280 Living September 2023

Page 1

Road warrior

Greystone woman runs from Mexico to Canada

Nikki Harvey recently completed a journey that she says has changed her life forever. The Greystone resident ran from Mexico to Canada, raising funds for food banks in Alabama as well as the Midwest states through which she ran.

Harvey’s run spanned 47 days and 1,849 miles. She raised more than $10,000 to help feed people in need. But it wasn’t a smooth journey to get there.

“To be fully transparent, I didn’t want to do this. When I say I didn’t want to do this, I mean I didn’t think I could do this and didn’t want to waste my time, my family’s time and any expenses tied to it,” the 49-year-old said. “The preceding weeks consisted of worry, trepidation and uneasiness. One thing I have

that no one can take away from me is my word. If I say I am going to do something, I’m not backing out unless it is absolutely necessary.”

Paul Noble, a running friend of Harvey’s from the Midwest, had the idea to make the journey across the country and asked Harvey if she would be interested in joining him. She was not initially, but she decided to do it.

“I’m so glad I did,” she said. “There are no words to express the things I’ve seen — the beauty, the people.”

Harvey’s cross-country run was almost stopped before it even began.

“Four days before we were to leave for Mexico, I ran D3, a 24-hour race on a 400meter track right outside of Philadelphia.

launched app helps users navigate the cancer-fighting process

Scalici is the president and CEO of the Fighting Cancer Network, a recently launched app that he said will “change the paradigm of the cancer experience.”

In 2019, he received a phone call from a friend he hadn’t heard from in a while. Mike Owsley invited him to meet for coffee and presented to Scalici the concept of the Fighting Cancer Network.

Scalici said he instantly understood the problem Owsley was aiming to solve, and he shared some suggestions, but he initially said no when Owsley asked him to lead the project because it hit too close to home.

See CANCER | page A28

Learn more about 280-area schools and tutoring services in our annual Education Guide. Discover 280-area health and wellness services in our biannual Medical Guide. Sponsors A4 City A6 Business A9 Community A15 Schoolhouse A18 Events A26 Sports B1 Opinion B9 INSIDE facebook.com/280living See page A24 See page B10 Education Guide Fall Medical Guide September 2023 | Volume 16 | Issue 11 THE 280 CORRIDOR’S COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE 280LIVING.COM | STARNESMEDIA.COM BROUGHT TO YOU BY SERVING THE 280 CORRIDOR, HOMEWOOD, HOOVER, MOUNTAIN BROOK, TRUSSVILLE AND VESTAVIA HILLS With braces for only $125 per month, it’s easy to smile more at Birmingham Orthodontics. Schedule a free consultation at BhamSmile.com. See HARVEY | page A30
A cup of coffee with an old friend and a stop on the way home from that meeting are what led Matt Scalici to a meaningful job opportunity to finish out his working career.
cancer companion
The Fighting Cancer Network app is intended to give patients and caregivers trustworthy information and support as they go through cancer treatment.
Photo by
Nikki Harvey in her Greystone neighborhood. Harvey completed a 47-day road run from Matamoros, Mexico, near the southern tip of Texas, to Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada, along the United States border of Minnesota. Photo by Erin Nelson.
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From left: Jena Green, RN, BSN; Addy Hoezee, PA-C; Danette Bentley, MD; Elizabeth Chase, MD; Evans Bailey, MD, PhD; Abby Melton, PA-C; Jennifer Samson CRNP.

We’ll help your new family get off to a beautiful start.

If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, we know you have questions. The physicians at Women’s Health Specialists of Birmingham are here to help answer them – and with new providers, including Alexia Novara, M.D., it’s easier than ever to make an appointment. From nutrition and exercise to birth plans and post-delivery support, we are trained and focused on giving you personalized maternity care. And, we’re proud to deliver at The Birthing Center at Grandview Medical Center.

To schedule an appointment, call 205-583-1819 or visit WomensHealthGrandview.com

280Living.com September 2023 • A3 3686 Grandview Parkway • Suite 300 • Birmingham Dr. Novara is an employee of Women’s Health Specialists of Birmingham, Inc., d/b/a Grandview Medical Group.
Alexia Novara, M.D. OB/GYN

About Us

Editor’s Note By Leah Ingram Eagle

We’re three-fourths of the way through 2023, so that means Christmas will be here in about two weeks.

I’d say September is one of my favorite months, but the weather isn’t quite cool enough yet, so I’ll save that for October. But, school is in session, football is back and fall is just around the corner.

If you’re looking for an inspirational story, don’t miss this month’s cover on Greystone resident Nikki Harvey and her amazing run across the country. I can’t even run a mile, so it’s impossible for me to imagine what that journey must have been like for her.

September is Gynecological Awareness Month, and not only do we have a feature on an annual event in Hoover that raises

awareness, but also a new app being developed right here in Birmingham to support and educate cancer patients. Read about Matt Scalici, CEO and founder of the Fighting Cancer Network, and find out all the things this app can provide for those going through cancer themselves, or for family

and friends who are walking alongside them on their journey.

Along with our previews of football and volleyball, there’s also a feature on the marching bands in our coverage area, as they are an integral part of Friday Night Lights, too. (Side note: I’m a former high school band member, trumpet player and drum major).

I hope you enjoy the cooler weather — at least in the mornings and evenings — as we wait for fall to arrive. Wherever and however you read your 280 Living, I just appreciate you reading!


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Oak Mountain’s Colby King (29) during a game between Bob Jones and Oak Mountain on Aug. 18 at Heardmont Park. Photo by Todd Lester.
280Living.com September 2023 • A5 General Construction Interior and Exterior Painting Renovations Remodels Landscaping and Hardscaping Gutters Roofs Serving the Over the Mountain Area Call us for a FREE quote 205-460-1537 or visit us online at wdial.com


The Chelsea City Council voted 4-2 in August to approve a new contract for residential garbage collection and curbside recycling services, almost tripling the cost for residents.

Councilmen Scott Weygand and Cody Sumners both voted no to the bid that will increase the costs for garbage and recycling services from $36.75 to $107.10 per quarter, an increase of 197%.

Sumners said the council knew there would be a significant increase in contract cost regarding pickup services based on recent bids for surrounding cities, and the two options they had to consider were one without recycling and a higher bid that included recycling.

Sumners said that at a pre-council meeting in December 2023, a consultant addressed the council regarding the garbage collection bid process and discussed the issue of recycling and whether or not it should be included in the bid details.

“The consultant made it clear that recycling as it’s currently done is a farce,” Sumners said. “He informed the council that the overwhelming majority of recycling ends up in the same landfill as general garbage.”

Sumners also mentioned that Shelby County recently did away with recycling as part of its garbage contracts due to excessive cost being passed onto citizens “for a service that does not truly accomplish the lofty goals they’re claimed.”

“While the cost of removing trash from our city is going to rise exponentially either with or without recycling included, I feel that in today’s economy, every cent that we can save our citizens is important,” Sumners said. “Given what we as a council know about the truth about recycling, I feel that including recycling and passing larger costs onto our citizens is nothing more

than an attempt to virtue signal off the backs of the citizens of Chelsea and the finances of their families.”

Councilman Casey Morris said that while he doesn’t like that the cost is increasing, the services would be maintained the same across the board.

“I do consider myself to be a conservationist I guess, by nature, but the way I look at it, I'll still be getting three pickups every two weeks as opposed to just two. So, not the best thing, but definitely not the worst thing,” Morris said.

Mayor Tony Picklsimer said that he wanted to make sure everyone knew the difference in the vote was $16 per quarter, a little over $5 per month, to include the recycling.

The pickup schedule will remain the same with weekly trash and bulk trash pickup and recycling pickup every other week. The option without recycling was $91.35 per quarter and $39 for an extra can.

The only other responsive bid came from Waste Management and was $130.50 with recycling and $83.25 without recycling, but neither included bulk trash pickup.

The mayor and council discussed how much of the recycled items eventually winds up in the landfill.

Picklesimer said that while some of it definitely ends up in the landfill, it could be the majority of it. Councilman Chris Grace disagreed and said he believes that with industry

standards for recycling, the amount that goes to the landfill is closer to 20-30%.

“It's not the vast majority,” he said. “I think that’s a pretty big overestimation. It's important for our citizens to abide by the rules. If you use the second can as a second garbage collection, it spoils the whole system. So in a year, approximately 400,000 pounds of garbage doesn’t go to dump, which prolongs the life of that landfill. Those are expensive to build and maintain. So I feel like this is the best decision for our citizens.”

Picklesimer said he knows that some residents won’t be happy with the decision of the council for signing them to pay $16 more per quarter for something that’s not important to them, but said it’s a decision that had to be made.

A6 • September 2023 280 Living
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increase Sanitation workers for Republic Services pick up household garbage in the Scout Creek section of the Trace Crossings community in Hoover in June 2021.
recycling rates to
Photo by Jon Anderson.

The Shelby County Jail is slated for a $27.5 million expansion. Staff photo.

Commission approves jail expansion project

The Shelby County Commission recently awarded Clements Dean Building Co. a $24 million contract for an upcoming jail expansion project.

The total for the entire project is $27.5 million with the engineering and architect fees and some of the ground work that the county already has done, coming in slightly under the $28 million that was budgeted in the fiscal 2023 budget.

According to County Manager Chad Scroggins, this will be the second largest construction project ever done for Shelby County.

“This project will expand some of the capabilities at the Sheriff’s Office, but what it really does is improve safety and give us some new beds for segregation, mental health, and helps us to redo our health care services within the jail,” Scroggins said. “It’s really a quality of service and also a safety to our officers who are in the jail.”

The proposed construction scope includes:

► A third housing pod: a new two-floor housing pod with 200 general population beds, a mechanical level and support space

► Renovation of the medical unit, adding 15 new beds and bringing total capacity to 23

medical beds

► A new segregation unit with 24 beds for inmates who need to be separated from the general population and support space

► A mental health unit with 18 beds and support space

► Renovations and modernizations to control and information technology systems, including retooling the cameras and security system throughout the jail

► Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego said one of the biggest challenges with incarcerating inmates is mental health issues.

“By having the designated unit within the jail, it will make it easier for us to keep up with them and provide them with the services they need and the security of them,” he said. “They are also retooling a 20-year-old building in addition, and that in itself is very important.”

Commission Chairman Kevin Morris said he appreciated the additional opportunity for employee-centric changes to help the Sheriff’s Office, as these men and women do a lot for the county.

“The bigger thing is to reestablish to those folks inside the jail who work for us that we care about them as well, and I’m glad to see that,” Morris said.

New grandstands and pressbox approved for Chelsea High School

The Chelsea City Council has approved a proposal from Toadvine Enterprises for new grandstands and press box for Chelsea High School. The cost of the project will be $1,473,871.

Authorization was also given for a payment of 30% required to order materials.

Shane Sibert with Toadvine Enterprises, who is also a graduate and former football player at Chelsea High, said he is excited to be a part of this project at his alma mater.

The new grandstands will have 31 rows and stretch 198 feet long. It will feature a VIP section that seats about 480. The total seating capacity is approximately 2,850 total seats, not including the press box.

Sibert said the proposal is contingent on starting materials being delivered on (or no later than) May 1, 2024.

“We anticipate a five-week install,” Sibert said. “More than likely, it will be delivered before May 1. Worst-case scenario it will be done by mid-June. It’s a very fast process but also very important that we get this approved tonight.”

Mayor Tony Picklesimer thanked Sibert for his work throughout the process. The new grandstands will be installed on the existing visitors’ side, and the current homestands will become the visitors' homestands.

Mayor Picklesimer signed a cooperation agreement with Shelby County for participation in the urban county program and any additional HUD CDBG program paperwork as needed.

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The Chelsea City Council has approved new grandstands and pressbox for Chelsea High School. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Bittner resigns from Chelsea City Council

Council member Tiffany Bittner announced during the Aug. 15 meeting that she has decided to step away from serving in her position on the Chelsea City Council.

Bittner, who was in her second term, said she has enjoyed her time serving with the other council members and mayor and serving the citizens of the city for the last six-plus years.

“Chelsea is a growing community and we’ve all seen so many wonderful things happen,” Bittner said. “From neighborhoods going up to new churches, restaurants and businesses,

I look forward to watching the city continue to flourish.”

She said she considers the council and mayor as her friends and people she could call on to help in any situation.

“Even though we don’t always agree on issues, I think there’s a genuine respect for one another and our common goal has always been to make our community better and I no doubt know that y’all will continue in that effort,” Bittner said, adding that she thinks it’s a good thing for the council to disagree sometimes.

Councilman Scott Weygand, serving as mayor tempore in the absence of Mayor Tony Picklesimer, thanked Bittner on behalf of the city council and the citizens of Chelsea.

“Your hard work and dedication to this city are appreciated and you’ve been great to work with,” Weygand said. “The time and effort you've poured into serving with your friends and neighbors of Chelsea has been wonderful. Thank you for all you've done, and I wish you and your family all the best and y’all will be missed.”

Council member Chris Grace echoed similar sentiments, saying it’s been a pleasure working with Bittner.

“I’ve been the new kid on the block the past four years, and you’ve helped me and I've learned from you,” he said. “You’ve been an outstanding example. Our community will miss you [and your family] and we wish you well. You are leaving us better than you found us, and

that’s always a great way to step away.”

Council member Casey Morris said he’s always had an appreciation for Bittner and thanked her for her service to the community.

“There are no words to say thank you for what you’ve done,” Morris said.

Chelsea PIO Wayne Morris added that he’s known Bittner for many years and described it as an honor and a privilege.

“She has moved this city forward in a way that's been really helpful,” he said. “She's always willing to speak her mind and wasn’t afraid to be a voice, that may be a lone voice in some cases.”

Weygand said the council will follow state law regarding the vacant seat. Those interested in being considered for the council seat were able to obtain a sign-up form and questionnaire at Chelsea City Hall during late August.

The seat will be declared vacant at the Sept. 5 council meeting and after that, candidate interviews will be set within the next 30 days, Weygand said. After the interviews, the mayor and council will deliberate, and Weygand said they would hopefully make a decision and vote no later than the first meeting in October. Visit 280living.com for updates on the council member selection process.

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Council members, from left, Scott Weygand, Tiffany Bittner and Casey Morris. Photo by Leah Ingram Eagle.

Business Happenings


PhysioBaby’s founder, Dr Katie Dougherty, is from Birmingham and brought PhysioBaby back home in the summer of 2021. The company opened a new clinic recently at 201 Cahaba Park Circle, Suite 400. PhysioBaby practices holistic therapy and wellness for infants and children, embracing all dynamics of child development.

205-634-2115, physiobabypt.com

O’Reilly Auto Parts held a grand opening for a new store at 40 Meadowview Drive, just off U.S. 280 in the Meadow Brook area, on July 21-22. The store is open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

205-820-9120, oreillyauto.com

Pet Paradise on July 31 opened its pet boarding, grooming, day care and veterinary care facility in Tattersall Park at 6265 Tattersall Blvd.

659-674-3036, petparadise.com/birmingham.htm

VIP Barber Lounge is now open at 4647 U.S. 280, Suite M. The new barber lounge offers clients relaxation and consistent cuts tailored to each individual. The shop is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

205-460-1105, vagaro.com/vipbarberlounge

Beauty Diva 280 has recently opened at 4647 U.S. 280, Suite Q. The beauty supply store offers hair supplies, accessories and more. They are open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 205-460-1140

FARM Haus Fitness, 203 Narrows Parkway, Suite C, is a new gym in The Narrows for movement development, athletic performance and overall health optimization. Membership options are available for youth, teams, small

groups and personal training.

205-598-1310, farmhausfitness.com

Mortgage Right has recently opened up a new location off U.S. 280 at 20 Meadowbrook Drive. Lincoln Smith is senior vice president of business development and recruitment for this office.

205-335-4400, birmingham.mortgageright.com


Renew Dermatology is opening a second location in Greystone. The practice specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology care for the entire family.

205-580-1500, renewdermatology.net

Naaman Clinic’s newest location in Greystone is planning to open soon. This will be the fifth location for the dermatology office. The other locations are in Riverchase, Montgomery, Sylacauga and Gadsden.

205-453-4195, naamanclinic.com


Johnna Marie Silvester has joined Burn Boot Camp Meadow Brook at 1801 Doug Baker Blvd. as a member of the ambassador team. She is a Chelsea resident and former CrossFit coach and trainer and has been a stay-at-home mom for almost seven years.

205-903-8154, burnbootcamp.com

Kathy Ann Tomaszewski is the new broker for the RealtySouth office in the Inverness Plaza shopping center at 109 Inverness

Plaza, Suite 4800. There also are at least 17 other new agents there. Fifteen are new to the company (Josh Manning, Kelley Jo Brand, Kathy Glaze, Benjamin Pittman, Kim Milazzo, Cindy Mangos, Karina Barons, Nadya Mohamed, Donna Porter, Neely Davis, Wendy Hartley-Gregerson, Reggie Hope, Nikole Mangos, Grant Sikes and Kyla Morse) and two are transfers from RealtySouth’s office in Homewood (Joseph Heckel and Wendi Thomas). 205-991-6565, realtysouthinverness.com

DSLD Land Management, 1200 Dunnavant Valley Road, recently announced several promotions: Zach Sharp was promoted to vice president of construction; Austin Tatum was promoted to vice president of operations and analytics; Cole Sharp was promoted to production manager; and Miles Sharp was promoted to assistant production manager. 205-437-1012, dsldland.com

Terri Mims and Connor Hurts have joined as real estate agents at RealtySouth’s Chelsea office at 331 Chelsea Corners Way. 205-325-4585, chelsea.realtysouth.com

Business News to Share?

Do you have news to share with the community about a business in Chelsea or the greater Birmingham area?

Let us know at starnesmedia.com/ business-happenings

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Chelsea native, daughter-in-law open Salt open clothing boutique

When Amanda Hardenbergh was in college, she struggled with deciding on a major.

