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the cover


northside women { 6 }

Photographer Devon Morgan found just the right spot on the Big Creek Greenway to capture images of Kris Altiere, breast cancer survivor, with a sampling of her many race medals, who will join hundreds of people riding, running or walking in the 2014 Tour de Pink breast cancer fundraiser on Oct. 25 in Alpharetta. See “Getting to Know” on page 26 to learn how Altiere, a fierce competitor by nature, used athletics to help her stay strong physically and mentally while battling breast cancer at age 35.

UNSUNG ‘SHE’RO Breast cancer survivor Traci Gabrels

{ 20 } THE INTERVIEW Cherie Rood helps son fight cancer { 24 } GIRLFRIENDS’ GETAWAY A relaxing retreat at Rosemary Beach, Florida

{ 26 } GETTING TO KNOW… Tour de Pink cyclist Kris Altiere

{ 32 } HER HEALTH Dance 101’s Ofelia de La Valette

northside lifestyle

{ 36 } SHE BLOGS The Broken Seashell

{ 10 } SHE READS Ann Hite and Lynn Cullen weave spooky tales

{ 38 } PET OF THE MONTH Puppy Pa-looza!

{ 14 } HER STYLE Charity Fashion Show { 16 } GOOD EATS Mom’s Table in Roswell


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Life is Good

Facebook posts capture strength, spirit of breast cancer survivor Traci Gabrels

By KATIE VANBRACKLE Editor’s note: Our November 2012 issue included a Girlfriends’ Getaway piece on Johns Creek resident Traci Gabrels’ biking trip through Napa Valley. Just before the magazine was sent to the printer in October, I called Traci, and instead of her usual cheerful voice, I heard a quiet, serious tone on the line. The unthinkable had happened to this healthy, lively mother of two. She had just been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. Throughout her treatment, Traci’s Facebook posts were filled with honesty and emotion, but her sweet, spunky spirit never wavered. Two years later, Traci is one of the lucky ones – cancer free. And grateful every day for it. Her bravery, humor and grace are an inspiration, not just to cancer patients, but to anyone facing a difficult road ahead. Traci has always been “crazy close” to her sister, Lori Taylor.

Traci Gabrels Oct. 28, 2012 WOW! I knew turning “40” was going to come with all sorts of “growing old” adventures and, so far, it hasn’t been disappointing. So…what kind of adventure am I in store for next, you ask? Well…I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. Yes, I’m serious. I found out this week and will start chemo soon, then have surgery. So, you might be wondering why I’m telling everyone on FB. Well, this is just my way of “controlling” or “owning” it, instead of it controlling me. In this day of technology, people are going to find out. And let’s be honest…as soon as I lose my hair (which, by the way, is really gonna suck because I’ve grown quite fond of my hair)…the cat’s gonna be out-of-the-bag anyway. So, people have been asking me what they can do for me and my family. Honestly….pray. Not for me, but for my family. Which brings me to ask a favor of who might see me at the grocery store, wrestling match, etc…if you come up to me all doe-eyed and cry (especially in front of my kids), you are giving me the green light to SMACK YOU upside the head! : ) (I’m not kidding…I will hurt you!) Just don’t freak my kids out because I’m going to be fine, okay? So…more updates to follow. But…just so you know…don’t feel sorry for me. I am blessed beyond belief (Big Dude has my back), am going to come through this even healthier, and I’m a pretty tough cookie! So…don’t worry…I got this.

Traci Gabrels Nov. 5, 2012 Well…looks like things are progressing pretty fast. So fast, in fact, sometimes even I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. We saw the oncologist again today. Will have “port” put in tomorrow, PET scan and echo Wednesday, start taking steroids 5 times a day Thursday, then start chemo on Friday. I know there’s got to be a joke or some kind of humor I can throw in here to lighten the mood, but having trouble finding it at the moment. So…gonna leave it like this…God is good, I am blessed, and thanks again for all the sweet words and prayers…they mean the world to me.

Traci Gabrels Nov. 14, 2012 Day 6 after first chemo treatment. The day I’m supposed to start feeling “normal,” according to everyone. Ummm…OK…I’m trying to take your word for it…but honestly…nothing’s ever really going to seem “normal” again. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, but really, I don’t think I’m ever going to look at anything the same way again. For instance…right now…I can’t breathe. I feel like I’m running a marathon uphill and can’t stop. But, last night, I was able to walk up the stairs, tuck my children into their beds and put my arms around them and hold them. That will never just be “normal” to me again. Why? Because something so small as being able to hold my children is precious and will be utterly appreciated from now on. Every sweet, stupid, monotonous activity of each day is what I’m longing for…but for now, I’m good. I have really good (not great…yet) moments, and some pretty low ones. I was pretty “out of it” for a few days. Just basically sat and stared. Had moments of truly feeling like a burden and worthless. Then would have times of feeling so absolutely thankful and grateful, I was completely overwhelmed. OK…sorry for rambling…lots of emotions going on in here. But, like I said before, life is good, I am blessed and keep the prayers coming! Traci’s close friends decorated her door on the day of her last chemo treatment in 2013, as well as surprising her with more signs in the lobby of her doctor’s office.

Traci Gabrels Nov. 20, 2012 OK…is it really bad that I am THOROUGHLY enjoying laying on the couch watching Kelly and Michael while my husband is doing the dishes, doing the laundry AND mopping the floor? Ummm…I think not! (btw…I could seriously get used to this…hehehe)…

Traci Gabrels Dec. 20, 2012 I’ve been wanting to write some “being thankful” posts lately, but obviously haven’t. Why?? I’ve been having migraines for two weeks now. And…been sleeping an average of four hours at night. And…have a pretty wicked cold. And…have been crying my eyes out or snapping at people because my stupid hormones are out of whack and I haven’t gotten everything done associated with Christmas yet. And…my next chemo treatment is tomorrow and the world is supposed to end right in the middle of it! But…other than that…it’s all good! : ) No, really…I mean it…it is all good! And am I thankful? You bet your sweet bippy I am! Everything that I am going through will pass. It’s nothing compared to what some people are going through out there. God willing, I’m going to be able to hug and love on my family long after all this sickness is over and that, in itself, is the most precious gift to be thankful for.

► See SHE'RO, Page 8 6 | | october2014

Traci Gabrels Dec. 21, 2012 I received some rather interesting news from the oncologist today. First, he’s already thrown me into menopause (which actually makes me feel better because it explains my “Cybil” personality lately and hot flashes!). I also found out that I get to incorporate mineral oil in my daily diet…Woohoo! Maybe I’ll finally lose those 5 pounds that have been lingering! And…the best thing…I will have full brain function about 1.5 YEARS after chemo is all done! So, I have an explanation for all those goofy things that come out of my mouth and I can’t be held accountable for any of them! Okay…go ahead…you gotta admit…you’re a little jealous!


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▼ SHE'RO, Continued from Page 6 Traci’s family in Panama City Beach, Florida, 4 weeks out from her second surgery, 5 months out from her last chemo treatment.

Traci Gabrels April 22, 2013 Guess What?! I’m CURED! That’s right, it’s true! Just left my incredible doctor’s office assuming I was going for my regular checkup and instead he comes in with my report and informed me that I am one of the very lucky ones…..Cured! Few people get to this point, less than 25 percent as a matter of fact! There is ZERO trace of cancer in this body! I was not expecting this news. Honestly…I’m in shock. Hard to take it all in. All I can say is God is good. Sorry…just can’t stop crying happy tears.

Traci Gabrels Aug. 27, 2013’s the night before my 41st birthday and what am I doing? You guessed it…crying. I can’t help it… seems to be a new “normal” these days. And it happens…often. It doesn’t take much either…watching my kids, listening to music, even just feeling the wind on my face while on the boat. Why am I crying, you ask? Well, I guess I’m just happy…and thankful. Thankful that I get to even experience these mundane everyday things. But also, I’m realizing that I’m different…vulnerable. I’ve always been pretty stubborn…have pushed myself pretty hard when I wanted to accomplish something, and NEVER liked to do anything halfway, but now “halfway” is my new “normal.” That’s not to say that it’s always going to be like this…but for now…it is. And it makes me mad…but more than that…it scares the hell out of me. Now, I know that “halfway” is a whoooole lot better than even what I was going through six months ago, but still, it’s a transition, and transitions can be pretty difficult at times. But, difficult or not, crying or not, “normal” or not, I’m here…and thankful every day for it. So…enough weepy talk…bring on the birthday cake!

