Categories
Leukaemia

Cheque Mates : Day +348

Visited CancerBACUP HQ near Old Street, London. Shown around the offices by the hospitable Danielle Larner and Jane Murphy. Lovely people working hard to keep a good thing going (Advocacy/Informational/Support to those affected by cancer).

Presented a cheque for

Categories
Leukaemia

Milt-on-air: Day +347

Been toying with the idea of doing miltlatest via PodCast, so those hard-of-reading folks who would rather hear my updates/music may do so and the lucky Ipod-ly ones could get automatic updates and carry them around their persons. Sounds interesting, maybe? So I (and my guitar, and monkey) did a short little technical test of it here.(Click on ‘listen’ under Podcast test, then hit play under the x-ray pic of my lungs)

Please let me know whether it worked or not (could you ‘subscribe’ to it? Did it appear in Itunes?) So do you think MiltOnAir is an idea with ‘wings’? Or is it the Icarus of podcasts??? Cheers, milt

Categories
Leukaemia

Racing Ahead: Day +346

Okay, a little overwhelmed by the response to my sponsorship request. I was hoping for over

Categories
Leukaemia

The Bone Marrow Times: Day +343

8-year old Daniel Kerkhoff received his stem cell transplant yesterday. So far, so good. Wishing him the best. Wanna help?

23-year old Jessica Mason (ALL(phase 2 end) Unrelated bone marrow match recently found has started her own blog of her great writing. Be a chum!

Categories
Leukaemia

Run for my Life : Day +343

Okay, as you may know I am doing a 10k charity run on 28th May 2006 in Regent’s Park for the marvellous CancerBACUP If you feel like sponsoring, may you live to be a thousand with the body of a 20 year old, a host of lovers and the latest Apple Mac- click here If you are unsure then please remember a couple of things.

1) It is less than a year since starting my Bone Marrow Transplant
2) I received the most intense amount of treatment a patient is expected to have in their lifetime

3) Ignoring points 1) & 2), when it comes to running, I am, well…shit.

so SPONSOR ME!!!

Categories
Leukaemia

Paper Moon : Day +340

Hello everybody, been back at work this work. A little fatigued, am still learning to balance my enthusiam for life with my current physical limitation. I am so clear about how I want to live, what creative projects I aspire to and what is good and worthwile in my life. But although its almost a year on from Bone Marrow Transplant, my body can’t easily forget that complete bollocking abuse it has received. Still I have many, many things for which to be grateful and I am not interested in moaning. Let’s just get on with it!:)

I was interviewed by the Evening Standard today, as they are interested in writing a story on me, looks like it may go ahead. The journalist, Rory Clements is very intelligent and sharp so am looking forward to see what he comes up with. I’ll keep you posted if and when it goes to print.

8^P MiltSpotting : Day +340

Check out the pictures page for some milton spottings around the globe.

First of all from 8-year old Daniel Kerkhoff (who is now in hospital readying for his BMT) Notice how he unearthed an ancient effigy of me on a can. Astonishing. There is also a picture of Allan Miskell spotting a dramatic mention of my name. Do the signs never stop? If you have any further evidece of further milt/milton symbols appearing worldwide, please let me know! I’ll start a cult or something.

Please let us spare a thought for these two brave young men. Daniel has been battling Leukaemia for 4 years (really not fair on a child-nice one loving & just god) and is receiving his Bone Marrow Transplant on March 19th. Let us also think of Allan who is having a really rough time in hospital since his recent leukamic relapse. Keep fighting, lads.

Categories
Leukaemia

New Life : Day +337

Wow, what a week:

Monday: Working hard, fine-tuning my excellent recording studio at the Royal Academy of Music. Visited Jess Mason in the Royal Free Hospital

Tuesday: Held meetings at the Academy, made great progress with the studio.
Wednesday: Prepared a lecture at home, found out I was to perform with Chris Garrick on Friday, probably the best, definitely my favourite jazz violinist in the world. Got a call from the Evening Standard interested in running a story on me.
Thursday: Gave an open lecture to a bunch of academics, PhD students, doctors & professors from various colleges on the role of new technology on contemporary music. Had a great time followed by lunch with the composer Steve Goss and Bridge.