Her mom asked her what she really wanted to do with her life, if she could do anything.

“Education was an option, but honestly — I just wanted to work at Parisian,” she said, referring to the popular department store that had its heyday in the ’80s. “I had a love for shopping my entire life, and I dreamed of owning my own shop.”

She said at that moment, though, she picked what seemed like the sensible option: teaching.

“I loved being a teacher for 25 years,” Amanda Hardenbergh said.

But as she neared the end of that quarter-century-long career, COVID-19 happened, and like many other people, she had a little bit of space to think about doing something new. At the same time, she and her daughter-in-law, Madison, were sad about the loss of a boutique they both loved in their hometown of Chelsea, which led to an idea.

“I told Madison, ‘We just need to open a boutique or something.’ I didn’t realize at the time that that was her love as well,” Amanda said.

But it was, and Madison also had the space to consider it, being on furlough from her job in physical therapy sales.

“I absolutely loved my work, but I always felt like God had a different calling for me,” she said.

So the pair put their heads together and started dreaming. They spent the next three years reading books, doing research and calling other boutiques and asking questions.

Then this June — two weeks after Amanda retired from teaching P.E. at Forest Oaks Elementary — they opened Salt Clothing Co. at 1801 Doug Baker Blvd., Suite 113.

“It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve always loved clothes and loved people,” Madison said. “Our goal was we wanted something for everyone, for all ages to come in and find a piece they love.”

Amanda said she feels like they cover the spectrum of generations, since she and her daughterin-law are about 30 years apart in age. They offer women’s clothing, shoes and jewelry along with gifts, candles and a small bridal section.

“People have said our store is very different from other stores, and that was our goal,” she said. “We wanted to offer some different things. We buy what we love, and if we both don’t love it, we don’t buy it.”

Both mother-in-law and daughter-in-law say they have a great relationship and trust each other’s opinions.

“I’m truly blessed with the best mother-inlaw,” Madison said, noting that she and her husband, Nathan, have been together since they were

eighth graders at Chelsea Middle School. “She’s been a part of my life for so much of my life. It’s something super special.”

Amanda said the whole family has been a part of Salt Clothing Co — her husband, Brian, and her son have both helped out a lot with the store’s launch.

“I bet they don’t want to ever see another shelf or rack to put together,” she joked.

But the dream has come to life decades after she first imagined it, and she said her favorite part is getting to be a part of people’s lives.

“We ask God just to bring to us who he wants to that day, to help us to make a difference in somebody’s life, not even particularly clotheswise — we just want to be there for them and

encourage them and let them know they’re beautiful,” she said. “If they buy something, that’s an extra blessing.”

Madison said the community has been kind and welcoming.

“We’ve had so much support from Chelsea folks but also met so many people in this area who have welcomed us with open arms,” she said. “We’re so excited to be here.”

Salt Clothing Co. is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays

For more information, visit their website at saltclothingco.co or find them on Facebook @saltclothingco.co or Instagram @shopsaltclothingco.

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Madison Hardenbergh, left, and her mother-inlaw, Amanda Hardenbergh, are the owners of the new Salt Clothing Co., a women’s clothing boutique on Alabama 119. Photo by Erin Nelson.

New salon, boutique opens in Chelsea

Studio 280 + Golden Hour Tans owners Lauren Hays Womack and Kristina Stones aim to provide strong relationships with their Chelsea clients.

Before opening their salon in April, Womack and Stones both owned separate businesses. A mutual friend put them in contact with one another, and they went on to become business partners and eventual friends. While Womack is the owner of Studio 280, Stones rents out studio space and owns Golden Hour Tans.

Womack recently moved from Mississippi, where she owned a hair salon for 16 years and a boutique for 11 years. Moving to Chelsea was a big leap for her family, but she said it’s been a great decision, too.

“It’s a big difference, but I love it,” Womack said.

At first, her husband had intended to use the space for his construction business, but Womack wanted to put her talent to work by turning the studio space into a new hair salon and boutique. Then she brought on Stones and Golden Hour Tans.

Currently, Womack is the only stylist at Studio 280, but she has three other chairs that will be filled soon. The salon offers haircuts, highlighting, color, and waxing services for all ages.

Womack wants her clients to feel better when they leave her chair after their appointment.

“Often, the clients feel like the look is not achievable, but when I do it, then I’m so happy that I could make it happen for the clients,” she said.

In addition to the salon services, Womack’s boutique offers a wide assortment of products including ladies’ clothing, purses, and jewelry. The addition of the boutique and tanning makes Studio 280 different from other hair salons.

“You can get your hair done and it can be more of an experience than an appointment,”

Stones said.

They also offer a monthly girls’ night out, Stones said, where women can come and hang out.

Having a roster of clients who continue to return and trust them is something the two women take very seriously.

Stones said she enjoys the confidence boost and healthy glow she can give her clients with spray tans.

“I love the after look, and they feel so much

more confident,” Stones said. “Often, the clients are insecure and then their insecurities go away.”

Stones offers both in-studio and mobile tanning options for clients, such as house calls, weddings, girls’ nights, and group events.

The connection with clients is what keeps both Womack and Stones engaged and inspired each day. As outsiders moving into Chelsea, they said they felt welcomed and immediately embraced by the community.

“The last three months have left me shocked and amazed,” Womack said. “I did not know a single person and was booked a week out the night I made my first Facebook post. The clientele I have is great and keeps growing every day.”

Studio 280 is located at 9360 Old U.S. 280 in Chelsea and is open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Golden Hour Tans is available by appointment only. For information, visit facebook.com/thestudiosalonandboutique.

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Lauren Womack, left, and Kristina Stones outside of Studio 280 + Golden Hour Tans. Womack is the hair stylist, and Stones is the spray tan artist. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Specializing in skin

Dr. Evans Bailey, the owner of Naaman Clinic and a surgical dermatologist, is no stranger to helping patients around Alabama, with clinics in several communities throughout the state.

The first clinic opened in 2016 in the Hoover/ Riverchase Parkway location, and Bailey went on to open other locations in Montgomery, Sylacauga and Gadsden. In addition, he works in conjunction with the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital to treat cancers of the eyelid.

The latest Naaman Clinic location is set to open in September in Greystone’s Tattersall Park to serve individuals with dermatological and skin cancer needs.

“We saw a need for specialty care on the 280 corridor — we follow where the referrals come from,” Bailey said. “Because there are older techniques and often standard incisions that patients usually contend with, we offer better techniques and a lower cure rate for patients. There was an impetus there.”

The Naaman Clinic specializes in Mohs micrographic surgery (a method for treating skin cancer lesions), skin cancer treatment and reconstruction, laser and cosmetic procedures and medical dermatology services. Some of those include laser skin resurfacing, laser tattoo removal, facial injectables and noninvasive body contouring. Routine skin checks and skin cancer treatments are available.

The new clinic in Tattersall Park will be home to five providers — three physicians and two mid-level practitioners — who are all board-certified, and two are certified in micrographic surgery.

Bailey is board certified by the American Academy of Dermatology and is a fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery. He has over 15 years of experience practicing dermatology procedures, techniques and training.

After attending Wheaton College, Bailey returned to Birmingham and completed his doctorate degrees and completed an internship in

internal medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

He trained as a resident at the University of Michigan in 2005. In 2010, he came back to Birmingham again and worked as a co-owner with Surgical Dermatology Group until 2016, when he opened his own clinic.

“Naaman is not an actual doctor in the clinic,” Bailey said. “We picked that name from the Old Testament because his skin was healed from the prophet Elisha. If one looks at our logo, then they’ll see it’s a washing in the Jordan River. I want others to see — we are instruments in the

Naaman Clinic set to open new location in Greystone’s Tattersall Park

440 Inverness Corners, Birmingham, AL, 35242 | 205-991-0593 www.mmjewelersbirmingham.com | Follow us on Facebook & Instagram

process of healing.”

Bailey knows his patients may be nervous when they step into his office and he is there to help them understand.

“Healthcare is uncomfortable to understand, at times,” he said. “Melanoma is my specialty. We have great techniques and will walk them through the process. My foremost concern is putting them at ease.”

The most common appointments at the Naaman Clinic are for skin cancers of the face. Removals are sent to a modern microscope facility at the lab, where Bailey and his team

are able to see the tumor in a higher detail, while the patient is waiting.

The most enjoyable thing about working in dermatology for Bailey is getting to know the patients as he spends time communicating with them and their families.

“I will always use that time to get to know them and understand them and their families,” he said. “It’s extraordinarily rewarding.”

Naaman Clinic in Greystone is located at 6234 Tattersall Blvd. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit naamanclinic.com.

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Dr. Evans Bailey discusses how the immunostains on the left show the margins of a tumor better than the traditional microscopy on the right at the Namaan Clinic in Riverchase on Aug. 11. The Namaan Clinic is opening a second location at Tattersall Park. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Wettermark Keith celebrates 20 years of helping clients

Chris Keith says that 20 years ago, a moment came when he felt like he was “truly thrown into the fire and had one choice — sink or swim.”

James Wettermark, at that time a partner at the law firm Burge and Wettermark, had hired Keith out of Cumberland Law School in 2001. A little over a year later, he asked Keith about leaving to start a new firm.

“It was a true honor but also a little intimidating at the time,” Keith said.

But even though it felt like a “sink or swim” moment at the time, he said he thinks they “both have done fairly well at the swimming part.”

And in July, Wettermark Keith celebrated two decades of serving their clients.

Keith, a Chelsea resident, said he’s thankful for “all of the great attorneys and support staff that have contributed so much to our growth and delivering on our commitment to the thousands of clients we have been able to assist over the past 20 years.”

For him, being a personal injury lawyer has meant taking care of people when they need it most. He’s always worked to keep “unwavering compassion” as a core tenet of the firm.

“We remind ourselves every day, it’s about every single client that walks through our door and our commitment to help them as we would want to be helped if the shoe were on the other foot,” he said.

Keith said they don’t take it lightly that people reach out to them in the middle of some of the most challenging situations they face.

“It’s a big responsibility and needs to be treated as such,” he said. “People reach out to us in some of the worst times of their lives. It is a responsibility and an honor to be able to help the individuals that have come to us and will continue to come to us.”

Keith said they’ve also tried to level the playing field for people who might not know or have access to lawyers.

“It’s personally rewarding to help good

”people in their times of need after something unexpected happens that ultimately turns their lives upside down,” he said.

In the past 20 years, Wettermark Keith has expanded their work to include locations in seven cities in Alabama, Florida and Tennessee, including their office in the Grandview area of Birmingham.

And though Wettermark is working on a smaller scale these days, he’s “still handling cases as effectively as he was 20 years ago,” Keith said.

“James is a lawyer’s lawyer,” he said. “He is as honest as they come and one of the smartest lawyers I know. I have been honored to have him as a law partner for over 20 years.”

Keith said he’s hoping the two of them will have a chance to go out for a nice dinner soon, celebrate how far the firm has come and reflect on everything that’s happened in the past 20 years.

“I cherish every moment I have had with James in building and growing this law firm over the past 20 years, and I’m looking forward to the next 20,” Keith said.

Wettermark Keith is located at 100 Grandview Place, Suite 530. Visit wkfirm.com for more information.

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Chris Keith , left and James Wettermark of Wettermark Keith Personal Injury Lawyers. Photo courtesy of Wettermark Keith.

Mobile unit to provide greater reach for services for children across state

The Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education, based in Meadow Brook, recently launched its Mobile Resource for Kids.

The Mobile Resource for Kids truck will serve children who are deaf or hard of hearing across the state of Alabama, specifically those living in rural areas with limited access to care.

The 36-foot mobile clinic is outfitted with equipment for a team of family educators, pediatric audiologists and Listening and Spoken Language specialists/Certified Auditory Verbal therapists. They travel across the state to provide newborn hearing screening follow-ups, audiological services, speech therapy, school/daycare screenings and family education.

Partnering with Alabama’s early intervention system, local school systems and private and public entities, WISE offers services for deaf

and hard-of-hearing children that focus on preparing to enter mainstream schools and fully participate in hearing society.

The need for a mobile unit that could travel to rural areas became apparent several years ago. WISE director Nancy Gregg said that when a child is deaf or hard of hearing, it is critical that they receive timely diagnosis and treatment.

Gregg said she is optimistic about what the Mobile Resource for Kids truck will accomplish in terms of early diagnosis and raising awareness.

“The mobile unit will help families in underserved areas overcome barriers to receiving care,” she said. “We hope to improve outcomes for children in Alabama.”

In rural areas of Alabama, audiology and therapy resources for infants who have hearing loss can be difficult to find, and Gregg said the WISE mobile unit will provide “greater access

to family-centered, community-based, care for children and their families.”

“It will help strengthen families by providing education and resources closer to home,” Gregg said.

Along with aiding children who are deaf and hard of hearing, WISE also provides services to children who have communication delays, including comprehensive in-person therapy, teletherapy and educational programs designed to teach skills for talking, listening and interacting with peers.

WISE was founded in 1991 by Dr. Robert L. Baldwin and originally called the Birmingham Ear Institute. The organization currently has 27 employees at their offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, Decatur and Boaz. The WISE Preschool, located in Meadow Brook off U.S. 280, is committed to teaching deaf children to speak.

The staff includes audiologists, speech-language pathologists, Certified Listening and Spoken Language specialists, deaf and early childhood educators, early intervention developmental specialists and coordinators and support staff. They have over 80 years combined experience working with children with hearing loss.

Therapy is conducted either in the family home or the child’s daycare setting. Individual family service plans may also include physical, occupational and speech-language therapy.

Early intervention services are offered at no cost to families and are available in Jefferson, Shelby, Mobile, Baldwin and Madison counties.

The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education offers a website, alhearingloss options.org, for parents to learn about American Sign Language, listening and speaking therapies and other resources for children with hearing loss.

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Left: The Mobile Resource for Kids truck will serve children who are deaf or hard of hearing across Alabama, specifically those living in rural areas with limited access to care. Right: An inside view of the WISE Mobile Resource for Kids truck shows an exam room. Photo courtesy of Stasi Bara.

Berna brings Madison Avenue expertise to Grand Bohemian Gallery

When Greystone resident Michael Berna was 18 years old, he got introduced to a world that left him “spoiled and jaded” — and he never wanted to leave.

That world was New York’s Madison Avenue back in its golden era, when it was “the world avenue,” he said, noting that with what it had to offer, you “could’ve been in Paris, London, Milan or Geneva.”

“It’s an unbelievable place to be,” Berna said. “I miss those days because I miss the old-world charm, when you could walk down the avenue and see these fabulous shops, people with extraordinary charm and beautiful things. These places just don’t exist anymore.”

But they marked him.

His first introduction to Madison Avenue was through his high school girlfriend, whose father, Simon Lieberman, was a major art dealer and ran a gallery at the Hotel Carlyle.

“It was one of the most prestigious hotels in the world — a very oldworld, extremely charming hotel,” Berna said. “After JFK used to stay there, it really put it on the map.”

And it put art on the map for Berna.

Lieberman introduced him “to a

world beyond explanation,” Berna said. “I met characters from all walks of life.”

Over the next 35 years, he worked with fine antique jewelry, 20th-century design, decorative arts and lighting and sculpture. He worked in Lieberman’s gallery as well as galleries like Primavera and Leonard Trent.

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And now Berna has brought that expertise to Mountain Brook’s own Grand Bohemian Gallery.

The gallery, a freestanding building next to the Grand Bohemian Hotel, is a “fabulous” space, said Berna, who serves as its new director.

“It has unbelievable light and lots

of windows,” he said. “The space lights itself for someone like me to create something and make it look fabulous, and that’s what I did.”

Since arriving in April, he has implemented a more modernist, abstract appeal to the art and design, he said. He’s incorporated the work of renowned sculptor Ted Metz and

painter Scott Vaughn Owen, both Alabama artists, and he’s displayed the “luminous artwork” of Birmingham artist Timothy Poe, who uses verre églomisé, a process of reverse glass gilding.

Berna has also displayed the “expressionist-colorist” paintings of internationally renowned French artist Jean Claude Roy and the contemporary work of Iranian artist Hessam Abrishami.

And that’s just the beginning. It’s an experience to visit the gallery, Berna said. “Come visit and see for yourself.”

Jorg Wesche, general manager at Grand Bohemian Hotel, said on behalf of The Kessler Collection of luxury resorts and hotels that they are “thrilled” to welcome Berna to the team and are excited about his contributions to the gallery.

“We are confident that his experience, skills and expertise, coupled with his passion and dedication, will allow him to take our gallery to the next level and make meaningful contributions within our company, community and the industry as a whole,” Wesche said.

For more information, follow Grand Bohemian Gallery on Instagram @grandbohemian.gbmb.

280Living.com September 2023 • A15 Have a community announcement? Email Leah Ingram Eagle at leagle@starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue. Community
Helical Piers Michael Berna stands in front of a collection of pieces from various local artists at the Grand Bohemian Art Gallery in Lane Parke on July 8. Berna is the new director for the gallery. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Thames releases novel after ‘living a Western’

When Madison Thames was growing up, she liked writing and always thought she might write a fantasy novel.

But she just couldn’t shake the fact that the reality of her life was a different genre: a Western.

“I grew up loving horses,” said Thames, who grew up in the Highway 119 area near Briarwood Christian School. “I started riding when I was six years old. It was a huge passion of mine growing up.”

She took part in rodeos, even winning her first calf scramble. She read stacks of books about horses and loved movies about them, too.

“Westerns were always on my radar,” Thames said.

But she never thought about writing a novel in the genre — that is, until the action-adventure video game “Red Dead Redemption 2,” which is set in the Old West, came out in 2018 and she “really fell in love with the genre.”

“In that time period, there were so many blurred lines and areas of gray,” she said. “It’s so fascinating to me how people had such interesting journeys, how they forged their own path through that wild time.”

From there, Thames had the idea that would become her first novel, “Gone Outlaw,” which released in July.

