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NORTHEAST KIDNEY FOUNDATION

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PLUS...

- THE ALL NEW SHE HUSTLES TALKS ENTREPRENHERS

VISIONARY MINDS ARISSA “QUEENRI” JOHNSON

-INSPIRING WOMEN: KRISTIN BAUER-GROSS & ANGELA MCGHEE -TIME TO FLY LADIES W/ DEVON MCLOED & PAM DENTON’S UNSTOPPABLE WOMEN

Dr. Shanelle Benson-Reid THE UNEXPECTED OUTCOME


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COVER STORY 14

DR SHANELLE BENSON-REID

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{ TABLE OF CONTENTS }

REGULARS

REGULARS

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WOMEN WHO INSPIRE KRISTIN BAUER GROSS

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THE ANIMAL CARE SANCTUARY CORNER

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ASK ROBIN HERTZ

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WOMEN OF STRENGTH

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VISIONARY MINDS

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POSITIVE ENERGY

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GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

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MIND MONEY

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IN HER OWN WORDS LE ANNE LINDSAY

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WOMEN IN FASHION

148

TRACY TALKS

152

SINGLE DOPE BLACK CHICK

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IN HER OWN WORDS LE ANNE LINDSAY

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A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE

167

TIME TO FLY LADIES

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GOT A MINUTE? LE ANNE LINDSAY

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UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN

SPECIAL FEATURES

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HEALTH & WELLNESS 122

MENTALLY THINKING

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HEALTHY WOMAN

222 MIND, BODY & SPIRIT 230 ASK THE DOCTOR 232 PARTNERS IN A JOURNEY

200

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{ FROM THE EDITOR }

“One of the lessons I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody says distract you from your goals.� -Michelle Obama

T

hank you for joining us in our latest edition of Central New York Woman Online Magazine.

Since our October 2019 launch we have featured some amazing women and even some men, along with businesses and inspirational stories. This edition is not unlike all the other, including our truly amazing cover woman this edition, Dr Shanelle Benson-Reid of Access Global Enterprises. You can read about her inspiring and empowering story starting on page [14]. We are currently on the brink of history dealing with the COVID-19 global crisis, all of us here at Central NY Woman Online Magazine want to wish you and your loved ones great health and send positive vibes your way during this unprecidented time. We hope businesses bounce back stronger than ever and are here to help you in any way we can. We need to be creative, and learn to pivot during this time which means staying in front of your customers, and bringing in new business as soon as you are able to.

T T

ON OUR COVER

On our all new May/June cover of Central New York Woman Online, we have Dr Shanelle Benson-Reid founder and creator of Access Global Enterprises and an incredibly inspiring and empowering woman that we are prud to have join us for this edition.

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Stay encouraged, be safe and informed. We are all in this together. There is light at the end of this tunnel and this too shall pass. May our publication give you wisdom and hope.

Tammy Reese


{ A LOOK AT OUR TEAM }

PUBLISHER CO-PUBLISHER CREATIVE DIRECTOR/GRAPHIC DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

ADVERTISING SALES SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR WEB DESIGN & MANAGEMENT

Kelly Breuer Tammy Reese Kelly Breuer Dan Doyle Charlene Mann Ford Michael Thaxton Tammy Reese Kelly Breuer Kierstyn Zaykoski Devon McLeod Latoya Jones Dr. Pam Denton Robin Hertz Ellen Feldman Alana Cahoon Tammy Vreeland Tracy Simone Kristin Bauer-Gross Hearn Cherry Carona Diop Jamie Morgan Sonia Conlin John Hunt Judy Swanson Lisa Wagner Angela McGhee Jeffrey Hoffman Carol Lefleur Jason Breese Julia Yaw Olga Monicell Mike MacArthur

Rochelle Bilow Arissa “QueenRi” Johnson XI Chapter Kristina Miranovic Alyssa Blazina Leslie Brogan

Kelly Breuer & Tammy Reese Visionary Minds The Next Design

Rochester Woman ONLINE is the premier professional woman’s online publication in the greater Rochester area. Our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local area women. The electronic magazines are distributed freely through your favorite app store and will be in your inbox electronically by the first week of every month. The publication is available free of charge. Please feel free to contact publisher Kelly Breuer at 585.727.9120 or you can email us at networkrocqueen@gmail.com. Download our current media kit at www. rochesterwomanonline.com. The magazine is published 12 times a year by Rochester Woman ONLINE. Copyright © 2017 Rochester Woman ONLINE. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publisher. Rochester Woman ONLINE is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of Rochester Woman ONLINE and will not be returned.


