My favorite area of NYC is Harlem.
If my life had gone as planned, I’d be in my beautiful Brownstone right now or at C’s apartment.
Some of my most interesting experiences as a student came when I was twenty-one and about to graduate, I was checking out Morningside Heights as a project.
That’s Harlem at its best people.
I did always like to teach on the streets better than the clinic.
Morningside Heights houses Columbia University and the notorious Columbia-Presbytarian hospital. It’s a gorgeous prosperous area. It is a case study in “gentrification,” or how one facility can improve the surrounding area.
As a result, the destitute are forced to move because the influx of professionals make the area unaffordable.
It amazes me how many people work at “the Pres.” or were school at Columbia, but have never gone north.
This area holds America’s best and brightest developing minds. The finest professionals are there daily.
If you walk ten blocks north to St. Nick’s Park and the Hospital X you might as well have hopped a plane to the third world.
I really don’t recommend you do this, neither do the cops. It is one of the most dangerous areas in the USA.
Since, I am fearless and had a group of like-minded friends, you can just have me tell you about it.
Checking out the depth and differences of this area was my final project in college. It was really one of my favorites.
If you’ve never seen a skeletal faced woman, lying dying from AIDs on the stairs of the projects less than a mile from one of the best hospitals in America, you haven’t seen what really happens in the US.
She noticed me before I saw her and gave me the biggest toothless genuine grin I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know why we have “Doctors Without Borders” when it looks like Africa down the street.
If she could tell I was white, I would have been an apparition, a mythological creature that only exists a mile south and does not cross Muhammad Ave. or go above 116th.
In Harlem, I’m assumed Hispanic. I speak “spanglish” like the other girls from the area.
She hollered, but I didn’t understand. I don’t speak Spanish well. I tried. I got she had AIDs. She was hungry. She wanted me to hit up the group of men on the corner for her “shot.”
From my life, I speak a little bit of everything. I'm best with French, creole, and patwa (from Haiti and Jamaica).
Those men wouldn’t give me a shot or any of my girls for that matter. They had no problem talking with us, but they thought we were immigration getting cute.
That’s why they go to Hospital X instead of Columbia. They may be illegal. They’re probably hustling. But they still have infectious diseases that pose a huge health risk.
Hospital X gets the most money from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) than any other hospital in the US because of the amount of people from different countries and cultures.
It’s a sess pool of viruses, resistant and cross bred, meaning untreatable, and contagious bacterias.
Think scary flesh eating bacterias, think the ebola virus, bubonic plague, and now think about how many there are that we have no idea what it is or how to treat.
When masses started popping up in my neck, my docs referenced my travels as a possible cause of infection.
The woman didn’t even have the energy to swat the flies circling her head. I’m sure she died where she was.
In generally, the US has a health care system is not first rate. We have the worst infant mortality rate in the developed world. People in Cuba and El Salvador have longer life expectancies.
Colette, a best college friend, still works in this area. She has stories about people who have stayed at both hospitals.
At hospital X, you can barely find a person who speaks english. You do not need to know english. You need to know any other language, but spanish is primary.
I’d run and get you pictures as proof if I wasn’t chained to my house.
I have a hundred-forty-four pages by New Ro’s best and brightest on the subject.
Nothing I’ve studied makes me understand how we can allow this to happen. Now all of you who didn’t know do, and it’s time to figure out a way to fix it. This picture does not accurately portray the area. It's missing the guys on the corner and the cops across the street, but it is what I found, since my hard drive (containing my photo journals) and my computer are not getting along.
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."