“I had a strong idea for the story, but what I had to do was spend a lot of time researching because I wanted to make it as historically accurate as possible,” she said. “I spent several months online just reading about the Old West and that time period to immerse myself in it.”

The product was a novel set in 1883, with a complex story about a young woman who watches as her father is killed by a notorious outlaw. After his death, she joins the posse pursuing the outlaw’s gang for justice. There’s also a romantic thread to the book, Thames said.

“Anyone who enjoys a classic Western will enjoy this because it has all those elements, but

it’s also so relatable to today,” she said. “It’s not just about revenge; it’s exploring grief and learning to let go, to wrestle with these things, to grow and explore forgiveness and redemption.”

She said she hopes that “Gone Outlaw” will not just entertain but also enrich the reader’s personal journey.

“If any of the stories I write can help someone heal or inspire them or spark their imagination, that’s what I hope for, because that’s what reading stories did for me,” Thames said.

She’s already at work on the sequel, which will be the second book in the “Sunset Legends” series. She works on her storylines while she

rides trails on Champion, the horse she’s had since she was 11.

“It’s kind of my peaceful place, my happy place,” she said.

Thames said art is her “day job.” She graduated from Auburn University in 2018 with a fine arts degree and started a career as a professional artist, creating commissions for clients and selling her work at comic book conventions.

“When I started working as an artist, I didn’t think I would be an author, too,” she said, “but then I thought, ‘Why can’t I do both?’”

She’s found her hobbies and skills all tie together. She has a YouTube channel with more

than 20,000 subscribers where she reacts to and reviews movies — especially Westerns.

“Because of my love of storytelling, I’ve always loved watching movies,” she said.

Thames also drew the artwork for the cover of “Gone Outlaw” and created all the art for the book’s video trailer.

“It’s cool having different skills cross over and help each other,” she said.

“Gone Outlaw” is available on Amazon in ebook, paperback and hardcover formats. To read more about Thames or her art, visit madisonthames.com or her YouTube channel, youtube.com/@MadisonKThames.

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Madison Thames, author of “Gone Outlaw,” stands beside Champion, her 28-year-old quarter horse, at Shel-Clair Farms. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Continuing to think of Laura

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness month, and The Laura Crandall Brown Foundation is preparing for its 11th annual State of Teal Awareness Campaign and 4th annual Head Over Teal 5K/10K event.

The campaign in memory of Brown, who passed away in 2009 from ovarian cancer at age 25, begins on Sept. 1. The goal is to highlight the importance of increasing awareness of gynecologic cancers throughout the state of Alabama. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over $650,000 for research for early detection of ovarian cancers.

“September is an impactful month for the foundation as we continue our awareness efforts throughout the community,” said Ramona Graffeo, LCBF executive director. “With no early detection testing or screening for four of the five gynecologic cancers, providing early detection signs and symptoms for these cancers is so important to women of all ages and a huge part of our mission here at LCBF.”

The annual Head Over Teal 5K/10K event will return to the Town Hall in the Hoover Preserve subdivision on Saturday, Sept. 23. In addition to the race, there will be food, live music, family-friendly games, face painting, a memorial garden and more. Participants have the opportunity to raise funds individually or as a team. Graffeo said there were almost 700 participants in last year’s race.

Graffeo said the mission of LCBF is threefold: early detection, to be present and to offer emotional and direct financial support for women who are undergoing treatment throughout Alabama.

“We’re statewide,” Graffeo said. “We now have a group that meets once a month at Hoover City Hall and various facilitators, survivors and those who are in treatment come and they have a camaraderie with each other.”

After their diagnosis, patients receive a bag

from LCBF that includes information about the program, a bracelet, a children’s coloring book that talks about what their mom is going through, lip balm, a knitted hat, a journal, mints and more.

Graffeo said that a large part of the money the foundation spends each year is to help women

who are struggling financially. By working with social workers, patients are assisted in a variety of ways, from help with their bills to gas cards to use for driving to their treatments.

During September, the LCBF will reach out to around 60 or 70 city councils and governments

around the state to proclaim September as gynecological cancer awareness month. These include Hoover, Pelham, Chelsea, Vestavia, Mountain Brook and many more.

For more information or to register for the race, visit thinkoflaura.org/headoverteal.

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The Laura Crandall Brown Foundation’s 2022 Head Over Teal event. Photo courtesy of Laura Crandall Brown Foundation.

Former OMMS principal reflects on journey, prepares for role

For Larry Haynes, school has been home for a long, long time.

“I grew up next door to my elementary school and was always close to my teachers,” he said. “They’d come up to the schools in the summer or in the afternoons and would get me to help them do stuff. I’d help the custodian, too.”

Years later, that school — Raimund Elementary — closed, and after it sat empty for a while, Haynes’ grandfather bought it.

“He salvaged as much of the building as he could,” Haynes said. “Then my wife and I bought it and made a house out of it. We did all the work ourselves. And we really enjoyed living there.”

He loved it so much that it took another school to make him leave it — Oak Mountain Middle School, where he served as principal for the past 19 years until his retirement at the end of June.

“We moved so I could be closer to the school, and over the years, I was really glad we did,” Haynes said.

He was glad he was close when a tornado hit the school in 2021 and he could go check on it, and he was glad when they dealt with floods and a gas leak over the years and Snowmageddon in 2014.

“The thing about education is there’s never a dull moment,” Haynes said.

And he’s loved that reality his whole life, for many more reasons than just emergency management.

After growing up next to the elementary school, he knew as a McAdory High School student that he wanted to teach one day because he “had some really great teachers.” He attended the University of Montevallo and studied mass communication and English, and a week after

graduation he started as a teacher at Montevallo High School.

“I taught there for 15 years,” he said. “I loved it.”

Haynes didn’t see himself going into administration, but after others encouraged him, he applied for an assistant principal position at Oak Mountain High School and served in that role from 2001 until 2004, when he moved to the middle school.

Once there, Haynes found he was passionate about preparing students to transition well to high school. He spent years researching and learning from other schools and principals and did his doctoral dissertation on that topic as well.

“Working in middle school allows that opportunity to help students find a great path for

themselves and know there are lots of choices ahead and help them set goals,” he said. “We get to challenge them, provide great opportunities for them and nurture them. That’s been my mission, and I’ve loved it.”

Haynes said OMMS is “a model; it’s a lot to be proud of.”

“This is a wonderful community,” he said. “We’ve got fantastic parents, great community support, and I’ve worked with some of the most amazing students.”

It’s been a family affair for Haynes also. His children went through OMMS, and his wife, Samara, has been to more school dances than he can count.

“We’ve got so many photos together from proms and homecomings,” Haynes joked.

Sheryl Jones, OMMS assistant principal, said the school “was his world.”

“He gave almost two decades of his life to Oak Mountain Middle School. Hundreds of staff members and thousands of students are better because he was here,” she said. “He treated everybody like family and was here all hours of the night sometimes and would not rest until the job was done. He always tried to do what was best for the kids and the staff.”

Haynes said he will miss everyone at the middle school, but he feels like the season is right to move on to a new role — coordinating student interns at the University of Montevallo.

“I’ve enjoyed developing new teachers while I’ve been a principal, helping them grow and giving them new opportunities in leadership and to grow in their classroom instruction,” he said, noting that this new role will offer the chance to do that in a new way.

“It’s bittersweet,” Haynes said. “I’m going to miss my students at Oak Mountain Middle School, but this new chapter is exciting to me.”

Taking over the principal position will be Sandy Evers. She brings 27 years of experience in education and has served as assistant principal of Oak Mountain High School since 2017. Evers said she knows she has big shoes to fill as she follows Haynes.

“It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I accept my role at Oak Mountain Middle School as principal,” she said. “I’m very grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to building positive relationships with the dedicated students, staff and teachers. It is my goal to uphold and enhance the longstanding tradition of excellence at OMMS. I am confident that as a team we can achieve great things together and provide the best educational opportunity for our students.”

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Left: Larry Haynes, the recently retired principal at Oak Mountain Middle School, stands in front of a mural in the school’s atrium. Haynes retired at the end of the 2022-23 school year after 37 years of teaching and 17 as a school administrator at Oak Mountain Middle. Right: A yearbook photo of Haynes impersonating Tom Cruise from the movie “Risky Business” during teacher skits for Oak Mountain High School’s homecoming week in 2006 is pictured in a yearbook. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Moody approved as Inverness Elementary assistant principal

Erin Moody was recently named the new assistant principal at Inverness Elementary at the Shelby County Board of Education’s July meeting.

Moody has worked in Shelby County Schools for the past 13 years as a second grade teacher at Oak Mountain Elementary and Chelsea Park Elementary. Last year, she held the position of instructional coach at Mt Laurel Elementary.

Moody graduated from UAB with a bachelor’s in early childhood and elementary education and from University of West Alabama with a master’s in elementary education and an instructional leadership certification.

After her approval for the new role, she thanked Superintendent Lewis Brooks, the Board of Education and Inverness Elementary Principal Brooke Dunham.

“I’m so excited about this new opportunity and look forward to serving Inverness Elementary and continuing my many years with Shelby County,” Moody said.


Two Shelby County administrative employees were recognized for going above and beyond in their roles and presented with Journey Shaper awards by Superintendent Lewis Brooks during the July meeting.

“We’ve created opportunities to recognize people in our district by offering Journey Shapers, and I’m just thrilled to recognize some special people that I feel like really shape the things that we do in our school district,” Brooks said.

He went on to describe central office employees Shelley Davis (administrative assistant to

the superintendent administration) and Tracy Whitfield (chief clerk, operations, and executive assistant to the board operations) as true leaders for the district.

“The culture in this office has improved tremendously because of their desire and their efforts to create a family atmosphere,” he said. “When we are shorthanded, they pitch in. When our colleagues are going through difficult circumstances, they are supportive. They are in many respects the front line of a lot of things that happen every day in our school districts, and they do it with such grace and positivity. They are focused on what’s best for our district.”


A new initiative in high schools throughout the district is implementing Pre-Advanced Placement courses.

Kim Brown, the supervisor for gifted education and advanced programs, shared that options will be available in ninth and 10th grade honors English, honors algebra 2, Pre-AP geometry, Pre-AP biology and chemistry.

“We have dropped these master schedules into the honors schedule at all of our high schools,” Brown said. “These courses prepare students in ninth and 10th grade for AP courses they might choose to take in 10th and 11th grade … and prepare them for dual enrollment and any academic endeavors. Hopefully, more kids will choose AP courses due to these AP courses.”

The honors courses have not been consistent across the county, and Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Lynn Carroll said the Pre-AP courses will create a more standardized curriculum.

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Lewis Brooks chats with guests at the 2022 Taste of Shelby County. The event is the foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year. Photo courtesy of Shelby County Schools Education Foundation.

2023 Taste of Shelby County returns to Inverness Country Club

People will get a chance to sample food and drinks from at least 18 Shelby County restaurants and other vendors at the 2023 Taste of Shelby County.

The event, which is a fundraiser for the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation, is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Inverness Country Club.

Tickets cost $30 for general admission through Sept. 13, $40 the day of the event or $50 for a VIP ticket with admission 30 minutes early.

The drink and food providers donate their products for the event, so the admission fees go to help the foundation give out grants to teachers in Shelby County Schools for special projects, equipment or materials for their classrooms, said Bethany Ivey, executive director of the foundation.

The foundation this past year was able to give out about $30,000 in teacher grants, with teachers getting up to $1,000 each, Ivey said.

An estimated 200 people attended last year’s Taste of Shelby County event, and it raised about $22,000, she said. The goal this year

is $35,000.

Participating food and drink providers include the Inverness Country Club, East 59 Café, Eli’s Jerusalem Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, Gumbo to Geaux, ATG Distribution, Half Shell Oyster House, Royaltea, Itty Bitty Bakers, Bistro Provare, Novi Vineyards & Winery, La Paz, Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes, Siluria Brewing, Wine Shoppe, Dread River Distillery and Good People Brewing Co.

The foundation also is conducting an online silent auction in conjunction with the event, with auction items including hotel stays, wine tastings, rounds of golf and restaurant gift cards, Ivey said. Auction items go live on Sept. 10, and the auction closes at 8 p.m. on Sept. 14. Items can be picked up at the Taste of Shelby County or the foundation office at the Shelby County Instructional Services Building in Alabaster.

“I’m super excited about this event,” Ivey said. “It is one of my favorite things I get to plan and do every year.”

To purchase tickets, go to https://bit. ly/30n1uT1. To see auction items, go to 32auctions.com/tasteofshelbycounty2023.

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The bands come marching in

After spending countless hours practicing over the summer, local high school marching bands are now in the midst of their busiest time of year: marching season.

In addition to their halftime shows, the bands provide entertainment during the game, keep the crowd engaged and motivate the players.

280 Living checked in with the band directors at the four high schools in our coverage area about their upcoming seasons, halftime show plans and what they’re looking forward to this year.


Neugent is beginning his 23rd year as a band director and his third year at Briarwood.

Chris Brown serves as the associate director and percussion coordinator, and Christa Dover is the guard director.

► Number of band members: 50

► Drum majors: Abbey Waters and Isabella Rutledge

► Show theme and songs: The theme is “A Mighty Oak,” and songs include “Through the Seasons with Summertime” by George Gerswhin, “True Colors” by Phil Collins, “All of Me” by the Piano Guys and the traditional hymn-tune “This Is My Father’s World.”

► ► Awards won last year at competitions: “We enjoyed competing locally and regionally last season and look forward to another superior year this year as we compete,” Neugent said. “Last spring we traveled to Ft. Myers, Florida, for the Thomas Edison Parade of Lights, and we are excited to travel again this spring.”


► What they’re looking forward to this year: “I love our theme for this year’s field show,” Neugent said. “All of creation was made by God and for His glory. How much fun it is to celebrate that truth through music and movement on Friday nights. We have some incredibly talented students and several of them are featured in special ways throughout the show — as vocalists, as pianists, as instrumental and dance soloists and so much more. I always enjoy watching the students grow and the show develop over the season; and rooting on Coach Forester and the Lions is a highlight each week.

I am excited for this season!”


Lawley is in his 19th year as a band director and has been at Chelsea High since 2016.

Trace Johnson serves as the associate director.

► Number of band members: 160

► Drum majors: Frances Nelson (head),

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► Show theme and songs: “Limitless.” Songs include “Final Countdown”, “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Unstoppable,” “Freebird” and “Defying Gravity.”

► Awards won last year at competitions: All Superior ratings at two contests last year, as well as Best in Class Dance Line (twice), Drum Major and Majorette.

► What they’re looking forward to this year: “We are very excited to debut our new marching band uniforms this fall,” Lawley said.


Ownby is beginning his 20th year as a band

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Julieanne Newman and Alivia Sandridge (assistants) The Briarwood Christian School band, right, and the Chelsea High School band, far right, perform during games in the 2022 season. Photos by Todd Lester and Shawn Bowles. Neugent Lawley

director and his 20th year at Oak Mountain Travis Bender serves as associate director, and Chanse Nelson and Zack Feldman are assistant directors.

► Number of band members: 281

► Drum majors: Kayla Ownby, Ella Strickland and Abby Moore

► Show theme and songs: “Treasured: Songs of Fortune and Glory.” Songs include the themes from “Indiana Jones” and “National Treasure,” as well as music from “The Mandalorian.”

► Awards won last year at competitions: “Last year, we finished our marching season by placing first in all captions (marching, music and general effect) at the Mud Creek Marching Festival in Cullman,” Bender said. “We took the marching band to Washington, D.C., in the spring to perform in the National Cherry Blossom Parade. Our percussion ensemble was also invited to perform at the 2023 Alabama Music Educators Conference — a huge honor as they were the only percussion group in Alabama to be selected for this opportunity. This year, we plan to attend three competitions with our

marching band.”

► What they’re looking forward to this year: “This is our 25th season as a band — our silver anniversary,” Bender said. “We’re excited to debut a new look with brand-new uniforms arriving this September. This was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Indian Springs Town Council. We will also be moving into a new performing arts building, including brand-new band facilities, this September. Shelby County Schools and our principal, Andrew Gunn, have been incredibly supportive through our time of growth. Finally, new turf has been installed at our home stadium, so we’re excited to get out on that field and showcase our students’ talent.”


Cagle is in his 23rd year as a band director and his third year at Spain Park.

Richard Adams and Brian Wilson serve as associate directors.

► Number of band members: 165

► Drum majors: Michael Allen, Emma Rose Gregory and Zoey Hewitt

► Show theme and songs: The show title is “The Final Frontier” and features music from “Star Wars,” “Interstellar,” “Star Trek” and “The Mandalorian.”

► Awards won last year at competitions: The Pride of the Park attended contests in

Hoover and Prattville last year, receiving Superior ratings and Best in Class Percussion and Majorette scores. “This fall, we will bring the competition to the 280 community,” Cagle said.

“We will host Sparks in the Park marching exhibition on Tuesday, Sept. 26, and we are a host site for the Alabama Marching Championship on Saturday, Oct. 28.” “We are excited to hear our students perform music that we personally feel a strong connection with, and that many in our audience will as well,” Cagle said. “This music spans decades of film scores and over 100 years of music history, offering crowds a variety of music that appeals to everyone.”

► What they’re looking forward to this year: “Each year, we assemble a unique group of young musicians and artists,” Cagle said. “These students have never worked together as this exact group, yet they amazingly come together through teamwork, cooperation and common goals to become one. It is that oneness that makes a marching band such a special place. We look forward to supporting our athletic teams, our school and the communities in which we live.”

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The Oak Mountain High School band, left, and the Spain Park High School band perform. Photos by Erin Nelson and Todd Lester. Ownby Cagle

New BCS superintendent hired

The search for Briarwood Christian School’s new superintendent spanned more than 2,500 miles across the country and ended in Tacoma, Washington.

Gus Martin, who was chosen to fill the position at BCS, has worked in Christian education for over 25 years and said he has a personal passion for successful Christian education.

