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Health • Fitness • Mind • Spirit • Medicine • Well-Being

Berthoud Resident Berthoud, CO 80513

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© Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

September 26, 2013


Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

September 26, 2013

Body|Soul

Page 1

Vitamins and cancer prevention Special to the Surveyor

People take daily vitamin supplements for a variety of reasons. Many believe that vitamins will serve as an insurance policy of sorts should they not be consuming the necessary vitamins and minerals through their diets. Others believe that vitamin supplements will ease certain ailments or help prevent diseases, such as cancer. Beliefs such as these have helped the dietary supplements business become a billiondollar industry. There have been many clinical studies conducted to look into the correlation between vitamin supplements and the prevention of certain types of cancer. Understanding the results can be confusing. There is no magic formula for consuming a broad-spectrum vitamin supplement to serve as a blanket remedy for preventing cancer. However, there have been some studies that show certain vitamins may help lower risk for specific cancers. For example, a study published in 2010 found women who had high levels of vitamin A and C in their bodies, whether from diet or supplement use, had fewer cases of cervical cancer compared to women with lower levels of these vitamins. Vitamin B6 has been known to have various benefits,

including reducing a person’s risk of developing lung, breast and colon cancer. Those with high blood levels of B6 have a lower risk, but there is no proof that taking B6 supplements will have the same benefits. Some studies indicate that vitamin E supplements may reduce men’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Studies in the 1970s suggested that high doses of vitamin C could be an alternative cancer treatment, says The Mayo Clinic. These findings were debunked when it was discovered the research methods used to reach the conclusions were flawed. Subsequent studies did not corroborate the 1970s results. However, more attention is now being paid to administering vitamin C intravenously, which has different effects than when the vitamin is taken orally. Until clinical trials are completed, researchers cannot say for sure if intravenous vitamin C will be the new all-natural cancer cure. It is important to note that taking vitamin supplements at the suggested levels recommended should be relatively safe for most people. Individuals should not super-dose vitamins in an effort to achieve better health results. Also, people should discuss any vitamin supplement use with doctors, as some supplements may cause potentially harmful interactions with certain medications.

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Health • Fitness • Mind • Spirit • Medicine • Well-Being

Body/Soul© 2013 is published in Berthoud, Colorado by the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor. The publishers reserve the right to edit, classify or reject any advertising or news copy. Liability for any newspaper error in an advertisement shall not exceed the cost of space occupied by error. The publishers assume no liability for any advertising which is not published for any cause. The publishers assume absolutely no obligation or responsibility for subject matter in copy placed by its advertisers or their agents. It is also understood that the advertiser and the agency placing such advertising jointly and severally agree to indemnify Berthoud Weekly Surveyor, LLC against all expense, loss or damage sustained by reason of printing such copy. Subscription rates are $32 per year to residents of the 80513 zip code and $42 per year to zip codes other than 80513.

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September 26, 2013

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Vitamin D might help fight symptoms of depression Special to the Surveyor People experiencing the blues, feelings of depression and other mood disorders might be able to use vitamin D to alleviate symptoms of depression. New studies point to low blood levels of vitamin D as a culprit in depression. Simply increasing these levels offers marked improvement. A study conducted by VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam found that low levels of vitamin D may be linked to depression and other psychiatric illnesses. The Amsterdam research, which tracked over 1,200 people aged 65 to 95, showed that blood vitamin D levels were 14 percent lower in individuals with major and minor depression compared with non-depressed participants. A study in the United States indicated that vitamin D deficiency occurred more often in certain people, including African-Americans, city dwellers, the obese, and those suffering from depression. People with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with vitamin D levels greater than 30 ng/mL. Vitamin D has long been recognized as a nutrient essential to the development and maintenance of strong bones. It has also recently been discovered to be of crucial importance to several aspects of overall health. Being deficient in vitamin D has been linked to a number of disorders, including cancer, autoimmune disease, diabetes, and now depression. Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is one of the few vitamins the body can produce. The body can get all the vitamin D it needs simply by being out in the sun with ample skin showing to absorb the rays. However, increased awareness about skin cancer, the importance of sunblock, and wearing clothes that protect skin from harmful UV rays has decreased many people’s production of vitamin D considerably. In the United States, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that nearly three-quarters of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Although there are some food sources of vitamin D (salmon, tuna, mackerel and vitamin D-fortified dairy products, such as milk), the best way to get the vitamin is through moderate sun exposure. According to an article in U.S News and World Report, it’s impossible to produce vitamin D from the sun during the winter if you live north of Atlanta because the sun never gets high enough in the sky for its ultraviolet B rays to penetrate the atmosphere.