Traci is all prepped and ready for a chemo treatment, but says “I can pretty much guarantee that THIS cocktail isn’t going to taste half as good as the one I had last night!”

Traci on her 41st birthday, August, 2013. It was only about a week since she started going out in public without her wig, so she was still feeling “kind of awkward” about her new ‘do.’

Lori Taylor Oct. 18, 2013 Tonight my sister, Traci Gabrels, is being honored at her daughter’s high school along with other amazing breast cancer survivors! These women are just heroes in my eyes… Their healing doesn’t stop when their hair begins to grow…it goes far beyond that…their need for support doesn’t stop when the chemo or radiation treatments stop. There is still internal healing, the need for time and reconnection…a kind of reintroduction to the lives they had before. You have come so far, Traci…your little light might flicker, but nothing has the power to make it go out completely! I love you…

Todd Prescott with Traci Gabrels in Washington, D.C. March 15, 2014 Today is a day of celebration. As many of you know, not that long ago my beautiful sister Traci was diagnosed with a form of breast cancer that shocked and frightened us all, not only due to its unexpected presence but also due to its incredibly aggressive nature. Immediately, she began a series of equally aggressive treatments that before long began to exact a horrific mental and physical toll. Despite this, she endured every treatment, every form of medicine imaginable, nights of sleeplessness, days of immobility, bouts with pain, disabling fatigue, crippling sickness and existential ambiguity with an unwavering strength, humor and grace that served both as an inspiration and as a clear message to all that they were in the presence of a true fighter. As she was facing down this cruel and horrible disease, we made a promise to each other to set a goal in the future to run a race that would not only serve as a new personal challenge, but also as an affirmation and reinforcement of her indomitable spirit and determination. Today, she achieved this goal and completed her first half-marathon. She may resent me in the short term for her sore legs and chafing, but I am truly humbled to be in the presence of such a woman. Congratulations, Traci. I love you. From left, Shanda Adams, Traci Gabrels, Lori Taylor and Todd Prescott completed the Rock n’ Roll half marathon in Washington, D.C. in March of 2014, one year after Traci’s final chemo treatment.

Anna Hathaway, left, and Carol Hathaway, right, honored Traci at a Pink Out ceremony for breast cancer survivors in October, 2013.

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Tainted L♥ve Tales of historical haints and star-crossed soul mates



Authors, from left, Lynn Cullen and Ann Hite at the Decatur Book Festival in August.


Hite’s debut novel, “Ghost on Black Mountain” (Gallery Books, 2011), depicts a sorrowful place tucked away in the hills of Depression-era North Carolina. There, tar-crossed soul mates, obsessions, haints and souls visit their living kin, bringing messages of historical horrors – these are the grisly benevolence and portents of doomed inspiration behind the novels of love. distinguished local authors Ann Hite and Lynn “Nellie Pritchard – one of the Cullen. protagonists – shapes her whole life over Growing up with Germany’s legendary an obsession as simple as falling in love Black Forest as part of her backyard, Hite with the ‘bad boy’ her mother warns her learned to love the old legends of gypsies, against,” she said. “And boy, is he bad.” witches and wild boars that were told over and When asked why she believes over. Not to mention the haunted castle not 10 readers so readily embrace Nellie’s miles from where she lived. But a move back desperate plight, Hite gives a sly smile. to the States and frequent visits to Appalachia “All women can identify with this solidified a love of the macabre. kind of obsession. Obsession takes us into “Upon arrival to my new home in the darker parts of the mind. It’s a very Marietta, Georgia in 1966, a fighter plane human condition, so even when we don’t from the naval base close by crashed into a want to admit our tendency we are drawn house at the end of our road that was owned by Edgar Allen Poe to others that exhibit it,” she said. “As a writer, two spinster sisters,” Hite explained. “Only one that’s always an interesting place to go and the journey lived. The sister in the wheelchair.” reflects the vulnerability of the characters. I think a lot of She raises her eyebrows, enjoying the dark tale. AMELIA POE/ 1910


people secretly wish they could be more vulnerable.” Cullen, bestselling author of “Mrs. Poe” (Gallery Books, 2013) and recent Decatur resident, would agree. Her love of history brought her to the story behind Edgar Allen Poe’s life, and what she discovered fueled Cullen’s own obsession to tell his tale. “I have always rooted for the underdog, the outsider, and Edgar Allan Poe definitely falls in this category,” Cullen said. “An orphan since he was a toddler, he was kept at arm’s length by his foster family, and desperate for love and admiration, he married his 13-year-old cousin when he was 26. “But Poe had such a hole in his heart that the love of his teenage wife couldn’t fill it. He yearned to find love and admiration through his writing, and finally, he got it with the publication of ‘The Raven,’” she said. “Yet within one year of finding success and fame, he went from being the darling of literary New York City to an outcast. He fell in

► See SHE READS, Page 12

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▼ SHE READS, Continued from Page 10

B. Oglesby’s haunting photo was inspired by Ann Hite’s “Ghost on Black Mountain.”

love with Frances Osgood, a fellow poet. I had to tell the story of their ruin.” While Hite’s “Black Mountain” characters come to many a harrowing end, Cullen’s novel gives a clever nod to Poe, himself. Set against the backdrop of Victorian New York City, the story explores the torment of a living death. “In ‘Mrs. Poe,’ I wanted to write about what it would be like when two souls who recognized each other on the deepest level and who should have rightly been together were kept apart,” Cullen said. “Poe and Frances Osgood were the Romeo and Juliet of 1845 New York and their love ended just as tragically. It doesn’t end well when soul mates are kept apart. “I believe in the beauty and the importance of the being who is inside of us,” she said. “To deny this being full expression is a death of another kind.” Cullen is thoughtful about her ghosts. “Beyond everyday speech and actions, I believe that we humans communicate with one another and other animals on a level not well explained or understood in religious or scientific terms alone,” she said. “We can all feel our spirits ‘talking’ at times, when we meet someone who we feel like we’ve known forever or when we can sense across the room – or across time or great distance – what a loved one is thinking and feeling. One of my main aims for ‘Mrs. Poe’ was to explore this thrilling sensation.” As for Hite, true to form, she tells me a ghost story. “My editor at Gallery Books asked me to take pictures of the places that inspired ‘Ghost on Black Mountain,’ an abandoned church in the Smoky Mountains. But once there, my new camera stopped working. When I got back on the road, the camera worked beautifully. I returned to the church this summer. This time, the photos are full of light and wispy white shadows.” She gives a wink. “Makes you wonder, don’t it?” To learn more about Ann Hite, find her at To learn more about Lynn Cullen, find her at

death. Folks told Nellie to get off the mountain while she could, to go back home before it was too late. Hobbs wasn’t nothing but trouble. He’d even killed a man. No telling what else. That mountain was haunted, and soon enough, Nellie would feel it too. One way or another, Hobbs would get what was coming to him. The ghosts would see to that. . . . Told in the stunning voices of five women whose lives are inextricably bound when a murder takes place in rural Depression-era North Carolina, Ann Hite’s unforgettable debut spans generations and conjures the best of Southern folk-lore – mystery, spirits, hoodoo and the incomparable beauty of the Appalachian landscape.

Mrs. Poe (Gallery Books, 2013) The triumphant success of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” compels fledgling poet Frances Osgood to meet her literary idol, a mysterious, complicated man who soon has her under his seductive spell in an all-consuming affair. And when Edgar’s frail young wife breaks into their idyll to befriend her rival, Frances fears that deceiving Mrs. Poe may be as impossible as cheating death itself. ■

Ghost on Black Mountain (Gallery Books, 2011) ONCE A PERSON LEAVES THE MOUNTAIN, THEY NEVER COME BACK, NOT REALLY. THEY’RE LOST FOREVER. Nellie Clay married Hobbs Pritchard without even noticing he was a spell conjured into a man, a walking, talking ghost story. But her mama knew. She saw it in her tea leaves: 12 | | october2014

Milton mom Kimberly Brock is an award-winning author, founder of Tinderbox Writer’s Workshop and owner of Kimberly Brock Pilates.

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Charity fashion show spotlights fall trends

As a personal wardrobe consultant and owner of Alpharetta-based Fashion With Flair, Lori Wynne helps people look their best. Contact her at


n Sept. 11, Northside Woman cosponsored a night of fashion, food and fun in support of the Drake House, which provides emergency housing for women and children in crisis in North Fulton. The models chosen to “Walk This Way” in front of a sell-out

Fur and the color blush

Menswear fabrics A charcoal colored skirt is a great neutral piece to add to your wardrobe. The asymmetric hem is a new kick to a classic line. The black and white herringbone jacket is a great piece to wear with the skirt. The yellow shell is a perfect pop of color. Wearing this pulledtogether look is Lillie Hooper, who often volunteers at the Drake Closet.