He was recruited to Briarwood from Life Christian Academy, where he served as head of school for the past 5½ years, the shortest amount of time he’s spent at a school. He described Life Christian Academy as the educational ‘jewel’ of Tacoma, Washington.

When he arrived, Life Christian Academy was in financial distress, and their senior pastor had been dismissed, which was troubling to the church community. Martin helped turn things around and more than doubled the attendance.

BCS has had its own issues over the past several years, and Martin said he will work to bring the community back together.

“There’s some broken trust in the community, and I think for me, I’m just going to be taking time to reestablish relationships, rebuild the community and reinvigorate trust,” he said. “And as a Christian school, we should be able to live in harmony with a common purpose.”

A native of Tasmania, Australia, Martin had spent his entire life there prior to his job in Tacoma. He did, however, spend his senior year of high school in an exchange student program at Del Norte High School in Crescent City, California, where he graduated in 1989.

An accomplished athlete in several sports, Martin became a professional tennis player at the age of 18. He attended the University of Tasmania, and his journey in the education field began as a high school science and computer studies teacher.

Martin served as dean of the secondary school at Leighland Christian School in Tasmania for 11 years, before spending 14

years as head of school at Genesis Christian College (preschool through 12th grade) in North Brisbane.

Describing himself as both a strong and transformational leader, Martin said he also likes to lead from among the people.

“I’m really, really approachable,” he said. “I love to sit down and talk to people. When you start a new job, there’s a learning curve and there’s always a story. [You have to] understand the landscape and figure out how to strategize how to move through that, and that’s why I think relationships and trust are going to be everything.”

Martin said that in the absence of people in key positions at BCS, the team has rallied together. He’s encouraged by the opportunity to further the educational transformation that

happens at the school.

He has been impressed by not only the school itself, but also the hospitality his family has experienced.

“If you really want to learn about the community, you’ve got to be prepared to sit down and talk, and sit down and listen,” he said. “Because everybody’s experience matters. And if you don’t listen, you can’t do a good job.”

He will continue to meet with families to listen and learn and share from his heart what he sees for the school in the future, he said.

Martin and his wife, Felicity, bought a home near BCS before they’d even seen it and are continuing to settle in. They have three children: Jake (21), a senior at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix in honors business management; Gabby (19), a sophomore at Texas

New Briarwood Christian School superintendent, Gus Martin, has worked in Christian education for the last 25 years, beginning in his native Australia, then moving to Tacoma, Washington before accepting the Briarwood position in July 2023.

Christian University and a triathlon runner; and Jani (16), a junior at BCS who will also play on the tennis team. They also added a new labradoodle puppy, Suki, to their family.

“The most important thing for us as a family is raising our kids well, so we invest a lot of intentional effort in how we raise our kids, and making sure we develop their faith is such an important thing for us,” Martin said.

In his introduction letter to the school community, Martin said his desire is “to carry forward, support and build on the exceptional prior leadership of BCS, its board and the admirable work and achievements of the faculty and staff.”

When asked about plans for the future, Martin said, “I like to put my roots down deep and be stable. I hope this is my last stop.”

A22 • September 2023 280 Living
Photo by Leah Ingram Eagle.
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A24 • September 2023 280 Living Advertorial Section Education Guide 2023 2023

Indian Springs School

Welcome to Indian Springs School, a beacon of academic excellence attracting the brightest students from Birmingham, the United States and around the globe. Serving day and boarding students in grades 8-12, our unique educational program centers around experiential learning in an inclusive environment fostering growth and discovery.

Our 350-acre campus near Pelham provides a picturesque natural sanctuary that inspires our nationally-ranked STEM program and world-class art program. Our distinguished faculty — with the majority holding advanced degrees — delivers exceptional teaching, enriched by state-of-the-art classrooms and independent study options.

We encourage students to pursue their passions both within and beyond the classroom. Our diverse offerings extend beyond academics to include vibrant special interest clubs, meaningful community service opportunities and a strong athletic program with participation in 13 varsity sports as a member

○ Grades: 8-12

○ Where: 190 Woodward Drive

○ Call: 205-332-0563

○ Web: indiansprings.org

of the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

Our alumnus and renowned author John Green ’95 described Indian Springs School as a place where “all at once, I become a learner because I found myself in a community of learners.” Our impact extends far beyond our campus as we are a passionate global community of alumni, parents, and friends, connecting across generations.

We invite you to experience the magic of Indian Springs School at our open houses on Oct. 15 and Dec. 3. Applications for the 2024-25 school year will open on Sept. 1.

For information on admission and need-based financial aid, go to indian springs.org or contact us at admission@ indiansprings.org or 205-332-0563.

Alabama School of Fine Arts

The Alabama School of Fine Arts provides an ideal home for teenagers in the state in grades 7-12 who wish to follow their passions for art, math or science.

A tuition-free, state-funded public school, ASFA inspires students to fully develop their creative abilities.

Students choose from six specialties: creative writing, dance, music, theater arts and visual arts, as well as math-science.

In addition, ASFA students get a wellrounded education from a nationally acclaimed faculty. The school offers AP and honors classes, a college counselor and a dormitory for students living beyond commuting distance.

ASFA is “a next-level school,” says Tim Mitchell, school president.

More than 90% of ASFA’s graduating seniors receive merit scholarships for college each year, Mitchell said.

The students also thrive in the creative, nurturing atmosphere at ASFA, located in Birmingham’s downtown cultural district, “I hear all the time, ‘I’ve found my people. This is my place,’” Mitchell said.

○ Grades: 7-12

○ Where: 1800 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd.

○ Call: 205-252-9241

○ Web: asfaschool.org

“The combination of all the arts and the math and sciences in one building is its own teacher, so no matter what department you’re in, you are interacting with a lot of creative individuals and kind of cross-pollinating ideas,” says Celeste Pfau, a visual artist and 2007 ASFA graduate.

Admission to ASFA is based on applications, letters of recommendation, school records, and auditions or interviews.

Located at 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., ASFA will host an open house for prospective students and their families Nov. 4.

For more information about Alabama School of Fine Arts, call 205-252-9241 or go to asfaschool.org.

280Living.com September 2023 • A25 Advertorial Section Education Guide 2023
meet our award-winning faculty, tour the specialty education spaces, and learn how you can apply to ASFA!

The Megan Montgomery Foundation is hosting its inaugural Charity Golf Outing at Greystone’s Legacy Course on Wednesday, Sept.

Golfing fore a cause

The Megan Montgomery Foundation is hosting its Charity Golf Outing at the Legacy Course at Greystone on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The event, put on by the 501c(3) nonprofit, will begin at 10 a.m., with lunch at 11:45 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 1 p.m. An award presentation and dinner will follow.

Rod Clark, Megan’s stepfather and co-founder of the Megan Montgomery Foundation, said he has played in many local charity tournaments over the years and chose to host the event at Greystone because their events are always well run.

Susann Montgomery-Clark, Megan’s mother, said she hopes the golf tournament raises $70,000.

Hold the Fort Race returns to OMSP

“The foundation gives grants to schools for healthy relationship programs, to empower students to prevent relationship violence before it starts,” she said. “The foundation has distributed $104,000 to date to schools and nonprofits. Proceeds from the golf outing will allow the foundation to provide more grants to more schools. This will be a really fun day of golf to make a huge difference.”

Up to 18 four-person teams can participate in the tournament. Registration costs $1,750 to $2,000, which includes a hole sponsorship, lunch, after-play dinner, a swag bag and a holein-one and longest drive contest.

For hole sponsorships or to register, contact Rod Clark, event chairman, at 205-531-0946 or rod.clark@megansfoundation.org, or visit megansfoundation.org.

Blanket Fort Hope’s Hold the Fort Race returns for its fifth year this month.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, the race will be held at Oak Mountain State Park and include a 5K, 10K and 1-mile Warrior Walk.

All proceeds from the races go to Blanket Fort Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to providing services and care to child sex trafficking survivors. Blanket Fort Hope is currently raising money to construct a restorative therapeutic home for trafficking survivors, with a goal of $1.5 million.

After the race, prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female winners in both the 5K and the 10K, as well as winners in 14 other categories.

This year, participants also have the opportunity to win a new award called the Triple Crown. To win, one must take part in three Birmingham races: Hold the Fort, Foundations 4 Hope 5K on Saturday, Oct. 7, and Bookin’ It 5K on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Triple Crown will be presented on Oct. 14, and participants can receive a registration discount with the coupon code, TripleCrown.

Mills Pharmacy is sponsoring registrant entry into the race, but spectators must pay for entry. To register to run or walk, visit holdthefortraces. com. The first 150 people who sign up will receive a complimentary event T-shirt.

For those interested in helping to sponsor the race, email info@blanketforthope.org. For more information on Blanket Fort Hope and its mission, visit blanketforthope.org.

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Runners participate in the 2022 Hold the Fort 5K/10K at Oak Mountain State Park benefiting Blanket Fort Hope. Photo courtesy of Novel Photos.

Oak Mountain Mission holds annual Harvest of Hope event

Oak Mountain Mission Ministries 14th annual event, Harvest of Hope, is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 12, at The Club.

With 500 people expected to attend, Harvest of Hope is an essential fundraiser for Oak Mountain Mission. One-third of the mission’s income comes from this fundraiser.

All proceeds raised will go back to the Christian nonprofit organization located in Pelham that provides services to families in need in Shelby County and the greater Birmingham area, including food, clothing, household items and medical assistance to thousands of people in Shelby and Jefferson counties.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a silent auction, during which attendees will have the opportunity to bid on items such as vacations,

King’s Home annual golf tournament rebranded as King’s Cup

tickets and more. Janet Hall, a supporter of Oak Mountain Mission and former WBRC-TV news anchor, will serve as the event’s mistress of ceremonies.

Lunch will be served and keynote speaker, Todd Gerelds, will kick off the luncheon and program at 11:30 a.m. Gerelds is the author of “Woodlawn,” a bestselling book and now major motion picture. The book tells Gerelds’s story of God working in his life, and his presentation at the luncheon will follow up on that topic.

A client of Oak Mountain Mission will also share about the impact of the ministry.

Corporate tables are available for $800, and a Faith Support Church table costs $400.

To reserve a spot at the event or sponsor a table, visit oakmtnmissions.com or call 205-685-5757.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, King’s Home will hold its 32nd annual golf tournament, King’s Cup, at Greystone Legacy Golf Course.

Start times are set for 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. All proceeds from the golf tournament will go to support victims of abuse who are staying in King’s Home’s residential group homes. According to King’s Home President Lew Burdette, the tournament raises well over $100,000 for the organization each year.

“All that funding goes to help abused youth and moms and kids find hope and opportunity and a way to start over in life,” Burdette said.

“Ninety-eight percent of our residents have experienced really horrible abuse.”

This is the first time in many years that the

tournament will be held at Greystone Legacy, and Burdette said they took this change as an opportunity to rebrand the tournament and give it the new name of King’s Cup. Burdette said he is thankful for the community’s support of the event over the years.

“We have so much great support from the community for having a golf tournament that long that we have two starts, which is unusual. Most charity tournaments have one start,” he said.

The tournament will feature a full 18 holes of golf, with 18-20 groups playing in the morning and 18-20 in the afternoon. An awards ceremony will also take place, and complimentary food and beverages will be offered for all participants.

Register online at kingshome.com/golf.

280Living.com September 2023 • A27
More than 500 people are expected to attend the Harvest of Hope Luncheon & Silent Auction, benefitting Oak Mountain Mission Ministries on Sept. 12. Photo courtesy of Oak Mountain Mission Ministries. A group poses for a photo at the 2022 King’s Cup golf tournament. Photo courtesy of King’s Home.


CONTINUED from page A1

In 2015, Scalici’s wife of 34 years, Ginger, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and passed just away 25 days later.

“It felt too personal,” Scalici said. “I had the experience of my wife’s cancer, my dad passed away from cancer in 2001 and my mom is a cancer survivor.”

On his drive home, he stopped by the church where his wife is buried, Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church on U.S. 119, where he prayed at the chapel and visited Ginger’s gravesite.

“I stopped by there because even as I walked away from Mike, having turned him down, it was nagging at me and I was resistant,” Scalici said. “I just didn’t want to say yes impulsively. It was something meaningful that would change people’s lives … and perhaps I was well qualified to take on the role.”

By the time he arrived at home, Scalici called Owsley and told him that he did indeed want to be involved in FCN.

Although Scalici had been an integral part of the startup of two television networks, EWTN Catholic Network and The Golf Channel, he didn’t know if he had the energy to do another startup. It wasn’t long, however, until he said he was “so completely energized” about the app and he couldn’t wait to get the content in the hands of doctors and patients.

“I know this is going to be a successful venture,” he said. “I realized it was exactly what I was meant to do.”

From diagnosis to treatment and beyond Scalici said it’s important for people to understand what their medical options are, and when they search on their own, they will be met with thousands of returns from both reputable and disreputable sources.

“When a person is diagnosed with cancer, the person and caregiver are immediately put into a state of anxiety,” he said. “They crave information they need to understand their disease and know what their fate is and isn’t. While my wife’s story is tragic, most people who get cancer are treatable.”

Each type of cancer is such a specific disease, people can’t just read a general article on lung cancer, breast cancer or prostate cancer and come away with the knowledge they need, Scalici said.

“We understand what cancer patients and their caregivers really need,” he said. “What they need more than anything is information, relevant information, and they want to understand it, they don’t just want to absorb the words. They want

to really understand the concepts.”

Scalici added that people often receive conflicting advice from friends or family about what they should do, which can shake their confidence from what their doctor tells them to do.

“The more we can strengthen the bond between you and your doctor, by giving you good, valid information, that hopefully everything your doctor says is right in line with what you saw on the Fighting Cancer Network,” he

said. “If not, then you have reason to question. That doesn’t mean your doctor is wrong, but at least now, you know the questions to ask.”


The FCN app has been built and tested in Birmingham, and Scalici said it will remain headquartered here, even though the goal is nationwide use.

“It’s the perfect place to build a network because experts from all over the world live here,” he said. “Birmingham is a rich source of cancer resources, as good as any place you could choose.”

Scalici has lived in Brook Highland, Highland Lakes and currently lives in the area between Cahaba Heights and Liberty Park. The FCN headquarters are located on Brook Highland Parkway.

“It’s very familiar territory to me,” Scalici said. “I’ve been somewhere within a couple of miles north or south of this area almost my whole adult life, and I’m very comfortable here.”

Content development began in August 2019, then paused for a while during the pandemic. Scalici said it ended up being a blessing that provided time to flesh out the business plan.

“We developed our concept and by the end of 2021, we were raising capital,” he said. “By summer 2022, we had raised $700,000, which was our target to launch the pilot version of the app.”

Information provided on the app is guided by principles of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which is recognized in the U.S. as an authority on recommended treatments for every specific cancer diagnosis. UAB is one of only 32 member institutions in the NCCN.

“We’ve designed our content around a reputable source that no hospital or medical practice would dispute,” Scalici said.

The pilot version of the app that is currently available focuses on only two types of cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Both Scalici and Owsley had years of experience in television production and knew the importance of short videos, as a way for people to digest information faster and more easily.

“If we can show people, not with talking heads, but with images of the human body, of a

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Matt Scalici, president and CEO of the Fighting Cancer Network, sits at his desk in Brook Highland. Photos by Erin Nelson.

procedure taking place of an MRI, a PET scan or the radiation devices and take you inside the body, it will help you understand what various procedures are like from diagnostics to treatment to reconstruction, in some cases, to recovery and survivorship, all the entire spectrum,” Scalici said.

Instead of seeing someone talk about a specific treatment, app users are taken behind the scenes, inside a diagnostic room and shown someone going through the procedure using 3D animation.

Scalici said he believes the content on the app is world-class, easy to watch and no more clinical than it needs to be.

“And all our content has been written by doctors, but edited by laypeople,” he said. “The hosts of our shows are not doctors, they are professional talent and some of them have actually had their own cancer experience.”

After downloading the app, the user can choose whether they are the patient, caregiver, family, friend or healthcare professional and then go through a series of questions to find out what the patient knows about cancer and help them at any point in their journey by curating relevant content.

Scalici describes it as a “Netflix for cancer” — not in a flippant way, but to describe how the app can line up programming that is specifically tailored to the user and feature a dashboard with recommended videos. Users can also select their own video playlist.

There is also a section on the app that features videos of doctors speaking about the specifics of each type of cancer. There are dozens of doctors that have partnered with FCN from across the country, including Harvard Medical, Massachusetts General, Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, The Mayo Clinic, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and local doctors from UAB, St. Vincent’s and Grandview Medical Center.

“The doctor you talk to, he or she is responding to the questions you’re asking,” he said. “But they rarely have time to walk you through the breadth of options you have, because frankly, the way our medical system is set up, your doctor most likely has another dozen patients to see before the end of the day. So there’s only so much time. This is why doctors are endorsing our product and are participating. They have all

contributed to the content in our app, because they see the need for patient education.”


Eighty percent of the investment capitalists for the app are in Birmingham, Scalici said, and

FCN is currently in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $5 million to launch the network nationwide by summer 2024.

Once released nationally, the app will feature 10 cancers that represent about 70% of cancer diagnoses in the country: breast cancer, prostate

cancer, lung (including bronchus) cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, endometrial cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer and pediatric cancers, as a group. Eventually, Scalici said, every cancer from A to Z will be included to produce a “comprehensive library of cancer content.”

“We will also be producing ancillary content including, nutrition, fitness, mental health, legal and financial information and much more,” he said.

Other cancers to be added sometime in the near future include all types of leukemia, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, liver and bile duct cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

When the full release version of the app launches, Scalici said it will have a variety of other features, including:

► Medication reminders

► A notes section for the patient to write down things to ask their doctor at an upcoming visit

► A My Story journal, similar to CaringBridge, where family and friends can receive updates when new posts are made

► The ability to link videos to the journal posts, so those who are reading the updates can learn more about a particular procedure or treatment stage that the patient is undergoing

► A glossary with definitions of medical terms

Scalici said FCN will partner with other companies that provide goods or services that a cancer patient might need, including grocery delivery, paying for rides to and from treatments from a service like Uber or Lyft, or paying for hotels if treatment is out of town.