Friday: Played an immensely enjoyable lunchtime concert with Chris Garrick & his band, all great players. Followed by assisting Chris with a 2 hour improvisaton seminar for the Royal College String students – A string ensemble, Chris Garrick and my guitar, bliss! Had a very entertaining afternoon with classical guitarist(s) Gary Ryan & Bridge.
Saturday: Bridget & I finished the last Modes article for Guitar Techniques Magazine. Got a really nice phone message from John Williams. Then went to the Apple Store, Regent Street for tech fix.(Big shout to Mike) Decided yet again that Apple design (inside & out) is so far ahead of the game that felt I had been thawed some time in the future. Then started writing a miltcentral update…

Quite fun compared to the same time last year. N’est ce pas?

Other news, please wish my sister (& Bone marrow donor) Alex, best of luck for her Tae Kwon Do BLACK BELT exams on March 25th. Living proof that one can recover from a bone marrow donation in style, and then kick someone’s arse while wearing a dressing gown. She is also just writing up her PhD. What next? A Blue Peter Badge?!(erm USA people, Blue Peter was a children’s show where they would give out Blue Peter badges to deserving kids, like if they rescued a hedgehog from inside a dishwasher or could stick marbles up their noses etc)

Thinking of a few people today:
Jess Mason (23, London, UK) just got the news that a fully-matched donor has been found for her, should she opt for BMT- which is great news.

Daniel Kerkhoff (8, Sheffield, UK) has his BMT planned for March 19th- my best wishes and strength to him and family.
Michael Brecker (World famous Jazz saxophonist) was unable to find a full-match donor, despite an international search. He underwent a half-match SCT from his daughter and is currently fighting through its challenges.
Lucia Pasqualino (16,Blackpool, UK) & Gareth Mace (20, London, UK) who are both receiving treatment for ALL

…and many others of whom I will speak soon.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again PLEASE join the bone marrow register NOW! You can be the most important person in a whole community of people’s hearts and in a couple of months be kicking someone’s arse in a dressing gown while they called you ‘doctor’ That’s what my sister, Alex is doing!!!

Light, Milt 🙂

Categories
Leukaemia

Floydian Trip: Day +330

Had the pleasure of meeting up with Floyd London(aka Matt Julians) & Sophie Denny today. Floyd is a survivor of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (diag. Sept 04) & the erstwhile bassist of the rock group “The Almighty” Sophie is highly knowlegeable and an active campaigner for Leukaemia Research. They recently arranged a mega-concert for charity and Floyd is often in the media spotlight. It was great to meet them again and chat about our experiences, Floyd had some pretty dicey moments along the way but is looking great now. Floyd and Soph were recently married. Aw.

You can see some pics of the day here as well as some pre-leuk pics of Floyd in finest rock form. In the words of the Almighty, a message to cancer:

“Welcome To Defiance”

FYB, Milt:)

Categories
Leukaemia

Lent me your Ears : Day +330

What are you all giving up for Lent? i have decided on two things in particular:

Abstinence and self-control.

I’ll let you know how I get on, I appreciate all your support in my endeavours, hopefully I can do it. Milt 🙂

Categories
Leukaemia

Marching On : Day +329

Wow look at the Day above! My re-Birthday looms. A slice of marrow cake perchance? What news you ask? Well, details pending, I have been asked to do A 10k men-only (boo) run for cancerBACUP on the 28th May 2006 in Regent’s Park. The theme is ‘Heroes’ (i.e. running for you personal hero and/or simply dressing up) I think I’m going to avoid the expected choices of Superman, Spiderman et al in favour of something else. However, since not many people would recognize Stravinsky (Heroic musical pioneer) I have another idea which I will share soon. Anyone interested in taking part or even sponsoring me please stay tuned for details. I will report back on my (gulp) training soon. Ish.

Next Thursday I am giving an open lecture at the York Gate museum (Royal Academy of Music) on new aspects of technology regarding composition & performance. Should be fun, but a lot more preparation required!