Meredith Koehler is beautiful in this vintage black fur jacket. We paired it with a Boucle plaid skirt and blush sweater for a fun, youthful look.

Look at this fun blush and fur jacket Sally Caudle, an Ann Taylor Loft employee, is wearing. If you haven’t incorporated fur into your fall and winter wardrobe, it’s definitely time. Winter white pants like these corduroy skinny pants are a great fall and winter item for those who are reluctant to put away their bright whites after Labor Day. I love these animal print heels by Ann Taylor.

Menswear fabrics Plaid is here to stay this fall. Don’t be afraid to incorporate it into your work wear by wearing a jacket or an entire suit in a windowpane plaid. Shanta Knight, a realtor with Keller Williams, shows off this menswear fabric in such a feminine way with a ruffled jacket by Loft over an easy-wear black knit dress.

14 | | october2014


Dresses: Color block and fall colors Dresses are the rage this fall and I love this patterned dress that Dianne Berry is wearing. Embrace the fall colors by mixing them with some of the more universally flattering colors such as teal. Dresses can be useful when transitioning from warmer to cooler temperatures. This dress would look great with a pair of sandals or a pair of boots and jacket. The former Mrs. Utah 2008, Emily Nelson is modeling a perfect Southern fall dress. The chevron print in fall colors is a wonderful way to celebrate the season. This is a great Southern girl’s dress. When the temperatures are warm, the light fabric helps you stay cool. Wearing colored tights and layering necklaces makes this outfit complete.

crowd at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church were familiar faces from the local community. As the fashion stylist for the show, I chose clothes from the Drake Closet in Alpharetta, with an eye for pieces featuring some of this fall’s current trends. ■

Pastels for fall – with a twist The trick to wearing pastels this winter and fall is to choose lighter shades that have a black undertone to them. This eyecatching outfit worn by Linda Johnson is a wonderful way to celebrate fall colors. The pleather jacket is by Robert Krugman and the soft and stretchy cords are by Fabrizio Gianni. Linda is the new director of the office of the mayor of Johns Creek.

Navy Navy is still hot for eveningwear or weddings – a wonderful and versatile neutral that is a refreshing option instead of traditional black. Rebecca Perkins, an assistant principal at Alpharetta High School, modeled a two-piece evening suit by Kay Unger.

Orange! Orange is a hot color this fall and this two-piece suit by Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon is a perfect example of versatility. Mauvalyn Clark pulls it together with a tan top by Chico’s. Mauvalyn owns a hair salon and is a health and wellness consultant.

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Joanne Rooks brings families back to the dinner table By KIMBERLY BROCK


Jan, left, and Janet, right, become friends with Mom’s Table owner Joanne all is a busy time with sports, school, festivals and Rooks, center. activities. But Joanne Rooks has a place at her table waiting for you. Waiting for everyone, actually. the way, Rooks has been developing her own recipes since she Founder of Mom’s Table in Roswell, Rooks will never was a teenager while learning how to cook “at the elbow of forget the special memories formed while sitting around the [her] mother” and in home economics classes. She brought her dinner table every night with her family, enjoying her mom’s love of a fine meal to her own table and soon it was a regular homemade meals. occurrence for friends of her children to ask to stay for dinner. “Meals make memories,” Joanne said. “When I think of Joanne noticed there was something more than her fabulous my childhood, I remember sitting around the dinner table home cooking bringing these kids to her family’s table. sharing about our day.” “It was about the food, but also for the company, the Recognizing the meaningful bonding that occurred at conversation and the connections,” Rooks explained. “I saw mealtime as a child growing up in Florida, she continued this tradition with her four children after moving to Roswell. Tweaking these classic dishes and experimenting along ► See GOOD EATS, Page 18

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Customers enjoy a sit-down lunch at The Luncheonette, Joanne Rooks’ second location on Grimes Bridge Road.

▼ GOOD EATS, Continued from Page 16 then that everybody really wants that experience. It’s so important to sit down and have that time together, but people are crazy busy. Moms are running in every direction, trying to get their kids one place or another. Sometimes it just seems impossible to cook a meal.” With this in mind, Rooks was inspired. In 2008, with four children of her own, ranging in age from 29 to 12 years old, she founded Mom’s Table in the historic district of Roswell. Her goal was to provide busy families and individuals a way to enjoy tasty, traditional family dinners at their own tables, without having to think about what to prepare, make a trip to the grocery store or cook. You can pick up ready-to-serve homemade stews, entrees, sides and desserts, saving time and energy. “It’s like having your own chef,” she explained. “We do the cooking and all you have to do is refrigerate, reheat and eat.” Rooks is proud to bring recipes from the 50s, 60s and 70s to her customers and is delighted to find they respond

Left, Peach and Blueberry Cobbler. Above, Mom’s Table is brimming with nostalgic newcentury era décor.

to the nostalgia as well as the quality of these familiar comfort foods. “I’ve been surprised that we get a lot of seniors coming in because they remember this food from the days they were cooking for their own kids or visiting their Mom’s house,” she said. Many seniors frequent Joanne’s second store, The Luncheonette, for a sit-down lunch during the week. Rooks is quick to point out that her pre-made, feelgood meal concept has other benefits in addition to time and cost savings and memories of mom. She speaks passionately about statistics provided by the CASA Columbia Family Day initiative, which states frequent family dinners can help reduce adolescent and teenage substance abuse. “As a sponsor of CASA Family Day, which took place

on Sept. 22 this year, my goal is to make mealtime matter,” said Rooks. “It brings me great fulfillment knowing our meals offer an opportunity for families to communicate with each other and for parents to really listen to what’s on their kids’ minds. That’s what’s always been important to me as a wife and mother, what I want to be remembered for. That’s what Mom’s Table is really all about.” Rooks wants to remind families of a time when we were called inside from our work or our play, tucked in safe with those who know us and love us best, our bodies and souls nurtured and fed well. And she’s making sure there’s something good to fill us up. If Rooks has anything to say about it, there will always a place at the table for each one. You can learn more about Mom’s Table at their website: ■


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Forsyth mother

stands up to cancer with faith and fight Treatment sent her around the world to find a cure for son’s illness By CANDY WAYLOCK


hen it comes to beating back cancer, it helps to have someone by your side fighting equally hard. Trey Rood was a high school freshman in 2007, attending West Forsyth High School where he played football and had just made the junior varsity baseball team. At only 15 years old, life stretched ahead of him full of promise and hope, until he received the news no child should ever hear: cancer. His mother, Cherie Rood, remembers

the events leading up to the diagnosis, and how an innocent-looking lump nearly turned into a death sentence. At first, the news seemed good – the biopsy indicated a benign tumor. But during surgery, the bomb dropped: stage three melanoma, a particularly aggressive form of skin cancer. “I immediately went into what I call a survival mode,” Cherie recalled. “I had to eliminate all negative things in my life and stay focused on how we were going to save Trey’s life. I was relentless in never giving up, and reaching out to every resource that came my way.” Behind her stood the entire Forsyth County community, which rallied around

Working out, dieting and still no results?

Trey and Cherie Rood.

Trey with “Pray for Trey” bracelets, rallies, fundraisers, prayer vigils and community events to support the Rood family during this crisis. “You really don’t know all the angels and friends you have around you until you are faced with such a life-changing situation,” said Cherie. After nearly two years of treatment in Atlanta, Cherie and her husband Charlie sought alternative treatment for Trey in Germany in an attempt to defy a cancer that has less than a 5 percent survival rate. Between trips to Germany, Trey tried to lead a typical life of schoolwork and sports back home.

After treatment in Germany ended, Trey’s care moved to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, but time was running out. Just before his senior football season, Trey relapsed. One morning he woke to find his right peripheral vision gone; the result of two brain tumors. The cancer had now moved to stage four. With traditional remedies exhausted and new tumors developing almost daily, the Roods made the decision to allow Trey to be a participant in a trial study. Dr. Patrick Hwu, professor and

► See THE INTERVIEW, Page 22

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Trey Rood and his mom in his dorm room on move-in day at the University of Georgia.

“Ms. Bailey” was Trey’s close companion when he became sick.

Trey completes schoolwork at the clinic in Germany.