“Rather than people bringing casseroles to your house, they can do something very practical on the app,” he said. “We will integrate it with the My Story piece, so people can gift those things [to the patient/their family].”

Scalici said he urges anyone reading this story who has cancer or is close to someone with cancer to download the app and test it.

For more information, visit fightingcancernetwork.com or download the Fighting Cancer Network App from the Apple app store or Google Play.

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The Fighting Cancer Network provides a companion mobile app for patients and families for up-to-date information on different cancers and their treatment regimens.


CONTINUED from page A1

My goal was to run enough miles that I would get a spot on the 24-hour women’s team that is competing in Taipei this December,” Harvey said. Taipei is hosting the International Association of Ultrarunners 24-Hour World Championships.

“I was on track to hit my mile goal, but I sat down right before the 12-hour mark to gather myself and get my stuff ready for the second twelve hours,” Harvey said.

“Talking to [my husband] David, I looked down at the ground. The next thing I remember is telling David, ‘I feel like I’m going to throw up.’ Just as those words came out of my mouth, I started throwing up,” she continued.

Harvey tried to rest and drink water, broth or ginger ale, but she couldn’t keep anything down, and she wasn’t improving.

“The race director, Bill Schultz, and another person pretty much carried me to the car. I only made it 12 hours,” Harvey said. “My heart and soul had gone into training for this race, and I failed. My heart was broken. Looking back, there is nothing I could have done, and I understand that now.”

Harvey said she thought of many reasons to call off the run from Canada to Mexico, including her experience in Philadelphia, but she didn’t.

“We returned to Birmingham, and the next day left for Mexico,” she said. “There was a huge blister that had formed under one of the toenails on my left foot, and I could barely walk. … It hurt for the first two days, and either I got used to the pain, or it subsided a bit. Regardless, I lost that toenail three times in 47 days. Seven toenails total. Who knows if my feet will ever be presentable again.”

The duo started the trek on May 18, but four days into it, Noble decided he could not continue.

“When Paul left, I had a decision to make. The easy decision, most would think, would be to pack up and go home,” Harvey said. “A lot of people tried to convince me to end it there, but I couldn’t. The decision for me was easy ... to continue. I don’t know why it was such an easy decision. No one really understood it, including myself. It is a decision now that I will cherish forever.”

After Harvey completed the journey, Noble celebrated her with a Facebook post.

“While it wasn’t the journey for me as I packed it on day four,” he said, “I’m happy that it was the right journey for Nikki. She freaking did it — Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.”

The early days of the run were some of the toughest, Harvey said.

“South Texas in May is no joke when it comes to heat. The first few days of our trip, the [feels-like] temperature got well over 100. I’m not sure of the actual temperature,” she said.

For many days of the journey, Harvey had a crew, family members and friends who joined in during different legs, but for a large portion of the run, she was on her own.

“I had my family through the first part of the run, but I did get anxious as it got closer to the time when I would be on my own,” she said. “I had never been to most of the places

“The beauty of the country is just amazing. I’ve never really spent time in the Midwest. From the livestock in Texas and Oklahoma, to the crops in Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota, I took it all in. Of course, I took pictures, but there is nothing that I can post that will show the beauty I’ve seen. My hope is that everyone will take the time to go on the backroads and see the beauty of our country.

are what made the most impact on her during the run.

“There are people with needs everywhere,” she said. “Some of those needs are things like food and shelter, but some people just need a smile or someone to say a kind word to them. That is what I’m integrating more into my everyday life. I don’t want to have preconceived stereotypes about people. I want us all to stop focusing on our differences and start treating each other like humans.”

Raising funds for food banks became even more important to Harvey during the trip. “There is poverty everywhere, but it was many times the people who had the least who wanted to help me the most. That really meant a lot to me. I’m glad what I did will help to give back to those communities,” she said.

I was running through. There were a lot of unknowns, but I wasn’t going to stop.”

Once on her own, Harvey had a stroller to carry supplies, including extra shoes and clothing, snacks and drinks and other needed items. While she said taking the stroller was a great decision, it did suffer some flat tires a few times along the route.

When reflecting on the trip, Harvey said the beauty of the land and the beauty of the people she met along the way are what will stay with her for the rest of her life.

“The acts of love shown to me by friends and complete strangers is something I will

never forget. From people like Kathy, who gave me shelter when I couldn’t go on, to the people who saw me running and gave me food and water,” she said. “The beauty of the country is just amazing. I’ve never really spent time in the Midwest. From the livestock in Texas and Oklahoma, to the crops in Kansas, Nebraska and Minnesota, I took it all in. Of course, I took pictures, but there is nothing that I can post that will show the beauty I’ve seen. My hope is that everyone will take the time to go on the backroads and see the beauty of our country.”

Harvey said her interactions with people

Harvey added a charity during her run to help a friend, Brian Boatman, who is currently battling ALS. She said his fundraising continues and donations can be made at givesendgo.com/StemcellsforBrian.

With the positive impact the Mexico-to-Canada journey had on her, Warren said she doesn’t think this will be her last long-distance run. She said her next goal may be to run from the East Coast to the West Coast.

“I think that would be a beautiful trip,” she said. “It’s more like 3,000 miles, but I can do it.”

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280 Living A30 • September 2023
Above: Nikki Harvey runs along Texas 973 in Austin on May 25. Right: Harvey sits in the grass in front of a sign for Main Street in Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada, on July 4. Harvey completed a run from Matamoros, Mexico, near the southern tip of Texas, to Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada, along the United States border of Minnesota over the course of 47 days. Photos courtesy of Nikki Harvey.
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Back to School in Style

School is back in session, and that means picking up, dropping off, practices, rehearsals, and so much more. Luckily, Kenia is ready to handle it all and then some this year with the comfort and capability inside her new 2023 Yukon Denali. Our own Jose Perozo made it lightning fast and super simple to get the paperwork done and get her family in their new SUV. For every ride there’s Royal.

More about the GMC Yukon Denali

The 2023 GMC Yukon Denali is an even more refined take on this unmistakable full-size SUV. Carry up to 8 passengers in one of three instantly iconic Denali interior color selections. Tow up to 8,200 lbs. with the available Max Trailering Package. And drive into the future with available Super Cruise Hands-Free Driver Assistance Technology. Explore it all now at Royal Buick GMC.

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Kenia Arita and her son with Royal’s Jose Perozo as they take home their new 2023 GMC Yukon Denali.
280Living.com September 2023 A31



Dr. Jennifer Cushing Bares specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology. Originally from Trussville, Alabama, Dr. Bares graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree in 2012. She continued her medical training at The University of Alabama School of Medicine, where she graduated with summa cum laude and AOA honors at the top of her class in 2017. Dr. Bares completed an internship at Tulane University in New Orleans before moving to New York City to continue her dermatology training. Dr. Bares completed her dermatology residency at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2023. She was selected by her peers to be Chief Resident in her final year of training. She and her husband, Chandler, now reside in Trussville with their dog, Champ.

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Local teams start region play in September

With the high school football season fully underway, local teams will begin the pivotal road of region play in September.

Chelsea, Oak Mountain and Spain Park all compete in Class 7A, Region 3 against one another. Briarwood is part of 6A, Region 3.

All four teams missed the playoffs last fall and will be looking to change their fortunes in 2023.

Spain Park opens the year at Calera on Aug. 25 and at home against Briarwood on Sept. 1. The Jags have lost to Briarwood each of the last two years, including a 23-21 defeat last fall.

Hoover heads to Spain Park on Sept. 8, as the two teams renew the city rivalry to begin region play for both squads. Hoover has reclaimed control of the series in recent years, winning the last seven games after Spain Park won twice in 2015.

Spain Park begins region play with its two stoutest opponents right off the bat. Following the Hoover game, the Jags will get a visit from four-time defending state champion Thompson on Sept. 15. The Jags have had no luck against the Warriors in recent years, with six straight losses decided by double digits.

The Jags then head to Vestavia Hills on Sept. 22 for what could be a key game in deciding both teams’ future playoff fortunes. Vestavia cruised to a 36-7 win in this matchup last season, and the Rebels have won five in a row in this series. Spain Park will take its open date Sept. 29.

Chelsea opens the season at Helena before beginning the month with a home game against Calera on Sept. 1. Chelsea suffered a tough 10-6 defeat to the Eagles last fall.

The Hornets start region play Sept. 8 with a trip to Tuscaloosa County, a team that handed Chelsea a bitter 42-41 loss in 2022, in the first ever meeting between the two teams.

Chelsea hosts Oak Mountain the following week, the Hornets’ only win a season ago. The Hornets took care of the Eagles 21-7 and snapped a five-game losing skid in the series.

The Hornets then head to Thompson on Sept. 22 to face the four-time defending state champions. Thompson took a 48-3 victory last fall, the first matchup between the teams since 2015.

Chelsea finishes the month at Pelham on Sept. 29 in a non-region contest. Pelham won 35-28, and the two teams have alternated wins in the

Hearing Loss Comorbidities: Adults



last five meetings.

After opening at Northridge, Oak Mountain heads to Pelham for a Sept. 1 game. The Eagles were able to pull out a 21-17 win over the Panthers last fall.

Oak Mountain opens up region play Sept. 8 at home against Hewitt-Trussville, in what will be the first game on the new turf field at Heardmont Park. Oak Mountain has not had much success against the Huskies in recent years, losing the last seven games, including a 48-14 defeat last year.

The Eagles head to Chelsea the following week and follow that up with a home game against Tuscaloosa County on Sept. 22. Much

like Chelsea, Oak Mountain suffered a tough 34-31 loss to the Wildcats last year.

Oak Mountain concludes the month at Briarwood on Sept. 29 in a non-region game. Last fall, the Eagles fell to Briarwood 34-14.

After playing Clay-Chalkville and Spain Park to start the season, Briarwood begins region play Sept. 8 at Chilton County. The Lions earned a dramatic 36-29 win over the Tigers last season. Briarwood hosts Pelham on Sept. 15, looking to have a better result than last season’s disappointing 35-34 loss to the Panthers.

The Lions take an open date the following week before concluding the month at home against Oak Mountain.


Hearing Loss Comorbidities: Adults

Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.1

Hearing loss occurs in 40–80% of individuals treated with Cisplatin. Obtaining baseline hearing tests and monitoring for ototoxicity during and after treatments can assist with improving patient quality of life.2



Hearing loss occurs in 40–80% of individuals treated with Cisplatin. Obtaining baseline hearing tests and monitoring for ototoxicity during and after treatments can assist with improving patient quality of life.2

Cardiovascular risk factors and disease are associated with greater hearing loss and a faster rate of hearing deterioration.4


There is an increased risk for depression in adults with hearing loss, with moderate hearing loss being significantly associated with depression among older women especially.3


There is an increased risk for depression in adults with hearing loss, with moderate hearing loss being significantly associated with depression among older women especially.3


Patients with diabetes have an increased prevalence of hearing loss, regardless of age, and may be at risk for developing sudden sensorineural hearing loss.5,6


Cardiovascular risk factors and disease are associated with greater hearing loss and a faster rate of hearing deterioration.4


Hearing loss has been associated with cognitive decline and is more prevalent in older adults with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s Disease than in older adults with no memory issues.7,8


Hearing loss has been associated with cognitive decline and is more prevalent in older adults with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s Disease than in older adults with no memory issues.7,8

Connect with an Audiologist Near You!


Older adults with hearing loss report experiencing falls almost three times more often than those with normal hearing.10


Older adults with hearing loss report experiencing falls almost three times more often than those with normal hearing.10

Hearing loss is common among older adults with chronic kidney disease, both syndromic and nonsyndromic.9

Patients with diabetes have an increased prevalence of hearing loss, regardless of age, and may be at risk for developing sudden sensorineural hearing loss.5,6



Hearing loss is common among older adults with chronic kidney disease, both syndromic and nonsyndromic.9

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with an Audiologist Near You! 09/2018
15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.1
Left: Chelsea running back Emerson Russell (1) carries the ball in a game last fall. Right: Oak Mountain wide receiver Sawyer Smith (23) runs with the ball last fall. Chelsea, Oak Mountain, Spain Park and Briarwood begin region play in September. Photos by Erin Nelson.

As we approach the beginning of a new year, it’s the perfect time to pause, reflect on our health and set meaningful goals for personal growth. With enough time to plan ahead, you can create a strategy for success. Therefore, now is the time to think about what health goals you’d like to accomplish in this upcoming new year. We all know too well that taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle can be both exciting and challenging. However, I firmly believe success is within reach and attainable with careful preparation, dedication, and a positive mindset. Here are some essential steps to consider.

Step 1: Personal self-reflection. Before embarking on your health journey, PAUSE and take time to self-reflect on your current habits, strengths, weaknesses, and areas you’d like to improve. Identify specific health-related goals that are realistic and achievable. Break them down into short-term and long-term objectives, making them measurable and time-bound. Ensure your goals align with your values, interests, and long-term vision for a healthier and happier life.

Step 2: Educate yourself. Knowledge is a powerful tool in achieving health goals. Do research on various aspects of health, including nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, and mental well-being. Understand the importance of balanced nutrition, regular physical activity, and healthy sleep patterns for overall well-being. Be aware of potential barriers or challenges, and create strategies to overcome them.

Step 3: Seek professional guidance. Consulting

with healthcare professionals, such as wellness chiropractors, nutritionists, or fitness trainers, can provide valuable insights and personalized advice. They can help assess your current health status and offer guidance on setting realistic goals.

Step 4: Create a detailed plan. Develop a comprehensive plan outlining action steps needed to achieve your health goals. Include specific activities like meal planning, workout routines, and self-care practices. Break down the plan into manageable steps. Prioritize them based on importance and feasibility.

Step 5: Build a support system. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or like-minded individuals who share similar health goals. A support system can provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability. This group will help stay on track during challenging times.

Step 6: Monitor progress and celebrate achievements. Regularly track your progress towards your health goals. Use tools like journals, mobile apps, or fitness trackers to record your achievements, setbacks, and areas for improvement. Celebrate every milestone achieved, no matter how small. This definitely boosts confidence and motivation!

Step 7: Be adaptable and flexible. Understand that setbacks and unexpected obstacles are a natural part of any journey, it’s part of life!Being adaptable and flexible will help you learn from setbacks, make necessary adjustments as needed, and get back on track with renewed vigor. ADD this year, spinal health through chiropractic.

Prepping for 2024 Goals

Healthy spine equals a healthier body and life. This is an excellent way to prioritize your well-being. Chiropractic focus’s on maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system. Here are some chiropractic health goals to consider for the upcoming year:

• Regular chiropractic check-ups: Schedule regular visits to your chiropractor throughout the year for check-ups, adjustments, and preventive care. Consistent chiropractic care can help maintain spinal alignment, relieve tension, and improve overall nervous system function.

• Improve posture: Make a conscious effort to improve your posture, both while sitting and standing. Poor posture can lead to spinal misalignments and musculoskeletal issues.

• Exercise regularly: Engage in regular physical activity that supports your spine and overall health. Focus on exercises that strengthen your core muscles as a starter.

• Stretching and flexibility: Incorporate stretching exercises into your daily routine to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension. Flexible muscles can help maintain proper alignment and reduce the strain on your spine.

• Maintain a healthy diet: Nutrition plays a vital role in overall health. Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and essential nutrients that support bone and joint health.

• Manage stress: Chronic stress can lead to muscle tension and negatively impact your health and spine’s health. Practice stress management

techniques such as prayer, meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies that help you relax.

• Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy discs and joint function. Make sure to drink an adequate amount of water each day to keep your body well-hydrated.

• Proper lifting techniques: Learn and use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury. Bend at the knees and keep the object close to your body when lifting heavy items.

• Improve sleep quality: Invest in a supportive mattress and pillow to ensure you maintain proper spinal alignment while sleeping. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support healing and recovery.

• Educate yourself: Stay informed about chiropractic care and its benefits. Read articles or research the internet for material about spinal health and wellness.

Remember that setting realistic and achievable goals is key to success. With proper preparation and a positive mindset, embarking on a journey to achieve your health goals for the new year can be a very rewarding experience. Gradually incorporate these goals into your daily routine and track your progress throughout the year. Remember to stay focused, stay patient, and celebrate your progress along the way. EMBRACE THE PROCESS of evolving towards a healthier and happier you. Chiropractic Today is here to help you get there.

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Local teams entering season with high hopes

High school volleyball season has arrived. Though it is often overshadowed by the fanfare of football, that will not be the case in this space. Spain Park, Oak Mountain, Chelsea and Briarwood are all looking forward to strong 2023 seasons. Three of those teams make up most of Class 7A, Area 6, while Briarwood will look to make its mark in Class 6A.

Here’s a deeper look into each of those teams, as the season runs from now through the month of October.


There are plenty of new faces within the Spain Park High School volleyball team this fall.

Eight seniors graduated from the Jaguars’ program, leaving only a few returning varsity players for this fall’s squad.

But that has done nothing to diminish the hopes that Kellye Bowen has for her program as she enters her 10th season leading the way.

“I think we are competitive; they compete hard and play for each other,” the head coach said. “They’re still really young, but we’re learning every single day.”

A great 2022 season ended in somewhat disappointing fashion, with the Jags falling in a five-set heartbreaker to Sparkman at the Class 7A North Regional. But the program is hungry to get back to that point and potentially further this time around.

“I’m excited about the potential of this team,” Bowen said. “They have high energy, they love each other, and they’re a lot of fun to be around.”

There are certainly some pros and cons to having such a young team. In one sense, the team can be molded like a fresh piece of clay. In other ways, there is still so much left to learn.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Bowen said. “The thing about being young, you get to teach the younger kids how to be great leaders.”