The other day I visited the lovely Jessica Mason. As mentioned before, Jess is a 23-year old Aussie living in London. She is trained as a nurse but has serious artistic tendencies and talent. On 28th December 2005, Jess was diagnosed with ALL. She is currently in phase II of UKALL treatment at the Royal Free and is doing great in the face of the heavy treatment (I know it all too well) BMT plans are unclear. We had a great chat about art, music, leukaemia, mortality, atheism, cat behaviour and chinese food. I send my best wishes to her, her boyfriend Chris and her mum during these ‘interesting’ times. I am moved by her bravery, spirit and wisdom in dealing with her leukaemia. Ripper Mate!! (check out the pictures)

More soon, loads going on…but must dash.

Milt J x

Categories
Leukaemia

Gutted: Day +322

You would think that nothing could surprise me any more. I had a busy but absorbing week at work fine-tuning my studio at the Royal Academy of Music-[/nerd mode on] May I just say that Miller & Kreisel 5.1 Speakers & Audient Mixing consoles is about as good as audio gets.[/nerd mode off]

Was all set for a relaxing weekend when Bridget came back from work complaining about feeling slightly unwell. Well her condition worsened throughout the night, until she was screaming in AGONY with stomach pain. The usual home remedies didn’t work, so after a telephone consulation with an NHS emergency nurse, I had no choice but to call an ambulance. It was horrilble to watch her suffering. By this time Bridget was delirious with pain and vomiting in a manner that would make an exorcist suddenly remember he had another meeting planned. Well the ambulance came and we had the blue light treatment to good old Charing Cross Hospital (my home for 3 months).

She was given a cannular, some anti-sickness medication and a one hour saline drip. Verdict: Gastroenteritus, cause unknown.(possibly food poisoning). Fortunately she has been recovering well despite shakiness and loss of appetite for the next couple of days. I tried to look after her as best I could. It was, of course, very ironic and ‘slightly’ amusing to have such a role reversal, but I am very grateful it passed quickly. Wanna see some pics? She is doing fine now and despite my protestations plans to return to work tomorrow. Can I just say that where it matters, the NHS are fantastic and a very civilized entity.(My US friends, the NHS (National Health Service) treats ALL people equally regardless of insurance or income for FREE. We all pay through taxes, the concept is that our health is no-ones ‘fault’ and everyone’s responsibility. That is a further issue I have with such practices as smoking, as it unnecessarily costs everybody by increasing the load on healthcare. Of course it is seriously underfunded and people will complain of waiting ages for new hips etc, but I am biased by my superb (and free) treatment-the costs otherwise would have amounted to the value of a nice little flat in London!)

In other news, I found a stash of hospital pictures and movies that never made it to the editing stage. Gigabytes of them. I’ll start to sort over the next few weeks and post things up of interest.

You may have noticed Bridget’s Sheryl Crow T-shirt- she is a big fan. (As am I- she is an extremely talented musician, has an incredible voice and as a sexy 44-year old child-free independent & creative woman is really inspirational) Ironically about the same time Bridget was dripped up, Sheryl Crow was undergoing treatment for Breast Cancer (early stages) Reminds me that cancer really is everywhere, no-one is immune and nothing is guaranteed. So get on with everything you know you want to do. Now.

My 8-year old buddy, Daniel has been given a date for his Bone Marrow Transplant: 16th March. Thinking of him and his family.

Now go on and enjoy yourselves, milt

Categories
Leukaemia

Articles of Faith: Day +317

Hello everyone, just a quick update before I collapse into a bed- I am living life to the full these days but am getting rather behind on sleep -So am learning to pace myself and to stay motivated but on a slower burn. It’s not working.
It was great to see an article on the EGO concert in Guitar Techniques Magazine (April 2006 p 15) Have a look. Nice to see.
Bridge has a great column on the Mixolydian mode in the same magazine. She has been getting back on track after one hell of a year and has some lovely new audio clips on her site. Go have a peek when you have a free lane on the “Information Superhighway” (Is that really a worse name than ‘World Wide Web?’ – Why, oh why did we not call it ‘The Matrix’ ,’CyberSphere”, ‘The Data Multiverse’ or ‘The Nexus’?? What a waste! )

On Tuesday I visited the lovely Jess Mason- A 23-year old aussie girl being treated for ALL in the Royal Free Hospital. It was a real pleasure to meet her. She is suffering without internet access, when will hospitals realize that Broadband ranks above Television, Hifi and a landline phone in terms of basic civilized human needs? – Don’t know if this is the case in other parts of the world, but the exploiatation of patients in terms of phone call prices in hopsitals is deeply criminal. Leeches.

