Page 1

VOL 1, NO 2

COMPLIMENTARY

CELEBRATING, MOTIVATING, AND EDUCATING WOMEN

Real

TM

Paige Johnson gets

a New Chance

at LIFE EXTREME MAKEOVERS We feature several makeovers in this issue – from personal health to landscapes!

ZOOM HEATON

Meet your local Compounding Pharmacist of Custom Prescription Compounders, LLC


In this Issue

11

16

www.aikenwomanonline.com

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lori Samples Duncan loriduncan86@gmail.com

ADVERTISING info@aikenwomanonline.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kennieth Allen Lori Samples Duncan Rebecca Head Mandy Rivers Mandy Summers Elaine Samples

From the Editor

2 Summer Has Arrived!

Events COVER PHOTO Lista’s Studio of Photography

DESIGN Melissa W. Morris

PHOTOGRAPHY Clark Berry Photography Lista’s Studio of Photography Robert Patrick Image Design

3 What’s Happening?

Let’s Talk

4 5 6 8 11

Community Spotlight: Marcus Williams, author of The Stop Bullying Club Give Your Child a Brighter Future Recipe: Better than Betty’s Chocolate Cake The Curiosity Shop Zoom Heaton, Your Local Compounding Pharmacist

Extreme Makeovers

12 14 16 20

Backyard Makeovers Renovations, Old Homes, and New Values Paige Johnson: A New Chance At Life From Tired to Trendy: Transforming a Space

Health & Wellness

23 It’s Summer. Kick Back and Relax...But Not When It Comes to Your Health.

Celebrating the Survivor in You!

24 Jessica Araya: A Breast Cancer Survivor

Business & Web Directory 27 Contact our advertisers

Personal Note

28 The Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood Find us on facebook!

Aiken Woman Magazine

Woman 2 Woman Publishing (803) 785-4475 602 Northwood Road Lexington, SC 29072 Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume responsibility for errors or omissions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. © 2012

Don’t miss our Makeovers! Starting on page 12 – Summer is the perfect time for makeovers!

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W

elcome to the Summer issue of Aiken Woman! Isn’t South Carolina a beautiful place to live? I am looking out the window of our newly “madeover” office, and I am so excited to see the flowers blooming and beautiful green foliage appearing where bare limbs recently could be seen. Thank you for choosing to spend some time with us in the pages of this issue. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it for you. This issue is all about makeovers and strong women. I like to think that we can remake most things in our life. Obviously our choices have consequences and there are things we do that cannot be taken back — thank God for forgiveness! Our cover story is about an intelligent, athletic woman whose entire life was changed when she was out running one day. Paige Johnson is truly a miracle. I hope you are as inspired as we were by her story! Midlands Landscaping took on a backyard project that was simply neglected and needed a nice facelift. We are super excited to show you the new backyard. We have uploaded more extensive galleries online so you can see more photographs. Now with gas being so costly, families are spending more money on home improvements and having “staycations” this year! I kind of like the idea of spending my cruise money on something that is going to enhance my daily life. Of course we cannot forget our Survivor in this issue, Mrs. Jessica McCain – a young Breast Cancer Survivor who is also a member of the Ta-tinis. Jessica is a true inspiration. Even when her diagnosis seemed iffy, she kept the faith. I was told that Jessica recently received news that she is now cancer free and also became Mrs. Roy Araya! Congratulations Jessica and Roy Araya! Remember the businesses that supported this issue of Aiken Woman Magazine. Without them, this publication could not be made complimentary for you! Don’t forget to tell them where you saw them advertise. As always, we want to hear your ideas and feedback! We encourage you to email us any comments or thoughts, or if you have a story you want to share — we want to hear it! Your friend,

Lori Samples Duncan Editor-in-Chief



Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

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Women

2 Corinthians 5:17 Behold, all things have become new.


Events

What’s HAPPENING? Cruise In at SnowCap Drive-In Last Saturday of the month North Augusta

Cruise In will take place at the Snow-Cap Drive-In located at 618 West Avenue in North Augusta on the last Saturday of the month March through October. Come and check out some of Aiken’s finest cars and have a great time with other car enthusiasts. Call (803) 279-4004.

“Man of La Mancha: The Musical� May 18, 19, 25, 26 and June 1, 2 at 8 p.m.; May 27 and June 2 at 3 p.m. Aiken Community Playhouse

Man of La Mancha is a remarkable show and one of the great theatre successes of our time. This is a play-within-a-play, based on Cervantes’ Don Quixote. It’s a poignant story of a dying old man whose

impossible dream takes over his mind. It’s All the Same, Dulcinea, I’m Only Thinking of Him, The Impossible Dream, I Really Like Him and Little Bird remain in your thoughts and in your soul well after you see the show. His dream is Everyman’s dream. His tilting at windmills is Everyman’s great adventure. Somehow, the footlights disappear, time is telescoped and the Man of La Mancha speaks for humankind. For ticket information or reservations: (803) 648-1438 or at the website below. aikencommunityplayhouse.com

ACP Youth Wing Scholarship Fundraiser at The Willcox May 20, 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. The Willcox, Aiken

Cabaret-style show will include scenes, songs, and monologues from a variety of different plays and musicals, and pro-

ceeds benefit the ACP Youth Wing Scholarship Fund. Light refreshments will be served after each performance. Tickets can be purchased at the Aiken Community Playhouse box office or by calling (803) 648-1438 through Friday, May 18, after which they can be purchased at The Willcox. Tickets are $10.

Downtown Beach Blast June 21, All Day Event

Sponsoring businesses will stay open late. The event is themed and offers opportunities to win gifts and enjoy a fun, yet relaxing evening in Downtown Aiken. After the shops close, join the fun as Newberry Street Festival Center is turned into Newberry Beach, complete with sand, shagging and Beach Music! Contact (803) 649-2221 for more information, or visit the website below. www.downtownaiken.com

‡:KLVNH\5RDG‡$LNHQ6& www.carpetshop.com www.aikenwomanonline.com




Community Spotlight

MARCUS WILLIAMS author of The Stop Bullying Club by Lori Samples Duncan photography by Tammy Bevins Photography

I

n our last issue, we featured an article titled “An Era of Meanness,” which talked about some of the effects bullying is having on our society. We want to educate adults on how cyber bullying is affecting our youth. I recently had an opportunity to visit a young man at West Ashley High School, who is making a difference by educating young readers about bullying. Marcus Williams’ interest in writing began in third grade when he wrote a series of short stories, one of which was titled “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” He also wrote a superhero book that he called The Adventures of Marcus Man. However, it was the original art of Elizabeth Pendergast at West Ashley High School that gave Marcus the idea to write The Stop Bullying Club. What started out as a project for entrepreneurship class turned into something greater when Marcus visited elementary schools and listened to the stories of children who have been or are being bullied. Marcus was struck by the violence some students experience. Marcus is originally from New York City. He grew up in Queens, New York, from a “kinda rough” neighborhood. Marcus says his parents, “wanted to start fresh and get us away from some of the roughness.” His family has been in South Carolina since Marcus was in the third grade, so he considers it home now. He loves basketball and tennis, and says playing sports helps him get his mind off of things that worry normal teenagers. Marcus’ most recent venture is called Poor Robbie. Poor Robbie is a dumpster diver who meets a genie, and instead of wishing for a better life, he wishes for revenge. At the end of the book,



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Women

Poor Robbie’s taste for revenge leaves him with less than he had when he found the genie, and it includes a glossary with words to know and a pop quiz. We asked Marcus if he had any words of wisdom and his response was: “I would say that violence is definitely not the answer. When children fight, it becomes natural to them. Tell your teachers, parents, and any adult to talk to their children about bullying early, so they can be prepared and know how to deal with it if it happens to them.” “Anyone can be a bully. I was in a situation where I was bullied, and I was even the bully once, though I didn’t realize it at the time,” admits Marcus a bit shamefully. This very well spoken young man shared with us that even adults can be bullies. Marcus has been accepted to George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where he plans to attend college in the fall. Marcus plans to continue writing children’s books and hopes to start his own publishing business. We are expecting great things from Marcus in the future! We wish you much luck and continued success. Purchase the book at www.bookemon.com.