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{ VISIONARY { COVER STORY MINDS } }

DR. SHANELLE BENSON REID THE EDUCATOR “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X THE UNEXPECTED OUTCOME Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid never expected to be a teacher. However, she was told early on that she should be an educator, but she had no interest. She spent a great deal of time tutoring in high school and she liked helping classmates, though, she hated working on specific content. “That being said, success feels gratifying” so she worked hard in all of her classes: early mornings, late nights, whatever it took and she did very well. Please understand, school did not come easy to Dr. Benson Reid but she was committed. Upon graduating from high school, she was awarded an academic scholarship; unfortunately, she was also pregnant. She took he first quarter off then reenrolled. She failed miserably and was placed on academic probation. Attending college as a single, young mother was one of her greatest challenges. Eventually, she left the university and began attending the local community college. At that time, she lacked dedication and withdrew from more classes than she completed. Then something happened. She realized there was more to life than driving a school bus, not that driving a bus is bad; it still remains one of her favorite experiences. Nonetheless, she had a renewed commitment. She completed her coursework at the community college and returned to the university. She earned an A.A. and B.A.

in the same year. She was accepted into a graduate program and planned to study Sociology of Education with an emphasis on Race, Class and Gender. She was driven, focused and motivated. The thoughts of being a schoolteacher had faded and life was moving at a terrific pace.

Benson Reid’s frustration. Dr. Benson Reid recounts, “Every year after that was traumatic. He struggled mightily: poor tests grades, missing homework assignments, inattention during instruction, frequent trips to the principal’s office and numerous parent-teacher conferences.” She recalls one conference in particular; during a meeting the teacher disclosed, “She should not have to put up with his behaviors.” Dr. Benson Reid was livid, gave the teacher a piece of her mind and made the decision to change her graduate major. Education needed her and she was up for the challenge. She met with her mentor, enrolled in a teacher education program and the rest is history. THE STATE OF EDUCATION Philosophically, Dr. Benson Reid does not believe in the structure of public education. She states, “Our entire system is inadequate and antiquated. As a student, I recall thinking to myself; nothing this teacher is doing is causing me to get excited about education. I’m not interested in math, I’m not interested in science, I’m not interested in social studies and I’m not interested ELA, I guess in actuality I wasn’t interested in school but I trusted the process so I pressed on.”

As mentioned earlier, Dr. Shanelle was pregnant with her first child when she graduated from high school. Eighteen months after having a daughter, she had a son. She noticed glaring differences between the two children but she attributed those variances to gender. She was wrong. Her son’s kindergarten teacher explained her concerns and did her best to ease Dr.

She goes on to reveal, “In the profession, we like to believe that education has evolved. We’ve incorporated manipulative, charts, graphs and visual representations. We allow movement, flexible seating, alternate assessments but the curriculum remains the same.” Other aspects of society have improved, however the most important societal CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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“Educating students from diverse backgrounds and situations is a complex process involving big-picture considerations and specific instructional strategies; at the very least, these students need to know adults in their lives are aware of the cultural and social conditions they encounter on a consistent basis and truly care about their personal and academic success.�

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{ {SHIFT+CONTROL COVER STORY } } “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” - Malcolm X

component has not; education has remained the same. “How can we justify not revolutionizing our current educational system while our students have evolved, our society has advanced and other industries have adapted?” The wheels of progress turn slowly in education so instead of waiting for a system-wide transformation, Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid decided to take a proactive approach. ACCESS Global Group (AGG) is her educational consulting company. Dr. Benson Reid is the President and CEO of AGG. ACCESS Global Group creates uniquelydesigned, programs for academic communities and professional organizations in the areas of cultural competency, social awareness, leadership development and employment / educational equity. The programs are based on extensive research, practical knowledge and over twenty years of mentoring, teaching, training and leadership experience. THE CARDS METHOD Educating students from diverse backgrounds and situations is a complex process involving big-picture considerations and specific instructional strategies; at the very least, these students need to know adults in their lives are aware of the cultural and social conditions they encounter on a consistent basis and truly care about their personal and academic success. From this foundation, trusting relationships develop and serve as an essential context for learning. While this bridge from awareness and caring to learning and achievement is necessary for a successful school career, it is vitally important

for students from marginalized backgrounds, who tend to experience more challenges in their personal and academic lives. Students from these communities benefit from the type of support that nurtures emotional growth while simultaneously providing optimal conditions for effective learning and based on this knowledge, the “CARDS Professional Development Method” was created.