My best wishes, respect and encouragement to Jess Mason, Daniel Kerkhoff and all of you going through a BIG challenge. You can do it.

Milt 🙂

Categories
Leukaemia

Dan the Man: Day +312

Just got back from a trip to Sheffield to visit the Kerkhoff family (Jan, Neil, Antony & Daniel). Here are some pictures. 8-year old Daniel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when he was 4. He has spent a daunting amount of his life undergoing treatment, and at the end of last year, unfortunately exerienced a relapse of the leukaemia. An unrelated Bone Marrow Transplant is planned for March. This will involve total body irradiation & chemotherapy. Understandably, Jan & Neil are very concerned about him, but Daniel remains as brave, positive and undaunted as ever. We all went bowling and had a mickyD’s ( a Mer-mickyD’s?). Indidentally, I ate like a pig: my appetite is back with an agenda. I had a great day and Daniel is very brave, calm, uncomplaining and extremely funny. I also had the pleasure of meeting Paula Westnidge and her 11-year old son, Liam. Liam was diagnosed a year ago with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He seemed to be coping very well with his treatment. He is also a pretty mean electric guitarist- A tidy player with good time! We jammed some AC/DC and Maiden:)

Enoying the company of the Kerkhoff family, I missed my last train home and had to stay the night. This had nothing to do with their projection screen and Sky movies subscription, of course:)
I slept under a Sheffield United Football Team duvet, and dreamt about when I was 8 years old, ski-ing in Switzerland without a care in the world.

Follow Your Bliss, and please give blood and register your marrow, milt:)

Categories
Leukaemia

A Little Plea: Day +306

I received an email today, from a lady who is desperately looking for a bone marrow match for her son.
If you have healthy bone marrow then please, please consider registering. It is quick and easy. In most likelihood that would be it and you could continue your life knowing that you’ve done something good. If you actually became a donor then you would have the opportunity to save someone’s life(with negligible personal risk)
How do you think that would feel? Go on, do a good thing and have a chance to be someone’s personal hero: register
The amazing jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker is in a similiar situation.

FYB, Milt P.s. if you do register, let me know so I can show my appreciation:)

Categories
Leukaemia

Modern Letting: Day +301

I have a new video up. It is designed as a desensitization tool for the needlephobic. Breath deep and watch and repeat. Bye, milt

Categories
Leukaemia

Past Tense, Future Perfect?: Day +300

Okay I had a blood test yesterday and the results were ‘perfect’: WBC: normal RBC: normal Platelets: normal HGB: 12.1 (slightly low for male, but normal for female blood!)
There doesn’t seem to be any sign of infection. I am now off the Septrim-leaving just 2 daily tablets of penicillin as my leukaemia treatment. I now go in for routine check-ups at Hammersmith Hospital just once a month. Compare that to Day 8 (16th Apil 2005)

20-hour anti-sickness drugs, 20-hour liquid morphine, 3 x 10-minute antibiotic syringes, 1-hour antibiotic drip, 20-hour Osmolite ‘feed’, 6-hour hydration drip. 3-hour immuno-suppresant, 10-minute methotrexate chemo injection, 2-hour saline drip, 2 blood-tests, 1 Chest X-Ray, 10 ‘obs’ (blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation and temperature readings), 1-hour magnesium drip, 5-minute piriton injection, 1-hour platelet transfusion, 12 antibiotic/antifungal tablets, 6 antibiotic mouthwashes and 2 soluble paracetamol.

Some change I guess?

I have a new EGO event planned. It is going to be sooooo good. Want a sneak preview?

I will pin down a date, venue and personnel in the next few weeks- wanna come?

Man, I had a weird experience today. I was led to a site of a band I played with once. There is a promo video on the site and it has a couple of close ups of me.
What is strange is that I unknowingly had Leukaemia at the time. Which kind of explains me not looking too well in the vid. If you want to see what someone in the early stages of leukaemia looks like: Click here then click the Natural Woman(live) clip.

