Meet Tamara Ramage, intraoperative MRI patient


When Tamara Ramage started waking up in hot and cold sweats and constantly felt nauseous, she knew something was wrong. She was a very healthy, fitness-minded young woman in her mid-20’s who took pride in how well she took care of her body.

Her father took her to the emergency room, and she was diagnosed with a very rare brain tumor. So rare, in fact, that she was one of only seven people in the world ever diagnosed with her type of tumor. Upon hearing that, she expected the worst.

However, when she met with her neurology team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, their recommendation was surgery and their outlook was positive. They would be using a new technology called intraoperative MRI, or iMRI, which involves doing a brain scan during surgery to make sure the surgeons had removed as much of the tumor as possible. This allowed her surgeons to remove the tumor, the first time, without harming healthy tissue.

Thanks to this breakthrough technology and the Washington University neurosurgeons, Tamara is back to the picture of health she was prior to the diagnosis, and soon you’ll be able to see her in new advertisements around the St. Louis area.

To learn more about the lifesaving technology of iMRI, click here.


New treatment for lupus, first in 50 years


Do you know someone with lupus? If so, you probably are familiar with how wretched this autoimmune disorder is. It’s a life-altering diagnosis which is very difficult to treat.

Lupus patients received some good news this week with the announcement that the first new lupus drug in over 50 years, called Benlysta, had been approved by the FDA.

This is amazing news for lupus sufferers, considering how devastating this disease is. Lupus is a potentially life-threatening disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue for no reason. This can lead to joint pain similar to debilitating arthritis, organ damage and painful skin rashes. As it stands, prednisone is the main type of treatment, which is a steroid that comes with major side effects. It’s almost a “darned if you do, darned if you don’t” scenario when it comes to living with lupus or treating it.

So to learn that there will be a new drug to treat lupus, which has been 20+ years in the making, is wonderful news.

To learn more go here.


A Healthy You In 2011


We introduced the “31 Days of Healing” campaign, in which we listed a healing “tip” every day in December.  In researching ideas related to diet, exercise, stress relief and general health and happiness, we learned a lot about ourselves and our community. Ending the year on a positive and healthful note was a satisfying way to end a great year!

However, just because it’s January doesn’t mean we’ll stop posting helpful suggestions to keep you healthy.

Diane Zych, the BJC Community Health Coordinator, has posted on the Make Medicine Better website some great tips on how to keep healthy in this new year.  Her recommendations are aimed at making changes to your diet and exercise regime that, while seemingly minor, can make all the difference in the long run.

To read Diane’s post, go here.


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