All posts by jessyzhou2019

Chronic pain patients experiencing a side effect of new opioid guidelines

By Jessy Zhou
Medill Reports

Chronic pain patients say they are having their medications tapered down and face stricter evaluations when changing doctors since the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) changed its guidelines for opioid drugs.

According to the CDC, opioids were responsible for more than 60 percent of drug overdose deaths in 2017. A government crackdown began when opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. spiked in 2016.

In this video, Catherine Wolf Thesen and Debbie Fetzner-Nunez—who both suffer from chronic pain and have been taking prescription medication for years—say they are being made to suffer because of the actions of abusers.

Photo at top: Chronic pain patients rally at the Daley Center in Chicago on March 26, 2019. (Jessy Zhou/MEDILL)

The story behind the ‘Bird City Saint’ and why the artist hopes it empowers others

By Jessy Zhou
Medill Reports

It’s common sight on murals in Chicago — a bird head on a human body, looking skyward, often accompanied by a quote. The image, called the Bird City Saint,  is a signature of Joseph “Sentrock” Perez, a muralist and sculptor who moved to Chicago from Arizona to pursue a career as a full-time artist.

Sentrock’s “birdman” appears on several murals in Pilsen, where he wants his work to empower teens in the neighborhood by lifting their spirits. “I feel like my work  gives hope,” said Sentrock in the video story below. “A lot of the characters, they’re like striving for more, they’re looking up to the sky, and they really need something to feel uplifting.”

Photo at top: Sentrock standing in front of a mural with a Bird City Saint image in Pilsen. (Courtesy Sentrock Studio)

American students become kung fu masters at Chicago studio

By Jessy Zhou
Medill Reports

Master Wu Jing Chao came to the United States from China with a dream: to allow individuals in America to understand, appreciate and practice authentic Chinese martial arts. He founded Bei Dou Kung Fu in 2006, and says he was one of the first schools to officially offer classes that train Americans in the art of Wushu, as Kung Fu is called in China.

To accomplish this goal, he established three standards for his school. Unlike schools that only offer classes to an established age group of people or only to adults, Bei Dou Kung Fu trains students of all ages, including adults, children and even senior citizens.

Photo at top: Master Wu Jing Chao trains American students to become Kung Fu Masters. (Jessy Zhou/Medill)

Living donors gather at Millennium Park to celebrate and promote organ donation

By Jessy Zhou
Medill Reports

Meeting in front of a kidney-bean-shaped piece of art holds additional symbolism for Kate Griggs. She came to Millennium Park to pose for a photo in front of Cloud Gate — an iconic sculpture better known to Chicagoans as “The Bean” — with others who have donated a kidney or other organ to a person needing a transplant.

Griggs became a living donor in 2016 when she donated one of her kidneys to a stranger. Soon after, she started this gathering of fellow donors, to raise awareness about organ donation and to encourage others to register as living donors.

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