Odyssey Impact: How A Story About Organ Donation Became Read More Than A Million Times

Odyssey Impact: How A Story About Organ Donation Became Read More Than A Million Times

Jany Gonzalez never imagined the reach her plea for organ donors would have on social media.
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For some people, a change of perspective can take a lifetime. For Odyssey creator Jany Gonzalez, it only took one trip to the DMV for her entire life to change.

The University of Rochester student was renewing her license when she noticed the option to be an organ donor on the form.

“I was looking at the paper and saw you could just mark the box,” Gonzalez said. “I asked the DMV people if it was really that easy, and they said yes, so I thought if it was that easy, everyone must do it.”

But Gonzalez soon realized not everyone was so keen on checking the box. She asked friends if they also opted to be organ donors, and many of them had not.

“Everyone had these misconceptions like, they won’t try hard to save your life or something,” Gonzalez said. “It didn’t make sense to me, that’s so sad when there are people like this coworker I knew, whose husband was waiting on a heart transplant. It just hit home.”

After talking with her friends, Gonzalez took immediately to Odyssey to dispel any myths connected with becoming an organ donor, and to help people like her coworker’s husband.

She created the post, "Reasons Not To Be An Organ Donor," for initial shock factor and intrigue. The post addresses general concerns and misconceptions about becoming an organ donor and pleads with its readers to consider how many people they would be saving:

You could be the reason a father is able to dance with his daughter at her wedding. You could be the reason a 7-year-old girl is able to see the colors of a sprouting bundle of flowers on a fresh spring day. You could be the reason a mom is writing out invitations for her son's eighth birthday party instead of making funeral arrangements.

Gonzalez was hoping to get a few hundred shares and spread awareness, but within days her article picked up momentum and the post garnered many more pageviews than expected.

“I woke up one morning and I had over 100,000 shares,” Gonzalez said. “It just kept going and going. I freaked out.”

Gonzalez’s friends were reaching out to her thanking her for changing their perspective, and some even told her they became organ donors soon after. She was also receiving hundreds of messages and comments from people from all around the world who related to her article:

Despite being written in March 2016, Gonzalez’s post went viral multiple times a month since, including January 2017.

“It just recently it blew up again. It just makes me feel so good because all I wanted was to reach a few hundred people and get others to change their status to organ donors, and I ended up actually changing lives,” Gonzalez said.

Ultimately, she still wants to reach as many people as she can about the benefits of becoming an organ donor.

“There is such a long list of people waiting for organs,” Gonzalez said. “It’s silly not to help out when it doesn’t affect you while you’re alive.”

OrganDonor.gov reports that over 119,000 men, women and children are currently on the national waiting list for a transplant, and 22 people die each day waiting for one.

Gonzalez is proud of the work she’s done with Odyssey, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon, especially now that she knows how her article touched so many.

“Before I started all of this, you think that you’re just one person, you won’t make a huge difference. You think only your friends will see it,” Gonzalez said. “The reality is, if you’re passionate enough about something and you want to make a widespread impact, you can do it as long as you just go for it.”

Cover Image Credit: lasvegasstatelaw.com

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The Negative Stereotypes Of Obesity In Film And TV Need To Stop

One's weight issues are a personal problem, don't make it yours.
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Health problems, especially anything physically unappealing, are often portrayed negatively in the media. Obesity or being overweight especially, has been a staple of TV and movie jokes for the longest time. Although it could be funny, it doesn’t make it right.

In television, any negative depiction of obesity is highly exaggerated through cartoons, which sends the wrong images of anyone obese, especially to younger audiences, making more people subtly gain harsh feelings and images towards people who are obese. Peter Griffin from "Family Guy" is a prime example; he is the main character who is also fat and “coincidentally” stupid in comparison to his family members and friends, always getting himself into problems he tends to be the cause for.

In the episode titled “The Fat-Guy Strangler,” Peter is told by his doctor that he is fat and refuses to believe it. When his dog Brian tells him the same, he demands proof. Thus, Brian tells him to stand still as he places objects near his stomach, watching them float, telling Peter he is so fat he has his own orbit. This is a clear exaggeration of excessive weight as it provides humor but also a leeway to ridicule real world people who are overweight or obese. Although the show is not meant for children, it is seen by them. Yet, even actual children’s programs or movies communicate negative messages about being overweight.

In older films such as "The Nutty Professor," "Shallow Hal," and "Just Friends," the main or supporting actors (Eddie Murphy, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ryan Reynolds, respectively) put on fat-suits in order to play their roles as morbidly obese characters. They go through certain obstacles due to their weight and stature such as feeling bitter and depressed, being mocked by those around them, being unable to attain the woman or man they are chasing after (or simply want to be with), and mostly go through the film as an inferior to those more physically than them.

This weight discrimination becomes a primary factor against the main character and puts a damper on their lives, causing them to be ridiculed. As a result, it causes obese people to go through the same segregation because of these correlations created in the eyes of the audience. In addition, for the film "Shallow Hal," Jack Black plays a shallow man who begins dating a large woman (Paltrow), but only after an accident that makes him believe she is a thinner, more attractive woman. Everyone around him finds it ridiculous that he is dating her and even she thinks his politeness is flawed because she does not think she is as beautiful as he describes her to be.