But during the summer, when UV-B rays hit the skin, a reaction takes place that enables skin cells to manufacture vitamin D. If you’re fair skinned, experts say going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun — in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen —will give you enough radiation to produce about 10,000 I.U. Darkerskinned individuals may need a little more time. During the winter and for an extra boost, you will need to take an oral supplement. A doctor can help determine how much you need based on a simple blood test. With anxiety, depression, risk for heart attacks and a number of other health problems associated with low levels of vitamin D, it may be in your best interest to supplement with the vitamin.


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September 26, 2013

Many Coloradans unaware of new health insurance requirements Special to the Surveyor According to a June 2013 Gallup poll, nearly 43 percent of uninsured Americans are unaware that they are required by law to carry health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014. In Colorado, that translates to more than 350,000 Coloradans who may not know that they have less than five months to find health insurance coverage. The new health insurance requirements come with penalties for those who do not comply. Consumers who do not secure health insurance coverage in 2014 may have to pay fines of $95 per adult or one percent of adjusted family income — whichever is greater. Fines will escalate in future years. With October’s open enrollment period just around the corner, now is the time to get educated. To help prepare Coloradans for new health insurance requirements, Colorado HealthOP, Colorado’s first statewide nonprofit health insurance cooperative (CO-OP), offers advice to help individuals make the best choices for their personal and financial health. “Recent changes in health care make it possible for more people than ever to have access to affordable, quality health insurance,” said Julia Hutchins, chief executive officer of Colorado HealthOP. “The biggest challenge the healthcare community faces is educating Coloradans — whether they are uninsured, underinsured or unhappy with their current health insurance — about the options that are now available and how to access them.” In preparation for these new health insurance requirements Colorado HealthOP recommends Coloradans follow six steps to get health insurance coverage: 1. Learn more about how health reform affects you and your family. Changes in health care affect every Coloradan. Colorado HealthOP offers details about how the changes may impact you and your family on its website www. COHealthOP.org. 2. Ask your employer about coverage. If you are employed, find out if your employer will offer health insurance in 2014. Recent changes in health care make it more affordable for many small employers to cover their employees. 3. Familiarize yourself with Connect for Health Colorado. If you do not receive health care coverage through your employer, you have the option of purchasing an individual plan through Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s online health insurance marketplace. Enrollment begins Oct. 1, and you will start receiving coverage Jan. 1. 4. Find out if you qualify for tax credits. Many individuals and families are now eligible for tax credits to help cover the cost of health insurance. Colorado HealthOP can help you determine whether you qualify. Visit Colorado HealthOP’s website or call 720.627.8900 to speak with an insurance expert. 5. Do your homework. Individuals and families will have access to a variety of health insurance plans from multiple carriers. While many will look at cost as a major factor in their decision-making, there are other important considerations, such as: Do you prefer working with a nonprofit or a for-profit

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor health insurance company? Does the company offer wellness benefits or incentives to help your family stay healthy and save money? Does the company have a reputation for good customer service? 6. Sign up. Be informed before open enrollment starts. Sign up to receive information so that you’re ready to enroll for health insurance coverage in October. “Unfortunately, the people who are most affected by the new health insurance requirements are those who are least aware of what they need to do,” Hutchins continued. “As a health insurance cooperative, we are committed to providing affordable, quality, and hassle-free coverage. We are also dedicated to helping Coloradans take charge of their own healthcare decision-making.” Colorado HealthOP offers a new alternative to traditional health insurance in Colorado. A nonprofit health insurance cooperative, Colorado HealthOP and its members are committed to providing affordable, quality coverage to individuals and employers interested in making a difference in their own health, their employees’ health and the health of their community. Colorado HealthOP aims to improve health outcomes by putting the responsibility for consumers’ care back into the hands of the cooperative’s members and providers. A private market solution tailored for individuals and employers, Colorado HealthOP will begin open enrollment in October 2013 via Connect for Health Colorado, Colorado’s health insurance marketplace, and through independent brokers and agents. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014. For more information about Colorado HealthOP, or to learn more about how changes in healthcare affect you or your family, visit www.COHealthOP.org.


Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

September 26, 2013

Body|Soul

Page 13

Going green can be good for your health Special to the Surveyor

Maintaining physical and mental health and adopting an ecofriendly lifestyle can go hand-in-hand. Many of elements of “going green” can benefit people looking to keep themselves healthy. Here are some ways to go green and benefit your overall health. • Skip the disposable bottled water. Bottled water may be convenient, but some estimates suggest that 38 billion disposable plastic bottles end up in landfills every year. And that’s just in the United States. In addition, water that is housed inside of plastic bottles may end up being contaminated with some of the chemicals used in the plastic bottle composition, particularly if the bottles are left in hot cars or left out in hot weather. Reusable bottles filled with filtered water may improve your health and reduce landfill waste. • Pack a lunch. Rather than heading to a take-out restaurant or fast-food drive-through, bring lunch to school or work. You will have greater control over the foods you include and can reduce packaging waste in the process. If you are particularly environmentally conscious, you can opt for organic and locally grown foods. • Walk or bike more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than one-third of American adults are obese. The situation is not much different in Canada, where obesity and overweight statistics tend to mirror what is occurring in the United States. A sedentary lifestyle that leans heavily on automobiles to get around may be contributing to these obesity rates. Skipping the exhaust-spouting automobile in lieu of walking or biking around the neighborhood can vastly improve personal health and the environment. • Carry reusable tote bags in your purse or briefcase.

When shopping or running errands, use reusable tote bags instead of plastic bags. Reusable bags are more eco-friendly, and carrying nonperishable items around will give your arms and body a workout. • Indulge in a glass of organic wine. Organic wine is made from grapes grown without synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Also, organic wines should not contain sulfites to stabilize the wine during transportation. Red wine contains powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols as well as resveratrol, which, according to The Mayo Clinic, has been linked to preventing damage to blood vessels and helping to reduce “bad” cholesterol. Resveratrol also may help reduce inflammation and blood clotting that can lead to heart disease. Just be sure your alcohol consumption is moderate. • Choose organic foods. Organic foods, or those grown without chemical pesticides and herbicides, have fewer chemicals that can harm the body and the environment. • Get outdoors and turn off your electronics. Spend several hours or a day away from the tablet, phone and computer. Head outdoors and enjoy recreation in the fresh air. You will get more exercise and save energy. • Trade for exercise equipment. Look for swap sites and garage sales to pick up exercise equipment for less money. Buying local reduces fuel consumption, and you might just save a lot of money along the way. • Enjoy nature to unwind and lose weight. Head outdoors and relax by meditating. Some studies have found that overweight women who performed daily relaxation techniques lost an average of 10 pounds after 18 months, without consciously dieting. Stress may cause a person to turn to food for comfort. There are many different ways people can get healthy and help the environment in doing so.