▼ THE INTERVIEW, Continued from Page 20 chair of MD Anderson’s Melanoma Medical Oncology Department, said Trey was one of the first patients in the trial, which involved harvesting some of Trey’s tumors to grow billions of immune T-cells. “We never know how any new therapies will be tolerated in patients, or how effective they will be. Therefore, it was with considerable courage that Trey embarked on this change in the game plan,” said Hwu. In all, Trey received 107 billion T-cells and two doses of 167 million dendritic cells that successfully fought the cancer. Growing this number of cells in the laboratory is very labor intensive, said Hwu, requiring Trey to remain in the Houston hospital for five weeks. Even in her darkest days, when her son lay exhausted from endless medical procedures, Cherie never lost her faith that Trey would defy the odds and beat back the cancer coursing through his body. “I knew I had to accept we would be in the world of cancer the rest of our lives to help Trey fight this horrible

Wrist bands worn in

disease. This was a hard realization to come to,” she said. Finally, with treatment over, Trey returned home and entered the University of Georgia just days later, completely bald from the treatments but ready to start school and put cancer behind him. Four years later, Trey is in full remission, an active member of Sigma Chi fraternity and preparing to graduate in December with a job waiting for him in the finance world. But the shadows at the door will remain indefinitely, said Cherie. “I never completely let my guard down,” she admitted. “We still go back to Houston every six months for Trey’s check-up, and you can always hear a pin drop in the patient waiting room right before we get his tests results.” She has become an advocate and fundraiser for melanoma research, and recently wrote a book with Trey, “Changing the Game Plan: The Trey Rood Story,” to share

support of Trey Ro


his story of hope and triumph over cancer. “I believe you don’t go through something as hard as this and not help others who are experiencing something [similar] who could benefit from our experiences,” she said of the reason she wrote the book. “There are so many good things that have come from it…it’s a miracle story.” Above all, she urges parents to do every bit of research they can about their child’s illness so they can make informed decisions. “Doctors today are not always going to be able to refer you to where the best options may be,” she advised. “You have to become your own advocate and pull out the resources; don’t wait for them to come to you.” To learn more about Trey Rood’s story or to order a copy of “Changing the Game Plan: The Trey Rood Story,” visit his website at ■

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girl's getaway

Arelaxingretreat a By KATIE VANBRACKLE

groups looking for a place to party. “Rosemary is very quaint and not at all crowded,” she said. “It’s a place to relax and enjoy long sunset walks on the beach.” For those without a free beach house connection, vacation rentals are available, ranging from one bedroom carriage houses to six bedroom cottages and homes. Other lodging options include The Pearl, a stylish boutique hotel, and The Pensione at Rosemary Beach, a small, European-style luxury inn. The Crooked Creek friends had no agenda for their getaway, preferring to wing it one day at a time. Suzanne brought along a new novel, but never read a single page. “We just wanted to hang out and catch up with each other without distractions,” said Lisa. “Getting a tan was a bonus.” Dining out was a must, as no one wanted to waste precious beach time slaving over a hot stove. Suzanne said Amavida Coffee was a great place to get a morning cup of caffeine, while the French toast at Summer Kitchen Café on Barrett Square was “incredible.” For lunch, she headed over to The Pearl for a minty mojito and a delicious B.L.T. at the Havana Beach Bar and Grill.

O ge.

A charming Rosemary Beach cotta

tle neck Steamed lit ar w d’s Fine clams at Ed ine. Food and W

rince, , Ginny P From left acey and Lisa P Suzanne joy an afteren O’Flynn k at Paradis. n dinner dri

Rental bikes are the best way to tour Rosemary Beach.

n an ordinary weekend in September, a group of Crooked Creek neighbors decided to do something a bit out of the ordinary. While Suzanne Pacey and her friends had been getting together regularly for monthly GNI’s (girls’ night in) in each others’ homes, the ladies decided last month that the time was right for a GNA (girls’ night AWAY). The location was determined when a mutual friend offered the use of her beach home for free. So after tossing around multiple dates, realizing that it is virtually impossible to get a bunch of women to agree upon a schedule and finally going with majority rule, Lisa O’Flynn and Ginny Prince piled in Suzanne’s vehicle on September 13 – headed for the blue skies, white sand beaches and salted margarita glasses of Rosemary Beach, Florida. Located along northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast between Panama City and Destin, at the eastern end of Scenic Route 30A, Rosemary Beach is a master planned community featuring around 500 homes, plush amenities and a charming town center. Rosemary is similar in layout to nearby Seaside, with its own unique architectural style. But for Lisa, it’s all about the beach. “It’s a perfect beach,” she said. “And the village offers plenty of restaurants and shops to keep it interesting. We pretty much parked the car when we arrived and didn’t get in it again until we had to leave. Hilton Head is usually our family’s go-to beach vacation spot, but that might be changing next year.” Suzanne agreed that she would love to return with her husband, but noted that Rosemary Beach is probably not the best choice for families on a budget. Nor for girlfriends’ sand beaches. water and white Turquoise

24 | | october2014

girl's getaway

at Rosemary Beach

Other fun places to grab a bite included La Crema Tapas and Chocolate, and Wild Olives for wine and cheese. A dining highlight for the whole group was Edward’s Fine Food and Wine on Main Street. “Ask for the chef’s counter and you can watch the chef cook,” advised Suzanne. Chef Ed Reese enjoys engaging his guests with light conversation

while he prepares simple, fresh dishes such as steamed little neck clams or grilled grouper. Suzanne and her friends lingered over their meal, watching the Bears/49ers game, and eventually closed down the restaurant. Most time was spent, however, relaxing on Rosemary’s white sugar sand beaches, soaking up turquoise views of the Gulf and listening to the quiet lapping of waves on the shore. One reviewer described Rosemary Beach as “Florida for grown-ups,” noting the complete lack of rowdy spring breakers, cheap hotels and sports bars that characterize the stereotypical Florida beach scene. When the gals had their fill of the sun and surf – such as Ginny, who wiped out after losing her float in the waves and refused to go back in the water, much to her friends’ amusement – Bamboo Bicycle Company provided cruiser bikes with big, comfy seats and coaster brakes, perfect for exploring the island and the scenic 30A bike trail at a leisurely pace. Specialty shops in the town center such as Willow Boutique, Pish Posh Patchouli’s and Rosemary Beach Trading Company offered a break from the sun and some retail therapy. Best of all was spending time together away from the normal routine. Traveling to the beach with a group of girlfriends just gets better as you get older, the friends agreed. “We are more laid back now,” said Lisa. “And even though we all have some crazy habits, everyone just does their own thing and no one gets their feelings hurt,” said Suzanne. “It’s much more relaxing for sure.” ■ ALL PHOTOS BY SUZANNE PACEY/STAFF

Narrow streets in

the town center

are lined with sh

ops and restauran


Try the French toast at the Summer Kitchen Café.

A mojito and B.L.T. lunch at Th Pearl’s Havan a Beach Bar an e d Grill.

Early Sunday morning farmers market in Barrett Square.

An afternoon of tennis.

october2014 | | 25

getting to know her

Getting to Know a Tour de Pink cyclist

A fierce competitor, there was no way Kris Altiere was going to let breast cancer win By KATIE VANBRACKLE


n Oct. 25, the Tour de Pink, Atlanta’s only bike ride for breast cancer, will return to Alpharetta. Joining the cyclists for her fifth year will be Roswell resident Kris Altiere, a breast cancer survivor with a serious competitive streak and an even stronger will to live.


Kris Altiere rides on Alpharetta’s Big Creek Greenway.

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NSW: Have you always been athletic? Kris Altiere: I was on a swim team from ages 4 through 17, but a rotator cuff injury in high school ended my swimming career. It wasn’t until my 30s that I realized I still needed to be competitive at something – my life was missing that. A friend of mine started doing triathlons and seemed to really enjoy it, so I decided at 34 to give it a go. I started running in January of 2009 with a New Year’s resolution to do a triathlon. I did seven. Guess I got addicted! How would you describe your competitive nature? (Laughs) Ask anyone who knows me! I’m competitive in everything I do. Honestly, I think I was born this way. If you are swimming in a lane next to me, we are racing. If you are running on the greenway in front of me, I’m trying to pass you. If I’m on the treadmill, I’m looking at your screen to make sure I’m going faster than you. How did you react when, eight months after completing your first triathlon, you were diagnosed with Stage 2a triple negative breast cancer? At the time, I was a 35-year-old single mom to my beautiful daughter Riley and the first thing that went through my head was the thought that I may not ever see her grow up. I decided there was no way I was going to let anything take that away from me. Before I even knew the stage of my breast cancer, I decided I was going to have a double mastectomy. The surgery was followed by 16 rounds of chemotherapy and five reconstructive surgeries. Your doctors soon learned that they were not dealing with a typical patient, didn’t they? Altiere, bald after her treatments, The very first question I asked my breast surgeon finishes an Iron Girl race in 2010. was if I’d still be able to complete my first Half Ironman in May. The race was only eight weeks away. She smiled kindly and said, “No, I’m afraid not this year,” but I had been training so hard and the idea of not being able to complete something I started was just not an option. I had registered for several events prior to my diagnosis and I was determined to still do them.