to the organization. However, environments that embrace diversity, inclusivity and equity require comprehensive training and persistent adaptability, therefore, The CLEAN Method was developed based on these principles. ACCESS Global Group Welcome to ACCESS Global Group: The Coaching and Consulting Organization! They are here to serve! Prepare to be amazed!

THE CLEAN METHOD

THE ENTREPRENEUR “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” Arianna Huffington HER JOURNEY Dr. Benson Reid earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and a Master’s in Education (Special Education Option) from CSUSB as well. After teaching for several years, Dr. Benson Reid decided to pursue her doctorate in Organizational Leadership and later start ACCESS Global Enterprises. ACCESS Global Enterprises is the parent company of ACCESS Dental Laboratories.

The CLEAN Corporate Training Method is based on perception, performance and production. The program focuses on a holistic approach to building the corporate community by addressing the needs of all members. Diversity and inclusivity are vital to establishing a thriving workplace, especially when it comes to employee engagement and group dynamics. Furthermore, creating an equitable environment cultivates creativity and innovation because team members, from executives to apprentices, bring a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives

MR. RIGHT After serving as an educator and consulting in Central New York for several years, she met her husband, Mr. Todd Reid. A seasoned professional himself, Mr. Reid has built a career as an expert in the dental field. He has over twenty-five years of experience in the industry and specializes in fullmouth reconstruction. Recently, the couple decided to expand the ACCESS Global Brand. ACCESS Global Enterprises is now the parent company of ACCESS Dental Laboratories, the first and only black-owned, CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” - Arianna Huffington

full-service dental laboratory in the United States. Together, Shanelle and Todd now run ACCESS Global Enterprises.

in poverty. Life was hard but I knew it would be great one day. I know unequivocally, my next day is my best day.”

THE ENTERPRISE As a MWBE (Minority Women Business Enterprise, ACCESS Global Enterprises has several projects in development, from recently gaining site-control of a 16,000 square-foot building from the Syracuse Landbank to designing the state of the art curriculum and training program for the laboratory employees. As an MWBE, they were recipients of grants from the Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) and the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC). Additionally, they are seeking support from SIDA (Syracuse Industrial Development Agency) and the National Grid Economic Development Program.

THE WOMAN…MY GRAND RISING “I don’t believe in magic,” the young boy said. The old man smiled, “You will when you see her.” Atticus

THE STORY Once complete, the four-story building will include office rental space, a childcare center, a café, a fitness center, the ACCESS Dental Laboratory and the ACCESS Dental Executive Offices. At capacity, the Reids anticipate hiring 50 people from the Southside of Syracuse. The couple has been intentional about locating their business in the city, getting community buy-in, and being a cornerstone in the rejuvenation of Syracuse’s Southside. They understand it will require a lot of work, but they are ready and willing. This project is the culmination of a two-year process that included, late nights, numerous meetings, unexpected expenses, yet here they are, ready to transform a community. ONWARD, UPWARD AND BEYOND For Shanelle, this desire to impact a community comes from within and knowing that her trajectory is onward, upward and beyond. “People see the businesses and degrees but have no idea that I was a teen mom, struggling to make ends meet, living 20

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CONSIDERATIONS Here I am, the year is 2020 and life as I know it is in the rearview mirror. The world is at a standstill; quarantines, shortages, layoffs, etc. A global pandemic has caused an upheaval and it is time to prepare for the aftermath. So before I hunker down and

wait patiently for the world to reawake, I will consider my family, my friendships, my finances, my future and my Grand Rising. FAMILY Where do I turn when faced with catastrophe, most often towards love. No matter my status; married, parent, guardian, grandparent, etc., when life crumbles, I turn to the familial. The people who adore me without condition, those who long for my presence, the ones I cherished at first sight, the individuals I could not live without, now is the time to turn to love. Embrace this moment and be adored, be present, be cherished, be valued and be loved. I have been given an opportunity to wake up everyday and dwell