The stereotype of overweight or obese people is amplified in some cases of modern films, such as Dudley in the Harry Potter series. Rather than being ridiculed for his personal unattainable goals because he is not the primary character, he is instead shown to be ignorant, stupid and his joy comes from bullying Harry. However, this is only possible because his parents side with him, and his cousin is unable to fight back without revealing that he is a wizard. This stereotype has spread from film to the television industry.

This “bully” type character has also been used in gimmicks that create this “bad guy” image with bigger people in the world of wrestling. In the WWE, there have always been large, heavy wrestlers who just so have happened to play “heels” and make the audience hate them. Wrestlers such as Andre the Giant in the 80s and early 90s, the Big Show, King Kong Bundy, Viscera, Mark Henry, were and still are individuals in the wrestling industry that have weighed at least 400 pounds (Andre weighed 525 pounds and the Big Show weighed 500 at one point, for example). All played the evil character for most of their career; although strong and able to beat most of their competitors, the men were made to be hated by fans.

In addition, they were never seen as the face of the company. It was the more aesthetically pleasing people like John Cena, who despite not having a great in-ring ability (despite being more mobile), is advertised as the best. He is also given more opportunities outside of the industry in terms of movies and interviews.

Moreover, in the TV sitcom "Friends" for example, 'Fat Monica' is the depiction of how the character Monica, who is usually seen as adorable and lovable in her regular, thin size would look and act if she gained weight. In this “form,” she is portrayed as pathetic and unable to stop eating, further enforcing the stereotypes people place on obese and overweight people.

Most of these examples seem rather old, but this hasn’t exactly changed and it needs to. We need less TLC shows about people who weigh 600 lbs, or movies straight up hating on characters for their weight alone. We need to equally embrace or analyze without giving immediate disadvantages because of someone being bigger. That’s not to say, love every person who is overweight, but give them a chance before rejecting them or develop their character like in "Superbad" or "Moneyball," where Jonah Hill plays awesome and humorous characters, while still showing he’s big. There are a lot of wonderful personalities in those who may be overweight or obese, and that should always be put in the limelight, just like it should be with everyone else.

Cover Image Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

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6-Pointer Highlights from Fact.MR’s Forecast on Global pH Control/Salts Market for 2017-2026 Period

According to Fact.MR, the global market for pH control/salts will register a value CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period 2017-2026.
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Rising use of additives in food & beverage production has spurred the utilization of pH control/salts and products. Key role of pH control/salts in increasing the binding properties of products, coupled with a growing demand for natural additives, will further extend the application of pH control/salts in the global food & beverage industry. Fact.MR’s latest forecast study projects that by the end of 2026, nearly US$ 11 Bn worth of pH control/salts will be consumed across the globe. The report further estimates that the global pH control/salt market will expand at an estimated 3.2% CAGR in terms of volume over the forecast period.

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6 Insights from Fact.MR’s Forecast on Global pH Control/Salts Market

1- The global market for pH control salts is expected to register a high demand for citric acid and phosphoric acid products. By the end of 2026, nearly 12,000,000 tons of phosphoric acid and citric acid products are expected to be sold in the global pH control/salt market. The report also reveals that malic acid products will register highest volume CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period.

2- In 2018 and beyond, majority of pH control/salt products are expected to be used in production of beverages. In 2017, around 3,240,000 tons of pH control/salts were used in beverage applications across the globe. The report also projects that the application of pH control/salts in production of convenience foods and dairy products will register a high global volume CAGR over the forecast period.

3- Dry pH control/salts will witness a high demand towards the end of the forecast period. By the end of 2026, nearly two-third of global pH control/salt market volumes will be accounted by sales of dry pH control/salts.

4- Market players are expected to extend the production of pH control/salts as flavoring agents. Their role in flavoring beverages and food items will increase their adoption, and translate high sales throughout the global market. Meanwhile, gelling agent function of pH control/salts will register a volume CAGR of 3.8% during the forecast period.

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5- Through 2026, North America, Latin America and Europe will represent the most lucrative consumer marketplaces for pH control/salts. Collectively, these regions will account for more 40% share on the global pH control/salt market volumes during the course of the forecast period.

6- The report also reveals that the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region will be the single largest market for pH control/salt in the world. By 2026-end, nearly half of the pH control/salt volumes will be produced across APEJ countries such as China, India and South Korea.

The report has also profiled companies partaking in the global production of pH control/salts. Batory Foods Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill Inc., Brenntag Ingredients Inc., Hawkins Watts Limited, Fuerst Day Lawson Ltd., Sab Hnub Tuaj Foodchem Co. Ltd, Industrial Tecnica Pecuaria S.A., Univar Inc., Tate& Lyle Plc, American International Foods, Inc., Corbion Purac N.V., and Foodchem International Corporation are observed as the key stakeholders in the global pH control/salts market. These companies are expected to focus on extending their market presence by adopting innovative production techniques and increasing the applications of their products.

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