Four days after being declared cancerfree, Altiere completed a Team in Training race to raise funds for leukemia research.

How did focusing on athletics help you during your treatment? Running became my escape. I know it helped me to mentally get through it all. Chemo is cumulative, so toward the end, it got tough to do just a mile, but I still went nearly every day and did what I could. My oncologist told me after my fourth round of chemo that I inspired him to start running again. He said, “If you can go out and run after getting a dose on the red devil, I have no excuse!”

Were you ever tempted to give up? I think everyone has their moments of “Why me?” when they are going through cancer, and I was no exception. I was very strong when I was diagnosed and to see the toll those

► See GETTING TO KNOW, Page 28


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getting to know her ▼ GETTING TO KNOW, Continued from Page 26 treatments take on your muscles is very frustrating. I even cried at a few finish lines because of how long it took me to complete the event, but I never wanted to quit. I was afraid to quit. I ran my first half marathon, the 2010 Georgia ING, after my diagnosis, not knowing what was in store for me. It was emotional – it was great. The second half marathon was much harder physically. I had just finished 16 rounds of chemotherapy four days prior, and my time was so much slower. But crossing that Altiere finishes her first Half Ironman eleven finish line was a feeling I’ll never be able to months after ending her treatments. describe. The hardest challenge was the Half Ironman I completed eleven months after finishing chemo. That race took me a little over seven hours to complete, but it’s one of the medals I’m proudest of.

Kris Altiere with her husband, John, and “miracle twins” Jake and Charlotte Grace, at the 2013 Tour de Pink.

You had a bit of a surprise after completing that Half Ironman. Yes, I finished the race a little slower than I had anticipated and two weeks later, I still felt really tired. It didn’t dawn on me that I might be pregnant because I had been told that due to chemo, I would not be able to have any more children and I had been experiencing symptoms of menopause off and on for months. To my surprise, not only was I pregnant, I was pregnant with twins! So I had finished that Half Ironman while five months pregnant. My husband, John, and I welcomed Jake and Charlotte Grace into the world on June 1, 2012. We joke that as soon as they get their first bicycles, we are going to get them a 70.3 magnet!

When were you declared cancer free? Technically, after my surgery on April 1, 2010, but doctors count it from the day you finish treatment, which for me was Nov. 2, 2010. However, I honor both “cancer-versaries” each year. The five-year mark is coming and that’s the big one. It’s when your chances of a recurrence are lowest. I’ll also be turning 40, so this is going to be a big celebration! When did you become involved with Tour de Pink and Young Survivors Coalition (YSC)? For five years – every year since my diagnosis – I have raised money for YSC and participated in the Tour de Pink. In their cancer support groups, YSC has what many other organizations don’t – young women. Young women have different challenges when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. We are in the middle of our lives. We are dating or newly married. We are in the midst of our careers. We have children, or want children. The challenges are so different. Now, when I attend YSC groups, I can give newly diagnosed young women the same sense of hope I received. What is your newest personal goal? Next on my agenda is to do a full marathon – the Donna 26.2 in Jacksonville Beach in February 2015. It’s a race which supports breast cancer research, so I cannot imagine a better one to make my first. ■

Join the Tour de Pink on Oct. 25 Special discount for Northside Woman readers! On Oct. 25, hundreds of registered riders, walkers, runners and families will gather at the ADP campus, 5800 Windward Parkway in Alpharetta, to travel from 1 to 100 miles through the northern suburbs as part of the annual Tour de Pink. Tour de Pink helps the Young Survivors Coalition (YSC) raise awareness that young women can and do get breast cancer, said YSC Event Manager Kay ButtsPruett. “By riding, running or walking in the Alpharetta event, we can spread the word that a young woman diagnosed with breast cancer does not have to face her journey alone. To learn more about Tour de Pink, visit www.ysctourdepink. Northside Woman readers will receive 50% off the cost of registration by using the discount code NorthsideWoman. 28 | | october2014

october2014 | | 29

special section | travel

Paddles, pranks & priceless photos Our canoe adventure on the scenic Santa Fe River


ou want us to do WHAT?” From the incredulous tone of their voices and the horrified looks on their faces, you would have thought that I asked my two teenage children to use a spoon to remove a vital organ and place it in the Ziploc bag I was holding out. In reality, all they had to do was put their cellphones in the bag until the end of the day.

We decided to canoe on the scenic Santa Fe River in Gainesville, Florida. My husband and I decided before we even chose a destination that it was important for our family to disconnect from the distractions of everyday life to really connect as a family; hence, the no cellphone rule. The only

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“tweets” we wanted our kids to pay attention to that day were those of the local birds. We rented our canoes from Santa Fe Canoe Outpost. The current was calm, exactly what we needed for our first trip in the water. We’d done plenty of hiking and biking before, but canoeing was a new adventure. It didn’t take long before we got the hang of things though, steering from the stern. Tomorrow we would be proficient enough paddlers to canoe on any of the other amazing bodies of water in Gainesville – lake, river or maybe even the springs. We saw some turtles swimming in the water, and counted every shell we saw. The water was warm and inviting, almost like a bathtub at 72 degrees. As we paddled along, we almost missed the impressive 7-foot alligator sunning himself on the shore across the swamp because he was camouflaged behind the razor-sharp cogon grass. We all watched in silence as he stealthily glided through the water with his wide-set eyes and the tip of his rounded snout barely showing. There were plenty of other animals to keep us entertained. It was so much fun to watch the otters move about in their natural environment. We basked in the beauty of the snowy egrets on the bank and even spotted a few deer drinking from the river. High above us, we could hear a chorus of birds chirping in harmony. We found a quiet place for lunch, docked our canoe and grabbed some food from our cooler. As we were sitting there, my son (always the practical joker) decided to have a little fun. He stealthily grabbed a slimy, wet branch from the water and softly rubbed it on my leg as he shouted, “SNAKE!” I jumped

and screamed with a pitch so high that I’m surprised humans could hear it. My husband, who knew exactly what my son was up to, had slyly pulled his cellphone (which I let him keep in case of emergency) out of his pocket and recorded the whole prank. Everyone roared with laughter. This video will undoubtedly get a lot of play in the coming days, months and even years. That night, when we got back to our vacation rental, the kids got their cellphones back. My husband posted a candid photo he took of me and the kids smiling and laughing during our journey on the Santa Fe. From their separate rooms, both my son and daughter immediately shared the photo with their followers and friends. That small gesture was a huge victory for a mom who wanted nothing more than her family to connect on a canoe trip. Start planning your outdoor adventure trip at ■


Fall is the perfect time to discover a relaxing vacation in Gainesville, Florida. Paddle down a spring-fed river. Stroll through downtown for exciting live entertainment and award winning art festivals. Finish your day at a cozy B&B with a cocktail. Awake refreshed and ready for another day of fun. Visit Gainesville, where Nature and Culture meet.



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october2014 | | 31



Transformative Powerof Dance



hose who have a regular fitness program usually have a “go-to” exercise, something they do consistently, but studies show doing the same thing repeatedly eventually stops working. Stagnant exercise programs eventually stop creating change both on the outside and the inside. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what to do about that. Fifty-seven-year-old Ofelia de La Valette found the solution. Back in the 1990s at age 34, de La Valette, having recently given birth to her second child, worked to run the 25 pounds of baby weight off on a gym treadmill. But the music in the aerobics room was too strong to resist.

