Rachel Daly x MD Anderson
NWSL Challenge Cup final: Houston Dash captain Rachel Daly explains why she's playing for more than a trophy
Houston's top scorer speaks on the culture change and what it means to put on her team's jersey
Keeping patients safe
How we're protecting our patients during COVID-19.
Houston Dynamo defender Zarek Valentin is proud to wear MD Anderson jersey
Houston Dynamo defender Zarek Valentin says he vowed to use his platform for good when he became a professional athlete. Playing with the MD Anderson logo on his jersey motivates him to fight harder on the field for cancer patients like Kelly Conner, as well as his grandparents, who passed away from cancer. To learn more, visit: http://mdanderson.org/dynamo KTRK ABC13 featured Zarek Valentin celebrating with patient Kelly Conner as she rang the bell, signifying the end of her treatment: https://abc13.com/covid-19-coronavirus-kelly-conner-albert/6242846/ Request an appointment at MD Anderson by calling 1-877-632-6789 or online: https://my.mdanderson.org/requestappointment
Make sun safety your goal featuring Dynamo midfielder Memo Rodriguez
When you're out on the pitch, it’s all about bringing the heat. But the sun brings it too, so you need to bring sunscreen. Re-apply every 2 hours – and make sure it’s SPF 30 or higher. Choose one that’s water resistant and broad spectrum, with UVA and UVB protection. Use it, no matter your skin tone – and even if it’s cloudy. Make sun safety your goal! To learn more, visit www.mdanderson.org/soccer Request an appointment at MD Anderson by calling 1-877-632-6789 or online: https://my.mdanderson.org/requestappointment
Houston Dynamo defender Zarek Valentin encourages blood donations
Houston Dynamo Defender Zarek Valentin urges Dynamo fans, Dash fans and the community to donate blood to cancer patients at MD Anderson. The MD Anderson Blood Bank is facing a critical shortage, and each donation can help up to three cancer patients. Visit www.mdanderson.org/bloodbank to make an appointment today. We’re in this together. Request an appointment at MD Anderson by calling 1-877-632-6789 or online: https://my.mdanderson.org/requestappointment
MD Anderson and the Houston Dash team up to end cancer
MD Anderson will become the official cancer center and jersey partner of the Houston Dash from the National Women’s Soccer League starting in the 2020 season. The two organizations will collaborate through community events, public service announcements, cancer prevention initiatives, and fundraising opportunities. To learn more, visit: https://www.mdanderson.org/dash Request an appointment at MD Anderson by calling 1-877-632-6789 or online: https://my.mdanderson.org/requestappointment
MD Anderson, Houston Dynamo partner to end cancer
"Today is the start of something great," says MD Anderson President Peter WT Pisters of plans for MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Houston Dynamo to work together to end cancer. Effective Jan. 1, MD Anderson will be the the official cancer center and jersey partner of Houston's Major League Soccer (MLS) team. The collaboration is the first season-long cause-related jersey partnership in MLS history. MD Anderson and the Dynamo are planning cancer prevention education, community outreach, survivorship celebrations, public service announcements and philanthropic initiatives together. Attendees of the launch event were the first to publicly view the Dynamo's 2019 away jersey, which bears MD Anderson's strike-through-cancer logo. Pisters and Dynamo owner Gabriel Brener led the jersey reveal with team mascot Diesel in a ceremonial "Starting XI" photo with pediatric and adult cancer survivors. The co-branded jersey symbolizes the two organizations' mutual commitment to encouraging fans, club partners and the Houston community to join the team effort in Making Cancer History®. In addition to jersey branding, the partnership agreement enables MD Anderson to reach a broad, diverse and international audience through joint community events with the Dynamo, stadium signage and public service announcements. The Dynamo will engage player ambassadors in cancer prevention education initiatives and will create fundraising opportunities such as contributing a portion of the club’s ticket sales to support MD Anderson's mission to end cancer. Learn more: https://www.mdanderson.org/newsroom/2018/11/md-anderson-houston-dynamo-team-up-for-one-goal-end-cancer.html
MD Anderson, Houston Dynamo raise cancer awareness at End Cancer Night
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center proudly sponsored End Cancer Night at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, April 27. The special evening honored those affected by cancer and raised awareness about the importance of cancer prevention and education. Highlights of the event included the opportunity for kids to take MD Anderson's no-tobacco pledge, special MD Anderson/Dynamo scarves, a giant MD Anderson scarf unveiled on the field and a special halftime performance by ovarian cancer survivor and America's Got Talent season 11 finalist Caly Bevier. $1 from each ticket sold went back to MD Anderson to support MD Anderson's cancer research. Learn more and donate to MD Anderson: www.mdanderson.org/dynamo. Request an appointment at MD Anderson by calling 1-877-632-6789 or online at https://my.mdanderson.org/RequestAppointment?cmpid=youtube_appt.
Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash Kick Childhood Cancer
Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash players found meaningful ways to celebrate MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital patients during Major League Soccer’s Kick Childhood Cancer month. Although COVID-19 precautions limited in-person activities, the teams participated in a series of events that included a special Starting XI ceremony, surprise home visits, virtual art class, virtual bingo and more. Learn more: mdanderson.org/soccer
Cancer Prevention Education
If you want to avoid the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the best thing you can do is practice social distancing, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and keep surfaces clean. It’s also a good idea to wear a cloth mask when you’re out in public.
