Chase Warren may only be a recent high school graduate but he definitely knows what he wants and is doing everything he can to make his dream of becoming a Genetic Engineer a reality.
I met Chase and his biggest cheerleader, his mom Jennifer Warren, recently to chat about his recent trip to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders event in Boston, Massachusetts.
“It was an awesome experience,” Chase said of the event. The Congress touts itself as the largest and most impactful gathering of future medical leaders. Attendance is by academic nomination only and all students must have a minimum of 3.5 GPA to attend. During the Congress students are able to view an actual surgery, learn about state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, and be mentored by some of the greatest minds in medicine. Speakers included Nobel Prize Laureates, top medical school deans, and leaders in medical research and private industry.
Chase shared that he was able to meet his idol George M. Church, Ph.D. who is the Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Church and his team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications. This includes new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme disease and malaria. CRISPR is of great interest to Chase.
He wants to get into research and hopes to help find cures for cancer and other diseases. He developed an interest in the field after his Grandpa Reed was diagnosed with cancer and Chase wanted to help. He even visited the doctor’s office at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with his grandfather and shared his thoughts of possible treatment options with the doctor. Sadly his grandfather has since passed away but Chase’s desire to help has only gotten stronger. “In the next 20 years, we should have cures for all types of cancer,” said Chase.
He has chosen to attend Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman for the 2018/2019 school year. Chase admitted that a big part of that decision was that “[he will be] able to get into the lab at WSU after only seven weeks of starting school.” He said that at some schools students must wait a year or two before being able to access the lab but he was accepted to the Students Targeted toward Advanced Research Studies (STARS) program at WSU and that has opened up the door to access the lab much earlier. He said he has so many ideas relating to genetics and CRISPR that he wants to get started right away.
Chase has spent his entire life in Woodinville. He attended East Ridge Elementary then when he was in 6th grade the family transferred Chase and his brother Spencer to King’s Schools in Shoreline. The move to this private school was important to the Warren’s (Jennifer and her husband Randy) to help their kids have every available advantage. The new school entailed a long daily commute for both boys but the family made it work.
Chase took every science class he could at King’s and Biology – Anatomy and Physiology were his favorite classes. He recently graduated and he feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity that King’s provided. Chase said of the opportunity, “I have great parents.”
Throughout the years, Chase has always stayed involved with his church and the local community and has spent many afternoons volunteering at the Duvall Food Bank.
I asked Chase if he had any advice to pass along to other students with an interest in medicine. “There is a ton of great information on the internet. Amazing sources like John Green [Scientific Revolution], SciShow, Vsauce, and CrashCourse.” He also added that it is important to remember, “Failure is part of success.”
Needless to say this Gen Z (aka Centennial) student has a lot of energy and I’m confident that he’ll do some pretty amazing things in the future.
When Justin Thompson was just 16 years old, he was almost killed by a drunk driver. That event triggered something in his psyche that became his passion, and ultimately, a business venture to promote preventative solutions for a problem faced by virtually every community in America—driving under the influence (DUI).
The business, named appropriately “Think Twice,” that Thompson co-founded with Forrest McKai.
Thompson met with me recently to speak about Think Twice and its’ mission to lessen the damage caused by drunk driving. He explained that every 51 minutes someone is killed in a DUI related accident in the United States. Think Twice was created to provide customers with an easy way to monitor their risk of a DUI charge, avoid a trip to jail, and most importantly, to perhaps save a life.
“It is a practical, easy, discreet and affordable way to prevent the needless loss of life caused by drunk driving,” said Thompson.
Their primary product at this time is a medical grade single-use breathalyzer simply labeled “Think Twice.” It only takes 15 minutes to take the test, see whether you are below or above the 0.08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) legal limit, and make an informed decision regarding getting behind the wheel. Each individual unit is hermetically sealed and should not be exposed to extreme temperatures. The test also includes a discount promo code to use UBER instead of driving.
Thompson and McKai worked tirelessly for the past two years developing Think Twice along with a full program to work with restaurants, bars and any other establishment or event that serves alcohol. It isn’t just about the test. Businesses are encouraged to sell the test (most often for less than what a typical drink might cost) or to simply offer it as an amenity to alcohol consuming customers. Additionally they will work with the business on training, support materials for staff, and promotional materials that remind patrons to think twice. These items include coasters, postcards, car fresheners, bottle opener key chains, table tents, pens, and “DUI’s SUCK” t-shirts.
