When most 8-year-olds go for a bike ride, they just do it for fun. But Rhys Stevens is doing it to make a difference in this world. Rhys will keep biking long distances to help raise money and awareness for the victims of the dog meat trade in China. And so far, he’s raised more than enough money to make an impact.
Specifically, Rhys gathered enough money to bring a rescue Husky away from the meat trade and toward a forever family. He will use the extra money to keep helping in any way that he can. Rhys is an inspiration for kids and adults alike!
A Passion for Rescue Dogs
It’s never too early to want to help dogs in need. While most kids have no idea of the horrors that many dogs face, Rhys is working hard to make a difference. After seeing a documentary about the dog meat trade in China, Rhys was in shock. But instead of wallowing in sadness and fear, he looked for ways to help.
So, Rhys started a bike ride fundraiser in hopes of bringing some of the dogs to safety. His friends, family, and other locals have agreed to donate money for every mile that Rhys rides on his bike. And he’s already ridden an insane amount!
“Rhys is passionate about dogs and animals in general. He just wants to do good things and make a difference,” said Kathleen Stevens, Rhys’ mom.
In this fundraiser, Rhys is raising money for China Rescue Dogs. This non-profit organization is based in North Carolina, and they work on transporting dogs from China to the United States. That way, the dogs are safe and get a chance at finding a forever family.
Changing the World One Bike Ride at a Time
It costs at least $2,500 to transport a dog from China to the United States. So, the rescue gave Rhys a specific dog to bike for. She is a Husky named Lola who was saved off the street after suffering from malnutrition and a severe skin disease. When Rhys gets tired while biking, he just thinks of Lola’s sad face and keeps going.
“I feel very happy that I’m doing this, I feel very excited that the money I am raising is helping Lola to get to her new home. I love dogs so much and this makes me very happy.”
So far, Rhys has raised over $3,600, which is more than enough to cover Lola’s transport cost. Even though he hit his goal, he continues to bike in hopes of saving even more dogs. Lola will be able to fly out of China during the first week of April 2021. Plus, she already has a family waiting for her!
If you want to help Rhys make a difference in this world, please consider donating to his Facebook fundraiser. Even small donations can make a difference for these at-risk dogs. And every dog saved is a huge success!
Parasites: What You Need to Know and How You Acquire Them
What does the first thing that comes into mind when you hear the word, “parasite?” For many people, a parasite is a kind of organism which preys on another for its survival. Typically, it depicts a picture of the parasite and the host.
But, while different sources have a different verbatim definition of what a parasite is, they all point to the exact same thing which could affect organisms like you and me. As its name implies, parasites are not a good thing. More so if it's sucking the very life of you for its own survival.
However, the first thing you need to know about parasites is that they need a host. And from host to another, they are passed on and then enter the body. Without a living host to feed on, parasites are not subsistent to survive in another means.
At the microscopic level, a predatory parasite can be as small as a virus or another pathogenic microorganism which infects the body and causes diseases. But an organism of this nature can take larger forms as well, yet likewise cause harm to the host.
Oftentimes, they take on the form of a worm such as any of the following:
- This type of worm is the most common species of cestodes. As a parasite, tapeworms thrive in an adult human’s digestive tracts. There are two known ways by which a person would contract tapeworms: poor hygienic practices and eating of undercooked meat such as fish, pork, or beef.
- Unlike tapeworms which are classified as flatworms, hookworms are a type of roundworms which reside in the host’s intestine. The presence of little hookworm pose little to no symptoms to the affected person. However, more than a handful of these worms may pose indications that is significantly detrimental to the human person like anemia, weight loss, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
- People who are infected with pinworms often do not exhibit any symptom which suspects them for parasitism. But those who do, experience itching in the anal area which causes sleeplessness to the affected person.
- Also known as nematodes, roundworms are a diverse species of microscopic creatures where half of which is considered parasitic. In fact, as of current studies, there are already a million species of this micro-organism. For humans, an infection from one of the specie of these microorganisms results to the disease, trichinosis.
- The parasite known as giardia affects humans as it does animals. Usually the case, this parasite grows in the host’s intestines. Some common indications of this kind of infection include flatulence, abdominal cramps, upset stomach, diarrhea, and nausea. People who are with a parasite in their bodies are at risk of severe dehydration and nutrition loss.
These parasites can stay inside your body for a long time, and they could suck blood and the essential nutrients that you need. Thus, if left undetected and untreated, these parasites could cause serious infections and illnesses to your body.
Indications of Parasitic Infection
An infection from a certain parasite may be shown by its own unique set of indications. But some have similarities with the following:
- Unexplained constipation or having diarrhea for almost a week or two
- Feeling hungry all the time even after eating full meals
- You are suddenly anemic out of the blue
- You experience abdominal cramps and gas
- Mucus is present in your stool
- Trouble sleeping for unknown cause
- Distended abdomen
- Vomiting and fever
These are just some of the signs that you may have acquired a parasite, but these symptoms can also mimic other illnesses. Therefore, it is best to consult a professional health care to be sure.
How do you acquire parasites?
There are many ways parasites you can acquire some parasites.
Animals such as your pets can be carriers of parasites. As a pet owner, you had probably seen how domesticated pets like cats and dogs play around places, even in unhygienic areas. Subsequently, this spells disaster as far as staying away from infection goes.
Moreover, you can also obtain parasite when you come in physical contact with a person infected by it.
Another way parasites can get into your body is by touching unclean things whether obvious from the get-go or not. In fact, the more the object is shared by many people unwittingly, the worst of it is for infection. These include door knobs, cell phones, computer mouse, or anything that has parasitic eggs on it. However, this type of infection can be offset by applying hygienic practices with the hands. Typically, these include the use of sanitizers, alcohol, and proper hand washing.
But, as previously mentioned, the foods you eat and fluids you drink are also entryway for these parasites to your body. Improperly handled foods such as fruits and vegetables are common sources of parasite for some people. More so it is as well towards undercooked meat.
Thus, the number one basic rule that would prevent you from acquiring parasite is through washing your hands at all times, even your feet! After playing with your pet, shaking hands with a person, or holding a public door knob, make sure to wash your hand or take with a hand sanitizer.
How do you treat it?
In cases of suspected parasitic infection, do not take chance in thinking that it will resolve by itself. It may not. Our immune system may be strong enough to fend off diseases and many infections, but not directly against parasitism. So, even if you are consuming lots of immunity-boosting foods, it may not necessarily address the problem directly.
Some professional doctors would usually ask for a sample of your blood to check the CBC count for possible anemia. Then they would most probably ask you for a stool sample to rule out possibilities. A pathologist will then check your stool under a microscope to verify if a parasite is indeed present in the stool.
For others, they opt for herbal remedies which could help eliminate parasites in the body. But if your case is severe, seek professional health care immediately.