in love. I will appreciate this experience, this moment and revel in love. FRIENDSHIPS We grow and vibe, then build and thrive. We cheer for each other and support one another. We share visions, passions and dreams, the visible, tangible and unseen. We are friends, comrades and confidants. Now is the time to build and nurture relationships, create support systems and expand networks. Send the text, compose the email, schedule the meeting, let’s connect; Hey girl, I love you in bunches, we are stronger together. FINANCES I am busy minding my money. Setting aside for the unknown, unseen and unexpected. Yes, I am in the midst of it all, yet I will continue to mind my money. Education is my passion and I work tirelessly in all areas: yes I am the professor, the consultant, the coach, the author, and the professional speaker. This is my life, I love it and I am minding my money. What else shall I do, perhaps another business is on the horizon, like I said, I am minding my money. FUTURE Embrace this life and the days to come; I walk, rest, breathe, be and know there is no life without health. I am well in my soul; I pray because I need to talk to God and I mediate because I need to hear from God. I have it all; I owe it to my ancestors to make the most of this life: Goddess, Queen, Wife and Mother. It is all for you; everything I am, I owe to you. Everything I do, I do for you. I am me, because of you. I Am Shanelle And This Is My The Grand Rising To contact Shanelle email: drshanelle@ accessglobalenterprises.com


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{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN }

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{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN }

KRISTIN BAUER-GROSS PHOTOS BY DAN DOYLE & MARK KNOPP

I jumped out of my 3rd floor office window! I saw my body flailing toward the pavement below. Then I looked up at my computer and spreadsheets. Suffocating. I felt like I was suffocating, dying inside.

There I was 10 years later at 24, still not taking action on my dream. I gave 2 weeks’ notice at my job. Packed all my stuff into my car.

Why couldn’t I just be happy? Why did I keep imagining I was leaping out of my office window? All of my unemployed college friends congratulated me on landing a well-paid 9-5. My boss was amazing.

It felt crazy to leave my well-paid position in beautiful Connecticut. But my dream since I was 14, was to make a full time living as a model.

Shortly after arrival my car got towed and cost….you guessed it $300 to retrieve. Perfect, now I’m broke. My back-up plan if I failed was to beg my mom to let me move back home.And *gulp* find a normal job. (Grateful to have mom as a back-up plan not everyone is so lucky).It was time to stop staring out of windows daydreaming about my career as a model.

I moved into a beautiful apartment in an affluent neighborhood in Connecticut. On the outside it looked like I had the dream life; but inside I felt like I was dying. Each day from my office chair, I felt my dream sitting in the pit of my stomach begging me to take ACTION. Every time I would allow myself to dream all the fears would come up. What if I fail? What if I quit this job and end up broke and washed up? What if I’m not pretty enough, thin enough, talented enough, tall enough? What if I get scammed? But even with all the fears I couldn’t ignore this feeling. I had to find the courage to go after my dream. But how?

a room I found on roommates.com My bank account had only $300 after relocation expenses.

It was time to take ACTION! I remember wishing so badly for an honest knowledgeable industry person to help me. I wanted more career direction from my agent back home, but she was too busy with her own agency and her expertise was limited to the upstate NY. My mom and dance mentor Sean McLeod encouraged me to pursue my dream which helped give me the courage to finally go for it!

Drove for 2 days from Connecticut to Miami, FL. Alone. I knew no one. No clear plan. No industry connections. I borrowed money from my sister to pay 1st month rent and security for

Yet, I kept wishing for a successful veteran model who could tell me the inside scoop and lay out a plan for me.I wanted the quickest path to success. That is how I started my full-time modeling journey in Miami. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN }

“Don’t be afraid to go after your goals and find the courage to take action on your dream! ”

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{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN }

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{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN } “Coach, your wisdom and knowledge of the industry has shortened our learning curve immensely. You invest so much in your clients and it shows!” Katrina W

