Steve Alten Newsletter
November 2009
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Because of the importance of the contents, this is sort of an abbreviated newsletter this month. As many of you know, two years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. I was 47 at the time, with no family history. Parkinsons is a degenerative disease that causes tremors and muscle rigidity. For me, the symptoms affect my dominant right side. My arm no longer swings freely when I walk, and doing certain activities can be challenging. Reaching into my pocket for my car keys, signing my name and the PD has robbed me of the one talent that came naturally for me -- playing the drums To combat these physical challenges I workout almost every day, plus I take a few medications that I hope can delay the progression. I have never felt sorry for myself, I consider myself a lucky person and have too much in my life to be grateful for. So I will fight this setback as best as I can, and hopefully contribute something of value that can help find a cure, if not for myself then others.

Parkinsons is a disease that can be cured. Michael J. Fox and his foundation have done an incredible job organizing researchers to focus on the medical science that makes a difference.

Since my own diagnosis, I have asked myself what I can do to help. Writing books is a time-consuming labor, plus I spend time visiting schools, plus I have a family plus I need to work out or my muscles stiffen up. Oh yeah, every day I answer 100 e-mails from fans. It's a labor of love, as an author, my most valued asset is YOU, my readers. Over the last 13 years, I have worked hard to earn your trust. All of you who have ever e-mailed me know I ALWAYS RESPOND PERSONALLY. Students know I am always honored to answer their Q & A assignments for school. Thousands of teachers in the Adopt-An-Author program know I am always there to speak with their students via phone, e-mails, or personal visits. Times are tight for many of us, and so many organizations need money - I know because many of you contact me asking for donations on their behalf. I never say no. Over the years, I have also sent boxes of signed books to our soldiers overseas in appreciation for their sacrifice. But I need to do something to support the Michael J. Fox foundation, not because I have Parkinsons, but because I am convinced they are doing valuable work that can help all of us.

I thought about offering free posters to anyone making a $50 donation, I thought about sending out signed books for donations. All of these ideas cost money I do not have (my meds alone cost $500 a month). What can I do to help Michael J. Fox? I do not know any celebrities, I am not in a position to host huge functions, but I have something far more valuable, I have readers who care and know that I care about them.

I am asking each person reading this newsletter to click on this link and make a one-time donation of $10 dollars to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Please, only ten dollars. Because ten dollars from ten thousand Steve Alten readers CAN make a serious difference in the fight against a disease that affects millions of Americans including this humble author.

I've included some very cool never-before-seen MEG & LOCH images at the bottom of the linked page. Please feel free to send this message and link to other friends and readers. In return, I offer my blessings and heartfelt thanks.


Sent in by a parent, verified by SNOPES: Yesterday, my youngest daughter, Halle who is just 4 years old, was rushed to the ER by her father for being severely lethargic and incoherent in her classroom. He was called to her school by the school secretary who said that she was 'VERY VERY SICK'! He told me that when he arrived at her classroom, Halle was barely sitting in the chair. She couldn't hold her own head up and when he looked into her eyes, she couldn't focus them. He immediately scooped her up and rushed her to the closest ER, and then called me. When he got there, they ran blood test after blood test and did x-rays, every test imaginable. Her white blood cell count was normal, nothing was out of the ordinary. When I arrived at the ER, the doctor there told us that he had done everything that he could do so he was transferring her to Saint Francis Hospital for further tests. As we were leaving in the ambulance, her teacher arrived at the ER and told us that after questioning Halle 's classmates, she had found out that our little girl had LICKED LIQUID SANITIZER OFF HER HANDS. When we arrived at the Saint Francis' Hospital ER, we told the ER Doctor there to check her blood alcohol level, and yes we did get weird looks, but they did it. The results showed her blood alcohol level was 85% -- six hours after we first took her.There's no telling what it would have been if we would have requested it at the first ER. Since then, her school and a few surrounding schools have taken the liquid hand sanitizers out of all the lower grade classes, but what's to stop middle and high schoolers from ingesting this stuff? After doing research on the Internet, we found out that it only takes about 3 squirts of the stuff ingested to be fatal to a toddler. For her blood alcohol level to be so high, it would be like someone her size drinking120 proof liquor.

*IF YOU HAVE A LIVING TIP YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at Put LIVING TIP in the subject line.

RECIPE of the Month: Tracy's No Bake Sugar-Free Cheesecake

Having had gastric bypass surgery, and many friends with diabetes, it is hard to find desserts that we can eat. This one has been a lifesaver as long as you only have one serving.

INGREDIENTS 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 (.6 ounce) package sugar free lemon flavored gelatin (or flavor of your choice), 1 cup boiling water, 1 (8 ounce) package reduced fat cream cheese, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 cup frozen light whipped topping, thawed (fat free whipped topping if you can find it is better), cut fruit (optional).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and cinnamon. Mix well and press into the bottom of a 9 inch square pan. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Dissolve lemon gelatin in boiling water. Let cool until thickened, but not set. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Blend in lemon gelatin. Fold in whipped topping. Add fruit matching the flavor of you gelatin if you so desire. Pour filling into crust. Sprinkle top with graham cracker crumbs and some of the fruit. Refrigerate over night. Cut into 16 pieces.

Nutritional Information: Servings Per Recipe: 16 Calories: 103 Total Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 15mg Sodium: 166mg Total Carbs: 8.5g Dietary Fiber: 0.5g Protein: 3g

*IF YOU HAVE A RECIPE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at Put RECIPE in the subject line.

That's all for now. More next month, I promise. Stay well, stay safe and know this author appreciates you very much.


Steve Alten
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