Monday, January 17, 2011

Rob Lowe

The actor Rob Lowe has launched a campaign to make cancer patients more aware of a common and potentially dangerous side effect of chemotherapy: infections. Chemo typically kills off white blood cells, which act as the body's natural way to fight off infections. Thus, chemo can make cancer patients more prone to infections that their bodies can't fight off.

Lowe is part of a campaign called "By My Side," which urges cancer patients to do things like join support groups and be aware of issues like infections. The campaign is supported by Amgen, which makes the drug Neulasta, which helps restore white blood cells after chemo more quickly than they would have on their own.

Lowe's father is a Non-Hodgkin's survivor, which is what got Lowe so involved in all of this. Nice that he's using his celebrity status to do something good.


While Lowe is most famous for being part of the "Brat Pack" in the 1980's, starring films like St. Elmo's Fire with other young people, and for his role in The West Wing, I think Isabel and I will always remember him as Alex in the 1990 film Bad Influence. Here is a summary of the film, courtesy of a user of IMDb:

Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while jogging, Michael runs into the stranger on a pier. He introduces himself as Alex, and the two go out to an under- ground club. Within a matter of days, Alex wheedles his way into Michael's life and turns it upside down, and Michael doesn't realize that Alex is a dangerous sociopath until it's too late.

It's as awesomely horrible as it sounds. I wish I could find a video clip of the best/worst scene in the movie: Rob Lowe's character Alex coaxes his new pal Michael to admit out loud just how much Michael hates his boss. Michael eventually does so. Alex then insists that they toast the hated boss. Michael reluctantly does so. Alex then knocks the shot glass out of Michael's hand, berating him, "Are you the kind of man who toasts his enemies?!"

None of you will truly appreciate that, except Isabel; that alone makes it worth mentioning.

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