some surgeries
A children’s hospital in the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador is cancelling some surgeries and appointments starting Monday.
Health officials say it’s due to a high level of respiratory illness.
It is unclear how many surgeries and appointments at Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John‘s will be affected.
Residents who are not experiencing a medical emergency are being asked to avoid visiting an emergency department.
Older adults amongst the most susceptible to RSV
TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The risk of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also known as RSV, typically flies under the radar when it comes to older adults.
With 10 times the amount of older adults being hospitalized for RSV than in previous years, understanding the risk is important for those who are more susceptible.
“RSV in older adults starts out with the same symptoms as younger adults. With common cold-like symptoms- nasal congestion, sniffles, low-grade temperature, sore throat, dry cough, tiredness. These symptoms will last for a few days,” Mary Derby, Nurse Manager at Pima County Health Department explained.
“However, an older adult or an adult with chronic medical conditions such as heart and lung disease- they can experience more serious symptoms, such as getting a high fever, dehydration, and real difficulty breathing.”
Derby says if these symptoms lead to extreme chest pain, loss of color in the face, or struggle to breathe- seek medical attention immediately.
It is also important for those assisting an older adult to be aware of the risk imposed on those more susceptible.
“If you’re caring for older adults, please wash your hands frequently. Watch for your own symptoms and stay away if you’re experiencing symptoms. Consider wearing a mask to protect that older adult, because these older adults do need that protection… Take it seriously,” Derby emphasized.
Upward 6,000 to 10,000 older adults die each year from RSV.
As we make our way through the holidays, be sure to stay up to date with COVID-19 and Influenza vaccines, stay home if you are not feeling well, wash your hands often and for those at higher risk, wear a fitted mask around others.
AIDS day walk in North Battleford aims to `banish that stigma’
By Julia Peterson
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
On World AIDS Day, advocates in the Battlefords gathered to raise awareness about how the virus affects people in their community, and how people can get help and treatment, if they need it.
“HIV is completely preventable in today’s society, with all the advances in medication,” said Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre’s HIV project coordinator, Cymric Leask. “But due to a lot of intersecting factors, especially due to COVID in the past couple of years, our HIV numbers have skyrocketed.”
In 2021, more than 200 new cases of HIV were diagnosed in the province, even while testing, treatment and outreach were reduced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saskatchewan has the highest rate of new HIV infections in Canada, and has had the highest annual rate in the country for more than a decade.
The proportion of new HIV cases in rural areas is rising, too.
“Here up north, there are such large barriers to access to care,” said Leask. “We do have some great resources here in North Battleford but it’s still very hard to access the proper care for HIV.”
For example, getting started on HIV medication requires a visit with a communicable disease doctor, but there is no communicable disease doctor based in the Battlefords. Instead, that doctor visits the community only once every four months.
Another barrier Leask has found is that many people still have an outdated understanding of what HIV is, who is at risk and how treatment works.
“Especially here in rural areas, it’s stigmatized as something that only affects gay or bisexual men, men who have sex with men,” Leask said.
Today in Saskatchewan, men and women are diagnosed with HIV at almost equal rates, and two thirds of new cases are passed through injection drug use.
Treatments are much easier to manage than they used to be; some only involve taking one pill a day.
But the enduring stigma around HIV makes it harder for people to find community and support.
“People don’t talk about it,” said Jackie Kennedy, executive director of the Battlefords Indian and Metis Friendship Centre. “I think they’re afraid to. A lot of people don’t disclose that information (about their HIV status) because they are afraid to be judged.”
As more people continue to be diagnosed with HIV in Saskatchewan every year, groups and organizations in the Battlefords are working hard to make it easier for people to get testing, treatment, information and harm reduction supplies.
“We want to banish that stigma of how it used to be,” said Leask. “It’s not like that anymore.”
Julia Peterson is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter with THE STARPHOENIX
The LJI program is federally funded.
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