Archive for tag: community

The Michael DeStefano Foundation

This week, I want to tell you about an amazing foundation. It is called the Michael DeStefano Foundation. Michael DeStefano and his family have been such a wonderful inspiration to our AOM clinic every Tuesday morning that I feel compelled to share their story.

Mike (yellow shirt) with his mother Debbie (scarf)

Michael was born and raised in Addison, Illinois, a suburb just west of Chicago. Mike and his older brother, Nick, have developed a strong friendship. Mike is an enthusiastic sports fan and top-notch athlete. His parents, Pete and Debbie, are loving and devoted parents who taught Michael the values of being loyal, caring, family-oriented, and dedicated.

During his summer break from Illinois State University in 2009, Michael's life tragically changed. While riding home from work with a friend, an unexplainable auto accident occurred, which left Mike clinging to life and suffering from traumatic brain injury. Throughout a long and arduous process, Mike has continued to improve and his recovery has surprised even his doctors, although he still has a long road ahead of him.

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Photos from

After the accident, the Michael A. DeStefano Foundation was created. The goal of the foundation is to provide advocacy for families who have suffered many hardships as a result of a family member who has traumatic brain injuries.

Michael's mom Debbie has spoken at many events. She spoke to our senior acupuncture seminar class at National University of Health Sciences last trimester.

The foundation is planning a fundraiser in 2014. If you would like more information about the Michael DeStefano Foundation, you can like them on Facebook or go directly to their website:

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Stay warm and have a great week!

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

2013-09-30_bcribbonThis week's blog I wanted to focus on the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) which is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. NBCAM recognizes that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. They remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

Although October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NBCAM is dedicated to raising awareness and educating individuals about breast cancer throughout the year.  In July, my neighbor passed away from breast cancer and I would like to honor her and many women who are survivors and fighters of breast cancer.

Please encourage you patients, friends and family about yearly mammograms and self-breast examination. I will be showing my support by wearing the pink ribbon this month. There is also a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of DuPage County on Sunday October 20, 2013, at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL. There are pamphlets about the 5k fundraising walk are available at the LRC front desk. This is a great cause and students can receive off-campus hours.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Fall is officially here!

NUHS AOM Students First Walk for Acupuncture

First, I would like to say welcome back students and faculty at NUHS. I had a wonderful two weeks break. At the end of this trimester, I will graduate with my master's degree in acupuncture. I will still be around campus, though, since I officially dual-enrolled this trimester in the naturopathic medicine program and will be working on second doctorate at Midwestern University in Downers Grove starting in winter quarter.


This week's blog is about the first Illinois Walk for Acupuncture sponsored by the Illinois Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (ILaaom).  ILaaom is Illinois' oldest professional organization representing licensed acupuncturists and students, along with oriental medical schools and acupuncture-related businesses. It is registered with the State of Illinois as a nonprofit corporation. ILaaom was formed in 1983 (as the Illinois State Acupuncture Association) to be the unifying force for Illinois acupuncturists to uphold ethical and well-regulated standards of practice and to lobby for legislation to advance the profession. ILaaom acknowledges and respects all traditions of acupuncture and oriental medicine, and believes that cooperation and strength among practitioners and supporters will ensure that this ancient medical art will retain its integrity and achieve the recognition and legal status to which it is entitled, thus enhancing the quality of health care for people in Illinois.


The first Illinois walk for acupuncture was held this past Saturday, September 7th from 9am to 12pm in downtown Chicago along our beautiful lakefront. We had a great turnout. They coined the phrase "Move your Qi - Walk for Acupuncture." Everyone had a great time!


The walk helped raised money to continue our work of increasing awareness of the benefits of acupuncture, advancing and defending the practice of acupuncture in Illinois, and improving services and support for practitioners. ILaaom will be having future walks and events. You can visit their website: Support Acupuncture.

A Big Thanks to NUHS students, friends, and family who were able to attend the event.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Have a great week!

Save a Vet Benefit

2013-07-16_dogvet1I wanted to share on my blog this week about a wonderful organization for which I was honored to volunteer this weekend at Four Lakes Recreation in Lisle, Illinois. This event was the Harley Davidson 6th Annual Bike and Hot Rod Poker Run benefitting military working dogs through

Save-A-Vet began in the heart of Iraq War veteran Danny Scheurer when he was stationed in one of the most dangerous places in Baghdad during one of the worst times in the war. Danny learned that a military contractor whose contract with the government was not being renewed had decided to abandon their corporate-owned K-9s on the backstreets of Baghdad, leaving behind these noble animals to avoid the costs of transporting and sheltering them.

The Save-A-Vet mission helps rescue military and law enforcement working dogs and other service animals from being put down when their service to country and community is done, and provides housing and relief for disabled veterans who help take care of them.

2013-07-16_dogvet2The invitation to volunteer to help our canine friends but also our veterans was an inspiring opportunity. I want to thank Holistic Health Care Centers LLC, Healer Warrior, and the seven AOM interns for all their time and effort for this very worthy cause. I met many veterans, active duty and reserve, from all branches and their canine companions.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please visit their website at This is a great way to show our support to our veterans, Stoic professionals and four-legged friends.

Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Stay cool! It's going to be hot one this week!

Relay for Life

I wanted to share with you a wonderful community service event for which I volunteered this past Friday, June 7th at Downers Grove North High School. The event was called Relay for Life. What is Relay for Life? 


At Relay For Life events, communities across the globe come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that has already taken too much. The funds you raise truly make a difference in the fight against cancer. 

Relay teams camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, park or fairground. Relay events are up to 24 hours in length and, because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have at least one participant on the track at all times. 


Pat Genardo, assistant director of the National University Health Sciences LRC, organized this Relay for Life event. She has been participating in Relay for Life for 17 years, and has been on the planning committee for ACS for 15 years. Pat became involved with ACS when her mother passed away from cancer 17 years ago. Pat's sister also was diagnosed with cancer but is a survivor. Her team this year was called United Against Cancer and raised over $5,000 in donations. Any students interested in earning community service hours can contact Pat Genardo at 630-889-6597 or for upcoming events. 


I wanted to thank ACS and Pat for planning this event. I was honored and humbled to be among the survivors of cancer and their caregivers. I met so many wonderful people. I always live by the motto, "Love Life." What an inspiration to us all that we celebrate the gift of life through such a wonderful organization like ACS.


Thank you for your continued support of the AOM Blog! Carpe Diem (Latin) - Seize the Day!