Yesterday saw a concert at Radley College of Bridget’s guitar students. It was really impressive! – both Bridget’s work and the talents of the kids. Hopefully they’ll all go into politics or banking and leave my patch alone 😉

More soon, I am working on my first vid in ages:) FYB, milt

Categories
Leukaemia

The Show goes on: Day +298

Hello all. Been working at the academy again and keeping myself busy. PHD research, directing the CTL research centre, coaching a Jazz guitar quartet, reading ‘Unweaving The Rainbow’ (Dawkins)-recommended and trying to make my home beautiful. I have also, you will be most delighted to hear, memorized all the eons, eras. periods and epochs of prehistoric earth. Thats 4.6 billion years. 4.6 BILLION? That is impossible to fathom. I mean, I remember some pretty dull religious education classes at school, and even they didn’t feel quite as long as that. I digress.

As you might have guessed I have already started the ball rolling for the next EGO event. Those of you who missed the last one, please read the reviews below before you decide that you can afford to miss this one too:) Stay tuned for info…

Last tuesday I visited a brave young man, Gareth Mace, who is at Guy’s Hospital undergoing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

I was taken by the courage and stoicism of Gareth and his mother, Fiona. I will see them again soon. It seems that I am now inextricably connected to the Leukaemia community- it’s nothing that I planned but, despite how difficult it is sometimes, it’s also nothing I would change.

There’s more to say but its 1.30am and I’m super tired- Nighty Tighty-milt x

Categories
Leukaemia

Rapid Response: Day +295

Wonderful responsees from the audience members at Saturday’s concert: Read

Categories
Concerts & Gigs Leukaemia

Tomorrow’s Nostalgia: Day +294

The show was awesome.

How good was it? If you had the misfortune of not being there, I’m sorry to say you really missed out – come to the next one! All the players had a marvellous time, If the audience enjoyed it half as much as we did, then it was a truly great show.
Everything that could have gone wrong before the concert, did: I had to reprint 145 programmes because of a serious error, despite specific instructions the hall was literally FREEZING on the day- MASSIVELY compromising the rehearsals and physical preparation for the show (the classical guitarists suffered terribly from frozen fingers and performed formidably in the face of adversity)- noisy industrial heaters were brought in hours later-but the damage was done. Thanks Venezuela! May I remind you that this country is bloody freezing in January!
Oh yes and the car got towed while we were unloading gear. BAR STAR DOZE. But despite everything the gig was really great, I will be updating the pictures very soon.

While the show was just storming on, my great friend Steve Goss said to me “You realize that this is tomorrow’s nostalgia?” Nicely put.

My profoundest thanks to all the wonderful guitarists: Bridget, Steve Goss, Gary Ryan, Graham Roberts, Tristan Seume, Pete Callard, Chris Montague and… John Williams

Huge gratitude to all the audience and everyone else who supported the event.

If I had to choose between never having leukaemia or having battled leukaemia and getting the opportunity to have life experiences like this one – it would be a no-brainer 🙂

PICTURE APPEAL

Were you at the concert? Did you take any pics or movies? If so please contact me. I’d love to see them.

Thanks! Milton

If you are interested in attending future events, stay tuned…

Categories
Fundraising Leukaemia

Milton’s Big EGO concert

Milton’s first big post-cancer gig, featuring 8 sensational guitarists. The Eclectic Guitar Orchestra presents a melting pot of styles to warm up a winter’s night.

The Time? Saturday January 28th 2006. 7pm
The Place? Bolivar Hall, Venezuelan Embassy. 54, Grafton Way London W1T 5DL
The Cost? By donation. Suggested is

Categories
Leukaemia

Deeply Floored: Day +283

Hello all. Today, I sent a fax to the great guitarist (not the composer) John Williams. Those of you who don’t know him, believe me when I say that he is THE most famous (…accomplished, important and most probably talented) Classical guitarist in the world today. Bar none. I sent him a simple but heartfelt letter about my concert ,why I was doing it, my experiences with cancer and the importance of music in my healing. I was hoping for some nice words from him to announce at the concert. Anyway he calls me within an hour, and says he would be delighted to play in the concert.
So he is playing some solos and a piece or two with my guitar orchestra. It is hard to express what an honour it is for us all. I just want to thank him for his generosity in providing his phenomenal musical services-and making the event even more special for me. Read about him here

What a year. I look at the pictures from a few months ago when I was on deaths door and too weak to move and now I am playing with my own orchestra of great musicians and friends…with John Williams

Tickets are going super-fast so I may have to increase the suggested donation level. Get in there quick if you are on the fence, you don’t want to miss this.