Marcus Williams is the perfect example of a student that has applied my philosophy of teaching. I inspire my students to think creatively and to look at problems in our community as an opportunity to make a difference in the world we live today. Not only is he making a difference in our world today, but in our community! He has positively impacted many local elementary schools by giving The Stop Bullying Club presentations and conducting book readings. He also has reached a much larger audience by embracing the social network with a Facebook Fan page: www.facebook. com/TheStopBullyingClub — Eva W. Rutiri, M.Ed (West Ashley High School)


Let’s Talk photo by Lista’s Studio of Photography

Kennieth Allen As a result of therapies and early intervention, I am delighted to say that I am a graduate of Florida State University who speaks four different languages. The key to helping children with disabilities is to get help early. Early intervention can maximize the development potential of infants and toddlers with disabilities within the context of their daily routines and activities. It can increase their potential to live independently. Kinder Kids provides Early Intervention Services, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language services, service coordination, nutrition services, and special instructions. The purpose of Kinder Kids is to provide comprehensive services

Give Your Child a BRIGHTER Future

by Kennieth Allen

K

inder Kids was birthed in July, 2009 by myself, Kennieth Allen, with a passion to help children that were born with developmental delays. I was born a two pound preemie and my parents were told that I would never be able to live independently. and family support to medically fragile, developmentally delayed, physically challenged, and behaviorally disordered children and their families by providing services that evoke maximum potential and foster the development of intellectual and social confidence. One client states that her “son’s world has been turned right-sideup since early intervention and therapy began.” Kinder Kids is excited to offer its services to the Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Dorchester, Edgefield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, and Saluda counties. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with special needs,

developmental delays and disorders. Kinder Kids motto, ”Making a world a little kinder one child at a time,” is the trademark of the company.

452-5933 or by e-mail at kinderkidscsra@aol.com. Visit us online at www.KinderKidscsra.com. Make a difference in your child’s life today!

For more information about Kinder Kids, please contact the Aiken Office at (803) 226-0525; Charleston Office at (843)

The key to helping children with disabilities is to get help early.

Kinder Kids Academy • Translation/Interpretat Early Intervention • Service Coordination

Physical Therapy • Occupation Therapy • Speech Therapy

AIKEN (803) 226-0525 P.O. Box 5158 Aiken, SC 29804

“Making the world a little bit KINDER one kid at a time”

CHARLESTON (843) 452-5933

P.O. Box 736 Summerville, SC 29484

www.kinderkidscsra.com www.aikenwomanonline.com




Let’s Talk

Better than Betty’s

CHOCOLATE CAKE

by Mandy Rivers

I

have maintained for quite some time that one could not duplicate the moist, light consistency of a boxed chocolate cake mix in a homemade recipe. I would see a beautiful recipe in a magazine or cookbook, try it and always be disappointed with the results (too dry, too dense, etc.). So I gave up and resigned myself to the Betty Crocker box mixes, figuring I was willing to sacrifice flavor for great texture.

With a few tweaks for flavor’s sake, I eventually landed on a version of the recipe that I thought was The One.

Mandy Rivers Then I saw a recipe online that looked right. I tried it. The texture was exactly what I had been looking for. With a few tweaks for flavor’s sake, I eventually landed on a version of the recipe that I thought was The One.



I celebrated and bragged and happy-danced and boasted for several weeks. This resulted in a whole lot of eye rolling from my friends (whatever, girls, this is my equivalent of running the Boston Marathon) and a whole lot of “buy one more pound of cocoa and I’ll strangle you in your sleep” from my husband.

Then I was faced with another issue: frosting. I couldn’t release My Precious without an equally delightful frosting. Though I know I may not have many followers in this camp, I’m not a fan of traditional buttercream (you know, the sugary birthday cake variety that gets a crunchy crusting after a day or so and is so sugary sweet it literally gives you a toothache?). I experimented with a few chocolate buttercreams but wasn’t wowed. I then tried my hand at a whipped ganache but was perplexed with the issue of refrigeration – it being made from cream. Refrigerating (which I thought was necessary,

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though maybe I’m wrong) resulted in a stiff truffle-like layer sitting atop the cake. I experimented with recipes using cocoa and some using melted chocolate but found flaws (tiny as they may have been) with each. I’d seen a few recipes that included corn syrup and thought perhaps it may be the key to achieving the sheen and spreadablility I was after. I was planning to spend the weekend experimenting with recipes that included a combination of all the varieties I’d tried but did one last search online to see if one already existed. I stumbled across

Bobby Flay’s Creamy Chocolate Frosting recipe and became very hopeful (actually I squealed like a poked piglet). It contained the combination of ingredients that I had been contemplating: cocoa and melted chocolate plus a generous amount of corn syrup. I tweaked it a bit (pink sea salt... really Bobby?) but eventually arrived at something I was excited about! Introducing Better Than Betty’s Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting! Find more of Mandy’s recipes at

www.mandyrivers.com


Recipe • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour • ¾ cup cocoa powder • 2 teaspoons baking soda • 1 teaspoon baking powder • ¾ teaspoon salt • ½ cup oil • 2 cups sugar • 2 large eggs • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 cup buttermilk • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee Grease and flour baking pan(s) and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together oil and sugar until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in buttermilk and coffee until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Batter will be very thin. Pour batter into prepared pan(s)* and bake per the following or until the cake no longer jiggles in the pan and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. DO NOT OVER-BAKE. Cupcakes: Fill paper lined cupcake tins half full. Bake 12-15 minutes. Makes approximately 36 cupcakes. 8-9” Round: Fills three pans. Do not try to fit all of the batter into two. Bake 20-25 minutes. Bundt or 13×9 Pans: Fill pan 2/3 full. Use excess batter to make cupcakes (I usually make 1 – 13×9 cake and 12 cupcakes with one batch of batter). Bake 35-45 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan – do not allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans or they will be difficult to remove. If you need to handle the cakes beyond turning them out, use waxed paper as the cake will stick to your hands. *Sorry about the extra batter issue. My math skills are not good enough to reduce the recipe.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting • 1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

• 1 cup powdered sugar • ¾ cup cocoa powder • ¾ cup light corn syrup • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

In a food processor, process the butter, sugar and cocoa until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and then add the melted chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds. This recipe makes enough frosting for cupcakes, a two-layer cake, a sheet cake or a bundt cake. If making a three-layer cake, you may want to double the recipe or try the Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe below for the middle layers to ensure you have enough frosting for the entire cake (the milk chocolate buttercream makes for a nice contrast in color, texture and flavor).  

Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

• 2 ½ cups powdered sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 4 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature

Whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high, mixing until incorporated. Slowly add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the chocolate.

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THE

Curiosity SHOP by Elaine Samples

photography by Lista’s Studio of Photography

T

he CURIOSITY Shop is an import store that has been a fixture of the Aiken community for 14 years. It is the creation of John BÂ Heaton and Amy Neeley who decided in 1998 to open a business which reflected and inspired those from and interested in the British Isles. Being geographically located in an area rich in English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh settlement and Celtic Heritage, The CURIOSITY Shop quickly became a destination shop for those interested in all things Anglo.



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Let’s Talk

“We started out in a tiny little store front with an idea of selling nice gifts from Celtic countries,” says Amy Neeley. “My husband and I are both of Scottish extraction and we were thinking of carrying items from Scotland and Ireland, such as china, sweaters, and silver jewelry. As it turned out, what people really wanted was food. We found that there were a lot of ex-Patriots living in the area, so we started carrying items they missed from back home.” The CURIOSITY Shop has grown into a sizeable market with an extensive grocery section featuring foods from more that fourteen countries; specially blended bulk teas and trade teas; frozen sausages and meat pies authentically prepared by a British sausage maker who lives in the region. Having recently moved to an 8,000 square feet building just around the corner from its original location, the store has expanded its inventory of fine gifts from the British Isles and Beyond to include classic and contemporary jewelry, a variety of tea pots and tea accessories, an extensive book collection, toys for children, wildly popular animal masks, and a plethora of novelty items such as Doctor Who and Beatles paraphernalia. The new facility is home to The Dickens Cafe which is open all day, and it serves favorites such as cream tea, scones, and lemon curd all day, with specialties like bagels and crumpets earlier in the day. They also serve lunch from 11-2, offer catering services, and even have the traditional high tea in the afternoon as a special event. The CURIOSITY Shop carries a variety of vegan options, which is currently all the rage in Europe. They also have special sauces, gluten free foods, and special candy bars that you cannot typically find in America. The store carries an extensive inventory of books from all over the world. Visitors can research their family name, discover their

The store carries an extensive inventory of books from all over the world. Scottish Clan, order their tartan, and even get measured for a kilt. The CURIOSITY Shop has a fine selection of Celtic prints, cards, books, and jewelry — and even features a Peter Maxx-inspired mural painted by Lexington artist, Monica Wyrick. Constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community, The CURIOSITY Shop often hosts fun events. Most recently, they offered a tea tasting where customers could sample thirty teas and learn about the different types of tea, growing practices, history, methods of preparation, instructions for cooking with tea, and all things tea related. With Trivia night bi-monthly, featured monthly events including acoustic artists with special music, and other fun and interesting occurrences, you can visit their website at www. curiosityshoptea.com/store/ to sign up for their newsletter or read their regular blog. A weekly email will keep you informed when new groceries arrive, as well as any upcoming events at The CURIOSITY Shop. Whether you are a longtime supporter or your curiosity has just been piqued , check out their current space at 224 Park Avenue Southwest in Aiken. Have a fresh baked scone with your favorite delicious topping, peruse the books for an interesting read, or try an animal mask on for size. Either way, you are sure to find something that keeps you curious and coming back for more. www.aikenwomanonline.com




COMPOUNDING PHARMACIST Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

Custom Prescription Compounders, LLC Custom Prescription Compounders

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Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

TLC Medical Centre

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Women

nooneshoerx.com 194 Crepe Myrtle Dr, Aiken


ZOOM HEATON Your Local Compounding Pharmacist

by Lori Samples Duncan photography by Lista’s Studio of Photography

A

hometown feel in a state of the arts facility is how I would describe TLC Medical Centre. It reminded me of a place called Anglin’s Drug Store nestled on Main Street in my hometown of Buford, Georgia, where you were welcome to have an ice cream at a counter while you waited on your prescription. Warm, inviting, and filled with pizazz like it’s owners. Meet Zoom Heaton. Some people are blessed enough to know they are doing exactly what they were created to do. Zoom Heaton is one such lady. You only need spend a few moments with her to know she loves what she does. Warm and open right from the beginning, she spoke animatedly about the women whose lives are being changed by bio-identical hormone therapy. “Hormones effect every cell in our body. That’s about 100 trillion cells! Inside the cell, hormones trigger the cell to perform their intended functions. Many functions are dependent on this hormonal trigger such as energy production, memory, muscle strength and development, sex drive, bone growth, sleep cycle, etc. As hormone levels decline, these function as menopause in a woman and andropause in a man,” according to Dr, Leslie Lyles of Charleston, South Carolina. Let’s speak honestly for a moment ladies: how many of your friends have talked about hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, weight gain, depression, anxiety, and oh — did I say weight gain? How many women do you know who have visited doctor after doctor with no real results? How many of your friends are on some form of long term prescription drugs, i.e., blood pressure, cholesterol, or some hormone replacement RX?

How many of those ladies would like to stop taking those pills? I am not suggesting that you should stop taking doctor prescribed medications without seeing your physician, but rather that we need to educate ourselves about what we are putting into our bodies on a daily basis. What happens to the excess or the remnant components of these drugs once we take them? What does the liver do with this foreign matter? How important is our liver to our daily lives? These questions need to be answered. Zoom did not set out to be a compounding pharmacist. It was through educating herself about the process, and quite frankly at the request of her patients, that she became able to compound their prescriptions. A phone call during the training period of her compounding journey with a very knowledgeable pharmacist changed the

course of Zoom’s business. During that conversation, Zoom recalls, “It was like something hit me and a light bulb went off.” Compounding allows your pharmacist to customize the levels of medication to meet the needs of an individual and not a population. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to take more of any drug than what is necessary to accomplish its goal. Zoom is so committed to educating women about various ways bio-identicals and compounding can help women that she hosts monthly seminars at TLC Medical Centre on a regular basis. This is no “one size fits all therapy; this is about treating the problem and not putting Band-Aids” on the symptoms. Zoom’s purpose is to “empower women to make decisions that best suit their needs and their health.” She is not asking you to take her

word for it - but that you do the research yourself by attending a seminar. Ask yourself this question: “If my body was created to process its own hormones, why wouldn’t a bio identical hormone be better for me than that from an animal?” In an age where we are carted in and out of exam rooms in what can seem like cattle formation, and sometimes self-diagnosing for our busy doctors, I believe Aiken has a jewel in its local owned compound pharmacy in Mrs. Zoom Heaton and her husband Richard. I believe so much in what Zoom is doing that I have asked her to submit an article in each issue of Aiken Woman Magazine to help educate our readers about hormone therapy. We are going to call it “Zooming into better Health.” Check it out in our next issue. To submit a question to Zoom for a possible feature in our next issue, please email us at zoomrx@bellsouth.net. www.aikenwomanonline.com

