Tag Archives: dr. michael omidi

Traveling to Philippines to Change One Man’s Life



Julian and Michael Omidi have long been involved in sponsoring charitable causes that range from standing up to animal abuse to delivering aid to the poor around the world. Aside from donating money and initiating fundraising programs, however, the Omidi brothers also like to go beyond the usual philanthropic efforts. Indeed, in certain exceptional cases, they actually roll up their sleeves and put their skills to directly assist those in need. A remarkable example of their propensity for direct involvement in charitable work took place in the summer of 2013 when Julian and his mother, Cindi, sponsored Michael Omidi’s mission to travel to Philippines and operate on a man suffering from a massive neck lump caused by a thyroid goiter.


The 20-year-old patient in question had lived with his condition for 10 years. Since his large neck mass set him apart from the rest of people in his village, he found himself alienated from the rest of community, unable to keep a stable job or maintain a romantic relationship. Incapable of supporting himself financially, the man had been living with his aunt and her 6 children since both of his parents had passed away a while ago. For many years, he had been trying unsuccessfully to seek medical care for his condition by applying for various social programs that sometimes covered his doctor visits, but were generally insufficient to provide for any sort of effective treatment.


When local physicians advised him to undergo tests such as MRI and CT scan, he often found himself unable to follow up on these recommendations. In the absence of adequate medical facilities in his village, the patient’s only option was to travel to the cities in order to have the aforementioned diagnostic procedures done. Unfortunately, not only did he lack the funds to travel, but his social programs did not even cover the tests. Making the mattes worse, local medical facilities required a long wait to undergo the MRI and CT scan, thus delaying the much-needed treatment.


Upon hearing the patient’s story, Julian and Cindi Omidi promptly gathered the funds to organize a charitable mission and deliver assistance as quickly as possible. To ensure success of the mission, the Omidi family also reached out to Yolanda Abaca, an experienced nurse and philanthropist who helped organize social workers and handled communications with the governor. Her daughter, Maria Abaca, oversaw the surgical details of the medical mission and, working closely with Yolanda, took care of innumerable tasks in preparation for the trip. The success of this mission could not have been possible without their invaluable contributions.

When Dr. Michael Omidi, a renowned plastic surgeon based in the Los Angeles area, arrived in the city of San Miguel, Bulacan Province, to perform an in-person exam, he was greeted with scorching heat. With the temperature outside being as high as 105 degrees, the patient came in wearing a scarf around his neck, immediately raising concerns about the severity of his condition but also attesting to his longstanding plight. Given the urgency of the situation and a limited amount of time at their disposal, Dr. Omidi and his staff quickly made arrangements for a CT scan. In order to guarantee safety of the procedure, they also made a thorough assessment of the facilities at a district hospital and, upon finding them inadequate to handle cases of this magnitude, insisted on access to the university hospital. In order to secure approval, Dr. Omidi convincingly demonstrated that the patient would need blood work, access to intensive care unit, and potent medications to manage the cardiovascular status (e.g., drop the pressure around large vessels, increase the blood pressure, ventilator to manage the airway overnight).



On the first day of surgery, Dr. Omidi and Dr. Lee Au removed the tumors from the front section of the neck. Following this procedure that took 16 hours, the patient remained in the intensive care unit overnight, intubated on the ventilator. On the second day, the patient was brought back to the operating room and Dr. Omidi spent an additional 8 hours to remove the tumors from the backside of the neck.

In the end, the surgery was a resounding success. All the tumors were removed along with half of the thyroid that was responsible for causing the neck mass. Dr. Omidi and his staff were careful to ensure that there were no injuries to any of the numerous nerves in the head and neck area. The patient recovered well and was sent home 4 days after the surgery.



In the months that followed, the Omidi brothers kept in touch with the patient who has now effectively assimilated back into his community. He no longer has to wear a scarf in the midst of a summer heat to earn acceptance from the townsfolk. The last time we have heard from him, this man has found a girlfriend and is currently studying at the local university to realize his goals of entering the construction industry. His dream is to build a new house for his aunt who lives in an old and rundown shack.

Sometimes, it takes not only financial assistance but also personal commitment and hard work to make a difference in someone’s life. At the end of the day, Julian and Michael Omidi know that helping a fellow human being in need is worth every effort, penny, and time spent.


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Julian Omidi on Exercise and Brain Shrinkage

Julian Omidi is cofounder of the charitable organization No More Poverty with his brother Dr. Michael OmidiNo More Poverty seeks to end global deprivation by supporting small charities who are already working to eradicate it.  In this article, Julian Omidi discusses a recent study that suggests physical exercise may help prevent brain atrophy as we grow older.

As we age, it is important to keep our physical and mental faculties strong.  This is thought to be achieved by engaging in social activities, reading, solving puzzles and getting regular exercise.  However, a new study seems to suggest that physical exercise may play a greater role in reducing brain shrinkage than we previously thought.