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Body|Soul

September 26, 2013

Breast cancer G

lobally, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed and is the leading cause of cancer death in women. In the United States breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death in women. Breast Guest Columnist cancer is also the leading cause of death in women ages 40-49 years of age. With October being breast cancer awareness month, and the amount of press that surrounds the diagnosis, I would like to discuss surveillance and screening options that are available to women to stay healthy. Dr. Ann Breast cancer screenings Stroh are a way in which doctors check the breasts for early signs of cancer in patients who have no symptoms. The main test used to screen for breast cancer is mammography. Studies show that being screened for breast cancer lowers the chance that women will die of the disease. There is a strong consensus that routine screening mammography should be offered to women ages 50-69, but more discrepancy in women from age 40-49 and women over age 70. The American Cancer Society and the American College of Physicians (ACP) advise individual risk assessment and shared decision-making with the patient regarding mammogram screening for women aged 40-49 years of age. If this cannot be achieved, the ACP suggests mammograms every one to two years in this age group. In older women, the American College of Radiology recommends screening until life expectancy is less than five to seven years on the basis of age or other co-existing health issues. It’s always important to discuss with your physician your family history to help determine what the potential risk of malignancy is for you. A further work-up may be warranted. Although a family history of breast and ovarian cancer is common in women diagnosed with breast cancer, less than 10 percent of all breast cancers are associated with genetic mutations. The majority of hereditary breast cancers are associated with mutations in two genes: breast cancer type 1 and 2 susceptibility genes (BRCA 1 and BRCA 2) — Hereditary breast and ovarian cancers syndrome (HBOC). Less commonly, breast cancers are due to other hereditary cancer syndromes, such as Li-Fraumeni and Cowden syndromes which are related to mutations in the TP53 and PTEN genes, respectively. Recently in the press, Angelina Jolie was diagnosed with BRCA 1 mutation/HBOC syndrome. It is estimated that 5 percent of all breast cancers in the U.S., annually, comprise the HBOC syndrome, about 65 percent of families with four or more cases of breast cancer, and more than 90 percent of families with multiple cases of breast and ovarian cancer. Genetic testing is expensive, and selection of individuals most appropriate for genetic testing is important. Maternal and paternal history should be considered independently. Hereditary breast ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome is

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor characterized by the following features in a family: • an early age of onset of breast cancer (often before age 50) • family history of both breast and ovarian cancer • increased chance of bilateral cancers (cancer that develop in both breasts, or both ovaries, independently) or an individual with both breast and ovarian cancer • an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance (vertical transmission through either the mother or father’s side of the family) • an increased incidence of tumors of other specific organs, such as the prostate Other factors that increase the chance that a family has the hereditary breast ovarian cancer syndrome include: • family history of male breast cancer • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry Keep in mind, that having a strong family history of a disease does not always mean a person will have abnormal genes. Most women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer do not have an abnormal gene. If you are thinking about genetic testing because a family member has cancer, ask if she or he has been tested or is willing to be tested first. If the person with cancer does not have the mutation, it is less likely that you do. Most importantly, always talk with your physician about your history and options for above to stay educated and healthy. Dr. Ann Stroh is a oncologist and hematologist at the Medical Clinic at Centerra PC, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave. North in Loveland, 970.203.7080. Dr. Stroh is also a Berthoud resident.

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Body|Soul

September 26, 2013

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Hope Lives! in Berthoud and beyond Larimer County and Windsor complementary care and lifestyle support throughout the treatment of their cancer, at a cost of about $1,600 per woman for a year “I walked in their doors and I was embraced by of services. unconditional love, a compassion for what I was As the only 501(c)3 charitable organization in going through,” said Leslie Tassi of Berthoud, Larimer County focused on providing breast speaking of the Hope Lives! Breast Cancer Support cancer patients with complementary care, Hope Center located in Fort Collins. She learned of the Lives! accepts donations in the form center through Julie Kinning, also of Berthoud. of funds, materials or services for Tassi was diagnosed with breast cancer in its clients. December 2012, while in the midst of moving As Kinning said, “The providers from Loveland to Berthoud. She had spoken of the services for Hope Lives are a with Kinning, an insurance agent, and key to helping the clients. We can’t do shared that she had recently been diagnosed. what we do without our supporters and we’re Kinning, who is a board member of Hope so thankful for them. There are women with Lives! and a strong proponent of breast breast cancer in Berthoud and we would like cancer awareness, suggested that Tassi to serve them, so we would like to partner contact the center. with providers in Berthoud to get the word “I immediately called and was out about our services.” greeted by Melissa (Venable) and felt The Hope Lives! Breast Cancer Support instantly embraced,” said Tassi of her Center’s 13th Annual “Celebrate Life in the first contact with Hope Lives! Pink Gala” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, Tassi talked with Venable, the executive director with individual tickets available for $150. for Hope Lives! about her diagnosis. Information on the event is available at Photo courtesy of Lydia’s She was connected to the Hope Lives! service Style Magazine, Sept. issue www.hopelives.org. providers in Larimer County in what she called Leslie Tassi. a “very smooth process.” Given the general consensus of how intimidating health insurance and claim filing can be, the process of working with Hope Lives! “was easy,” said Tassi. “These women … I’m so inspired because they’re faced with this diagnosis and they face it with such grace and courage,” said Venable of the many clients she’s worked with over the years. “You can’t meet the gals without becoming affected by the passion of the survivors.” Founder Lydia Dody shared that the organization has 227 active clients this month, but has provided over 16,000 services since it started in January 2002. “We’re very proud of that and that we’ve made a big difference in the lives of women,” said Dody, herself a breast cancer survivor. Using integrative oncology, Hope Lives! provides free complementary post-diagnosis services that include different therapies and modalities that look at the whole person, from acupuncture that can ease symptoms of nausea, vomiting and depression, to counseling, to housecleaning services for women too exhausted from their cancer treatments. The wig bank is one of the most popular because it provides a choice from more than 2,000 wigs for women, when hair loss is one of the many challenges faced during treatment. “I’m so moved by Lydia’s foresight that she saw such a need for this. A beautiful organization, an awareness of and need for women going through breast cancer treatment,” said Tassi. According to the National Cancer Institute, experts estimate that about one out of every eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life. For Hope Lives!, it means providing the approximately 200 women diagnosed with breast cancer in By Jan Dowker The Surveyor