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BACKYARD

Makeovers

by Elaine Samples

S

ince the invention of HGTV, it feels like I have seen really amazing backyards pop up in the most random of places. And since your home is your sanctuary, why not? Mr. Paul Romanstine of Midlands Landscape has been transforming backyards into mini vacation spots for 18 years, and we sat down with him to ask him some questions about the process. The overall number of people having makeovers has increased in recent years, as people are staying home more. As the economy has taken a plunge and many home values have dropped, people are opting to improve existing living space rather than buying a new home or traveling as much as they did “when times were better.” When considering a backyard makeover, planning and design is crucial. Midlands Landscape will meet with you and devise a plan based on your long-term goals in order to best ensure that things don’t have to be redone in a few years. They also work with clients to perform the upgrades in stages to help them save money in the future as a project changes and develops. “We want to know where the client wants to end up, and we determine the most cost and time effective way of achieving their goals and desires,” says Paul. At Midlands Landscape, they can help you landscape your current space for aesthetics, or they can even install a shiny new outdoor kitchen, where they have installed

12

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Women

up to twenty kitchens in a year. An outdoor kitchen gives you the benefit of having all your equipment on the outside, so that you don’t have to, for instance, transport food after you wash it in the sink. It cuts down on the back and forth trek to the house, and it also makes for a cozy getaway for those cool spring and fall nights when you just want to take in the cool night air. As for upkeep after the project is finished, Paul and his team can design a plan with more hardscape and less grass, which means less upkeep for you, the homeowner. Or they can go with more green, if that is what you desire. Either way, they stick with low maintenance products that do not require a lot of work to keep them looking nice. A backyard makeover can take anywhere from a week up to a month, depending on the overall design and scope of the project. Keeping in mind that time is the most precious of commodities, Paul and his team strive to meet the needs of their clients in the most cost and time effective way possible. A new backyard can make all the difference in your home. Midlands Landscape gets plenty of feedback from clients who find a new love for their backyard after a makeover. Our recent makeover recipient


Extreme Makeovers

Before had this to say about their new backyard oasis from Midlands Landscape: “I used to be embarrassed to have people see my backyard. My privacy fence was as much about keeping people out as it was keeping things in. Now when I walk out the backdoor and see what Paul and his crew did to my backyard, I feel proud to call this mine. We find ourselves enjoying our time outdoors more and grilling is something we are doing practically nightly on our new Backyard kitchen. We purchased furniture from Tropic Aire to make our oasis complete. Even my neighbors were excited for us. We can’t wait to have them over for some summer parties in our new backyard! Thank you Midlands Landscape and Tropic Aire. Oh and that sparkling blue water is compliments of Sapphire Pools. See you in the Sun!” Call Midlands Landscape today for a free consultation at (803) 356-8080 or visit www.midlandslandscape.com.

Check out the Aiken Woman Magazine facebook page for more makeover photos!

GARAGE Makeover Before

SERVING THE MIDLANDS

(803) 356-8080

www.midlandslandscape.com

After

Attic Attack transformed this once chaotic garage into an organized space that can actually be used for its original purpose! Thankfully, their services are not limited to just garages. They can help you reclaim your attic, basement, closets, shed, and other storage spaces. For more examples of their work, see their ad on page 15 or visit them online at www.atticattack.org. www.aikenwomanonline.com

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Extreme Makeovers

RENOVATIONS, NEW HOMES, and OLD VALUES

by Rebecca Head

M

eet Billy Hawley! He’s not your average builder. A native of South Carolina, he stands for good old fashioned values of honesty and integrity. He has spent his whole life in and around construction companies, and he knows what good customer service means. His goal in each project is to add value to your home and to make sure that every stage of the project is done correctly and in a timely manner.

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Billy grew up on job sites helping his father with his plumbing company, starting at the age of eight. He worked with his father on a part-time basis until he graduated from high school in 1982. He was then drafted as a pitcher by the Cincinnati Reds right out of high school in the first round of the June draft. After he finished his professional baseball career, he went to work in the trades for several construction companies and learned many valuable lessons that still serve him today in managing the construction process. Billy and his wife moved to Aiken in 1991, and after attending college at night, Billy earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management in 2000 from Southern Wesleyan Univer-

sity. In 2001, Billy started Hawley Construction Incorporated, later South Point Construction, and established himself as one of the premiere remodelers and builders in the Aiken area. He is married to Kim Hawley who teaches at Kennedy Middle School. They have been married for 26 years and have two sons, Tucker and Tanner, who play baseball for the University of Alabama and Spartanburg Methodist College, respectively.

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So what makes Billy such a great contractor? It could be his handson involvement in every project he undertakes and the pride he has in every job. Jerry Ingledue of Woodside Plantation, a client of South Point Construction whose baseWomen


South Point takes pride in providing professional service... ment was remodeled, said “Billy was the best contractor I ever dealt with.” In Ingledue’s time as a Superintendent for Planning and Parks in California, he had much experience dealing with contractors. Ingledue explained, “Billy was easy to work with because he met with us, discussed our goals, needs and vision, and helped us to make the best decisions. He even brought us computer-generated designs to show us what the room would look like before work was started.” Billy’s philosophy that has served him well in the construction industry is The Golden Rule — to treat each customer with respect and as he would wish to be treated — when contracting others for their services. South Point takes pride in providing professional service with certified and licensed contractors. In response to the economic downturn and decreased demand for new housing, South Point Construction has seen a growth in remodeling and home renovation. Billy enjoys remodeling jobs because “they can be very challenging, and it is great to see the end product. You have to know what to expect before

you open walls up.” He enjoys taking older homes and restoring them to look as if they were built yesterday. Billy has experience restoring some of the historic homes in downtown Aiken. The most common renovations in Aiken are basement or attic conversions and additions. Billy’s goal is to improve the home without making a room look like an addition. South Point will put more work into a job so that every addition looks as if it had always been there. This takes more time, but in the end, the work results in a better product. Another common renovation is remodeling to meet physical needs. These needs include wider doorways for wheelchair accessibility and bathroom upgrades for the elder generation. As the population grows older, more are moving into assisted living facilities or back in with their children as their own homes become inaccessible. South Point realizes that moving out of a home is not always the best option, but the company can make necessary improvements to keep people at home where they want to be. For information on remodeling or restoration projects, just ask Billy. You can reach him at South Point Construction by calling 648-9399 or by e-mail at billy@southpointconstruction.net. His work can be found on www. southpointconstruction.net or on the South Point Facebook page.