What a year, what a life. Excuse me, I will now go and jump up and down for a bit. Then cry. Then jump up and down again.

Live your best lives people, look forward to meeting some of you on the 28th! Follow your bliss, Milton

Categories
Leukaemia

Not a rehearsal: Day +280

Life is not a rehearsal, but It contains them. Just like the one we had today for my concert

It was a real blast to have so many fine and diverse guitarists together for this event, and all I had to do was get Leukaemia. Not too hard.

Why don’t you come to the concert? It is by donation so pay as little (or as much) as you like. You will hear some great musicians, meet alot of people united by a) the desire to confront cancer and/or b) the desire to celebrate music and life. Details about booking are above. Come! I am doing this for a celebration of life not for money or glory!

Till the next time… Milton

Categories
Leukaemia

From Hospital to Hospitality: Day +269

Okay, now this was a pleasant surprise: My would-be community in Dallas, Texas, when they heard I wasn’t coming created this video It was created by Ken & Kat Shimamoto. What a lovely thing to do, eh? It makes me look forward doubly to when I can get over there.

In medical news, I have inherited the Beta Thalassaemic trait from my sister. This is a condition when you have smaller, but more plentiful red blood cells. Nothing good, nothing bad but something interesting!

Am desperately trying to get the arrangements done for the concert so I’ll be off, then.

See y’all later: Texan Milt

Categories
Leukaemia

GTFOOHA Day: Day + 265

I am back home! Apparently the infection has been adequately stamped out now. I spent each of the last 4 days like this: 6 hours of antibiotic inhaler (through a mask), 3 antibiotic drips one blood test, 10 or so general obs, an x-ray, a lot of coughing, fair amount of Xmas TV and a good 5 hours of daily guitar practice. It was the best hospital room I have ever stayed in, very clean, newly painted, a decent view, natural light, good artificial light, entertainment centre, well-sized and of course I had some music equipment to pass the time productively. Thanks for all your well wishes, I am doing okay, still a bit wobbly from the infection, isolation and powerful antibiotics. Just off to walk the London Parks with Bridget, then some music prep for the concert, a long discussion about goals for 2006 and if well enough, a party in the evening. When I was a kid I had a book about life in the future (the 21st century –woaah) and so where are my handheld video phones, computers in every home with enormous freely-accessible worldwide information library & discussion forum, powerful personal music studio, 100’s of tv channels, ultra-realistic computer games, miniturization of music libraries, alternate energy sources, space tourism, satellite navigation and smart ovens??? Oh. They are here. Okay now I want a robot called T.R.E.V.O.R. to do all the housework, advise me on fashion choices and call me ‘sir’ in a soothing monophonic tone. Flying cars, clean air and world peace now please.

Resolutions* (* I reserve the right to modify these at whim at any time during the year)

1) Enjoy/appreciate/live every day with gratitude, good humour, hope, patience arrrgh blablabla
2) Give up Caffeine. (Apart from a cappucino in early January and most days after.)
3) Immerse myself in creativity and make my lifes enjoyment

Happy New Year…love Milton

Categories
Leukaemia

Revolutions, Resolutions + Evolutions: 5 am Day + 267

Happy New Year! Spent the evening at our friend Felicity’s house. Dinner & then endless songs on the guitar till 4am. My kind of party. Here are my:

RESOLUTIONS*
(* I reserve the right to modify these at whim at any time during the year)

1) Enjoy/appreciate/live every day with gratitude, good humour, hope, patience blablabla
2) Be the best guitarist & musician that I can be. Do lots of gigs/creative projects.

3) Give up Caffeine. (Apart from a cappucino in early January and most days thereafter.)
4) Immerse myself in creativity and make my lifes experience a fundamental priority.
5) Get out and see the world, look after my body, take exercise
6) Make plans to move into a beautiful new home with lots of natural light, a large open-plan living-room, a music room, in a great location and a proper bedroom. Yes.
7) Spread honesty, positivity & inspiration as much as possible around me
8) Make Bridget’s year as good as I can.

9) Suck the marrow out of life!

There are many more. Feel free to post yours on the guestbook…

Make it a good one, it’s the only 2006 we have! Milton

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