Businesses are really embracing Think Twice especially considering that more than half the states in the U.S. have statutory provisions that allow restaurants, bars, and liquor stores to be held liable for serving alcohol to individuals who cause injuries or death as a result of their intoxication. Penalties for such cases can range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and for this reason, liquor liability insurance coverage is required. Rates are determined, in part, by the number of DUI charges attributed to a business, which is then reported to the Liquor Control Board.
Think Twice offers a certification process for alcohol serving establishments to present to their insurance agent to qualify for discounts on their insurance policy. Insurance companies are supporting the Think Twice risk mitigation strategy, empowering their customers to take a proactive approach to helping people get home safe.
In this region, there are many alcohol related special events including concerts, brewfests, wine walks, sporting events, and festivals that could benefit from having Think Twice DUI Testers available. Personally, I even thought of having them available for family events and weddings. This would certainly be a wise move to protect your friends and family.
Think Twice products currently are sold in the western US including Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The company as a whole is growing exponentially with plans to be throughout the U.S. and Canada before long saving lives.
I checked out the reviews for Think Twice on their Facebook page and out of 101 reviews all received five stars (out of five) rating! Here’s one review that I felt said it best…
We have all gone out to a game or to the bar and had a little too much to drink, and we all have questionable judgment when under the influence. Think Twice a brilliant solution to an all to common problem. You can make a conscious decision to keep yourself and others out of danger by staying off the road if you’ve had too much to drink. So happy to see this product spreading like wild fire throughout our communities! Party on people!!
To learn more about Think Twice, visit https://duiprevention.org/.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games were held last week in the Puget Sound region and will undoubtedly be considered one of the most significant sporting events in our area’s history.
The event showcased the awe-inspiring abilities of approximately 3,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities competing in 14 sports in venues across Puget Sound including Kenmore Lanes in our readership area. An estimated 10,000 volunteers and over 80,000 family members and spectators enjoyed the games. The regional economic impact of the 2018 USA Games is projected at over $75 million.
I had the opportunity to chat with Samuel (Sam) Quezada, one of the athletes, along with his grandparents, Will and Kathleen Netelenbos, right before the games as he was packing for his six night stay at the USA Games village at the University of Washington campus. Will said that this would be the longest period of time that Sam will be away from their home since he and his brother Josh moved in with their grandparents following the death of their mother four years ago.
Sam is 23 years old and a 2013 graduate of Inglemoor High School. He is autistic and following graduation he completed the ATP (Adult Transition Program) at Bothell High School. He currently works at Microsoft Café 86 by taking two buses every workday to get to the Redmond Campus.
Sam is relatively new to the world of competition sports. He joined the Northshore Wranglers Inclusion Program (see sidebar story) in the early spring of 2017. There he participated in the track and field program with a very supportive and inspiring coach, Cole Caplan. Sam says, “I learned a lot from him.”
Sam participated in the Washington Special Olympics last year and has continued to train to qualify to compete in the USA Games this year. His events are the 100M, 200M, 4x100M Relay, and the Long Jump. His favorite event is the 100M Dash. He assured me that he is very fast!
Sam trains at Ingelmoor High School by running the track and by playing soccer. His grandparents said that Sam does this most every day on his own. He not only takes his physical training seriously, but he told me he’s eating right too with a lot of fruits and vegetables.
He admitted that he is a little nervous to compete as he wants to do well. From Sam’s bio he attests, “knowing that you are not there just by yourself and are motivated by the support from other competing athletes like yourself, coaches, friends and family. The opportunity to prove that no matter what, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
His advice to other kids that may want to get involved in competition in the future, “just do it.” He said, “It is a lot of fun. It makes me feel good and gives me more confidence.”
Locally, Andrew Bryant from Woodinville and Jeremy Wall from Bothell also participated in multiple track and field events at the recent 2018 Special Olympics. Congratulations to all of the amazing athletes!
A military cargo plane (C-53) flying over Greenland during WWII crashes with five crewmembers aboard. All five survive the crash and a rescue mission is launched with second plane (a B-17) carrying nine crewmembers. That plane also crashes on the ice cap. Again, all men survive the initial crash.
With winter approaching fast on the frozen wasteland, and confirmed contact with the survivors from the B-17, extraordinary efforts must be made to save these men. The U.S. Coast Guard positions the Cutter Northland, in a bay as close as possible to the crash site to contemplate options with Greenland’s uncooperative weather.