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15


Paige Johnson:

A NEW CHANCE

at Life

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Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real

Women


P

aige Johnson is a runner. She has been running for many years. In August of 2010, Paige was finishing up a four mile morning run with a friend when a truck ran off the road at the speed of 45 MPH and hit Paige in the right thigh, throwing her into the air and onto its windshield, face landing on the wipers. For the next three weeks, Paige doesn’t remember anything. The doctors kept her well medicated because they thought it best that she not have a memory of those three weeks in the Intensive Care Unit at Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. The right side of Paige’s face had multiple bone and facial fractures, and Dr. Jack C. Yu, the section chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery, was able to rebuild it using a picture. Her mouth was wired shut and she was given nutrition through a tube as Dr. Yu inserted titanium for her left eyebrow, a rib for her right eyebrow and rebuilt her face by using a picture of Paige before the accident. Three weeks in ICU, two weeks at Walton Rehabilitation Hospital for post acute care to include speech and physical therapies. Upon discharge from Walton, Paige continued recovery for traumatic brain injury in outpatient treatment with Dr. Jeremy Hertza, neuropsychologist.

life of the individual to whom it happened. And so it was with Paige. “It was when I began my involvement with the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina, and working with others who have a brain injury that I felt true passion for the first time in my life. It

Before the accident, I performed my life. I was closed to emotion. I ‘managed’ my feelings rather than experience them.

by Elaine Samples

photography by Lista’s Studio of Photography

She was on medical leave from work for five months. But three days after Dr. Cole Geller, neurosurgeon, replaced a bone flap in her head, Paige was back at work as the CEO of a psychiatric hospital. From the outside, Paige had a good life before the accident: a successful career, loving family, a marriage and good friendships. “Prior to my accident, I was a good leader, successful business woman, career driven, and really loved my career,” says Paige. “ It wasn’t until after the accident that I realized that while I loved my job and the people I worked with, I did not feel a passion for what I was doing.” Often we hear of a traumatic experience reshaping the

is an amazing and rewarding feeling to help others recognize that our brain injuries are not our identities. They are only a part of our whole ‘package’ as people. I believe my brain injury is no more of my identity than my left arm or my right leg. I am blessed enough to have ten fingers, ten toes, and a traumatic brain injury.” “Before the accident, I performed my life. I was closed to emotion. I ‘managed’ my feelings rather than experience them. With the guidance of Dr. Hertza, I am a lot more open, authentic, soft hearted, well rounded and have found a new sense of balance in life. I believe the answer to the question, Why me? is that God wanted to guide me directly to His purpose for me — advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves while www.aikenwomanonline.com

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Extreme Makeovers

Instead of existing, she began to LIVE, really live.

recovering from a traumatic brain injury! “I feel God’s presence in my heart and on my mind everyday and thank HIM for providing exactly what I have needed when I need it as I recover from my near death experience, my traumatic brain injury, and begin LIVING LIFE again. On a human level, I appreciate working with my neuropsychologist, Dr. Hertza. I believe to know him, work under his guidance, education, and support is the greatest gift I have ever been given. He has stood by me through every step: recovering from the accident, learning to live with a traumatic brain injury, leaving my career as a CEO, becoming well rounded, learning to have fun in life, and becoming HAPPY for the very

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Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

first time. I am grateful to him for teaching me that I am a more attractive woman when open, soft hearted, authentic, and smiling MY smile…as opposed to the ‘professional’ smile.” Recently, I was at a women’s conference and I heard the testimony of a lady who, after a tough battle, had been declared cancer free. Because of what she learned and the resulting change in her life, she said she was grateful for the experience, “Sometimes God gives you a gift,” she proclaimed, “And it doesn’t come in a pretty package tied with a beautiful bow.” Though it may seem ridiculous, the accident that caused Paige so much pain, also transformed her life. Instead of existing, she began to LIVE, really live. And as a result, the lives of so

Real

Women

many people around her changed as well. She recently penned these words for her new life, “I have had the power, the prestige, possessions and position…NOW I have an open heart and I have become a servant. My service is to be available to be wherever I am needed at the moment. Whenever I have the opportunity, I will do what is good for everyone. The conditions do not need to be perfect…IWILL get things done! I commit to do everything with my whole heart. I will do “great” things by doing little things. I will not leave anything half undone. I will not get discouraged. I will not quit. I will be dependable. I will be worthy of trust. I will maintain a low profile and remain humble. This com-

mitment summarizes my second chance to LIVE and what I choose as my second career.” With Paige’s new spin on life, she recently declared, “Attitudes are more important than accomplishments.” When talking to her, I was continually amazed at her optimistic and grateful attitude. Many people would have come out of the tragic situation she faced bitter and angry, but not Paige. She found purpose in her pain. And in doing so, she is making the lives of those around her better as well. As we were wrapping up, Paige said, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers,” and we think Paige may have just been praying lately…


Augusta

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Learn more at www.augustacpc.org If you would like to talk to someone who cares for you, come into our center or call our 24 hour helpline:

(706) 724-FREE Monday: 10am-2pm* • Tuesday: 10am-2pm*, 6pm-8pm Wednesday: 10am-2pm* • Thursday: 10am-12pm* Friday: Hotline only • Saturday: 10am-12pm* Sunday: Closed *Free Pregnancy Testing is available during day hours.

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AIKEN’S NEWEST and MOST LUXURIOUS APARTMENT HOMES www.aikenwomanonline.com

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tired to trendy TRANSFORMING A SPACE

From

by Mandy Summers

I

love a challenge! When Lori Duncan, publisher of Woman 2 Woman magazines, approached me about renovating an old house and making it into their new office, I was excited at the prospect! We met at the property and did a walk-thru and discussed some of the challenges we would face in the transformation process. The punch list was lengthy; there were repairs to be made, items to be removed and many additions that would be necessary. As with many of my clients, there were time and budget constraints. She needed to move into her new office as quickly as possible and didn’t want to break the bank doing so. We needed to form an action plan and come up with a realistic budget. We decided that the reception area and Lori’s office would be Phase I, the conference and sales offices would be Phase II and the rest left to Phase III. We needed everything – office furniture, seating for the waiting area, draperies for the windows, rugs for the floors and artwork and accessories throughout. Lori wanted the office to be a reflection of the magazine – something that she could be proud of, somewhere that she and her team would be inspired to work and that her advertisers and amazing feature women would love to come and share their stories. I needed to devise a space that was not only functional, but creative and fun. We were two determined, stubborn and motivated ladies with a 2 week time frame!

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We began with the walls, they desperately needed repainting! Selecting the right paint color is a great way to change the look and feel of a room, especially when you have

limited funds. In both residential and commercial projects, it is critical to develop an overall color scheme, one that will flow nicely throughout the various spaces in your home or office. Since this was not a complete renovation job, we needed to “make friends” with what was already there – the existing honey colored hardwood floors, the brown and beige laminate kitchen countertops and the fireplace with the burnt orange brick were all staying. Because the house is a simple brick rancher, built in the 1970s; I decided to go retro and funky. I selected an overall palette that would incorporate multiple shades of vivid gold, deep orange, chocolate brown, lime green and aqua blue. Kevin Strickland, our trusted painter, came to the rescue. He repainted every wall

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real

Women

and all the trim in a few short days – thank you!! When you entered the house before, you were immediately greeted by a dull and boring fireplace. To spruce it up, we added a hand-hewned rustic mantel, provided and installed by Ron Rader of Antebellum Restorations. (Ron’s unlimited sources of architectural pieces, knowledge of construction and installation processes, and general willingness to help, have been instrumental on countless occasions). Two bold, signed and numbered abstract prints by Elizabeth Firehill, were provided and hung side by side directly into the brick by M. Gallery Interiors. They were spaced far enough apart to accommodate a non-traditionaI arrangement I designed using

curly twigs, dried pods and semicircular white vase. The colors incorporated in the arrangement serve to contrast the orange in the brick, pull out the accent colors in the artwork and compliment the fabric on the chairs situated below. We placed two small-scale floral chairs on the diagonal directly in front of the hearth. The funky gold and cream fabric flowers compliment the round metal coffee table in hammered silver. The table’s removable lid also provides great storage. It is situated atop a grey and beige round woven natural jute rug. All these elements combine to give a striking, edgy and interesting array of textures when you enter Woman 2 Woman’s lobby. The wall color in the lobby and reception area is Sherwin Williams


Extreme Makeovers

Before Because the house is a simple brick rancher, built in the 1970s; I decided to go retro and funky. Before

Check out the Aiken Woman Magazine facebook page for more photos!