Megan Ingersoll and Reagan Gilbert are two of the four returners for the Jags, and both will be six-rotation hitters this fall. Grace Devlin is one of four seniors and plays on the back row. Alexa Benda is a middle who is also returning.

These four already know the standards of the varsity team, with Devlin commending the team’s collective accountability. Ingersoll wants to help get the Jags back to the level they reached when they won the 2021 7A state championship.

“Relentless energy, dominance and grit is the standard,” she said.

Devlin, Mae Elliott, Rigby Perrien and Ella Ussery are the team’s seniors. Ussery is not just new to the varsity team, but new to volleyball in general. She is committed to play softball at the University of North Alabama but decided to take up volleyball this fall as well.

Cailyn Kyes will step into the role as the team’s primary setter, as she features a largerthan-life personality and has command of the floor.

Bea Wiggins is a hitter but can set when needed. Grayson Hyde and Ja’Niyah Mosley are middles.

Some have made the Jags an afterthought with so much roster turnover, and Bowen believes it is motivating the team to achieve great things.

“This group, they want to show how great they can be,” she said. “That’s what’s going to be fun to watch, is the growth.”

Spain Park will play in the Juanita Boddie Tournament and the Tournament of Champions in Guntersville and will host the HeffStrong Tournament. The Jags will also play a loaded regular season schedule, featuring the likes of McGill-Toolen, Thompson, Hoover, Homewood and Mountain Brook, in addition to area foes Chelsea, Oak Mountain and Hewitt-Trussville.

“We just focus on us and not everybody

else,” Bowen said. “You can get focused on other people and other teams. If you focus on you and your team, it’ll all play out in the end.”


Carly Cline has worn plenty of hats in her time at Briarwood Christian School. She played volleyball there, and she’s been an assistant coach there.

Now, she adds head coach to that list of roles. Cline takes over a program that advanced to the Class 6A South Regional last season and has hopes to do that once again, in a tough area that includes Pelham, Helena and John Carroll.

“I want to get our girls back past area,” she said. “We did great last year. This group, I have high hopes for. They have a lot of potential.”

Cline believes in the ability of the team the Lions will put on the floor each night. She also has a well-defined outlook for each of her players in the program on and off the court.

“My vision is to create strong players that are able to compete at any level, but also for them to leave here being great human beings,” Cline said.

As someone who played defense herself, Cline emphasizes the importance of defense, saying “if they’re not great at defense, you can’t

have an offense.”

“I’m passionate about these girls being really good at that,” she said. “I want them to take what their position is and commit to it.”

The Lions have five seniors this year, and they have played together for several years. Stella Helms, Colleen Lehane, Caroline Jones, Lindsey Butler and Anna Reid Frost will look to go out on a high note.

“The seniors are a really tight-knit group,” Cline said. “They also are good at reaching out to the other girls and bringing people in.”

Helms is a strong left-handed hitter who can and will play all over the court for Briarwood. Lehane will step up as the team’s setter.

Cline called Butler a powerhouse in the middle of the front row. Frost can play as an outside or right side hitter, with Jones once again serving as the team’s libero.

Mia Wilson will be a setter and play right side some as a junior. Clara Crawford and Sophia Seale are sophomores who play on the front row, while freshman Julie Roberts hits from the right side. Eighth grader Leighton Hendley is a versatile player capable of playing many positions.

“There’s only 10 of them, but they pack a punch,” Cline said. “They’re going to come out and compete this season.”


The Chelsea High School volleyball program is moving on. The Hornets were one of the top Class 7A teams in the regular season last fall, but they were upended in the Area 6 tournament and forced to face the reality of a season that ended too soon.

“At the end of the day, we hung our hat on a really great season, even though we didn’t finish where we wanted to finish,” Chelsea head coach Jamie Gill said. “These girls are successful in the things that really matter.”

Despite the premature conclusion, Chelsea was a team that exhibited effort and teamwork, the main things for which Gill asks.

The most notable departure of last year is Emma Pohlmann, a dominant player who is now at the University of North Florida. Madison Moore is also playing college ball at the University of Mobile.

But the Hornets like what they have coming back this fall.

“We have a strong team and a bunch of returning players,” Gill said. “We might surprise some people, and we’re excited about it.”

MK Dojonovic returns as a setter, and fellow

B4 • September 2023 280 Living Sports
Briarwood’s Stella Helms (5) is one of five seniors for the Lions, a group head coach Carly Cline calls a “tight-knit group.”

senior Mara Paulk is a defensive specialist. As the seniors, they are ready to make up for last year’s ending.

“We don’t ever want to feel that feeling again,” Dojonovic said at the preseason Over the Mountain Media Day event at Thompson High School.

Lauren Buchanan is a strong hitter on the outside and has garnered plenty of attention across the area, state and region for her talents.

“We’ve grown so much as a team,” Buchanan said. “We’re not going to back down. We have that mindset to leave it all out there on the court.”

Lexi Rudolph is a name to watch on the outside as well. The younger sister of Amaya Rudolph, Lexi has stepped into the fold as a freshman and has the ability to make an instant impact.

At the setter position, the Hornets are operating from a position of strength, with Dojonovic and junior Cara Belcher. Belcher could play all the way around the court this fall.

Kaleigh Hall is back as the team’s top middle blocker. Fellow junior Presley Durham is ready to make her mark on varsity, while Haley Trotter is a standout basketball player who will contribute as well.

On the right side, Lila Willett and Allison Thompson are juniors who will compete for playing time. On the back row, Reagan Sartin is back after serving as the libero at times last season. Sophia Bagley is a defensive specialist, as is Payton Walker.

The Hornets will compete in Area 6 with Spain Park, Hewitt-Trussville and Oak Mountain.


The Oak Mountain High School volleyball team achieved one of its chief goals last fall. The Eagles advanced out of the always-tough Class 7A, Area 6, and earned the opportunity to experience life at the North Regional tournament.

“It was one of our biggest goals, to make it out of area,” said Ella Pierce, one of the Eagles’ seven seniors this season, at Over the Mountain Media Day. “To overcome that was really big

for us. Regionals was a totally new experience for us and we had so much fun.”

Oak Mountain was knocked out in the opening round of regionals, but the experience gained from that should be a boon this year.

“Last year, they realized that they could do it,” head coach Grace Burgess said. “They’ve been telling themselves that they can do it for three years. They proved that to themselves last year, and they know it’s in reach.”

Burgess said the summer featured some highs and lows, but the inconsistency has only made the team work harder, knowing that Area 6 with Spain Park, Chelsea and Hewitt-Trussville will be no cake walk.

The Eagles have seven seniors this fall, Burgess’ first group to coach from their freshman

year all the way through high school.

“They know my expectations are extremely high of their execution of our core values,” she said. “They work so incredibly hard, in the weight room, the classroom, on the court, in every aspect of their life.”

In addition to Pierce, Jenna Burson, Emma Hawkins, Ava Heath, Saiya Patel, Lauren Schuessler and Mabrey Whitehead make up a loaded senior class.

Whitehead recently committed to play collegiately at the University of North Alabama. Burgess also pointed out Heath has taken immense strides over the offseason, becoming a more confident player and a strong leader.

Emma Claire Jones, Molly Shaver, Addison Pollard, Aubrie Lay, Anna DuBose, Bennett

Oak Mountain’s Emma Hawkins (12) is one of seven seniors for the Eagles. Oak Mountain made it to regionals last fall and is looking to replicate that type of success.

Renstrom and Ava Tucker are also part of the varsity team.

Schuessler is perhaps the player that serves as the best example of the totality of the Eagles. She has played a different role each year she has been on the varsity team, capable of being a hitter, a passer, a setter or anything else. Burgess said she has a team full of players like that this season.

“They can all do everything, which is awesome, but hard at the same time, because you have to figure out which puzzle is best,” Burgess said.

Burgess said the key to the Eagles’ season will be fitting those pieces together and not having the seniors put too much pressure on themselves.

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Zack Holton tees off professional career Fore!

It’s a rare feat to jump into a new activity on a whim and become one of the best in the world practically overnight. However, that is exactly what Oak Mountain area resident Zack Holton managed to achieve.

At the time of this writing, Holton was ranked No. 5 in the World Long Drive, the globe’s premier professional golf long drive competition. He has also managed to rack up an impressive list of awards and accomplishments during his short career, including Rookie of the Year 2021 and a top 5 finish in the Professional Long Drive Association World Championships.

However, after capturing his first victory on a tour stop in La Salle, Colorado, in June, Holton’s name is now being mentioned among the sport’s elite. The tournament was held on a course at an elevation of 4,800 feet and, Holton said, the ball was flying off his club throughout the tournament.

“It isn’t quite a mile high, but still the altitude is a huge factor and the ball travels further, so the numbers can get pretty wild,” Holton said. “I was hitting it well that day.”

“Hitting it well” is an understatement. After rolling through his first two matches, Holton smashed a personal-best 473-yard drive, helping him land a spot in the final. There, he faced Martin Borgmeier, currently ranked No. 1 on the World Long Drive Championship Tour and considered to be one of, if not the, top performer in the sport.

Unintimidated, Holton had one of the best sets in the history of the tour, landing five of his six shots in bounds, all of which traveled between 463 and 468 yards. Had his sixth and final shot landed in bounds, Holton would have broken a world record for the longest set in long drive

history, equivalent to 1.7 miles.

“It was by far the best set of my career and it was the perfect time to do it,” he said.

Holton said even though he is a relative newcomer to the sport, the tour victory was a significant milestone in his development as a professional long driver. Since joining the tour as a professional in 2021, Holton has finished in second place three times, so getting that first victory was vital and exhilarating.

“I was pretty fired up after I won,” he said. “I haven’t been competing very long but I’ve had a lot of high finishes. … So being able to push past that barrier and get into the winner’s circle, I was really thrilled with myself. I’m just trying to do it again.”

Born and raised in the Oak Mountain community, Holton played on the golf teams at Oak Mountain High School and at Birmingham-Southern College. His father, Richard,

shared a flier promoting a long-drive competition during Holton’s freshman year of college in 2017.

“At the time, they were putting these events on the Golf Channel and my dad sent it to me kind of as a halfway joke,” he said. “I was a freshman in college and had no idea what I wanted to do yet, but it looked like a lot of fun just from everything I’ve seen on TV.”

Holton decided to give it a shot.

“We literally bought a driver off the internet,” he said, “and went up to the qualifier in Memphis.”

While Holton admits he didn’t make much noise at that first tournament, he enjoyed the experience and made a decision to return to long drive competition after college. When he came back to it in 2019, he found early success on the amateur level, finishing second in his first tournament and winning his next two events.

After the 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tour relaunched in 2021 under its new name, World Long Drive. Holton turned professional that year, at a time when the sport reached a new level of popularity and competitiveness.

“Right now, long drive competitors are at a level now that it’s never been at before. There are probably 20 different guys that can go out and win the World Championship whereas in previous years, there were only maybe four or five,” Holton said. “The talent level has grown exponentially, but I’m proud to say that I’m part of that group pushing the bar even further.”

When not competing on the World Long Drive tour, Holton is an associate underwriter at AmWINS Group, a specialty insurance company based in Birmingham. Learn more about the World Long Drive tour at worldlongdrive.com.

If you have been involved in sports in any capacity, you have likely heard the famous Mike Tyson quote: “Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.”

This quote has been often repeated over the years, for good reason. There is plenty of truth and life application in it.

I often think about this quote at the beginning of seasons. When I was making the preseason rounds in the summer and talking to high school football coaches, in preparation for our Under the Lights magazine (pick one of those up, if you haven’t already), positivity reigned.

Before the season begins and everyone sits at the same 0-0 record, there is plenty of reason to be positive. This will be the year we turn the corner, or this will be the season that we capture that elusive championship.

It’s reasonable, right? Hewitt-Trussville’s offense is going to be even better than it was

last year. Hoover is finally ready to take down Thompson in the playoffs. ClayChalkville’s early playoff exit was an aberration. Homewood is going to remain a double-digit-win team.

And the list goes on. All of those statements could easily come to fruition.

Hope is a powerful thing, and it gives players, coaches and fans alike a reason to believe that they can do something special.

However, life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. After the first week of the high school football season, half of the teams around the state have been saddled with a

drawing board to figure out the next steps.

If you start 0-1, where do you go from there? Is it merely a blip on the radar or a sign of what’s to come? You’ll see both of those this fall during football, volleyball, cross-country and flag football season. Some teams will keep their heads down and continue to strive for incremental improvement. Some will fold up like a chair and the losing snowball will begin rolling downhill.

In the summer, it’s so easy to espouse confidence and belief. The sky is the limit, after all. But once the real games begin and it’s harder than you hoped it would be, how do you respond?

It’s one of the many great lessons sports teach us about life. Responding to all types of adversities is a daily thing. A bad moment can either ruin a day or a choice can be made to flush it and move on. When disappointments come, the choice must be made either to fold or to persevere and make the best of a situation.

On the field or the court, the most inspiring teams are not always the ones that go undefeated. Often, it’s the ones that don’t get deflated by a tough loss or two, but carry on and push through. They may not be the best team, but they maximize their potential, and that’s all anyone can ask for.

So, the question must be asked: What happens when your team gets “punched in the mouth?”

Kyle Parmley is the sports editor at Starnes Media.

B6 • September 2023 280 Living
Zack Holton participates in the World Long Drive La Salle Open Championship at Big Foot Turf Farms in La Salle, Colo. in June 2023. Holton earned the WLD La Salle Open Division Champion title. Photo courtesy of Zack Holton.
Sports Editor’s Note By Kyle Parmley How do you respond to adversity? Parmley Mr. Handyman is taking care of Birmingham’s “To-Do” List ® like us on follow us on 205-606-0800 Give us a call! Independently owned and operated franchise.© 2022 Mr. Handyman SPV LLC. All rights Reserved MrHandyman.com Visit mrhandyman.com to learn more about our services All of our technicians are full-time employees and all of our workmanship is guaranteed. Honest. Transparent. Easy to work with and e cient. We humbly aspire to earn your business. Thank you!

New-look Hornets defense led by Lowery

Todd Cassity and Scott Lowery said for years that they would one day coach together again.

It took nearly a decade for that to happen after their days coaching together on Jim Elgin’s staff at Pleasant Grove High School, but it is finally a reality for the pair once again at Chelsea, where Cassity has hired Lowery to run the Hornets’ defense.

Lowery comes from Helena, where he spent five years running the weight room, coaching the secondary and leading the softball program. He will also coach the Chelsea softball program after building a successful one at Helena.

The defensive coordinator position came open following the retirement of Ted Darby. Cassity and Lowery said the Chelsea defense will transition from a 3-4 to more of a 3-3-3 stack defense, utilizing the unit’s strength in the secondary.

“We’re running a different type of defense. They’re learning on the fly and we’re getting them to understand what I’m saying,” Lowery said.

The opportunity for Lowery at Chelsea is easy to see on the football side, as he was coaching the secondary at Helena. Being in charge of the defense and working alongside Cassity again were big positives to the move. But, he admits, any career move is not easy.

“Any time you do something new, you’re apprehensive. It was hard, but God kept leading me this way,” Lowery said.

Lowery will have a few proven starters on Chelsea’s defense, one with plenty of room to improve. The Hornets allowed 34 points per game last fall, not totally unexpected after moving up to Class 7A for the first time.

That 3-3-3 stack will give safeties like Drew Cheslock, Owen Key and Sam Parrish plenty of room to roam and wreak havoc on all levels of the defense.

“All I want them to do is put them in the best position to be successful,” Lowery said. “No matter the circumstances, do your best and know your assignment.”

After opening the season at Helena, Lowery’s former employer, the Hornets will host Calera, travel to Tuscaloosa County, host Oak Mountain and then travel to Thompson and Pelham in September.

Lowery will also look to restore Chelsea’s softball program to the highest level, a place

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it has been as recently as 2016, when the Hornets won the Class 6A state championship.

“It’s a great place, a great community. There’s a lot of support,” Lowery said. “Get them back to that mindset of winning, no matter who you’re playing, and remember who you represent.”

Lowery coached baseball for 16 years before making the move over to softball and said he will “never go back.”

“As far as the quickness and beauty of the

game, it’s softball because it’s so quick,” he said, comparing the two sports. “Everything goes into the excitement of the game and that’s why it’s so popular.”

Lowery’s Helena teams were no stranger to the state tournament, and he hopes to be a guiding force to making Chelsea a consistent presence there yet again.

“Hopefully I can give the direction the right way and get them to believe in themselves like I know they can,” he said.

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Scott Lowery, the new defensive coordinator for Chelsea High School, at the football field during a summer practice. Lowery also takes over as the new head softball coach for the Hornets. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Varsity Sports Calendar



Sept. 1: @ Spain Park. 7 p.m.

Sept. 8: @ Chilton County. 7 p.m.

Sept. 15: vs. Pelham. 7 p.m.

Sept. 29: vs. Oak Mountain. 7 p.m.


Sept. 1: vs. Calera. 7 p.m.

Sept. 8: @ Tuscaloosa County. 7 p.m.

Sept. 15: vs. Oak Mountain. 7 p.m.

Sept. 22: @ Thompson. 7 p.m.

Sept. 29: @ Pelham. 7 p.m.


Sept. 1: @ Pelham. 7 p.m.

Sept. 8: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. 7 p.m.

Sept. 15: @ Chelsea. 7 p.m.

Sept. 22: vs. Tuscaloosa County. 7 p.m.

Sept. 29: @ Briarwood. 7 p.m.


Sept. 1: vs. Briarwood. 7 p.m.

Sept. 8: vs. Hoover. 7 p.m.

Sept. 15: vs. Thompson. 7 p.m.

Sept. 22: @ Vestavia Hills. 7 p.m.



Sept. 5: vs. Northridge, Hewitt-Trussville. 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Briarwood Christian School.

Sept. 7: @ Vestavia Hills. 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 8-9: Mayor’s Cup. Montgomery Academy.