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September 26, 2013

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Melanoma — the rest of the story By Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer The Surveyor

When Kris Stoesz was diagnosed with melanoma in 2010, her first question was a common one: What exactly is melanoma? Her research revealed the scary truth. More than 1,260 Coloradans were diagnosed with melanoma in 2009, and approximately 117 people die in Colorado every year from the disease. The annual death rate has risen 1 percent per year among residents over the age of 50. Stoesz first discovered the mysterious bump on her head in 2009, but didn’t think it was serious. Finally, at the Kris Stoesz. urging of her boss, she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with melanoma. “Skin cancer hadn’t ever crossed my mind,” she said. “We did what everyone does. We jumped on the Internet and started scaring ourselves. We quickly learned that melanoma is a killer and if you don’t catch it in time it can spread to your organs.” Stoesz was referred to Dr. William A. Robinson at University of Colorado Hospital Anschutz Medical Campus, and several weeks later she was in surgery. After the surgery Stoesz healed, and throughout 2011 things were good. In 2012, however, she developed another bump on her head. Again, it was melanoma. Again she was sent to surgery, but this was a much bigger ordeal. The cancer was given a rating just short of stage 4, it went deeper, and so they had to cut deeper. Recovery was extensive and rough, but didn’t involve chemotherapy, the one treatment that most people associate with cancer. Chemotherapy isn’t effective in the treatment of melanoma, but sometimes Stoesz wishes that it was. Most people tend to judge the severity of a cancer diagnosis by whether the patient receives chemotherapy and radiation. This is one reason much of society doesn’t take skin cancer as seriously as it should. Nearly every hour someone dies from melanoma. In fact, melanoma is responsible for 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths and is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Colorado. The annual rate of new melanoma diagnoses in Colorado was 15 percent higher than the national average from 2002 to 2006, and was the 13th highest in the United States. For many years, melanoma was misdiagnosed as lung cancer or some other organ-specific cancer, but the disease had actually started in the skin. Although diagnosis has become much more accurate, melanoma research continues to be underfunded and the disease is often misunderstood by the public at large. When faced with the overwhelming diagnosis of cancer, people often feel out of control, and this was Stoesz’ biggest hurdle as she faced her battle with melanoma. “I wanted to know what I was up against, but you don’t get that when fighting cancer. You never really know what you’re up against. I still really don’t. You have to release that,” said Stoesz. Stoesz is 47, married and mother to six children, four adopted from Ukraine. Her biggest concern throughout this ordeal has been for her children.

“The hardest thing for me was thinking about my kids being left without a mom again,” said Stoesz. “I wasn’t angry at God, but I kept asking him, ‘You aren’t going to do this, are you?’ I have a strong faith, but leaving my kids on this earth without a mom — the thought just made me so mad.” Stoesz has found strength in her husband, Clarke Stoesz, her family, other cancer survivors and her church. “We all go through hard things,” she said. “We get through them and then look back and realize how blessed we really were. I wouldn’t change anything Photo by John Gardner we’ve gone through.” Today, Stoesz visits her doctors once every three months, and is currently cancer free. She believes her melanoma is linked to the many Colorado summers she spent on the water, and the burns she acquired on her face and scalp during these years. She hopes that her story will help educate people about skin cancer and will encourage them to protect their skin from sunburns. “Being your own self-advocate is the best thing you can do,” Clarke said. “And if you have something that needs checked, get it checked out early.” For skin cancer prevention action steps go to page 13.


