Posted 1/25/21 (11 months until Christmas)
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:25
Hi all! Happy Monday, January 25th. Exactly 11 more months until Christmas!!! (Note: we haven’t taken our tree down yet this year. We’ll work on it, but it was just so nice this year we don’t want it to end…) Yes…we are THOSE people…
Anywhoooo…I was thinking as I drove through a toad-strangler today how our expectations regarding curing dementia need to be evaluated. OK…maybe mine do…I shouldn’t speak for you. My expectation is that, in order to come up with a cure for this monstrosity, it will take millions of people working day and night. Kind of a COVID vaccine team on steroids. Two primary and related thoughts came to mind: Mega Millions Powerball and its ilk and The Power in Numbers.
I am not a huge lottery player. I VERY seldom play it. Why? Because Mrs. Stica, my math teacher, taught me to understand big numbers and those numbers are NOT in your favor to play. However, true confession: I, every once in a while, play when it gets to a $Billion. Why? It was kind of fun. $4 down the toilet. But it did make me think…what are the odds of winning and how are they enhanced by buying more tickets? Here is a summary:
In comparison, KSDK reminds us of the following odds:
- According to CDC numbers, you are about 30,000 times more likely to get injured in your bathroom, a 1 in 10,000 chance, compared to winning the Mega Millions jackpot.
- National Weather Service Data shows you’re about 250 times more likely to be struck by lightning this year with odds of 1 in 1,171,000.
- A “Jaws” scenario, or death by shark attack, is 80 times more likely according to the Florida Shark Museum with odds of about 1 in 3,748,067.
Another list reminds me that 1 in 112 million people are killed by vending machines too. Not the Stephen King kind (sorry for the expletive)…just regular old machines…
So, the math is pretty easy…it is just hard to understand the scope and magnitude of the number. If you buy one ticket, your odds are 1:302,575,350. If you buy 2, then they are 2:302,575,350…and so on. Working the math, if you buy a little over 150,000,000 tickets, you have a 50/50 shot. However, you may split the jackpot with one or ten folks and lose your rear even further. And the number changes every 3-4 days when a new batch is drawn.
So, if you must play, do it very, very, very sparingly, knowing you will very likely NOT win and do guard your heart against addiction, covetousness, etc….
So, what does this have to do with our topic? Well, our odds of slaying the dementia dragon can likely be better than lotto and buying more tickets CAN help. I acknowledge that, since we really don’t understand enough about the brain, it will be hard. We have no clue what the odds are of discovering a cure or even one type of dementia under this umbrella of conditions, but we do know that there is likely a number to be reached. The more we try, the more of a chance we find what works.
Cliff’s Notes: This isn’t a moving target. There is a number that when we try enough times we hit the jackpot!
Said another way…The odds of making a hole in one, for an average golfer, is 1:12,000. Tour professionals have about 1:3000 shot of the same. (Assumption: the hole is something like a par 3 that a reasonable golfer can reach in one shot…we aren’t talking about a mile away here.) A European golfer named Andy Sullivan decided to set out to hit 500 shots at a hole-in-one. The video can be found here. Watch his PG-13 reaction.
Now imagine a cure. I am not asking you to imagine winning the Mega Millions… “just” curing dementia. What would your reaction look like?
How about this: Much like we have done with COVID-19, moving hundreds of doctors from their research in other areas to securing a vaccine for the pandemic, as soon as we can, let’s fund dementia research so well that the odds slant in the favor of a cure hole-in-one. Let’s volunteer more for clinical trials through the Association’s Trial Match site. Let’s advocate for more research funding and programs to help these folks. Let’s help Area Agencies on Aging help seniors struggling in providing respite care, making homes safer, feeding those in needed, and the like. If we do all of this stuff and more, it would be like 1,000 people circling a golf green and shooting for a cure. One person hitting 1,000 balls is a lot…too much. But 1,000 people hitting their bucket full…there is power in that. Nobody has to do everything, but if many did something…wow. There is strength in numbers…
It will take a coordinated effort. I mean, if everyone hits the ball at once, there is so much redundancy (and golf balls banging around) that the job will never get done…but the Association and the Area Agencies of Aging are organized…they just need more clubbers with clubs whacking more balls. Can you imagine tens of thousands of balls flying through the air at the target??? I mean, the target isn’t going anywhere. We are slowly but surely seeing gains in understanding the brain and the problems associated with the disease… We CAN end this menace…
So how about it, friends? Gather up a few hundred folks with me and, on the count of three, let’s all holler down at the green FORE!!! and let’em fly!
Update: Nothing to report with mom. She is on an inhaler to help with her wheezing. They still don’t know the origin of this breathing issue, but they are doing what they can (thickening her liquid/food even further). I hate this for mom…
Last thought: While this may fly in the face of this whole article, I am dabbling with a contraption that will drive many, many balls at the hole at once. 🙂 I am slowly training to run the Frisco Highline Trail that runs from Bolivar, Missouri to Springfield, Missouri. It is a scenic 35 miles. I ran a marathon in 2009, then I stopped running. A year ago I sat at 360+ pounds and pretty downtrodden at my life and, more so, at my mom’s situation. Over the last year I have lost about 100 pounds and have taken up running again. My life is very busy these days, with work ( I direct I.T. and Disaster Preparedness/Recovery for 17 counties) and I want to do more. So I am dedicating this season to trying to make as many shots at the hole as I can. I will be sharing more details soon as they develop. 🙂 Title sneak preview: