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Linda and Tony Bloom’s Personal Battle with MS Inspires a Charity

Linda BloomIn most cases, personal battles especially those won over a rare health condition generate inspiration and motivation. But for Linda and Tony Bloom, their battle against Multiple Sclerosis inspired more than just that. In fact, they built a charity for it with the hopes of helping more people diagnosed with the said disease.

More than a decade ago, Linda Bloom, an Australian-born psychologist and wife to businessman-investor and Brighton & Hove Albion F. C. chairman Tony Bloom, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This degenerative neurological disease that affects the central nervous system and disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between it and the body is a disabling condition that is known to have varying effects and symptoms that often come in relapses.

The symptoms, their combination, frequency and gravity can vary from one patient to the next. They often include dizziness, vision problems, fatigue, muscle stiffness, spasms, balance problems, memory incapacity, emotional instability, bladder issues, speech difficulty, slurring, and even complete paralysis.

As of this writing, no specific cure or cause for MS has been discovered. The treatments and medications available in the market only serve to deter the relapses and prolong their life but never free them from the condition. Perhaps the most common would be a shot of steroids during a major relapse. It’s also so rare that it only affects about 0.0357% of the entire world’s population.

Linda’s case was so severe that she recalls not being able to pick up a pen or get up from her seat. She luckily met Professor George Jelinek who helped her go on a retreat where she followed an evidence-based diet and lifestyle approach to manage her MS and to help her have a much better quality of life. With the help of proper diet, adequate exercise, self-hypnosis and meditation yoga, she eventually got back on two feet.

The experience led her and her husband to set up a charity to help those suffering from the same condition thus the OMS (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) Foundation was born. Tony Bloom is no stranger to philanthropic work as he has already set up the Bloom Foundation beforehand with its advocacy on poverty. For the OMS foundation, he even ran and participated in the Brighton Marathon, a road race that takes place every April in Brighton on the south coast of England, in 2011 and 2015 to raise both funds and awareness for the charity.


The Real Reason Why Sports Makes You Happy

football happyAny type of sport is one hell of an exercise. It’s a total workout not just of the physical body but the mind too. But if there’s one thing that all this adrenaline and sweat can definitely bring to the table, that’s happiness. Yes, sports make people happy and we don’t mean merely watching a game and seeing your favorite team win.

According to science, the reason behind the flood of feel good emotions has a lot to do with biology. As we play a sport and exercise, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine which is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness.

Additionally, sports enable the body to become acquainted with stress. These games whether played casually or competitively involves a combination of bodily movements, tactics and problem solving skills. These create an environment that involves low-level stress characterized by a higher heart rate, a burst of hormonal changes and shots of adrenaline. By subjecting oneself to these, the body gets more acquainted with it thereby helping one become stronger and better at handling the stress over time to a point where it’s barely even felt. Think about this as something like a shot of vaccine.

It makes us happy because it increases our confidence. We can credit sports for two reasons here. First, because it is a workout per se, the body develops. One develops stronger bones and leaner muscles. These alone can improve one’s physical. But more than that, playing a game can boost one’s self-assurance too. It takes just as much mental prowess to play sports. Completing a game regardless of winning is very fulfilling and satisfying. Plus, one learns a lot about oneself from talents to how one is able to manage stress to thinking patterns and decision making capabilities.

Experts also suggest that sports make people happier simply because they ease anxiety. Although not a replacement for therapy, it helps release frustrations, emotional outbursts, worries and anger. People who have suffered from anxiety can consider sports as a healthy outlet to help relieve tension.

Last but not the least, it makes us healthy. As the adage goes, health is wealth. Don’t a lot of problems arise when our bodies are below par? Plus, the healthier we are the more capable we become of achieving certain goals and that makes us happy.

Now, what sport are you planning to play? Can we join in?

The Link Between Tony Bloom and Football

Tony BloomTony Bloom. Does the name ring a bell? If it does then we’re not surprised. This man has made a name for himself during the past couple of years so he’s bound to come up somewhere. Perhaps one of, if not the most, noteworthy things about him would have to be football.

Does he play in the World Cup then? No but his contributions to the sport are pretty much groundbreaking and extremely remarkable.

During the 1970s in the English seaside resort town of Brighton, Anthony Grant, nicknamed Tony, was born to a family of football aficionados and fanatics. As a child, he would often attend matches at the Goldstone Ground together with his brother, father and grandpa.

In the same decade, his grandfather Harry who was a well-known hotel owner and motor trader became vice chairman of the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (also called the “Albions” or the “Seagulls”) with Mike Bamber as chairman. This was a groundbreaking time as the club rose from the old Third Division to the First Division of the Football League. In the 1980s his uncle Ray served as director.

By the year 2000, Tony himself has supported the sport and the club by becoming one of its major stockholders and investors. He even personally financed the construction of two groundbreaking structures namely the American Express Community Stadium aka the Amex which serves as the home of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. and the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. The two have long since opened their doors back in 2011 and 2014 respectively. These two, Tony helped finance from his personal pocket. Talk about fan devotion!

And as fate would have it, Tony Bloom like his grandpa Harry and uncle Ray served a very important post as the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman officially as of May 2009 and up to the present. He succeeded the 12 year post held previously by Harry Dick Knight.

Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom unlike his predecessors appears to be more timid in comparison. Known to be a man of a few words, he may not come with as much long and grand speeches but he is someone who definitely can walk the talk. All his achievements and contributions to Brighton, to the club and to the sport has earned him the respect of many which was why he was voted and awarded as “Brightonian of the Year” in 2009.