Sibling on a mission

first_img“What has been most challenging in the past two years is that his behavioral issues [have been very] severe at times, so that’s causing me to be more involved [with his medical care],” Grant said. “I do a lot of research online, looking at what kinds of treatments have been possible for these kids and what has been done to help with some of their severe behaviors. My MCB classes and anthropology classes have helped me learn how to do those literature searches and look for medications, as well some possible outcomes.”He still does it. “I was looking at medications, and I was talking to my mom about how the behavioral pharmacology class [I took] this semester taught me so many of the terms that I was reading in this paper about a medicine we’re looking into for Nik.”Grant also uses what he learned in class to advocate for families like his by writing perspective pieces in medical journals. One in Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports focused on including more siblings in research on people with disabilities. Another in in the British Medical Journal focused on raising awareness of the experiences and needs of families caring for children with complex health conditions.At Harvard, Grant helped start a program in which the Harvard Premedical Society invites people with a variety of diseases, their family members, doctors, and researchers to discuss what it’s like having the illness, caring for someone with it, and treating it. As part of the Harvard Undergraduates Raising Autism Awareness club, Grant helped put together Friday events that invited children and teenagers with autism to Harvard for social activities like movie nights and game nights.“That’s something that’s allowed me to stay connected with people like my brother while I’m at School,” Grant said.Next year, Grant plans to travel to the University of Cambridge’s Emmanuel College as a recipient of the 2020 Paul Williams Scholarship, a Harvard-U.K. fellowship. He hopes to continue some of the work he started here.“Using my story with Nik’s struggles … and using that to help other siblings, other families, or people who have similar struggles at home, that’s what’s been so rewarding to me,” Grant said. “Instead of just feeling alone in my experiences with my brother, I’ve been able to connect with others who have the same experiences. I learn from their stories.”There’s another person he learns a lot from, too — Nik.“Nik teaches me a lot of positive life lessons,” Grant said. “Even though he has this rare disease, he’s still very, very happy and pushes each day [despite pain] to live life to the fullest.“[I’ve learned] it’s always important to just enjoy the little things like how Nik enjoys getting toys, getting apples [which are his favorite food], and going to restaurants with us.” This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.A lot of what Nathan Grant did while at Harvard — and plans to do now — circles back to his twin brother, Nik.At 3 years old, Nik was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Hunter syndrome, also known as MPS II. It is progressively debilitating, causing stunted growth, developmental disabilities, respiratory problems, and shortened life expectancy. Doctors thought Nik might not make it beyond 10.“My brother has definitely surpassed that. He’s now 22,” said Grant, a Dunster House alumnus from Cincinnati. “There is a lot of research going on with this disease, and there’s a lot of answers in health care so people are living longer.”Grant concentrated in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) to become part of finding those answers. “I wanted to learn more about the genetics of MPS and what can be done in terms of medicine,” he said.But his focus is even wider. Having grown up seeing the toll diseases like MPS can take on a whole family, he’d also like to help improve the day-to-day management of such maladies and find ways to support families of those with cognitive and genetic disorders.To that end, he spent much of his time at Harvard working on programs providing families with space to talk about their experiences and resources to support them.Nathan Grant with Nik and their parents, Robert and Viji Grant.“What I’m hoping to do is work in medicine to help patients as well as to help parents who are caregiving, to help siblings, to help the whole family through clinical practice but also through researching the support needs of families and different interventions that can be done,” said Grant, who also earned a secondary in social anthropology.One way he’s done this has been through Siblings with a Mission, an organization he started to help siblings of people with disabilities. The website is a way for families to find resources on specific diseases, share experiences, and participate in conferences and workshops.The group has almost 500 active members from 25 states and 15 countries. Members post stories online about issues such as the uncertainty of having a sibling suddenly land in the hospital, or what it’s like dating while having a sister with special needs, or reflections on the last days of a brother’s life. For their first in-person event in July 2017, they partnered with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for a symposium that brought together more than 100 members and medical researchers.“It’s been really special because siblings have come up to tell me that they didn’t really have a place where they could meet others who ‘got it,’ who really understood the experiences,” Grant said.Grant started Siblings with a Mission in 2015, before he came to Harvard, but it didn’t take off until his first year in College, when he became more vocal about his experiences and desire to advocate for siblings, like him, who will eventually take over caregiving responsibilities.“Our relationship is different,” Grant said. “Some of my friends talk more about sibling relationships being more about rivalry at a young age and trying to grow apart. For me, my brother’s needed as much help as he could get from all of us in the family. I’ve really taken more of a role to help him and provide care for him, which has made me stay so connected to him.”However, he wouldn’t be much of a brother if there wasn’t at least some mischief, he admits.“We still do fun activities,” Grant said. “We still go on Halloween for trick-or-treating — I like doing that a lot with him. We also really like going out to restaurants. That is his favorite: going out to eat. So that’s also part of my role: to restore some sense of normal sibling social activities for him that he doesn’t get from my parents. I like to do that when I come back home from College.”While at Harvard, Grant used his education to help Nik. “Using my story with Nik’s struggles … and using that to help other siblings, other families, or people who have similar struggles at home, that’s what’s been so rewarding to me.” — Nathan Grant ’20last_img read more

