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Palin speaks at Convocation Nov. 4 Book signing for a cure Men’s basketball wins tournament B10 B1 30 th Today: Mostly Sunny 58/41 Tomorrow: A.M. Clouds/P.M. Sun 60/51 ‘83 Tuesday, December 3, 2013 Liberty University ‘13 Volume 31 • Issue 11 Lynchburg, Va. Falwell gets fit Christmastime President loses 75 pounds Melanie Oelrich chocolate, apple cider and Christmas cookies were available for students as they sang carols and waited for the lighting of the tree. Several students were chosen to participate in a Christmas costume contest where audience applause determined the winner. Just 48 hours before the 2012 Commencement, President Jerry Falwell, Jr. experienced symptoms of what he later found out to be a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) — a miniature stroke. “There was numbness in my hand, my face started to droop, and Becki noticed that I was drooling,” Falwell said. “I told her I didn’t have any feeling in my hand, and I could barely speak. It only lasted a couple of minutes, but it was very strange.” Falwell was then rushed to the hospital where he stayed overnight as doctors ran tests to determine what was happening. What he originally thought was a symptom of his occasional migraines turned out to be TIA. “I initially didn’t tell my family, and the interview with WSET on Nov. 7 was the first time that I talked about it publicly,” Falwell said. “Lots of people my age contacted me after seeing the WSET interview and told me their similar stories, but most of them have had the bigger stroke that usually follows the ministroke.” Falwell said he was “blessed by God” that he was able to catch the symptoms in time and turn his habits around into a healthier lifestyle before they became deadly. “The doctors said that if I could keep my blood pressure low for six to eight months and leave it there, the blood vessels that were damaged would grow back,” Falwell said. Although Falwell’s stroke did not originally initiate the weight loss, not having to worry about any surprise health problems is definitely a benefit to losing the weight, Falwell said. “I had been on blood pressure medication for 15 years, and the doctor wanted to put me on cholesterol medicine as well, but I declined that,” Falwell said. “Instead, I started changing my eating habits, and I progressively lost the weight.” Falwell, who is now medication-free, turned 50 last year, and at that point, he said he began to care more about his weight and personal health. The first month of his new weight loss plan, Falwell cut out sweet tea, soft drinks and any other kind of sweet drinks, he said. The second month, he cut out burgers, and during the third month, he started eating fruit to go along with his chicken sandwich. Over a span of 18 months, Falwell dropped from 240 to 165 pounds, total of 75 pounds in weight loss. See TREE, A7 See HEALTH, A8 Ruth Bibby | Liberty Champion TWINKLE — Students came to see the fourth-annual Christmas In Lights Monday, Nov. 18. Trees light up campus Students gather to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season Sophia Hahn Gabriella Fuller Students packed the front steps of DeMoss Hall to watch the fourth-annual Christmas In Lights hosted by Student Activities Monday, Nov. 18. The festivities began at 7 p.m. with the brass ensemble and the university choirs performing “Carol of the Bells.” Dylan Stine, senior and Student Activities staff member, then welcomed the students to the event. According to Stine, the early Christmas celebration brought out more than 1,000 students. Free hot Winterfest to provide new opportunities Starting this year, students will become involved with the concert by filling production and hosting positions Sophia Hahn Liberty University is planning to have its largest Winterfest yet, with more than 8,000 people packing the campus, and some students will have the opportunity of a lifetime, according to John Rost, director of campus productions. Matthew Hockensmith, special events coordinator under national recruitment, explained that Winterfest is a fun way for juniors in high school and early collegeage students to bring in the New Year. “Winterfest is two action-packed days of high-energy activities and entertainment, and life-changing spiritual growth,” said. Liberty is now using students as well as professionals to help produce Winterfest, Rost said. Students will be taking on production roles as well as the four hosting positions. “As we develop the program in the School of Communication & Creative Arts, we are trying to look for opportunities where students can get involved in a professional status,” Rost said. “The goal is to pair production students with professionals in a mentoring relationship so that they are learning from skilled people that have many years of experience.” According to Rost, more than 40 students showed up to try out for the hosting position Wednesday, Nov. 6, which can help students get hands-on experience. INSIDE THE CHAMPION News Sports Feature Students submit commercials in Doritos Super Bowl competition. A8 Field hockey and women’s soccer make it to first round of NCAA championships. B1 Thomas Road Baptist Church prepares for the Virginia Spectacular. B10 “We have at Liberty many people that are looking toward careers in front of the camera, and there is only so much that can happen in a classroom environment,” Rost said. “This is an opportunity to put future TV hosts in front of a real camera, in front of a real audience with real pressure.” News Opinion Sports Feature See WINTERFEST, A2 A1 A4 B1 B10

Liberty champion dec 3 2013

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