Before

Artisan Tan, a wonderful neutral. Standard rods and ready-made drapes were purchased to keep us within budget. As is often the case, when custom treatments are not an option, you have to improvise to get the look and feel you want. To coordinate with the coffee table, and future light fixtures, brushed nickel rods with square finials were selected. We had to add silver rings with clips to the tops of all the drapery panels to get them to the exact length we needed, since they didn’t make them with the ideal drop. I chose drapes that have a large scale gold and cream floral fabric to coordinate beautifully with what we used in the lobby. A rectangular shaped sisal rug was chosen to ground the reception area and add yet another texture to the mix. It is a rich deep orange color that works with the brick in the adjacent area and helps the colors flow seamlessly. With so much color popping in the drapes, artwork and rug, a neutral linen slipcover sectional was chosen. Trendy throw pillows in gold, cream and brown Ikat fabric were chosen to give it an updated look. (Ikat (pronounced ee- kat) fabrics have the pattern tied and dyed in the yarn before the fabric is woven.)

To add to our seating, we threw in a tufted club chair in a bold multicolored floral. It incorporates all our existing colors and introduces the color aqua, which we chose for the paint color in the adjacent sales offices. Even though the sales center will be Phase II, I needed to make sure I devised a color scheme now. It was important that the painting be completed before all the furniture was installed to make life easier and that the color chosen, Sherwin Williams Halcyon Green, would flow from one area of the office to the other. The stain on the sofa and chair legs do not match, but they compliment one another. The darker finish on the legs of the upholstered pieces was selected to work with the espresso finish on the new bow-front reception desk. This gives everything a more contemporary feel. (Everything does not need to match exactly in a room, often times it becomes cold and boring if it does). We placed a silk bamboo tree behind the bow-front reception desk to soften the corner and hide some not so perfect wall boards. Silks plants need no maintenance and are a great addition to any space. M. Gallery provided and hung two abstract prints by Elizabeth Firehill. The colors www.aikenwomanonline.com

21


Extreme Makeovers looked like she painted them to go into our room. The art pieces were stacked one directly over the other to draw your eye upward. M. Gallery also provided a large sculptural gold vase. It was placed directly on the floor beside the chair. I gathered long, spirally gold and red vines in a loose arrangement to provide visual interest at a lower height. Rowin Partners owner, Rob Winchester, was instrumental in helping us obtain just the right office furniture to suit our needs. Lori, Rob and I met and discussed our style and budget requirements and he recommended an awesome contemporary line of furniture that was an ideal fit. The pieces displayed throughout the office all came from a versatile series Rob recommended. It will allow Lori to add-on as she grows her staff and still maintain a cohesive look throughout the office. Rowin Partners’ customer service and professional manner were exemplary; they got us a quote quickly, prepared a detailed invoice in no time and met our deadline for delivery. The Rowin team was also patient when we changed gears on some placement at the install. In addition, the Partner’s Pledge program, where they give a percentage of their sale back to the client, in the form of a check made out to the charily of their choice, allowed Woman 2 Woman yet another avenue to aid the community. To find out more about Rowin Partners, or the Partner’s Pledge program, visit rowinpartners.com. As you travel from the lobby and the reception area, you enter a narrow dark hallway. To brighten it up, we transitioned to a lighter shade of paint, Sherwin Williams Macadamia. It flowed well from the neutral in the entry and will allow us to use different color schemes in each of the offices without being overwhelmed. For Lori’s office, I chose Sherwin Williams Wheat Grass. It is a beautiful shade of green with yellow undertones that create a bright and airy feel. A person’s office should tell you about them the moment you enter. I wanted her office to reflect how amazing she is! I chose some contemporary abstract metal wall sculptures to reflect her creativity, some bold glittery floral artwork to underline her sparkly personality and a series of colorful unique glass vases that reflect her beautiful spirit (all these great pieces were provided by Eclectic House). Her chairs are upholstered in a fun geometric pattern that pulls the green in the walls, the chocolate

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Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real

brown from the reception area and the aqua from sales department. (Even when you don’t visually see all the spaces in the office at the same time, utilizing a cohesive color palette throughout a space helps it to have a great feel and flow.) The small scale geometric pattern is fun and whimsical. Lori always like to have fun whatever she is doing. Situated between her two client chairs is a brown, leather-textured side table that looks like alligator (don’t mess with the boss ). This provides texture and interest. Lori’s espresso finished desk, tall credenza and rounded working arm all form a Ushaped work center that lets you know she is a lady that works hard and means business. The design allows plenty of surface area to spread out and create. She also needed plenty of file drawers and storage space. We chose an ergonomic chair for those long hours she puts in to produce all her great magazines. Even her lighting is a reflection of her; it consists of an under-mount task light that allows her to see everything practically and clearly and a funky geometric cutout lamp that screams style to shed some creative light on the nontraditional projects at hand. Her panel drapes are a dramatic black satiny fabric. They appear to be solid; but, have subtle diamond patterns when you get up close (kind of like the women Lori writes about, there is more to the story when you know the details). They are hung on a strong black iron rod and for fun the ends were capped with fancy jeweled finials. Lori exudes strength and loves her bling!! There are also elements of nature throughout the office – a moss covered sphere tops her bookcase and fern-like plants jut out of her egg-plant colored vases. A bookcase for housing all her treasures was a must have! Not only can she store her signed books from her favorite authors, but she can display pictures of her fabulous family, keepsakes from terrific friends and inspirational quotes and uplifting scriptures to remind her of her priorities.

HOW PAINTING Can Give Your Space

A Fresh Face

Once and awhile, everything needs a bit of a facelift. Even our homes. Whether it is changing the pillows on the sofa or adding a pool, home improvement can be a daunting task. We talked with Kevin Strickland of Strickland Painting Services about putting a fresh coat of paint on your walls, the ultimate fun facelift for a room. Kevin suggested several things to consider to make painting your room run smoothly, but also stressed that “preparation is key.” • Choose a color scheme. • Decide on your preferred texture (Kevin suggests using eggshell instead of flat for a kids room because it is washable. He also suggests that you do not use flat paint for kitchens and bathrooms.) • Use an oil based primer and always prime between extravagant or dark colors. • Make sure you get everything out of the way and cover furniture and electronics with light plastic. • If you take down pictures, sand walls, fill nail holes and spot prime those spots. (This is important because dry sheetrock mud absorbs paint.) • Use a flat oil primer, especially for water stains and crayon marks. (Kevin recommends Kilz spray) • Always give the room two coats of paint. First coat should be completely dry before the second coat is applied. • For the second coat, paint one wall at a time, keeping all edges as wet as possible so that they dry together. Happy Painting, everyone! Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? If you really want to do it right, call the professional himself and enjoy your new walls!