These 7 years were a combination of successes and failures. I fell into every pitfall. I wore the wrong outfits to auditions that made me look “too green” and “too small town”.I spent too much time and energy shooting for free with the wrong photographers. It seemed like a waste of money to pay photographers when so many would shoot me for free. I spent too much time pursuing assignments that were not suited to my type and look. After going through all of those struggles, looking back, I wish someone had encouraged me to pursue other types of modeling. Wish I shot with the right photographer for those other niches of modeling sooner. Wish I had gotten commercial acting training with a top industry expert. Wish someone had helped me develop a more competitive look and mindset sooner. Wish someone was cheerleading me on and helping me develop more confidence. Wish I had supportive people around me instead of a boyfriend that thought my dream was silly. Wish I had strategies to handle the jealous models who didn’t want to see the new girl succeed. Less jobs for them. Or so they thought. I thought we should, instead all be

friends, and help one another and refer one another jobs. Wasn’t there room for all of us at the top? It became a very difficult and lonely career at times. I almost gave up 100 times. My family and friends were far away back home in Upstate NY. There was no Google, no Youtube, no Instagram, no smartphones.

Beach, FL. For $500 he said he would help me develop my look, my portfolio, niche in the industry, take hi-caliber photos, provide make-up and styling. W H AT ! F I V E H U N D R E D DOLLARS!!! At the time I said to myself “that is a TON of MONEY!” “NO WAY!” “What if I spend all this money and it doesn’t help me make more money?” I had already spent money on things that didn’t work and look where that got me. NOWHERE. Plus, so many photographers will shoot me for FREE. “I can’t invest in myself like that” I thought. I didn’t make the investment, instead I wasted another 4 years without much career growth. But today I know the opposite is true, that the quickest path to success is through expert help.

In those early years of my model career, my days were spent trying to figure everything out all by myself. I fell into all the pitfalls. Got myself into some scary situations. I invested money into the wrong things I thought would help my career. Yet, failed to invest in the right things that would’ve given me a quicker path to success. I met a photographer who was also known for being a model coach. I met him my first week arriving in Miami

Four years later I did fork over even more money for that photographer’s coaching and help. His rates had gone up, so I paid even more than the $500. But it was worth every single penny. He helped me focus my goals. He gave me advice on my hair and nutrition. And he helped me get the most gorgeous high-quality photos I had ever shot in my life. MY WHOLE CAREER CHANGED OVERNIGHT! His photos and advice helped me get CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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{ CNY INSPIRING WOMAN } “My motivation as a model and talent career coach began because I got many questions daily from people interested in getting started in modeling, acting, promotions, and entertainment. ”

noticed by agencies, other photographers and leveled up my portfolio. He helped me believe in myself. His connections helped me get more work. That year, was my most successful year of modeling in Miami. I got published in several magazines and catalogs (published tearsheets are street cred for models). I walked in dozens of high-end fashion shows. Bigger agencies were interested in signing me. I started to get more callbacks and bookings soared! The very next year the whole economy crashed in 2008. All modeling and acting work in Miami and across the 30

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nation dried up! Next, a close family member fell ill. I moved back home to rural Upstate NY as caretaker. It felt like I was just getting started and then it all crumbled before my eyes. But that success I felt and what I learned before the recession, taught me how to be resilient. As the recession passed the next phase of my career reached new levels of success! I’m so glad I invested in myself and got that photographer’s help. Otherwise I might of given up on my dream altogether when the recession hit. But what if I hadn’t waited 4 years for

his coaching? What if I had gotten more career guidance and the right photos sooner? Of course, I had no idea the economy would topple and a family member would fall ill. No idea my time in Miami would end abruptly. Now, I try to seize each day because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. There isn’t always a tomorrow. My life mission now, is motivating and inspiring others to find the courage to go after their dreams. Even if family, friends, or society think the dream is silly or ridiculous. We each have special gifts and a unique story to share.


COVER STORY } } { { SHIFT+CONTROL

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{ CNY COVER INSPIRING STORY WOMAN }} } { { SHIFT+CONTROL “I can’t go back in time to be the support and career expert I needed. But I can be that guidance for YOU!”