The determined path is to send a 3rd plane (the Grumman Duck) from the Northland piloted by Lieutenant John Pritchard with Radioman Benjamin Bottoms. They had initial success landing on the glacier and rescuing two crewmen and made a second trip to recover more survivors. Instead due to yet another tragedy on the ground, they hurriedly picked up Corporal Loren Howarth (another survivor of the initial B-17 crash turned rescuer) and planned to head back to the Northland immediately to get additional personal and equipment.
The unthinkable happened when that plane also crashed on its return to the Northland. It was determined after eyewitness accounts of the crash site that there were no survivors of the Duck.
Does this sound like a best selling book? Well – it actually is. “Frozen in Time” by Mitchell Zuckoff, tells the full true story of all three crashes and the final outcome on the frozen tundra that is Greenland in the winter of 1942-43. It also outlines the attempts that have been made since then to recover the Duck and the heroes onboard the craft to bring them home to their final resting place.
But that is not where this story ends...it’s where it begins. Long-time Woodinville resident, Christie Fisher, was on vacation in nearby (to Greenland) Iceland when she met some of the people that were traveling to an expedition.
Fisher was so intrigued with the story they shared that she decided to get involved.
That was two years ago, and now she’s getting ready to head to the massive island with this team situated between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans in hopes of recovering the Duck and its crew. Even if they don’t find the prize, she is focused on the journey and the educational aspect of the adventure.
Fisher graduated from Woodinville High School then the University of Arizona with a BA in Music. She continued her education receiving her MBA from the University of Baltimore. She works as the Director of Business Management for Microsoft, and volunteers her time as a mentor and enjoys working with students and veterans in particular. She is also now very involved with the small non-profit that she helped to create Global Exploration and Recovery – GEaR.
GEaR is team of passionate individuals that volunteer their time, money, and skills to come together oversees to deliver on the promise made to our Servicepersons - that they will not be left behind. They also maintain contact with the next of kin. In this case, it includes John Pritchard’s sister Nancy, who is 94, and who continues to hope that her brother’s body will be located and returned to his native soil.
GEaR is the entity heading to Greenland again this month. All of the members of the team (except Fisher) were part of the original expedition outlined in “Frozen in Time.” Fisher is the Board Secretary and a Director of GEaR.
For three weeks, Fisher will be based at small Inuit village with about 250 residents where her role will be community and educational engagement. She will be in contact with the exploration team on the ice cap and communicate with classrooms and followers to their expedition.
In addition to the obvious logistical planning for a trip of this magnitude, Fisher has been preparing physically as well. She’s been hiking with packs, trained in wilderness first aid, ventured to Alaska on a dog sledding trip, and cooking backpacking recipes that might come in handy. She shared that she is a vegetarian and knows that fresh fruits and vegetables are not a likely staple so she’ll need to improvise.
Meet the other active members of GEaR:
John Bradley is the Founder and President of GEaR, and he lives in Colorado. Bradley has been a mountain guide in and out of North America and has completed several missions in Greenland. He is trained in medical mountain rescue.
Francis Marley is the Vice President of GEaR and he lives in Alaska. Marley is a Captain in the Alaska Army National Guard (served in Afghanistan), and is active in the Alaska Mountain Rescue and Dive Rescue communities. He is trained in Wilderness First Response.
Jaana Gustafsson is the Geophysicist for the team. She lives in Stockholm, and is a land surveyor who leads ground-penetrating radar surveys in both urban and remote wilderness locations. She has been on several Greenland missions.
Nicholas Bratton is the Vice President of GEaR and lives in Seattle. Bratton is an experienced mountaineering guide and a former National Outdoor Leadership School instructor. He has served on two missions to Greenland. Although he will not be on the trip this summer, he is helping with planning logistics.
To learn more about GEaR and help this nonprofit’s mission by donating, visit www.globalexploration andrecovery.com. They also have a Facebook page Global Exploration and Recovery.
Editor’s Note: I was so intrigued with this story that I not only read the book “Frozen in Time” but I have asked Christie Fisher to provide the Woodinville Weekly with updates about her trip. As long as technology cooperates, we are planning on three submissions for each week she is onsite in Greenland from July 16-30. Please stay tuned!
We recently spent the afternoon enjoying a great musical performance by the band that has Woodinville ties.
The band was Global Heat. The event was the Festival Sundiata and it took place on June 17th at the Seattle Center on the Mural Stage.
The weather was sunny and beautiful so it was the perfect opportunity to see the band in action. The backdrop couldn’t have been more iconic with the Space Needle jutting up behind the stage.