Stay tuned for Phase II!!

Mandy Summers is the Owner/Certified Interior Decorator of M. Gallery Interiors located in the Old Mill of Lexington. For more photos of our office makeover, visit the Aiken Woman Magazine facebook page!

Women

Kevin Strickland


Health & Wellness

It’s Summer. Kick Back and Relax

...But Not When It Comes to Your Health.

SEE ALL THAT AIKEN REGIONAL HAS TO OFFER THE WOMEN OF THE CSRA

F

rom birth through the golden years, Aiken Regional Medical Centers takes care of the women of our community. With advanced procedures and equipment, compassionate staff and one-of-a-kind programs like WE – Women Enlightened for Better Health, we’re proud to serve as a source of knowledge and comfort. Women’s LifeCare Center Are you expanding your family? Summertime can be challenging for expecting women, who are already prone to heat intolerance. Make sure to stay hydrated – if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Carry a squirt bottle of water to mist yourself. Wear breathable fabrics to stay cooler and help prevent heat rash. Swimming can help you beat the heat and also relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve. The Women’s LifeCare Center gives newborns and their parents a strong start in life. From your first childbirth education class to the first moment you hold your baby in your arms and through the postpartum period, we’re here to support you with clinical expertise and a warm, caring environment. To see a schedule of upcoming childbirth education classes, visit www.aikenregional.com and choose Community Outreach. Healthcare through every stage of life. The Women’s LifeCare Center is more than a great place to have a baby. Services include: • Osteoporosis treatment • Estrogen replacement therapy • Pap tests and pelvic exams • Clinical breast exams

Women’s LifeCare Diagnostic Services Breast cancer doesn’t take the summer off. Current research has determined that the key to breast cancer survival rests upon its earliest possible detection. So if you haven’t had your yearly mammogram, schedule an appointment with Women’s LifeCare Diagnostic Services at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. We provide all-digital mammography imaging, which can help detect breast cancer at early stages, when it’s most treatable. Other services include stereotactic breast biopsy, bone densitometry and routine X-rays. The CSRA’s only dedicated freestanding women’s imaging center is accredited by the American College of Radiology and certified by the Food and Drug Administration and includes: • All-female staff • Certified mammography technicians • A breast health nurse navigator • Board-certified radiologists and surgeons WE – Women Enlightened for Better Health Summer – What better time of year to treat yourself to fun social outings? Research shows that hav-

Join WE and be part of the growing sisterhood of nearly 500 CSRA women with access to comprehensive health resources... ing strong social connections can even help guard against heart disease. Join WE and be part of the growing sisterhood of nearly 500 CSRA women with access to comprehensive health resources and a network of members empowering themselves to make informed healthcare choices. WE members receive a host of benefits, including new member orientation, updates on the latest health information, and programs and seminars tailored to your age and stage of life. One of the most important aspects of the program is personalized outreach from our Women’s Health Nurse Navigator. She can: • Answer questions and provide health-related information. • Help members select primary care physicians and specialists. • Provide information about ARMC services, educational

programs and support groups. • Help members schedule routine screenings. • Give members an orientation to the ARMC campus. • Provide ongoing navigation services to members needing follow-up care. • Provide education on the proper use of the LIV® breast self-exam aid. Hear about the program first-hand from a member at www.aikenregional.com/WE. Interested in joining? Fill out an application at www.aikenregional. com/WE or call us at (803) 64158WE (5893).

Physicians are on the medical staff of Aiken Regional Medical Centers but, with limited exceptions, are not agents or employees of Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. www.aikenwomanonline.com

23


Jessica Araya

{ SURVIVOR } A Breast Cancer

A i ke n Wo m a n c e l e b r a t e s t h e s u r v i vo r i n yo u

J

essica Araya is one of five ladies in the Midlands known to many as a Ta-tini, a young group of breast cancer survivors who found each other for mutual support, and spread the word of awareness and hope to far too many people touched by the disease.

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Jessica’s story is familiar to many. Maybe not her personal story, but the normal, happy life of a young wife and mother of two. She was a trainer at Gold’s Gym, and in excellent shape. After the birth of her second child, the 25 year old decided to have a procedure to put a couple things back into place, you might say. About six weeks after the surgery, she noticed a knot across the top of one of her breasts. Initially, the doctors thought it may have been related to her procedure and that there was nothing to worry about. Perhaps a cyst or piece of scar tissue. By early October, it had grown across the top of her breast. Even the doctor performing the biopsy thought there was little

cause for concern. On Halloween of 2007, she received the news that they were wrong.

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

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Jessica at the age of twenty-six was diagnosed with a four centimeter lump and stage two cancer, and this normal, happy life was forever changed. Changed, indeed. However, Jessica was resigned not to be labeled a victim. She went through pre-op chemo so the doctors could observe the effects it would have on her. When her hair started to come out, she and her kids shaved her head. Before her surgery in March of 2008, she elected to have a “Farewell Boobies Party.” With only Women

three weeks, Jessica and friends planned and threw the first Fight Like A Girl event, which has since become a powerful annual event hosted by the Ta-tinis to raise money and awareness. Like many great friendships, hers with the four other members of the group that would be the Ta-tinis was quite random. She attended a support group with Mandy Bowden one evening. At the meeting were two people – Kim Hamrick was one of them. Amy Kinard she met at Dicks sporting goods. It wasn’t long after that when she, Kim, Amy, Brittney, and Mandy came to the conclusion that “when life gave us cancer, we had a mar-

tini,” or something of the sort, and the Ta-tinis were born. Late in 2008, Jessica relocated to Tallahassee, Florida, for not only the next phase of her life, but a second diagnosis. In July 2009, she learned again that had cancer. This time it was stage four cancer in her sternum. After various opinions, including the experienced doctors of MD Anderson, she began four rounds of chemo in November, and in March of 2010 began thirtyfive rounds of radiation over eight weeks in Orlando. This meant she would spend the weeks near treatment centers several hours away from her Tallahassee home and return to her kids on the weekends.


If you can’t be there, we can. She’s been dreaming of this day since she was a little girl. But if you can’t be there to see it, you can at least make sure that you’ve planned for her happiness. Farm Bureau Insurance has a wide range of life insurance policies that can meet your family’s needs. Hopefully you will be there for all of her life’s greatest moments. But if you can’t, Farm Bureau Insurance will be there to help see her through.