In an observational study conducted in Edinburgh, researchers followed a group of 70-year-olds who engaged in varying levels of physical and leisure activities.  It was determined that, after three years, the amount of brain atrophy was significantly lower in the subjects that exercised regularly than the subjects who were largely sedentary, but did engage in leisure activities such as crossword puzzles and regular reading.[1]

The subjects’ brains were analyzed on MRI scanners, and tracked the amount of grey matter load, normally occurring white matter load, atrophy and white lesion load.  The participants who exercised regularly displayed a low level of white lesion load and atrophy—conditions that are connected to Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

Although further testing must be done (it isn’t known what actually causes the erosion, and if exercise can correct it once it begins) and the sample of participants was small, it can be concluded that exercise is certainly a worthwhile endeavor no matter what your age.  But should we dismiss the merits of brain exercise?

There have been cognitive studies that seem to suggest that memory games, puzzles and social engagements do prevent the accumulation of brain plaque, which is present in those with Alzheimer’s disease.  Subjects that have engaged in mental exercises consistently from their early adulthood into later life exhibited low amounts of brain plaque and higher mental sharpness than those who did not[2].  Interestingly, physical exercise did not seem to affect the onset of brain plaque.

As we live to increasingly older ages, the management of cognitive abilities is paramount in keeping older adults functioning and independent members of society.  The studies may not be by any means conclusive, but it still can be surmised that keeping active and engaged as long as possible can only benefit society at large.

[1] Gow, Alan J, PhD: “Neuroprotective lifestyles and the aging brain: Activity, atrophy, and white matter integrity” Neurology 6/12/2012 http://www.neurology.org/content/79/17/1802.abstract?sid=e573c7aa-3451-4154-a21b-2a0558023ae4

[2] Landau, Susan M, PhD “Association of Lifetime Cognitive Engagement and Low β-Amyloid Deposition”  The JAMA Network Archives of Neurology May, 2012 http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1149704


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Filed under Exercise, Health, Julian Omidi, Weight Loss

Julian Omidi Supports The Story Project Because of Benefits of Storytelling

Julian Omidi formed No More Poverty with his brother Michael Omidi to enrich people’s lives. Julian Omidi understands the importance of storytelling, which is why the Omidi Brothers are supporting The Story Project in Los Angeles through No More Poverty.

An article that I read last year has always stuck with me. The article I read was from the New York Times and discussed the benefits that storytelling had on patient health. What was most interesting was that there was information from a study included in the text that had scientific data that pushed the benefits of storytelling beyond anecdotal evidence.

The study, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at the positive effects of telling and listening to stories on blood pressure and found that not only did all of those in the study see better blood pressure control, but those that suffered from uncontrolled hypertension achieved and maintained a drop in their blood pressure as significant as those that took medication.

Knowing this, think of the benefits that teaching children early on to use storytelling as a healthy mechanism in their lives could have on not only their lives but also on the lives of those around them. This is why I feel it is imperative to support charities such as The Story Project.

To quote Dr. Thomas K. Houston, who led the study:

“Telling and listening to stories is the way we make sense of our lives. Storytelling is human. We learn through stories, and we use them to make sense of our lives. It’s a natural extension to think that we could use stories to improve our health.”

The Story Project provides children with the ability to learn how to tell these stories through increasing literacy. Creative talent throughout Los Angeles volunteers their time and mentor children after-school, relating their skills and their personal experience in order to teach and inspire.

My brother Dr. Michael Omidi and I are proud to provide our support to The Story Project and help in their effort to provide the children of Los Angeles with one of the most important skills in life. Whether these children choose to go into the arts, marketing, history, science, or medicine, the ability to create and understand stories is imperative in all of these fields.

The Omidi Brothers hope that you will support the efforts of programs like The Story Project and others through our not-for-profit No More Poverty. Visit the No More Poverty Facebook page to learn more about this program and others.


Chen, Pauline W., M.D. “When Patients Share Their Stories, Health May Improve.”NYTimes.com. The New York Times Company, 10 Feb. 2011. Web. 11 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/10/health/views/10chen.html?_r=2&emc=eta1&gt;.


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Filed under Health, Julian Omidi, Storytelling

Dr. Tom Odgers Thanks Julian Omidi for Sponsorship – Julian Omidi Video

Dr. Tom Odgers thanked Julian Omidi for his generous contribution to the Challenge Golf Tournament held at the Porter Valley Country Club in Northridge, California.  The event provided special needs children with a day of fun and camaraderie at the golf course.

Other sponsors included:

Dr. Michael Omidihttp://michaelomidi.edublogs.org
Julian Omidi
Northridge Toyota
H&H Builders
Will Bennett
Bob Cutting

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