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September 26, 2013

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Austan Sexson is a little ball of happiness

By Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer The Surveyor

Some people seem to have been put on this earth to cheer up the rest of us. Austan Sexson is such a person. It’s impossible to tell from the outside that Austan is battling a rare disease called bilary atresia. Bilary atresia occurs when bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not develop normally. The bile ducts work to remove waste from the liver and carry salts that help the small intestines break down or digest fat. In babies with biliary atresia, bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder is blocked. This leads to liver damage and cirrhosis of the liver if not treated. It is not known what causes this to bilary atresia and there is no cure. “When she was first diagnosed, this was a terminal disease,” explained MarDee Clayton, Austan’s mom. “We were told they had an experimental surgery which may be a stop-gap for transplant.” In some children, bilary atresia starts in utero, as in Austan’s case. After the diagnosis, a six-hour surgery called a Kasai procedure was performed. It connects the liver to the small intestines, going around the abnormal ducts. She was just 8 weeks old. If the Kasia procedure isn’t performed before the age of 12 weeks, the liver is so damaged that the baby must receive a liver transplant. Although bilary atresia is extremely rare, it is the leading cause of pediatric liver transplant. Now 13, Austan’s Kasai is still functioning. A major complication of the Kasai procedure is portal hypertension. The portal vein carries blood from the stomach, intestines, spleen, gallbladder and pancreas to the liver. In cirrhosis, scar tissue partially blocks and slows the normal flow of blood which increases the pressure of the portal vein, a condition called portal hypertension. This causes gastrointestinal bleeding that may require surgery and eventual liver transplant. Austan has a swollen vein in her upper stomach, but it has reduced in size since the family moved from Florida to Colorado in January 2012. Her spleen is enlarged, however, which means Austan must protect it. She can’t play sports or, as she pointed out, ride roller coasters. “I can’t do a lot of things that other kids do,” she said. “But I read, I draw and I listen to music. All of these things, plus cooking and baking, make up for all the other stuff I can’t do.” One day, Austan will need a liver transplant and her family urges people to become donors. They point to the fact that the United States is the only first-world country with an “opt-in” program for organ donation. In other countries people decide whether they will opt-out of donating their organs, which means organs are much more plentiful. “One of the hardest things for me to do is to think that someone else has to give up their loved one for my child to live,” said MarDee Clayton. “Even after 13 years, I can’t fathom that right now. I can’t fathom writing that thank you letter.” “It’s something I can’t wrap my head around either — the fact that someone else would be part of me,” added Austan. “I do know that if I were healthy enough, I’d be an organ donor.” Austan has a clear understanding of her own disease, but she doesn’t dwell on it. One of her teachers recently called Austan “a little ball of happiness,” and Austan certainly lives a full and active life. When her brothers were playing soccer, she formed a soccer cheerleading team. She doesn’t let anything stop her from being part of the world around her. After writing an essay outlining her wish last September, Make-a-Wish Foundation sent Austan and her family on a culinary adventure in New York City. Austan’s brothers, Joel and Dalton, got to go along, as did MarDee and Richard Clayton. This was the trip of a lifetime for Austan, who plans to open her

own restaurant one day called Ruth’s Table. “I can’t choose a favorite moment,” said Austan, “Although I did become best friends with our hotel’s doorman. He was great.” Austan and Courtesy photo her family ate Austan Sexson baking bread at a New York at some of the City bakery. top restaurants in New York, often dining at the chef’s table. They also had the opportunity to attend the prestigious DeGustibus Cooking School where Austan was invited to the front of the class where she made pasta alongside the chef. A local food blogger even wrote about Austan’s moment in the spotlight, writing that she “stole the show.” Stealing the show isn’t new to Austan Sexson. With a broad smile and contagiously optimistic outlook, she proves that life is what you make of it. This young lady is proof that a disease is not something that defines you, but instead, it can be something that makes you stronger.

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Body and soul sept 2013