We settled into a spot on the lawn in front of the stage just in time for the start of the first song and instantly started to bop and chair dance. The band performs original music as well as a cover or two, and their sound includes elements of funk, rap, and rhythm & blues all wrapped into one tight package.
Every song during the set had us moving to the music with big smiles while enjoying the beautiful day. Not only did it seem as though the crowd was enjoying the music, but the band seemed to be in sync and having a good time as well. My only regret was that the set didn’t last longer!
Following the performance, which concluded with a stellar rendition of Sly & the Family Stones’ “I Want to Take You Higher,” I had the opportunity to meet the band.
Global Heat’s founder and manager, Rob Pastorok, is a keyboardist, percussionist, PhD ecologist, and owner of Deep Well Studio in Woodinville. He has led band tours to perform at major music festivals throughout the Northwest U.S and all the way to Shanghai, China. In April 2017, he led Global Heat for a weeklong tour during which they performed for more than 5,000 youth at 16 venues. He received an Artist Trust award and has received grant support from 4Culture, Seattle Next 50, and Theatre Puget Sound. I asked Pastorok if he were to buy a ticket to see a live performance, who would it be? He said, “For music, Herbie Hancock & the Head Hunters. But since they are not touring, I get a second choice and have to say I will be buying tickets for my grandkids to see The Lion King.”
Since 2005, Marvin Shields Jr. has been a bassist, guitarist, vocalist, and musical director for Global Heat. At age 12, he began his musical career as a guitarist and drummer. Shields toured internationally performing with the world-class U.S. Air Force band Tops in Blue, including opening for the incomparable Al Green. His recording discography includes work on more than 12 albums. Shields is endorsed by the French guitar manufacturer Paul Lairat, who designed a signature bass for him. I asked him when people listen to him play is there is a musician that he’s been compared to? Shields replied, “They often mention how much they like my brand! However, on occasion I have gotten a Marcus Miller reference, I believe that’s more of how we love to wear our hats.”
Justin Murta, MC, DJ & Producer, is the one who really got the crowd started. His energy is infectious and his rap style vocals were clear and easy to understand. Murta is a professional musician in every sense of the word. Over the past 10+ years, he has performed in 34 countries at over 2,500 shows at festivals, schools, and venues. Whether performing as a soloist or with a group, he will surely rock the house. I asked Murta who has inspired him the most in his career. He replied, “Marvin Shields Jr. our Bass Player. He is naturally talented, a free spirit and is a role model in his work and personal life as well.”
Roz aka Rosalyn McCommon, Vocals, hails from the Kansas City area and grew up singing gospel music. In spite of spraining her ankle just before going on stage she was a trooper and sounded great with a large vocal range. Classically trained, she is a vocal coach, singer/songwriter, and plays keyboard, violin, light percussion and cajón. Roz said her “songwriting styles have ranged from orchestral arrangements to hip hop and country songs.” She performs regularly but also enjoys recording her own music in her home studio or recording background vocals. Roz’s love for music has allowed her to work with many styles of music and a wide range of professional artists like her fellow bandmates in Global Heat.
Michael Coble, Guitar, Flute and Vocals, joined the band in 2017. He earned a music performance degree in woodwinds then his post bachelor degree in music education. Coble toured the world as bandleader for six-piece show band aboard Holland America Line/Seabourn cruise ships from 2008-2013. He relocated to Seattle in 2013 after falling in love with the city and geography as well as the thriving music scene. Since then, he has been a public school music elementary teacher. I asked Coble what has been his favorite performance with Global Heat. He said, “...at Safeco Field for the graduation ceremony for Seattle colleges. It was amazing being on the jumbotron screen and hearing our songs over the massive sound system. Very appreciative and celebratory crowd!”
Drummer Nia Dupri Neal creates musical ‘in-the-pocket’ grooves by blending elements of funk, jazz, R&B, and pop. Nia began her professional journey in music as a teenager while attending the award-winning School of The Arts in Tacoma. She became a drummer for multiple church bands as well as cover bands on both the East and West coasts of the U.S. She also began co-composing songs with Crystal Aiken, winner of the first BET Sunday’s Best gospel competition. She has played with Dove Award Nominee Norman Hutchins, Anson Dawkins of Dawkins & Dawkins, Derek S. Clark, winner of the 2014 Stellar Award for Producer of the Year, Latin-pop band The Pazific, and reggae artist Toyin Adekale.
To see an upcoming Global Heat performance, visit their website at www.global-heat.com or on Facebook search GlobalHeat.