Monday, April 13, 2009

Grandpa John: Akron's Hercules!

I never knew my grandfather John Mallo. Grandpa John was the world weightlifting champ at the 1933 Worlds Fair in Chicago.  This is obviously where I get my petite frame! He was a legend in our family and his pictures are burned into my memory banks.  There are pictures of him lifting Model T's and one picture of him dead lifting 3 guys at one time.

Grandpa John hoped to represent the United States in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. His goal was to surpass the 827-pound record for three lifts in the 1932 Olympics.  He finally did it — 830 pounds — while training in April 1934.

Several days later, he began to notice severe pain in his abdomen. At first, he didn't tell anyone, but then the throbbing became too much. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed acute appendicitis and performed surgery.

Then he developed peritonitis, an infection of the abdominal cavity.  That infection quickly took his life.  Penicillin, which might have cured him in later years, was still an experimental drug.

Why am I writing about this now?  Well April 15 is the 75th anniversary of his death and he is featured today in the Akron Beacon Journal article (

Us chiropractors get a bad rap as being anti-medicine/anti-drug.  This is a prime example where an antibiotic would have saved his life.  There is no arguing that at the appropriate times, drugs and medicine have their place.  I have had peritonitis myself and know that my healthy body in conjunction with antibiotics saved my life.

My beef is that for many, drugs become the first line of defense against problems.  Have some acid in your stomach?  Ohhh, that is bad!  Take this pill that will get rid of that nasty acid.  Bad, bad Acid!  No one tells people that you need the acid to digest your food and without it, secondary digestion and absorption problems occur. By the way, ACID IS NORMAL in the stomach! How about looking at the nerves that go to the upper GI tract?  We chiropractors help lots of people with these problems by removing the interference and allowing the body to heal and work right.

The next time you are taking a drug think of my Grandpa John.  Is this a situation severe enough to warrant it's use? According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1998, a report finds that prescription drugs kill about 106,000 Americans each year – that’s three times as many as are killed by automobiles—making prescription drug death the fourth leading killer after heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Be careful and be aware there are other options, that is all I am saying!

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