The next thing she knew, she was working up a sweat with a group of women instead of alone on the treadmill. De La Valette wasn’t doing aerobics. She was dancing – and she loved it. That first dance fitness class shifted the direction of de La Valette’s life. “Dance transformed my life,” she said. Not only did it change her physical shape, it changed her on the inside too. In 2004, at 46, that internal change came full circle and became her life’s passion. She opened her first adult-only dance studio, Dance 101, in Atlanta and 10 years later, her second location in Alpharetta opened, too. “The studios are unique in that we apply the art of dance to fitness,” she said. “Something very uplifting happens to people when they dance in a nurturing, supportive environment, and that kind of

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Alpharetta studio owner proves it’s never too late to try something new

Ofelia de La Valette, owner of Dance 101.

magic happens here daily.” De La Valette said the classes have the artistic integrity of top notch studios with the added attention to fitness. “It’s an amazing thing to watch our members’ bodies change while they’re doing something they love,” she said. Necia Porter, 63, agrees. Disillusioned with her regular gym workouts, Porter decided to give Dance 101 a shot. “I absolutely love the classes,” she said. Since the studio is adult-only, classes are designed specifically for adults. “We understand what an adult body needs, how it moves, how to make it move better,” de La Valette said. Porter said she was hooked after her first class. “There are classes for ballet, stretching, salsa, hip hop – everything, and we all have a wonderful time in them,” she


She said the studios offer a personal, nurturing atmosphere and women of all ages feel comfortable even if they have never stepped foot on a dance floor. “The instructors are excellent and make something that could be intimidating to some, simply a wonderful experience that makes you want to continue to come back,” Porter said. De La Valette’s experience caught the attention of actor and philanthropist Marlo Thomas, who featured her in her new book, “It Ain’t Over … Till It’s Over!” (Simon & Schuster, $27). “The book is about 60 different women who reinvented themselves, most after the age of 40 and in wonderful ways,” de La Valette said. Dance 101 offers several classes daily in both Atlanta and Alpharetta. For more information, visit ■

Music and Voice Lessons for All Ages and Styles Piano • Voice • Guitar • Violin • Drums • Brass • Woodwinds • Accordian • Organ

We have over 30 experienced and talented instructors. We offer many performance opportunities throughout the year including 4 standard recitals and one advanced recital, community festivals, open mics, internal practical assessment, and student album projects recorded in our very own professional recording facility, Lucky Dog Studios.

3-0322 Call (770) 75 ur today for yo


30 min

formerly known as Peggy Still School of Music

Mon-Fri 12pm - 9pm • Sat 9am - 3pm | 11775 Northfall Ln, Ste 203, Alpharetta, GA 30009 009 | www w northfultonschoolofm | (770) 753-0322 32 | | october2014

october2014 | | 33

October 15, 2014 • 11:30am – 1:00pm The Metropolitan Club

5895 Windward Pkwy • Alpharetta, GA 30005

Grow outside your comfort zone! Whether you’ve attained your professional goals or are well on your way, Spend a fantastic afternoon with other professional women and Anna Cablik, CEO of Anatek Steel as she shares her wisdom for creating strategies for balancing a robust professional life with a meaningful personal life. Do something good for yourself, while you support families in need in your own community

by bringing a pair of new or nearly new shoes, which will be contributed to The Drake House. In thanks for your contribution, every guest will receive: • A special gift bag valued at over $100 • Everyone will be eligible to win over $10,000 in door prizes including the grand prize of 5-star accommodations for four anywhere in the world!

Contact: Ciara Montalbo, Director of Communications and Member

Presenting Sponsor:

Services, email to, call (404) 277-4930

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34 | | october2014







orth Atlanta is a hub for trendy-yet-refined interior decor. With plenty of brick and mortar stores to choose from, the difficult part is picking which styles best reflect your personality and taste. Below, experts offer their views on the staples and fads.

Have a Great Day Bed!!


Daybed can be used to make a statement in any room, from a bedroom to a great room and even a covered porch! What makes a Daybed so unique? It’s not a loveseat or chair but it brings so much style and comfort to any setting. You can place one at the end of a bed, near a window to enjoy the view or in front of a fireplace or just about anywhere to make a comfortable retreat. Daybeds can be beautiful yet functional, perfect for a busy family. Try a Daybed in leather, fabric with wood or metal to add elegance and harmony to any room. Then you can sit and relax or lie across and take a nap. ■

Celesa L Tuning has been in in the design business for over 21 years, working closely with clients on both new projects as well as remodels. She has had rooms featured in the Street of Dreams, Roswell Women’s Show House and Atlanta Magazine. Visit Celesa at Home Fashion Interiors 793 N. Main St. Alpharetta GA. 30009 or call to schedule an appointment 770-664-9544

Time to Powder Up?


ll too often, bathrooms take a backseat to the rest of our home. Truth is, your powder room gets used almost as much as your kitchen by your guests. Fortunately, there’s still time to revitalize your guest bath before the holidays. Free standing vanities can open the space and make it appear larger and offer the look of fine furniture. Add a simple white sink with granite or quartz countertop and you’ll take your powder room up a notch. Brushed or polished nickel faucets add polish and elegance that will last years. Follow the same finish through to towel holders and vanity lights. For an extra dimension, add wainscoting or tile to walls and you’ll get depth and character. Whether your powder room needs a little or a lot, we’ll find the right combination to add that extra touch to your home and your guests’ experience. ■

Mary Jo Alton, Owner, 2612 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Ste 110, Alpharetta, GA 30022 470-268-7787



njoy the process! Whether starting with a blank slate or enhancing your existing living or work environment surround yourself with furnishings and objects of art that bring you pleasure, creating a space that reflects your personality and lifestyle! A good designer will recognize your style, help you define it, encourage and assist you in making choices that you are excited about! Sometimes the attention to detail can become overwhelming, intimidating and frustrating forcing you to loose site of your overall project and vision. This is when a good designer narrows your selection process to several perfect choices, presents them to you and once again allows you to enjoy the process! We all know what we like and more importantly what we don’t like, be open to options that you never thought you would consider they may surprise you in a positive way and inspire your creativity. Purge or merge is a question designers are often asked, this can become a very sensitive topic when the object of the purge is a treasure to one and the object needed to be merged is a desire of another. Most designers are very skilled in mediation and become an advocate in defense of both, whenever possible make the merge simply relocating that “family heirloom” to another room is an option that becomes acceptable to both requests. There are numerous suggestions and hints of advice that I could passionately offer, however if you take away just one, let it be that you enjoy the process!!!! ■

Peter J. Benedetto brings his seasoned years of professional experience as an Interior Designer to the full service design center, Tuscany Fine Furnishings 1570 Holcomb Bridge Rd. in Roswell,, 770-993-0640 ext. 2 open Mon-Sat 10-6 p.m. Sun. 1-5 p.m. october2014 | | 35


The Broken Seashell What a young daughter teaches her mom about being “perfect”



n a recent beach trip, a day spent combing the beach for seashells with my daughter got me thinking about how I was showing her the world. For me, a beach isn’t a beach if it doesn’t have shells. I walk along the water line, scanning the sand, waiting for something to catch my eye. I pick it up and inspect it carefully. If it is a perfect shell, I deposit it in my pocket. Many times I’m disappointed to discover a shell I first thought was beautiful, was really, upon closer inspection, flawed. These shells I let fall back to the sand. Trailing me down the beach, my 10-year-old daughter is also enthralled with collecting seashells, but when she picks up a shell because it catches her eye, she keeps it. It may be broken or chipped, but if there is a part she loves, it’s a keeper. On this day, as she had done many times before, she excitedly hold her latest find out in her sandy, wet palm for me to inspect. “Isn’t this one perfect?” she gushes. She awaits my approval. My instinct is to point out all the imperfections she’s missed. Doesn’t she see it isn’t perfect? But this time, my heart stops my tongue. “Yes, Sweet, it is beautiful.” And off she runs, elated with her newest souvenir from

the sea, and I am left wondering. Why should I question or judge what she sees as beauty? Why should I point out the negative, when she is celebrating the positive? For the one part of her shell that glistens in the sun with wonderful colors or perhaps a delightful design, can I not look past the broken corner? Is this the way I view the world? Is this the way I am teaching her to see the world…herself…others? The need for perfection, not accepting or loving things that are imperfect…perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect grades, perfect house? Easily tossing aside things or people we see as flawed? Hiding imperfections from others, creating a fasçade we only wish were real? Spending time and energy concealing or condemning our shortcomings instead of celebrating what makes us great? What happened to applauding the things about us that “glisten in the sun?” For my daughter it is her beautiful butterfly stroke, her kindness to friends, her ability to sweep a kitchen floor like no other 10-year-old I’ve ever met. Are they not worthy of celebrating because she isn’t the skilled artist she yearns to be, or she wishes for curls in her hair?