You also can take simple steps to help keep your body in the best possible shape to fend off illness.
Your immune system is constantly working to detect and fight off infection in your body. That infection can take the form of bacteria or viruses, like a coronavirus, or abnormal cells that could later develop into cancer.
Like all your body’s systems, the immune system works best if you take care of it.
Roy Chemaly, M.D., our infectious diseases and infection control specialist, has these tips to boost you immune system.
Like any engine, your body relies on the fuel you give it. If you eat the best possible foods, your body will try to repay you with increased energy and a stronger immune system. And remember, foods are better than supplements.
“There's lots of talk about vitamin C or zinc to fight respiratory illness, but you don’t need supplements. These nutrients can be found in foods,” says Chemaly. “Eat healthy and avoid added sugar. This will all help your immune system.”
Focus on making two-thirds of each meal vegetables, fruits and whole grains. These foods contain valuable antioxidants and phytochemicals, which your body uses to keep you healthy. Make one-third of your meals lean protein like chicken, fish or plant proteins like beans or quinoa.
There’s no getting away from this basic truth. Your body needs to move and your cardiovascular system needs to be strengthened.
“Health is always linked to physical activity,” says Chemaly. “It improves your heart function, your lungs, your respiratory system and it will for sure boost the immune system, so you are stronger to fight infection.”
Chemaly recommends regular low, impact exercise at a moderate pace. That means that your heart rate is raised enough so that you can talk but not sing.
“Get up and walk a little bit, climb the stairs. Bike outside or use a stationary bike at home,” he says.
If you slip into mostly sitting to work, eat or watch TV, your whole body slows down, including your immune system.
Aim for good sleep
Don’t underestimate the power of rest.
“Sleep is so important,” says Chemaly. “Getting enough rest does improve your immune system.”
While you are asleep your body produces proteins that fight infection and inflammation, and it deploys them to deal with problems.
So if you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system loses this vital opportunity to keep you healthy.
If you are struggling with insomnia because of the coronavirus crisis or for any other reason, there are steps you can take to help you get good sleep.
Start by turning off electronics like the TV or cell phone and tablets in the evening. You can find more tips to help with sleep here.
Eliminate tobacco and avoid alcohol
Smokers are more likely to have serious consequences from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.
Using e-cigarettes may also damage your respiratory system.
If you can quit, you will take a major step toward improving the health of your lungs, heart and your immune system.
When it comes to alcohol, there is no data to suggest that drinking is linked to greater risk for COVID-19, but alcohol can have big impact on your health.
It can disrupt your sleep and make it harder for you to exercise and eat healthy. All this has a negative effect on your immune system. Alcohol is linked to several diseases including cancer.
Stress and anxiety put a strain on your body so anything you can do to stay calm will help you maintain your best health.
Relaxation techniques, short meditation and talking about your fears are all ways you can limit stress during this time.
Think about the things you can change and try to let go of the things you cannot control.
“The main thing is to keep away from getting COVID-19 through social distancing, handwashing and using masks when needed,” says Chemaly. “If you're not exposed to it, you're not going to get it. Following a healthy lifestyle is the next most important.”
Learn more about COVID-19 and precautions MD Anderson is taking.
If slow and steady is more your style when you exercise, you might just win the fitness race.
Low impact, deliberate movement should be the foundation of any exercise routine, says our expert.
“Your body becomes stronger, has more endurance and will develop more muscle mass if you include low impact exercise,” says Corinna Medina, supervisor of MD Anderson Fitness Centers. “And you learn to control your heart rate and your breathing, which reduces stress.”
Medina says she learned this the hard way after years of focusing on high intensity exercise.
“I would always do high intensity training,” she says. “Then I realized I was getting sick a lot more because my body was always in a stressed state.”
Without low impact exercise, your body is more prone to injury and does not have time to recover from the demands of life.
Try these low impact exercises
Walking. The benefits of walking cannot be overstated. If you can add more steps to your day, it will help keep your body conditioned and help you maintain a healthy weight.
“It’s the one thing that’s left out of everybody’s day,” says Medina. “People that can hit 10,000 steps per day are often healthier than those that do 30 minutes of gym time daily.”
Swimming. Hit a rhythm in the pool and it can calm you down, increase your lung capacity and work almost every muscle in your body.
“The main thing about swimming is to get your breathing down,” says Medina. “Get into a groove and this can be one of the best low impact exercises.”
Tai Chi/Qi Gong. These mind-body practices are designed to get energy flowing smoothly around your body. Both involve slow and steady movements coordinated with your breath and are accessible to people of all fitness levels.
“These are great activities to learn how to adjust and adapt to different stressors in your life,” says Medina.
Like yoga, these mind-body practices can have long lasting effects on your mental and physical health.
I am sure that our fans will feel that same pride in knowing that they are not only supporting a club, but are also supporting a truly worthwhile mission.
The Dynamo visit KIPP Houston High School for Kick Butts Day
Dynamo Diesel visits MD Anderson patients and staff
Fans pack BBVA Compass Stadium for opening night
MD Anderson and the Houston Dash team up to end cancer
Dash players Kristie Mewis, Jane Campbell, Rachel Daly