I was able to find meaning in everything I went through and now I’m able to use it together to serve you. My motivation as a model and talent career coach began because I got many questions daily from people interested in getting started in modeling, acting, promotions, and entertainment. I’d give people a few tips and send them on their way knowing they really would need so much more guidance and support. Finally, I completely switched my health coaching practice to model coaching, based on the demand. Now, I enjoy helping others find their courage and developing a plan for their dream. It makes my heart sing to be the help I wished and prayed for as an aspiring model and talent. As a new model or actor, the many things one must learn can be overwhelming: • How to determine the right niche for you • How to manifest the goal you desire • How to present yourself to agencies as a professional • How to use social media effectively as a tool • How to develop your Instagram into a branded portfolio • How to walk the runway with grace and ease • How to confidently attend auditions and castings

• How to self-tape auditions at home like a pro • How to nail paid bookings and book yourself solid! I created the ACTION membership model and talent training program, so that you can get quality affordable training, a coach to guide you, and community on your side to take you on the faster path to success! I’m giving

Don’t be afraid to go after your goals and find the courage to take action on your dream! What people are saying about Coach Kristin and the ACTION Program: Amy M – “I don’t feel so awkward about talking about my modeling dreams to the Action members... we are all in this together!! I have appreciated the Action team encouragement and being comfortable talking about it. I think my biggest take-away is that models come in all shapes and sizes and there is a niche for everyone. This has given me courage to take action and allowed me to do something for myself.” Katrina W- “Coach, your wisdom and knowledge of the industry has shortened our learning curve immensely. You invest so much in your clients and it shows!”

RWO readers a very special offer of just $1.00 for their 1st month of membership! Use code: 1Dollar at checkout on www. KristinB.com/action-program Intro pricing is still in effect through spring: - $49.00 a month (minimum 4 months commitment) - $490.00 annual membership After spring pricing will increase!

I’m your Model Success Coach: Kristin Bauer-Gross. You’ll find me hanging out on Instagram and Facebook @KristinBauerGross and on www.KristinB.com and teaching my online program ACTION designed specifically for small market models and actors to learn, connect and succeed at www.KristinB.com/action-program SPECIAL OFFER for RWO readers: 1st month of membership just $1.00 with code at checkout: 1Dollar

CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL }

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{ SHIFT+CONTROL }

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SHIFT+CONTROL { {FASHION FORWARD} }

KHANGLE DESIGNS BE DIFFERENT. BE UNIQUE. BE YOU. Khangle was launched in 2014 as a fashion brand by the former name Khang Le (Tin Tin). The label embodies a vast range of luxury products inspired by Prêt-à-Porte high fashion and unique “Avant-garde” styles. Khangle’s designs have expanded to encompass additional fashion merchandise, which include shoes, purses, bags, and jewelry. In addition to clothing design, Khangle works extensively with models and photographers. Khangle established his team of elite models, #TeamKhangle, in 2015. His current team has over 30 models from Upstate NY. He manages and trains his models using various personalized techniques in order to maximize their potential talent. Khangle offers modeling workshops throughout the year at his studio based in Syracuse, NY as well as studios throughout the Northeast 38

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and Mid-Atlantic regions. Moreover, he conducts cutting-edge photo shoots for models and strategically strengthens their portfolios. Khangle was launched in 2014 as a fashion brand by the former

fashion merchandise, which include shoes, purses, bags, and jewelry. In addition to clothing design, Khangle works extensively with models and photographers. Khangle established his team of elite models, #TeamKhangle, in 2015. His current team has over 30 models from Upstate NY. He manages and trains his models using various personalized techniques in order to maximize their potential talent. Khangle offers m o d e l i n g workshops throughout the year at his studio based in Syracuse, NY as well as studios throughout the Northeast and MidAtlantic regions. M o r e o v e r, h e conducts cuttingedge photo shoots for models and strategically strengthens their portfolios.

name Khang Le (Tin Tin). The label embodies a vast range of luxury products inspired by Prêt-à-Porte high fashion and unique “Avantgarde” styles. Khangle’s designs have expanded to encompass additional

Recently, Khangle partnership with Whisky Jacks and came up with the Glass Slipper. His first and exclusive ready-to-wear lines that are focus on bridal and elegant wear.


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SHIFT+CONTROL { {FASHION FORWARD} } “The label embodies a vast range of luxury products inspired by Prêt-à-Porte high fashion and unique “Avant-garde” styles.”