Sept. 12: @ Pelham. 6 p.m.

Sept. 14: @ Helena. 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 19: vs. Ramsay, Hoover. 4 p.m., 6 p.m. Briarwood Christian School.

Sept. 21: vs. Gardendale, Leeds. 4 p.m., 6 p.m. Briarwood Christian School.

Sept. 22-23: HeffStrong Tournament. Finley Center.

Sept. 26: vs. Pelham. 6 p.m.

Sept. 28: @ John Carroll. 6 p.m.


Sept. 5: vs. Pelham. 6 p.m.

Sept. 7: @ Oak Mountain. 6 p.m.

Sept. 14: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. 6 p.m.

Sept. 19: @ Spain Park. 6 p.m.

Sept. 21: vs. Oak Mountain. 6 p.m.

Sept. 26: @ Hewitt-Trussville. 6:30 p.m.


Sept. 5: vs. Homewood. 6 p.m.

Sept. 7: vs. Chelsea. 7 p.m.

Sept. 12: @ Hewitt-Trussville. 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 14: vs. Spain Park. 6 p.m.

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Sept. 19: vs. John Carroll. 6 p.m.

Sept. 21: @ Chelsea. 6 p.m.

Sept. 26: @ Vestavia Hills. 6 p.m.

Sept. 28: @ Spain Park. 6 p.m.


Sept. 5: vs. Thompson, Helena. 6 p.m. Thompson High School.

Sept. 7: @ Hewitt-Trussville. 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 9: Tournament of Champions. Guntersville.

Sept. 12: vs. Hoover. 6 p.m.

Sept. 14: @ Oak Mountain. 6 p.m.

Sept. 19: vs. Chelsea. 6 p.m.

Sept. 21: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 22-23: HeffStrong Tournament. Finley Center.

Sept. 26: vs. Homewood, Helena. 5 p.m., 6 p.m. Homewood High School.

Sept. 28: vs. Oak Mountain. 6 p.m.

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Holy Moly Motherhood By Alana Smith Oh. My. Stars.

That's my mom version of cursing.

People tell you that age three is worse than age two, but you never really believe anything unpleasant about your own child, because how could my adorable two-year-old who is all squishy and wobbly, ever be a repeating, demanding, tantrum-throwing wild man at all times of the day? Never. Maybe your child, but not mine. Right?

Welcome to age three.

I'm not even going to waste my breath on the loud and picky situation that is my house right now, because I know it's a phase, and this phase is tough! But these difficult days with a toddler leave me longing for quiet, and occasionally missing the ease of my days before kiddos. Sometimes the noise in my house and the noise in my head is so overwhelming that I just need to get out, and catch my breath and my sanity.

I had the opportunity to get my nails done recently, and by opportunity, I mean I told my husband I was leaving the house, right now! I needed some alone time, away from the children and the million things that needed to be

done. As I sat waiting my turn, I looked at my watch and was anxious about how long this would take. There are just too many things to do these days. My brain never turns off. No wonder I'm tired all the time! I went to relax, yet I was stressed after waiting 15 minutes. I felt like an actual weight was on me from all of the things clogging up my head.

I looked over at this twenty-something girl next to me and I was envious for a moment. Tan. No bags under her eyes. She seemed so free—oblivious to the luxury of time that she is afforded. No small humans needing all the things, and asking all the questions. No dirty house, or husband, or dog to let out. Not to mention the career, and the friends you can't seem to make the time for anymore. I think of myself at that age, and I can barely remember who that person was.

Don't get me wrong, I adore my children

more than I ever knew possible, and I am grateful for the busyness that comes from a full life. I truly wouldn't change it, and I know that so many women are pleading for the chance to experience the tiresome days with a toddler. But it still makes you weary. And I think it's okay to admit that I miss my pre-baby days at times. I miss naps. I miss the peace that was my house at 5pm. I miss spontaneity. I know my husband misses the person he married, and not this ragged, on-edge woman that's trying to do all the things, all the time. I feel like I haven't really slept in years and now I have these willful, wild, little people to teach and nurture and protect. I miss my old self, even though I don't want to be my old self. Thankfully, God is full of grace, and I need a lot of it, especially raising two boys. So, to the moms who are secretly wishing they could go on a beach vacation alone, and

to those who are crying at 9pm because you yelled at every person in your house today, and to those who are just so, so tired you can barely hold your eyes open, you aren't alone. And no matter how much you feel like you fail at times, your kiddos still call for you in the night, and the husband can't find anything without you, and the dog would go hungry, and all the plants would die, and no one would ever go to the dentist. Because we are so needed.

The next time you get to do something for yourself, actually enjoy it—breathe the peace and quiet in—and know that the young, tan, wrinkle-free girl next to you will be chasing her own toddler one day, screaming, “Oh. My. Stars!”

Alana is a nurse anesthetist, writer and boy mom (ages 8 and 3), who lives in north Shelby County with her husband, kids and Boxer, Sam. When she’s not writing or chasing little humans, she can usually be found in the aisles of Target. She shares her writings at Holy Moly Motherhood (on Facebook and Instagram), where she takes on all things motherhood and marriage.

Sean of the South By Sean Dietrich United Airlines Flight 93


93 National Memorial sits on a broad, green pasture. The field is remote, interrupted only by minimalist monuments standing in the distance, surrounded by vivid wildflowers.

One monument is a 93-foot high musical instrument, with 41 colossal wind chimes making clunking sounds that sing across the meadow like an enormous glockenspiel.

There is no other structure like this in the world.

The monument honors the 41 passengers and crew members from United Airlines Flight 93. The hijacked plane that crashed in this field 22 years ago.

The National Park Service runs this place today. But not so long ago, this was open farmland.

It happened on a Tuesday morning. Perfect weather. Clear sky. Locals saw a Boeing 757 jerking through the air at an awkward angle.

Farmers watched in slack-jawed amazement. Commuters pulled over to see a commercial airliner bounce from the sky and slam into the Earth.

When the plane hit soil, it sounded like the world had come apart at the bolts. A mile-high column of black smoke wafted into the air. The clear sky was ruined.

Earlier that morning, the flight had been due for takeoff from Newark International Airport at 8:01 a.m. But, because this is America (Land of the Free and Home of the Flight Delayed), the flight was running late by 41 minutes.

In the cockpit, pilot Jason Dahl was going through his preflight steps. He was 43, cobby

build, with a smile that looked like he could have been your favorite uncle Lou.

Jason always carried a little box of rocks with him — a gift from his son. When a man carries a box of rocks simply because his kid collected them, you know that’s a decent man.

After the flight, Jason was going to take his wife to London for their fifth anniversary.

In the passenger area, you had folks like John Talignani (age 74), retired bartender, stocky, cotton-white hair, a World War II vet. He was one of the millions of long-suffering, anguished souls who call themselves New York Mets fans.

And Jean Peterson (55). She was traveling with her husband, Don (66). They were going to Yosemite for vacation.

One of the flight attendants was Lorraine Bay (58). She’d been an attendant for 37 years. Meaning, she was either a glutton for punishment or she loved her job.

CeeCee (33), a Florida girl. She was new to the flight-attendant game. Only nine months ago, she’d been a police officer in her hometown of Fort Pierce. She was a law enforcement officer to the core, unafraid of confrontation. Her last words on a phone conversation to her husband were: “We’re getting ready to do it now. It’s happening.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

After the plane took off, it was obvious that there were bad men on this flight. At 9:30 a.m.,

Business news

three aggressive men in red bandannas rushed toward the cockpit with wicked intentions.

The first thing you should know is that these men chose the wrong plane to mess with. Flight 93 was not filled with 41 passive church mice.

Onboard was Jeremy Glick (31), a six-foot-one, national collegiate judo champion and black belt. Mark Bingham (31), a rugby player. CeeCee, the no-nonsense former cop. And Tom Burnett (38), once a college quarterback, sturdy as a hickory stump.

Tom Burnett made his last phone call to his wife and said, “If they’re gonna run this plane into the ground, we’re gonna do something.”

And they did. Forty-one ordinary people made their countermove at 9:57 a.m. All that is known about their actions comes from the flight audio recorder. The recording merely plays sound. Difficult sounds.

Your mind’s eye can see the rest.

There is the sound of passengers storming a flimsy cockpit door. Noises from a crashing beverage-service cart. Flinging dishes. Shattering glass. Ice cold screams. Shouts. Punches. Slaps. Groans. Gags. Pleas for help.

One passenger's voice shouts, “Let’s get 'em!”

Another passenger, maybe struggling for the flight controls, hollers, “Give it to me! Give it to me! Give it to me! Give it to me!”

More shouting. More fighting. Then click.

The recording stops. The plane goes down.

The earth in Somerset County rumbles like an act of God.

Todd Beamer (32), raised in Chicago, tried to call his wife only minutes before his death. But he couldn’t reach her. So he dialed zero on the in-flight phone.

He got a customer service rep named Lisa. He was all over the map, emotionally, according to Lisa. Todd kept saying, “Please call my family and let them know how much I love them.”

And in the quiet moments before Todd and the others would assault violent men, Todd asked Lisa to say the Lord’s Prayer with him. She did. Then he asked her to say the 23rd Psalm along with him. She did.

Lisa could hear dozens of voices reciting the verses with Todd. The timeworn words filled the cabin like perfume, or the smell of rain, or freshbaked bread.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table for me in the midst of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”

Which is where they are right now.

All 41 of them.

Sean Dietrich is a columnist and novelist known for his commentary on life in the American South. He has authored nine books and is the creator of the “Sean of the South” blog and podcast.

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Dr. Palmer offers personal care and latest technologies


After practicing for nearly 25 years, Dr. Jessica Palmer — founder of Eyes on Chelsea Vision Care — still finds her work with patients gratifying.

“I enjoy being able to help people see,” said Palmer, who was named Shelby County Healthcare Practitioner of the Year for 2022. “It’s my favorite thing about my job.”

Palmer and her friendly, knowledgeable staff at Eyes on Chelsea treat their patients like family while providing a full range of services and products, including eye exams for adults and children, vision therapy, contact lenses and a great selection of glasses and sunglasses.

However, they deliver more than just primary care.

“We’ve continued to add new technology and treatments,” Palmer said.

Eyes on Chelsea’s Dr. Judson Harrison specializes in myopia control and utilizes drops and contact lenses and vision therapy for crossed or lazy eyes.

In 2022, the practice began providing the Cynosure facial treatments, which stimulate collagen growth in the face and neck and help relieve dry eyes.

“The procedure is a non-invasive, painfree alternative to Botox,” Palmer said. Ortho-K lenses, which allow nearsighted individuals clear vision without glasses or contacts, are available at Eyes on Chelsea.

The practice can handle eye emergencies, eye diseases and the co-management of surgeries, like LASIK.

In addition, Palmer and her staff take time to fully explain the results of eye

► WHERE: 10699 Old Highway 280, Building 2, Suite 1

► CALL: 205-980-4530

► WEB: eyesonchelsea.com

exams to patients and to describe all of their options.

“I listen to what a patient is telling me,” Palmer said.

Children also receive special care, with staff pediatric optometrist Dr. Rena Lewis ensuring her patients and their parents are informed and feel at ease throughout the process.

Eyes on Chelsea Vision Care is at 10699 Old Highway 280, Building 2, Suite 1. There’s also a Sylacauga location.

For more information about Eyes on Chelsea, call 205-980-4530 or go to eyesonchelsea.com.

B10 • September 2023 280 Living 2023 FALL MEDICAL GUIDE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION MEDICAL GUIDE 2023 FALL Eyes on Chelsea B10 Lifeline Children’s Services B11 TherapySouth B12 All of Us UAB Research Study B14 Brookwood Baptist Health B16 Medicare Advisors of Alabama B17 Tracy Lambrecht Counseling and Wellness B18 UAB Callahan Eye Clinic B18 Children’s of Alabama B19 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Call to schedule an appointment today! EYES ON CHELSEA 10699 Old Hwy. 280 - Building 2 205.980.4530 • eyesonchelsea.com
Offer • Adult Comprehensive Eye Exams • Pediatric Comprehensive Eye Exams • Myopia Control Therapy • Eye Emergency Treatment • Glasses and Contact Lens fitting • Glaucoma evaluation and treatment • Macular degeneration evaluation and treatment • Dry Eye evaluation and treatment • Vision Therapy • Aesthetic Skin Tightening Wide selection of stylish glasses and sunglasses for you to choose from.
Services We
Dr. Jessica Palmer Dr. Judson Harrison Dr. Rena Lewis

Providing gospel hope to crisis pregnancies

For 42 years, Lifeline Children’s Services has been providing gospel hope to vulnerable children, women and families in Birmingham. What was originally born out of Briarwood Presbyterian Church by Wales Goebel and John Carr, now stretches throughout the United States and 29 countries around the world.

Lifeline was founded to walk with women through crisis pregnancies and equip them to make life-giving choices for their baby. Through Lifeline’s pregnancy and counseling services, women are educated to know their options and be counseled through their entire pregnancy.

Lifeline has grown into a holistic ministry that seeks to bring hope through international and domestic adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care, family reunification, global orphan care, education and counseling.

Outside of family and friends, doctors and medical professionals are the most influential people in a woman’s decision about her pregnancy. There may be circumstances when women in care are facing choices regarding their pregnancies. It is vital that medical professionals know the options for women in unplanned pregnancies, educate them and be aware of various resources in their community that can help women. Lifeline is an adoption referral partner physicians can trust.

“I thank God for this organization! I was in a place where I was in no shape to take care of a new baby. I was able to place my baby with Lifeline. This place honestly saved my life,” a birth mom

and client at Lifeline said.

Lifeline provides options counseling to women in crisis pregnancies. Pregnancy counselors inform a woman of all her options, whether that’s parenting, adoption or abortion. Lifeline helps women explore their options with a goal of balance in what’s best for them and their child. Several qualities make Lifeline a unique option for expectant moms:

► A personal advocate who represents a woman’s interests.

► Freedom to consider all their pregnancy options.

► Decision making at their own pace.

► A Christian approach to pregnancy planning.

► Hope and peace through all-inclusive care.

Christie Mac Segars, Senior Vice President of Domestic Services at Lifeline, thinks it’s important for women to be aware of their options.

“Women need to know that there is hope,” Segars said. “They need to know there is help if they choose parenting and there is another life-giving option if they are not equipped to parent.”

At Lifeline, clients will receive confi-

► WHERE: 200 Missionary Ridge

► CALL: 205-967-0811

► WEB: lifelinechild.org

dential support, an adoption plan, financial assistance and pre- and post-placement support. A local staff member will be committed to the client and her baby. This advocate will be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

If a woman chooses adoption for her child, Lifeline’s pregnancy counselors will support her through the process, helping her decide whether she desires an open, semi-open or closed adoption. Advocates will be there for the client in every step of her pregnancy — not only providing emotional support, but also connecting them to resources they may need such as insurance, pre-natal care and housing. There is also free support offered for housing, everyday expenses and other pregnancy needs.

Lifeline offers training and best practice suggestions for physicians as they navigate care for their patients in crisis pregnancies. To refer a patient or schedule a training with Lifeline’s expert pregnancy counselors and team of advocates, email pregnant@lifelinechild. org and a Lifeline employee will follow up with next steps. To learn more about Lifeline’s pregnancy counseling services, visit planmyadoption.org. To learn more about Lifeline, visit lifelinechild.org.

Email pregnant@lifelinechild.org to schedule a free training or refer a patient planmyadoption.org Do you need a resource to help your patients determine their options in an unexpected pregnancy? LIFELINE CAN HELP!

TherapySouth providing ‘Hands On Care, Close to Home — and Work!’


Q: Why should someone see a physical therapist?

A: Most often, patients are referred to one of our clinics by their orthopedic surgeon or primary care physician to assist with recovery from an injury or procedure. But, physical therapy is beneficial to anyone seeking pain relief and improved function. The physical therapy approach is to evaluate the neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems and address movement limitations or malalignments that are affecting mobility and causing pain. When patients come to physical therapy first, they can often avoid unnecessary surgery and medication. Through intentional exercises and hands-on treatment, patients can get back to their hobbies, everyday tasks and more.

Q: Do I need a doctor’s referral to schedule an appointment at TherapySouth?

A: Patients are welcome to schedule an initial evaluation appointment without a physician’s referral. Your therapist will perform an initial evaluation to determine if therapy is appropriate for you and communicate with your primary care physician, or physician specialist, to obtain approval for ongoing treatment. You can also receive wellness services depending on the nature of your problem. To schedule an appointment, patients can call the clinic directly or visit our website to check appointment availability and set up an initial visit.

Q: What makes TherapySouth stand out in the physical therapy industry?

A: TherapySouth is a private, physical therapist-owned practice that has been serving the greater Birmingham communities for over 15 years. Our numerous convenient locations across the metro area allows us to live out our message of providing “Hands On Care, Close to Home — and Work!” Our staff develop relationships with each patient and truly make the clinic environment feel like a family. With access to quality physical therapy care, we believe we can help our community live better, healthier lives!

Q: What would you like potential patients to know about your practice?

A: We take our core values very seriously. We are a company based on faith that believes in family, integrity, service, compassion, fitness, perseverance, and giving. We try to instill these values in all our employees and encourage them to live them out not only at work as professionals, but also in their personal lives.

Q: What does a first visit look like at TherapySouth?

A: During the initial evaluation, your therapist will take a thorough history of your condition or injury and review past medical history that may influence your case. Appropriate baseline objective measures will be recorded to evaluate throughout your treatment, such as range of motion and strength. Together, you and your therapist will discuss and set goals to help you achieve maximum function. Your therapist will determine a treatment plan and prescribe a home exercise program for you to perform at home to compliment therapeutic activities performed in the clinic. In addition, skilled manual techniques are utilized to further enhance recovery. Your therapist will communicate and coordinate with other health care professionals as needed to provide optimal care.

Q: Your team offers traditional orthopedic services and wellness services. Can you explain the difference?