Bob Hagen, LUTCF • 803.648.5421

Like many great friendships, hers with the four other members of the group that would be the Ta-tinis was quite random. In July 2010, Jessica learned the cancer had spread to her spine and the doctors gave her six to twelve months to live. She soon learned that if given a “death sentence� by doctors, one can “cash in� her life insurance for an amount equal to half of its value. So Jessica cashed in. And she and a cousin traveled to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Italy and Germany. With little time left, she decided she may as well see things she had always hoped to see. In December, 2011, she and her friends Beth Renwick and Kelly Turbeville traveled to Costa Rica for some rest and relaxation. They enjoyed the beauty of the country, went zip lining and rode horses to the hot springs. Jessica joked with her friends, “Won’t it be funny if this mud bath cures

my cancer?� On the last night of their trip, Jessica met Roy Araya, a dashing young local. Roy asked her to come back for visits, so she did. And on March 22, they were married. Back in the States on January 31, Jessica learned from her doctor that there was no sign of cancer in her entire body! Jessica’s dad, who had gone with her to all of her doctor visits, cried in her presence for the first time. “He looked at me and said, ‘These are tears of joy,’� remembers Jessica. Jessica is so excited to be entering into this new phase of her life with her children and her new husband. And we’ll drink to that!

BobHagen@scfbins.com • www.scfbins.com South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Jackson, MS

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Business & Web Directory Administrative Support Mobile Office Management.........................26 www.biz-mom.com Apartment Homes The Summits.................................................19 www.thesummits.net Art and Entertainment M. Gallery Interiors, LLC............................27 www.mgalleryinteriors.net Automotive Services Wayne’s Automotive & Towing Center......10 www.waynesautomotivecenter.com Child Care Kinder Kids.....................................................5 www.kinderkidscsra.com Dance Studio Dream Dance Academy...............................15 www.dreamdanceacad.com

Over 20 local artists’ work on display “Design Your Own” rug programs Home accessories from around the globe Unique gifts and hand-made jewelry Vintage architectural pieces We have a multitude of paintings, photographs, ceramics, wood & metal sculptures all uniquely displayed in an urban industrial gallery setting in Lexington's Historic Old Mill. Come see us and get inspired!!!

Are looking for a whole new look, or just some fresh ideas, in your home or business?

Call Mandy Summers to schedule decorating consulting appointments or get more information about the gallery

Fitness Family Y of Aiken County..........................26 www.thefamilyy.org Health Services Aiken Regional Medical Centers...........................................Back Cover www.aikenregional.com Augusta Care Pregnancy Center................19 www.augustacpc.org Custom Prescription Compounders, LLC......................................10

Family Pharmacy..........................................26 www.aikenpharmacy.com Southside OBGYN.......................................26 Hotels Wingate by Wyndham.... Inside Front Cover www.lexingtonwingate.com Insurance Bob Hagen, Farm Bureau............................25 www.scfbins.com Landscaping Midlands Landscape....................................13 www.midlandslandscape.com Photography Lista’s Studio of Photography......Inside Back Cover Renovations Attic Attack....................................................15 www.atticattack.org The Carpet Shop.............................................3 www.carpetshop.com Tropic Aire Patio & Wicker Gallery........... 19 www.tropicaire.com Shopping The Curiosity Shop.........................................9 www.curiosityshoptea.com Spa Changes Day Spa..........................................25 www.changesofaiken.com

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27


A Personal Note

W

hen I first started Woman 2 Woman, Trey was 8 years old. This past December he turned 16. He is becoming a man. Last year something awful happened.

Our pet, Tonka, a very large black lab who has been a member of our family for more than thirteen years died. One of Trey’s responsibilities in our home is checking on our two animals before we go to bed. This night my husband was at work and Trey went out to make sure their water was fresh and that they were tucked in safe. When he came back inside I knew immediately by the look on his face that something was wrong. He said, “Mom, Tonka is dead.” I hoped he was mistaken but it turned out he wasn’t. It was already dark outside, and our hearts were broken. The other children were sleeping, so Trey and I wrapped Tonka for burial and stood in the dark while our sweet neighbors helped up dig a grave for our four legged friend. Trey would not go to bed until it was done. I watched him as he shoveled the dirt on the grave of his first pet. Pausing only to wipe away the sweat of the humid night mingled with his tears. I am proud of him for many things. He’s a straight A student, a singer, a musician. The tears I cried that night weren’t just for Tonka. I cried for another milestone passed in the life of my son. He was the first of our children to make me a mother. He was the first person I ever loved in my life more than I loved myself. I remember when they laid him in my arms and how my heart swelled. I literally thought I couldn’t hold all the love I had for him inside of me. I remember the tears of joy that Trent and I cried as we looked at ten perfect fingers and toes. I have prayed for each of my children every day of their lives, I wonder if they will ever understand the depth of their parents love.

It hasn’t been an easy year for me as a mother. My daughter was dealt a blow to her self-esteem. I wrapped her in my arms and cried with her, as if it were my own heart was breaking along with hers. I was so certain that she would draw into herself and not continue working hard for what she wanted but I was wrong. She put on her best Abigail Grace smile and has continued to go to her classes with her head held high. Children can be so cruel, and I wanted to e Design photo by Robert Patrick Imag spare her this hurt. I couldn’t. She amazes me. Sometimes I am hard on her and I understand why. She is all the best parts of both her father and I. I want to help her capture the world. She is a wonderful young lady, and I am so proud of her. She makes me laugh. She’s tender and she’s tough. She reminds me of a lot of the women in my family. Colton had heartbreak as well. He was the victim of a bullying incident. While playing with some children in our neighborhood on a trampoline, apparently what started out as little boys rough housing, turned into two against one. Colton came home with red marks and scrapes all over him within two days was covered in bruises. He wasn’t going to tell me what happened because he was afraid I would not let him go back and play with the neighborhood kids. It broke my heart and his to know that children are capable of such unwarranted cruelty. He is making new friends and finding new ways to spend his afternoons. He hasn’t lost his ability to try and make others feel good about themselves in the midst of adversity. Ryan is the baby. He is learning about God and loves animals. He wants to be a zoo vet when he grows up (for the moment). Yesterday he was outside playing when he came upon a dead lizard and his little heart was broken. He bowed his little head and folded his hands in prayer and began to pray for the lizard. “Dear God, Please bring this lizard back to life.” I was astounded and happy to know that he is learning that God isn’t just who you talk to at bed time and meal times — He is who we call on in times of trouble as well. Oh how I love them. Each one is different; each one needs different things from me. I pray for wisdom in all my decisions regarding them especially. I wish they came with manuals. I know that as parents we want to fix their problems – make it all better, throw money at it, and put a Band-Aid on it when sometimes all we can do is hold them while they cry. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you ladies, to those who have given birth and to those who chose to be Mothers because someone else couldn’t or wouldn’t. God Bless us all. Your friend,

Lori Samples Duncan

28

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real

Women

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.


A Special Place, Just for Women At the Women’s LifeCare Center, women of all ages receive sensitive care. We provide advanced, nurturing maternity and newborn care as well as support and services for women facing medical issues such as:

The Women’s LifeCare Center at Aiken Regional Medical Centers

sGynecological conditions sBreast surgeries sPlastic or reconstructive surgeries

For more information, visit www.aikenregional.com or call us at 803-641-5800.

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Physicians are on the medical staff of Aiken Regional Medical Centers but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.

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