Perfection is a funny thing. We strive for perfection, but when asked what qualities we think are important in ourselves and others, perfection isn’t on the list. It is almost the contrary. Perfection is a double-edged sword. We strive for it ourselves, yet we disdain it in others. We certainly don’t look for perfect friends. I contend we are drawn to people who seem “flawed.” Why? Do they make us feel better because our own shortcomings pale in comparison? Do they make us feel more accepted, less judged? Are they more relaxed, giving us the permission to show our true selves and admit we too are flawed? Or perhaps these friends have learned to appreciate the glow of their own light, rendering flaws unimportant and inconsequential? These are all questions that will take some time to answer honestly. For now, I have a big glass jar of our shells on my desk---ALL of them---hers and mine. It is a daily reminder from a young daughter to her mother. It is a reminder to look for beauty in all things, and to practice acceptance of self and others, and to be content with and celebrate a less-than-perfect, yet wonderfully flawed life. ■ Teri Harrison is a Milton mom of four, owner of Grandparent Gift Company, and creator of The Orange Slice Blog, featuring creative ways to add meaning to family celebrations and inspiring stories to make you smile.

36 | | october2014

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woman's best friend

Pet of the Month

PuppY Palooza! I

f ever a group of puppies needed special homes, these “drainpipe” puppies fit the bill. For weeks, these puppies lived in a storm drain where their mother kept them safe and warm. But a huge storm one night threatened the puppies, so mother, Nicollete, carefully moved each one to a dry storage shed. They were rescued soon after by Angels Among Us Pet Rescue and now are safe, healthy and ready to find their forever home. Their mother (also available for adoption) is a Jack Russell terrier mix, weighing about 15 pounds, so these puppies will likely stay small. There are five males and two females available for adoption beginning Oct. 8. To fill out an adoption form, visit ■


Drainpipe Puppies!


Summer has faded and Autumn’s beauty beckons. Savor the first hints of change, and indulge in a transformation of your own. Face the season with skin that glows with new energy and vitality. Move forward beautifully, and be simply sensational when they see you in October and November. FACE TIME SPECIAL

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She Said Yes! Make sure you’re ready for that special moment.

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takefive DOW help NSIZING yo ?W large u find wa e can y in a s mall s to live space !

ping shop ing r o f port k you Than ly and sup sinesses! local owned bu yfamil

The Comfortable Chair Store™ Creating cozy homes since 1992

Classic never goes out of style...

Looking for options? We’ve got ‘em! From arm styles to legs or skirts, extra-firm cushions, 8-way hand-tied coils—you name it! We specialize in furnishings for small rooms, better back support and for folks who just want their feet to touch the floor!

How about a cozy chair and 1/2 with an ottoman...or maybe a swivel glider... or what about a recliner (that doesn’t look like a recliner)? Ours are available in small-scale sizes with lots of options like power, adjustable headrests, down seats, firm seats & more in your choice of fabric or leather!

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Trader Joe’s Kohl’s



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Alpharetta Hwy

E Cro


HOURS: Tues–Sat 10–6, Sun 12–6, closed Mondays We’re located 2.7 miles west of GA 400, one mile west of Alpharetta Hwy, and about 1.5 miles east of Kohl’s & Trader Joe’s, next to QuikTrip. We’re about 1.5 miles due north of Historic Roswell. Holco

mb B

r Rd


ast summer, the city of Milton achieved certification as a National Wildlife Habitat Community, accepting the challenge to improve the community both for wildlife and their residents’ overall health and well-being. There are only four certified National Wildlife Habitat Communities in Georgia and three of them are in North Fulton: Roswell, Johns Creek and now Milton. The fourth is Chamblee, in DeKalb County. To help Milton maintain its certification, Francia Lindon of Milton Grows Green urges local residents and businesses to become certified as well. Lindon says certification is a simple online process at the National Wildlife Federation website ( Lindon’s team has provided guidance to volunteers involved in Alpharetta’s efforts to obtain their own NWF Community Wildlife Habitat Certification. However, no matter which city you call home, the little creatures living in your backyard would greatly appreciate your efforts to make their habitat a safe and healthy place to be.

In order for your property to qualify as a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat, you need to provide the following five things:


Native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, nectar, pollen, roots, suet holders, bird feeders, hummingbird nectar feeders.


Birdbath, pond, water garden, stream, lakefront, wetland, spring, riverfront, puddling area.

3. PLACES FOR COVER (2): Wooded area, log pile, brush pile, thicket, rock pile, roosting box, dense shrubs, trees, burrows, meadow/prairie. 4. PLACES TO RAISE YOUNG (2):

Birdhouse, nesting box, mature trees, pond, trees, dense shrubs or vegetation, water/rain garden, burrows, wetland.


(also recommended): Use all organic compost, pesticides and fertilizers, and native plants. ■

october2014 | | 41

woman's best friend

One hour of shopping cannot detect colon cancer. One hour in my office can.

Is It Nice to Give Ice?

We specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gastrointestinal and liver diseases, including hepatitis A, B and C—with a focus on colon cancer screening and prevention. • Colon cancer screening begins at 50. • Know your risk factors. • Our pre-cancerous polyp detection rate exceeds the published national average by 40%!* • Our endoscopy center is AAAHC accredited.

any truth to the urban legend that ice ice water are dangerous for dogs? QUESTION: Isandthere ANSWER: I


Ask the vet:

Other physicians: Brian Hudes, M.D., Medical Director, Long B. Nguyen, D.O., F. Edward LeVert, M.D.


ce and ice water are as dangerous to dogs as they are to humans. The main concern about giving a dog ice is that dogs may chew the ice cube(s) and fracture a tooth. Ice water alone is not an issue for dogs or humans, except for the possible brain freeze which is of no consequence. Dogs that are especially thirsty may be eager to bite down on a brand new ice cube. This can result in a fracture(s) of the large molar(s) and/or premolar(s). To help your dog cool down during hot days consider fresh water. It doesn’t need to be ice cold to be refreshing. Using a cotton ball to apply alcohol on the paw pads can also help dogs cool down, but if you ever have any concerns about possible heat stroke, do not hesitate to take your pet to the veterinarian. ■ Dr. Beatriz Segarra is the owner and veterinarian at the Village Animal Hospital on Abbotts Bridge Road in Johns Creek. www.

4275 Johns Creek Pkwy, Ste. A, Suwanee, GA 30024 678.475.1606 * The internal quality improvement survey/study, the findings and information on the national standards are available on file at Hudes Endoscopy Center.

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Referred for a reason.

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october2014 | | 43


Best friends throughthick and thin



t’s cancer.” My best friend had gone to the doctor to examine a suspicious lump in her breast, and when I received that text message, I could do little else but stare at the wall in shock. Meg Smith, only 26 years old and newly married, was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, a common and aggressive form of cancer. As best friends, Meg and I have always prided ourselves on being strong. We high five instead of hug, we don’t cry at sad movies and we definitely weren’t going to cry over cancer. Since her diagnosis on June 24, I’ve made it my personal mission to step up and make sure Meg always knows I’m there for her. I knew the sympathy calls and messages would come flying in soon after her diagnosis; I also knew that Meg would want to avoid feeling sorry for herself. I had to get creative with my support. When Meg told me that she would be losing her hair

Meg Smith puts on her game face before chemotherapy.

Left, Jade Rodgers, left, and Meg Smith before haircuts. Right, Hair be gone! We make short hair look good!

with the commencement of chemotherapy, I said, “Let’s cut our hair together.” We gathered at Meg’s parents’ home in Alpharetta for a hair-cut party, where Meg’s brother Drew and his wife Alixx joined with us to cut our locks for a good cause. “I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal to lose

my hair till I did, so it was really touching to know someone was willing to try and go through it with me,” Smith said. “The solidarity helped.” Now, I continue to marvel at Meg’s strength and positivity as she boldly strides through her chemotherapy. After just three treatments, her prognosis is excellent; her doctor can no longer feel her tumor and she is more confident and optimistic each day. When I met Meg nearly 12 years ago in the Roswell High School cafeteria, I never anticipated that she would grow up to be not only the best friend I can imagine having, but also my heroine. Cutting my hair for her didn’t take a second thought, because you can’t sacrifice enough for someone you love. I couldn’t be happier than to have made a small difference for my best friend. ■

Woman2Woman professional

Physician • Attorney • CPA • Designer • Financial Planner • Trainer • & More

CONSULTANT: Gail C. Goldberg, EdS It’s time to order Gail’s second book in a series: MONTHS AND SEASONS: Poems for Young Readers. Gail’s brother Randy, helped her write this one and she did all the illustrations. The Book is acrylic on canvas provoking oohhhs and awwwhhhs from those who have had a sneak preview. Gail and Randy had a great time going down memory lane and thinking of past holidays and special events throughout a year in their lives and those of their children. This book is a great companion in a child’s collection to ANIMALS A-Z: Poems for Early Readers (2013) for sale. Contact Gail at or Randy at to pre-order your book which will be available by late October. Patricia DiBona did a great job putting the book together in such a lovely way. ($18) plus shipping.