A: We are passionate about helping patients go beyond recovery and become stronger and more active in their everyday lives. In addition to traditional treatment for orthopedic injury, we often work with competitive athletes, weekend warriors, or anyone


► WHERE: 2823 Greystone Commercial Blvd., Birmingham

► CALL: 205-408-1713

► WEB: therapysouth.com


► WHERE: 100 Chelsea Corners Way, Suite 100, Chelsea

► CALL: 205-678-7272

► WEB: therapysouth.com

Patchwork Farms

► WHERE: 3056 Healthy Way, Suite 116, Vestavia Hills

► CALL: 205-783-5270

► WEB: therapysouth.com

looking to improve their performance. Wellness services include dry needling, KT tape application, stretching, soft-tissue mobilization, and more. Wellness services can be purchased as time block packages to maximize the success of treatment.

Q: How has TherapySouth grown and changed over the years?

A: Our founder and CEO, Steve Foster, PT, started TherapySouth in 2006 with a vision for the practice to be therapist-owned and provide quality hands-on care, close to patient’s home and work. While the practice has grown to almost 40 clinics across Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi — our commitment to core values and clinical excellence remains the same. In addition, all clinics are owned and operated by physical therapists – ensuring the highest quality of care for our patients. This growth has led to more opportunities for continued education, specialization in needed services and improving the wellness in our communities. We are excited to continue growing our team and to be able to provide resources and training for our staff to make positive impacts in the lives of their patients.


get stronger with us by your side

Are you recovering from an injury or struggling with chronic pain that keeps you from doing the things you love? You aren’t in this alone! Our experienced team of therapists will work with you on an individualized care plan to get you moving better with less pain.

TherapySouth has many clinic locations throughout the Birmingham metro area so you can conveniently attend physical therapy two to three times per week to improve your daily functions. We will be with you each step of the way!

Scan this code to schedule an appointment and find a team to support you today!


PATCHWORK FARMS/ALTADENA 3056 Healthy Way, Suite 116 205.783.5270

Ryan Hunt, Clinic Director CHELSEA 100 Chelsea Corners Way, Suite 100 205.678.7272

Robby Head, Clinic Director GREYSTONE 2823 Greystone Commercial Blvd 205.408.1713

Cathie Bonner, Clinic Director


UAB returns ‘value’ to participants in All of Us study

The National Institutes of Health began enrolling participants in its groundbreaking new All of Us Research Program in 2018.

Working with researchers, health providers, community organizations and universities, including The University of Alabama at Birmingham — the NIH hopes to eventually have at least one million Americans volunteer to take part in All of Us, in which participants share their personal health information to help create one of the largest, most diverse health databases in history.

Scientists will use this data to learn how our biology, lifestyle and environment affect us and to find new and better ways to treat and prevent disease.

They also hope to find ways to better customize medical diagnosis and treatment for individual patients.

Researchers at The University of Alabama at Birmingham are playing a big role in All of Us. UAB leads the All of Us Southern Network, composed of more than 10 sites in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Dr. Bruce Korf, chief genomics officer of UAB Medicine and the associate dean for Genomic Medicine, is the contact principal investigator for the Southern Network.

Dr. Korf calls All of Us “a unique opportunity to influence medicine for a long time into the future.”

He said the program is designed “to generate the data to understand risk factors for disease and outcomes for a diverse population over a period of time, and from that will come new insights for prevention, diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

A program like All of Us would not be nearly as effective without the tremendous advances in recent decades in the speed and capacity of genetic and genomic research, Dr. Korf said. Genomics refers to the mapping of all the DNA in an organism.

The All of Us research program holds out the “possibility of customizing prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of disease to the individual — taking into account what they are specifically at risk for and how they will respond to treatment,” Dr. Korf said.

“This will inform precision medicine for generations to come,” he said.

Nearly 36,000 people have signed up for All of Us in the Southern Network so far, and more than 675,000 Americans have signed up nationwide.

And UAB is continuing to seek new participants in the program.

People who take part will answer surveys on different topics and be asked to share their electronic health record, give samples of blood and urine for lab and DNA tests. The health information that participants share with All of Us goes into a secure database.

By participating in All of Us, people receive numerous benefits. First of all, like the researchers themselves, the participants get the chance to be part of a historic study.

“One of the major reasons they participate is because they want to be part of something important and meaningful that will benefit their families and future generations,” Dr. Korf said.

Participants also receive “a rich return of value” because All of Us is using genomics, which includes genetic sequencing, he said.

They will have the chance to learn more about their ancestry and genetic traits, but researchers also look at “medically significant genes” in participants who opt into this analysis, Dr. Korf said. These genes could point out risk for such conditions as cancer or heart disease.

“Most people are not going to have a variant in one of those genes that put them at risk for disease, but if they do, they can be provided genetic counseling,” he said.

“For a small proportion of people — about 3% — this

can be life-changing and even life-saving,” he said.

The All of Us program reached a milestone in December when the NIH began returning personalized health-related DNA results to more than 155,000 participants, with reports detailing whether participants have an increased risk for specific health conditions and how their body might process certain medications.

The return of the results to participants “was very exciting,” Dr. Korf said,

The wide diversity of All of Us participants is also very important to the project, Dr. Korf said.

“Historically a lot of the research has been done on people of European ancestry, and we’ve learned a lot, but we’ve also learned that some of the things we found don't apply equally well to people of different ancestries,” he said. “We want to provide medical care that is broadly applicable and available to people regardless of their background.”

More than 50% of people enrolled in All of Us are from racial and ethnic minorities.

“You’ve got to reach out to diverse communities if, in the long run, you want to serve diverse communities,” he said.

The success of the All of Us research program also “requires building trust in communities that historically may have had good reason not to be

trustful,” Dr. Korf said.

Community engagement has always been a “cornerstone” of All of Us, he said.

However, community engagement “does not mean selling the community on the program,” he said. “It’s learning what’s important to the community and making sure that what you’re doing is sensitive to their needs.”

Community members have been part of All of Us from the beginning and people from diverse communities take part in the leadership groups, Dr. Korf said.

As part of this effort to reach as many people as possible, the All of Us Southern Network has several enrollment sites in Alabama.

All of Us recently opened a new site in Dothan, an area which was previously not well-served by the program, Dr. Korf said.

They also have a mobile unit that travels the state, including areas with poor internet access.

“It brings All of Us to people wherever they may be and offers us a chance to involve people who might not otherwise have the opportunity,” Dr. Korf said.

The lofty goal to enroll one million or more participants in All of Us nationwide is still in reach, despite delays caused by COVID-19, he said.

With the slowing of the pandemic, All of Us is back in “a rapid enrollment phase,” Dr. Korf said.

“It’s clear that the goal of at least 1 million participants will be reached,” he said.

U.S. residents ages 18 and older can join the All of Us program.

For details, call 833-JOIN-UAB or go to allofus.uabmedicine.org or joinallofus.org.

ALL OF US UAB RESEARCH STUDY ► CALL: 833-JOIN-UAB ► EMAIL: allofus@uabmc.edu ► WEB: allofus.uabmedicine.org or joinallofus.org DR. BRUCE KORF
To start your journey, go to Participant.JoinAllofUs.org and Create an account Give your consent Agree to share your electronic health records Complete the Consent to Get DNA Results Answer health surveys Have your measurements taken (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.) and give blood and urine samples, if asked After completing these steps, you’ll receive $25. 1 2 3 4 5 6 $25gift card All of Us and the All of Us logo are registered service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Visit allofus.ua bm edicin e.org or download the All of Us app to get started on your journey. Get started. Apple App Store Google Play To learn more and to enroll, contact us at: allofus@uabmc.edu(833) JOIN-UABallofus.uabmedicine.org | | There’s Power in
all di erent, but when we visit the doctor, our treatments are often the same. We think one day health care should be tailored for you. The more researchers know about
a research e ort with one million or more people nationwide to create a healthier future for all of us.
All of Us We're
what makes each of us unique, the more tailored our
care can become. Join

Q: Dr. Robert Agee, please describe your practice’s area of expertise.

A: My expertise is in primary care sports medicine, sports injuries, non-operative arthritis care and regenerative medicine.

Q: What type of services do you offer?

A: I offer full-scale treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, such as the back, the knee, the hip and all the other joints. We do injections of viscosupplementation and steroids, bracing and rehab, and we cover sports and entertainment venues.

Q: What wants or problems do you provide a solution to?

A: Any injuries that may occur to get you back playing sports and on the job.

Q: How long have you been in business or practicing?

A: I’ve been practicing for almost 25 years.

Q: Please describe your educational and experiential background.

A: I did a fellowship in sports medicine at HealthSouth Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital under Dr. Andrew Barranco and Dr. Larry Lemak.

Q: What is your benchmark for success?

A: Getting people feeling good and continuing to keep them going at work or at play.

Q: Share with us a success story tied to your practice.

Meet Dr. Robert Agee


► WHERE: 801 Princeton Ave., POB I, Suite 710,

► CALL: 205-264-2816

► WEB: bbhcarenetwork.com

A: Covering players from youth to professional teams in Birmingham and seeing them back to play. I also enjoy all the patients who I see able to continue to do their thing!

Q: Fall and cooler weather will be right around the corner. What seasonal advice or tips would you like to share with potential patients?

A: Be active now by starting to loosen those muscles and joints and start working out. You won’t be used to it, and it can lead to injuries.

Q: What is your approach or philosophy to customer service?

A: I am a patient advocate and a people person. The patient is always right!

Q: What do you most want potential patients to know about you and your practice?

A: We will do all we can to take care of the patient. Even if you are an elite athlete or regular injured person — you will get VIP experience to “get you back in the game.”

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about?

A: If we can treat the elite athlete, we can treat you with incredible VIP service. We can also do regenerative medicine as well.


Medicare doesn’t have to be stressful — let Medicare Advisors of Alabama help


Q: What is AEP?

Q: Who is Medicare Advisors of Alabama?

A: We are a locally owned insurance agency that specializes in helping Alabamians better understand Medicare. Medicare is overwhelming, but once someone with patience and knowledge teaches you the questions to ask and then guides you through the process, the whole thing becomes much less stressful. That’s what we provide: a stress-free Medicare experience.

Q: What does your service cost?

A: Our services don’t cost you anything. We’re only paid by insurance companies if we help you enroll in a plan. Our reputation has been built on word of mouth and living the Golden Rule. Let us prove that to you.

Q: Why does someone need a broker/adviser?

A: There are so many advertisements and plans available that it’s becoming almost impossible to sort everything out on your own. A good broker will help you see the positives and negatives of each insurance company and will work to find the best solution for their client.

► WHERE: 2116 Columbiana Road

► CALL: 205-704-9020

► WEB: medicare advisorsofalabama.org

Q: When does someone need to help me with Medicare?

A: It’s never a bad idea to learn about Medicare at any age. Most people become eligible for it at age 65 or earlier if they become disabled. However, if you or your spouse are still working and have good health insurance you may not need Medicare at all. Deciding when to enroll and what to enroll in are our two most asked questions. Our team can help you make an informed decision.

Q: What if I keep working past age 65?

A: Many people think they’ll face penalties if they don’t sign up for Medicare at 65. That can be true, but not always. You can postpone enrollment beyond age 65 if you or your spouse are still working, and you have health insurance under an employer plan.

A: AEP (or Annual Enrollment Period) runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. If you are already enrolled into Medicare, it’s the time of the year you can make changes to your plan for the upcoming year.

Q: What is an ANOC Letter?

A: An ANOC letter (or Annual Notice of Change) is what you get from your insurance plan in late September that lists the changes for the upcoming year. If a person needs to make changes, they can use AEP to make those changes.

Q: Where can I get help with Medicare?

A: You can schedule a consultation with someone on our team. We can talk over the phone, meet virtually via Zoom or in-person at our local office, your home, your business or even out at a coffee shop. Once a month we teach a class called “Prepare for Medicare” at our local office. We have lots of fun, and it’s very educational. No specific products are discussed, but it’s a great way to learn the basics of Medicare and get your questions answered.

We have answers! Call us TODAY 205. 704.9020 NO CHARGE Medicare Advisors of Alabama is an insurance agency based in Birmingham, Alabama and we’re not a part of the federal government. We do not offer every plan available and currently represent 55 out of 56 Medicare Advantage plans and 21 out of 27 Part D drug plans in our area along with many Medicare Supplement plans. Please contact Medicare.gov at 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on your options.

Helping women go ‘from surviving to thriving’


Tracy Lambrecht is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 20 years of experience who helps women deal with grief, trauma, anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, low self-esteem, midlife changes and many other issues.

Founder of Tracy Lambrecht Counseling and Wellness, she said her work is very rewarding.

“Witnessing women going from surviving to thriving is a gratifying experience,” she said. “I feel blessed everyday assisting women on their journey of better health, healing and contentment.”

In January, Lambrecht began offering an exciting new treatment — Micro Neurofeedback (MCN), from IASIS Technologies. MCN uses micro-currents of neural stimulation from small electrodes to refresh the brain’s neural connections to enhance performance and well being. The procedure is totally painless and only takes a few minutes to complete.

The micro-stimulation helps the brain make more space to balance the branches of the nervous system.

We rely too much on our sympathetic state, including such instincts as fight or flight, Lambrecht said.

“Being stuck in this state can result in negative symptoms of anxiousness, irritability and difficulty with concentration and sleep,” she said.

“Creating more space for the parasympathetic state allows for more rest, better digestion, a relaxed state of

Committed to innovation and expert eye care


What could you accomplish if you could see the world more clearly? Now you can — with comprehensive eye care conveniently located just around the corner. Whether you need an annual check-up, treatment for an eye condition or even surgery, you’ll find unparalleled knowledge and skill to help repair and restore your vision at UAB Callahan Eye.

Get more rest, better digestion and a relaxed state of mind with Microneurofeedback.

The cutting edge treatment of IASIS MCN has shown to help the brain self-regulate and improve its functioning.

Tracy Lambrecht, EMDR Certified Therapist and Certified IASIS MCN Provider integrates these two modalities which have shown tremendous improvement in women who are dealing with emotional dysregulation, chronic pain, and sleep concerns.

Contact Tracy Lambrecht for a free 10 minute consult to see if Microneurofeeback is suitable for your specific needs.

► WHERE: 4000 Eagle Point Corporate Drive

► CALL: 205-314-5795

► WEB: lambrechtcounseling andwellness.com

mind and better quality of sleep,” she said.

Research shows 85% of patients see positive results within one to three MCN treatments.

In addition, before offering MCN, Lambrecht tried the treatment personally, “I noticed positive results after only a few sessions,” said Lambrecht, who is an IASIS Micro Neurofeedback Certified Provider.

Lambrecht is also passionate about the opportunity to offer patients a non-pharmaceutical treatment option.

She’s also an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Certified Clinician.

Committed to innovation and unmatched care — and equipped with the country’s leading experts in the treatment of both eye disease and eye trauma — UAB Callahan Eye offers a level of excellence to ensure you receive the highest quality treatment, for any need and for any patient circumstance.

UAB Callahan Eye offers treatment for the whole family, beginning at birth. Several clinic locations specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of children’s eye disease, and Callahan’s team of expert pediatric optometrists and ophthalmologists work together to treat young patients. In addition, UAB Callahan Eye’s practices are sensoryinclusive, making each clinic visit easy for everyone. It’s no wonder Alabama parents trust their family’s eyes with Callahan.

With 20+ locations across central Alabama, patients can access the highquality eye care and treatment they need without leaving UAB Callahan Eye’s patient network. Plus, with a conveniently-located pharmacy nearby at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital and eyewear stores at several clinic locations,

► WHERE: 1720 University Blvd.


► WEB: uabcallahaneye.org

your eye care appointment can be a onestop shop.

Making an appointment is easy for busy families, and same-day appointments and walk-ins are welcome. To find a convenient location near you and start seeing your future more clearly, visit uabcallahaneye.org.

• Enhances brain self-regulation

• Rapid 85% symptom reduction typically in 1-3 sessions

• Quick, painless 20-30 minute drug-free sessions

• Improves rest, digestion, and relaxation

Counseling & Wellness
Ready to make sustainable changes to
(205) 314-5795 Scan Call or Click

Meet Dean Stratton


The conversation lasted only a few seconds, but it changed the lives of Dean Stratton and his family. “I have bad news,” a doctor told them. “It’s a brain tumor, and it looks like cancer.” Days later, a pathology report confirmed that Dean, not yet a year old, had anaplastic ependymoma. His tumor was malignant and very aggressive.

Dean soon began chemotherapy treatments that required two-week stays in the hospital. The process was difficult, but it didn’t take away his joy. “He smiled the whole time,” Dean’s mom, Leighann said. “Everyone commented on how happy he was.”

Dean was able to spend his first birthday, which fell

► WHERE: 1600 7th Ave. S., Birmingham

► CALL: 205-638-9100

► WEB: childrensal.org

on Thanksgiving Day in 2022, and Christmas at home before beginning proton radiation therapy as follow-up to the chemo. His treatment ended in late February 2023, and by April his first treatment scan was clear with no evidence of disease.

Now, Dean is undergoing some additional therapy to

help him meet the developmental milestones that were delayed due to his cancer treatment, and Leighann says he’s doing well overall. The Strattons remain grateful to Dean’s care team. “I remember the names of all these people,” Leighann said, “because they were so important in our lives.”

Kennedi is cured of sickle cell disease thanks to a life-changing bone marrow transplant she received from her sister here at Children’s of Alabama. The amazing treatments, discoveries and innovations for pediatric blood disorders and cancer happening here are helping change lives for the children of Alabama, across the country and around the world. ChildrensAL.org

CURE_Kennedi-Hoover-Sun-Newsprint-9.75x3.75-PROD.indd 1 8/4/23 4:23 PM
Her cure
Are you actually reaching new patients? Be the voice of your industry in the Medical Guide. Email dan@starnesmedia.com for your Medical Guide Strategy Session


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