Freshman Johnson experiencing similar struggles Cooney went through last year

first_img Published on December 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 Facebook Twitter Google+ Trevor Cooney might be the best shooter in the country. But only a year ago, the same 3-point specialist shot just 26.7 percent from beyond the arc.The difference? Consistent minutes.That’s what’s been plaguing Syracuse freshman B.J. Johnson, who teammates agree is one of the best shooters on the team.“B.J., I wouldn’t say he looks very comfortable to me,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said wryly after Syracuse’s 93-65 win over Binghamton on Saturday. “When he makes one, maybe I’ll think he’s making progress.”Johnson missed all five of his 3-point shots against the Bearcats, lowering his season total to 1-of-12 from deep. While fellow reserve freshmen Ron Patterson and Tyler Roberson showed improvement in SU’s blowout win, Johnson struggled.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDespite shooting between 300 and 400 outside shots every day outside of practice, Johnson said the sweet shooting he’s accomplishing outside of games just isn’t carrying over.“I think today I felt more competent, more comfortable than I usually do,” Johnson said. “I just wasn’t making shots.”Cooney said he sympathizes for Johnson. As a redshirt freshman last season, he was unable to find what he called “flow shots” in games.Cooney said Johnson just has to keep shooting.“It’s all you can do. It’s just what I did last year, and once you find it, you’ll be fine,” Cooney said. “It’s not something that he should be worried about just because he hasn’t gotten many good flow shots in games. Once he does that, he’ll be fine.”Sitting by his locker after the game, Johnson was clearly frustrated, but able to look past his woeful performance.He knows opportunities come few and far between as a freshman on the soon-to-be No. 2 team in the country, and he’s doing everything he can to be ready the next time Boeheim calls his name.“In practice I’m hitting them,” Johnson said, “so eventually it should carry over.” Commentslast_img read more

Mikel, Onazi Left out of Rohr’s Eagles to Battle S’Africa

first_imgMikel asked to be left out of the fixtures against Seychelles and Libya but was expected to return against South Africa but was surprisingly missing from the 23-man list for the trip to Johannesburg released by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday.Ogenyi Onazi too was left out of Gernot Rohr’s squad for the AFCON 2019 reverse fixture against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in Johannesburg on November 17 after playing minimal roles in the last two games.The Trabzonspor player in the Turkish league used to command starting shirt in the Eagles but has been struggling for quality playing time as a result of what team source attributes to his ‘not playing to instruction and becoming stubborn.’In the list of 23 invited players released yesterday, former Under-17 World Cup-winning forward, Victor Osimhen, returns after a long time out, with another Golden Eaglets forward, Samuel Chukwueze, earning a first call.The same group will prosecute the friendly encounter against the Cranes of Uganda at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba three days later.Rohr’s squad is led by stand-in captain Ahmed Musa with Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi the three goalkeepers called to camp.Olaoluwa Aina, William Ekong, Leone Balogun and Kenneth Omeruo are included among eight defenders.Oghenekaro Etebo and John Ogu are listed among three midfielders while dependable Wilfred Ndidi is conspicuously missing due to the second yellow card he received in the reverse fixture against Libya in Sfax, Tunisia a fortnight ago. The Leicester star had earlier earned a yellow against Seychelles.Midfielder Mikel Agu, who played some part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and home-based defender Adeleye Olamilekan Aniyikaye are also invited.Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo, Samuel Kalu and Alex Iwobi are among nine forwards to avenge Nigeria’s defeat in the first game of the AFCON 2019 qualifier in Uyo last year.Henry Onyekuru and Junior Lokosa are listed among five standby players.Nigeria is leading Group E of the AFCON 2019 series with nine points with South Africa on eight points leading to the clash at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.A win for Eagles will automatically send the Eagles to the finals in Cameroon, with the second ticket in Group E to be down to a fierce battle between the Bafana and Libya’s Mediterranean Knights.According to Communications Director of the NFF, Ademola Olajire, the Super Eagles will fly from Johannesburg to Asaba on 18th November for the friendly with the Cranes on 20th November.“All the invited players are expected to report direct in Asaba on Monday, 12th November,” observed the statement from Olajire last night.THE INVITED PLAYERSGoalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Elche FC, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Adeleye Aniyikaye (FC IfeanyiUbah); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal FC, Portugal)Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nasr FC, Saudi Arabia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux FC, France); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)Standby: Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Nyima Nwagua (Kano Pillars FC); Sunday Adetunji (Enyimba FC); Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars FC)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Osimhen back *Onyekuru, four others on standbyDuro IkhazuagbeSuper Eagles Captain John Mikel Obi has been left out of Nigeria’s fourth match in a row after the World Cup in Russia. The Tianjin Teda enforcer in the Chinese Super League has returned to action after recovering from injuries. He was on duty for the Chinese team at the weekend.last_img read more