ADVERTISING SALES: Wendy Goddard Wendy Goddard is an Advertising Executive with Appen Newspapers. With over 15 years experience in marketing and business development and an eye for design; Wendy enjoys working one on one with her clients to develop custom marketing and advertising campaigns to increase visibility and push business to the next level. • Revue & News, Johns Creek Herald, Forsyth Herald, Milton Herald, Northside Woman, Answer Books 319 North Main Street • Alpharetta, GA 30009 770-442-3278 ext.113 • 44 | | october2014

CERTIFIED REFLEXOLOGIST: Nancy Loucks RELAX…REFRESH …RESTORE… balance to body, mind and spirit! Allow me to assist you in being healthy naturally! Stress, foot pain and neuropathy…these symptoms and more CAN BE alleviated through reflexology. Receive care from an EXPERT!

• 8 years as a certified reflexologist • 8 years experience with certified pedorthists • 7 years experience in MATERNITY reflexology Angels at Your Feet • By appointment ONLY 770-634-0353 •



Becky Nelson is excited to sell advertising again to the Alphareta & Roswell area for Appen Media Group! Having owned 425 Market Place Antiques, she knows what a small to medium-size business owner is looking for… Exposure, Traffic, easy answers and budget! With daughters at Crabapple and Roswell North, Becky tries to cross-pollinate her Appen customers with not only her own shopping needs but also those she talks too! Need to advertise? Call her: 404-406-6121

Abby is the owner and photographer of Abby Breaux Photography based out of Cumming. She graduated from the University of North Georgia in December 2012 with a bachelors degree in Art Marketing with a concentration in Photography. While attending college she took a year to study abroad at the University of Plymouth, one of the top three photography schools in England. Abby’s photography has a photojournalist style which carries through with her portraiture and wedding techniques. She will capture you and your loved ones as simply you. Abby Breaux Photography •

319 North Main Street • Alpharetta, GA 30009 770-442-3278 ext.103 •

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october2014 | | 45



Crabapple Fest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Crabapple Fest features art from hundreds of juried vendors, a music and entertainment stage, games, rides, activities for kids and beer and wine in the festival grounds. Free parking is available on-site. Downtown Crabapple, at the “five-points” intersection of Mayfield Road, Broadwell Road, MidBroadwell Road, Crabapple Road and Birmingham Highway in Milton.

Scarecrow Harvest in Alpharetta 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Over 100 scarecrows stand tall and proud along the streets of downtown Alpharetta, inspiring fall spirit! A family street party that offers a farmers market, groovy music, free hayrides, quirky face painting, artsy activities and delicious food. Old Roswell and Old Canton streets, downtown Alpharetta. Alpharetta Brew Moon Fest 6:30 – 11:30 p.m. Downtown Alpharetta comes alive for this event featuring brew, wine and delicious food from some of Alpharetta’s best restaurants as the city comes together for one big street party. $10 tickets. Group tables available for purchase. Milton Avenue, downtown Alpharetta.

OCTOBER than 200 quilts made by guild members, exhibits by future quilters, a vendor mall and a children’s storybook corner. Lakewood 400 Antiques Market, 1321 Atlanta Highway, Cumming. Admission $6. Children 11 and under free.

striptease Gypsy Rose Lee, “Gypsy” tells the story of show business mother Rose who raises two daughters to perform onstage. Cumming Playhouse, 101 School St., Cumming. Purchase $27.50 tickets at

Cirque du Soleil presents “Amaluna” 8 p.m. Shows continue through Nov. 30. “Amaluna” invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. For the first time in Cirque’s history, “Amaluna” features a cast comprised of 70 percent women, with a 100 percent female band. The Grand Chapeau (Big Top), Atlantic Station, 20th St., Atlanta.

FALLfest at Alpharetta Methodist Church 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Rain or shine. This family fun event includes over 30 arts and crafts exhibitors, free children’s games and pony rides, a flea market, health fair, live music, delicious food and more. Alpharetta Methodist Church, 69 N. Main St., Alpharetta.

10 11

American Association of University Women Meeting 10 a.m. – noon. Dr. Michelle Devereaux, assistant professor of English and English education at Kennesaw State University, will speak on Common Core standards at AAUW’s monthly meeting. Guests are encouraged. Contact KarenLeasman@aol. com for directions to the October meeting if you wish to attend. Restless in Resthaven Cemetery Tours in Alpharetta 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The spirits of Alpharetta’s past will come to life on Saturday and Sunday during this 90-minute tour of Resthaven Cemetery in downtown Alpharetta. Hear about the city’s early history from the people who lived there “back in the day.” $10.50 each or $31 per group of four or more in advance. $15 for walk-ups. Children under 6 are free and must be accompanied by an adult. alpharetta-tour-tickets/


“Women Who Walk the Walk Beyond Their Comfort Zone” 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join the Alpharetta Chamber for their biannual luncheon. Bring a pair of unworn women’s shoes from your closet to donate to the Drake House and enjoy an afternoon of networking, as well as an engaging message from Anna Cablik, CEO of Anatek Steel. $45 if you register by Oct. 14, $50 at the door. The Metropolitan Club, 5895 Windward Parkway, Alpharetta. Contact Ciara Montalbo,


World’s Hoppiest 5K Road Race and After Party in Crabapple 6 p.m. Part of the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix Series, the World’s Hoppiest 5K Race begins at 8 p.m., starting and stopping at the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub in Crabapple. The party begins at 6 p.m. and includes live music and plenty of food and drink. $30 registration online at www. More details at

Forsyth County Womens Club Luncheon 11 a.m. Membership in FCWC is open to women in Forsyth and surrounding counties. Luncheons are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at a cost of $22. Windermere Golf Club, 5000 Davis Love Drive, Cumming.

Stars N’ Stitches Quilt Show 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Also Saturday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Chattahoochee Evening Stars are proud to present more

“Gypsy the Musical” at Cumming Playhouse 8 p.m. Performances continue through Nov. 9. Loosely based on the life of


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Wire and Wood Alpharetta Songwriters Festival 4-10:30 p.m. This free festival is guaranteed to be an unforgettable night featuring local and nationally touring songwriters on two outdoor stages as well as indoor venues. Gourmet food trucks will be serving. Milton Avenue, downtown Alpharetta.


farm animals and garden games. $35 for adults, $15 for kids. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell.


Johns Creek Arts Festival 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Ready, set and shop on the greenspace across from the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. Talented artisans will exhibit paintings, pottery, metalwork, folk art, glass, jewelry, yard art and more, Featuring live entertainment and an energetic Kids’ Zone. 1930 Bobby Jones Drive, Johns Creek. http://johnscreekartfest.splash


Gibbs Gardens’ Japanese Arts and Culture Festival Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 & 27 and Nov. 2 & 3: a celebration of Japanese arts, culture and traditions set against the singular splendor of the largest Japanese Gardens in the nation, 1987 Gibbs Dr, Ball Ground, GA 30107 or visit Gibbsgardesn. com for more information

Looking Ahead


Zumbathon for Dragon Boat Atlanta 1-3 p.m. Dance with Zumba instructors to benefit the breast cancer survivors of Dragon Boat Atlanta, celebrating their 10th year as a competitive paddling team. Minimum donation: $10. Roswell Area Park Community Activity Building, 10495 Woodstock Road, Roswell. Pre-register at


Harvest on the Hooch at Chattahoochee Nature Center 3 – 6 p.m. Raise funds for the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Unity Garden while watching local chefs prepare fresh tapas-style “farm to table” food. The event also includes a raffle, live music, live


“A Fall Fiesta Concert” 4 p.m. The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra presents “A Fall Fiesta Concert” featuring Germany’s brilliant pianist Claire Huangci, Atlanta Opera’s dynamic tenor Wesley Morgan and WABE’s “City Café” host John Lemley as master of ceremonies. Tickets are $22 for adults, $19 for seniors over 65 and $12 for students under 21. Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth.

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It starts with a check-up!

Did you know breast cancer takes over 39,000 women in the U.S. away from family and friends each year?1 The good news is that, when detected early, over 90% of people live longer than 5 years after diagnosis.1 Please join North Fulton Hospital in doing YOUR PART by getting regular check-ups and mammograms. Learn how our team walks with women to diagnose and stop cancer on It really does make a difference. According to The American Cancer Society.


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Northside Woman, October 2014  

Northside Woman is a work and play publication and companion website that covers news and features.