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NORTHEAST KIDNEY FOUNDATION SPECIAL INSERT


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NORTHEAST KIDNEY FOUNDATION BY CAROL LEFLEUR

The mission of the Northeast Kidney Foundation is to improve the quality of life of those affected by kidney disease and related conditions, to increase organ donation and to empower those we serve to be effective voices for better healthcare at the local, state and federal levels. Our services are local and include:

• Free publications including “So You are a Dialysis Patient” and our “Renal Exchange Booklet”

• Grants that assist with medical, housing and nutrition needs

• Free school education programs that teach kids about lifelong kidney health • Clinical education • Healthcare advocacy • So much more!

• Patient assistance, education and support • On line resources including online support groups; nutrition classes; exercise classes and more! 58

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• Scholarships for young adults affected by kidney disease • Free kidney screenings and risk assessment programs

Our offices are located at: NeKF Headquarters

22 Colvin Avenue Albany, NY 12206 NeKF 95 Allens Creek Road Bldg 1 Suite 323 Rochester NY 14658 NeKF 731 James Street Suite 408 Syracuse NY 14203 www.healthykidneys.org * info@ healthykidneys.org * 800-999-9697 Give us a call today!


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ABOUT NEKF ABOUT THE NORTHEAST KIDNEY FOUNDATION The Northeast Kidney Foundation formed in Albany in 1974 as a result of a philanthropic gift of the Sperber family, owners of a well-established and popular local retail business. They created the organization for a very personal reason – a short time before their daughter Barbara was to be married, they learned that she was in kidney failure and would need a transplant. Her father became her kidney donor and after life got back to normal, they created the

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organization so that others living with kidney disease would have a support organization they could call upon. Barbara did very well with her Dad’s kidney for 30 years. She would, however, need another transplant. She received her second gift of life in 2002, this time her daughter was her donor. Since the organization’s founding, we have served tens of thousands of patients, family members, caregivers and clinicians. In response to patient need, we expanded our services into

Rochester three years ago. We focus on direct patient support, providing grants that assist with medical, nutrition and housing needs; free screening programs for underserved communities that teach people about risk factors and prevention; patient, community and professional education; and healthcare advocacy. Your support of the NeKF makes an impact at the local level, providing services to your family, neighbors, coworkers and friends right here at home.


{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE } IN LOVING MEMORY “Your support of the NeKF makes an impact at the local level, providing services to your family, neighbors, coworkers and friends right here at home.”

charlene gavin

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MEET OUR CEO CAROL LAFLEUR MEET OUR CEO Carol LaFleur is the CEO of the Northeast Kidney Foundation, a position she has held since 2002. She came to the organization with a background in fundraising and working with volunteer driven organizations, something she is passionate about. Under her leadership, the Foundation has expanded its geographic reach as well as its programming. A staunch patient advocate, Ms. LaFleur has provided testimony at the state and federal levels on how policy decisions affect patient care. She also testified before the FDA in an effort to bring to market the first medication to treat a rare kidney disorder, with that medication ultimately receiving FDA approval. As a patient advocate, Ms. LaFleur works hard to tell the patient story and to put a face to kidney disease and organ donation. Kidney disease is complex and it does not affect any two individuals the same. She hopes that through the Foundation we can create awareness, provide support to those that need it the most, and make an impact in the

Rochester region. This is something is of particular importance as we deal with a pandemic that has absolutely changed our lives. “The Foundation was created to serve patients. That’s what we do. Whether it’s providing a

become an extended family to those living with kidney disease, and I can think of no better way to serve. In these uncertain times. It’s good to know that we are all in this together and that together we can make a difference.” Ms. LaFleur encourages everyone to become involved with the Foundation. We are always looking for volunteers, supporters, members of the kidney community and others to join us! Call 800-999-9697 for information or email info@healthykidneys. org. You can also contact Julia Yaw in the Rochester area at Julia@healthykidneys. org.

grant to help with a medical, nutrition or housing need, or whether that’s sitting and holding someone hand’s while they try and understand their diagnosis. It is often said that we

Ms. LaFleur resides in Albany with her dog, three cats and her partner, Peter. She has one son and has recently become a grandmother! She will welcome a second grandbaby this fall! She enjoys kayaking and hiking and spending time with her son and his family. A bit of an adventurer, she boasts sky diving, hang gliding, and this fall will attempt white water rafting!

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JULIA YAW Julia Yaw is the Regional Director for the Northeast Kidney Foundation of Rochester and surrounding regions. She is an avid advocate for sibling rights in the foster care and adoption community, organ donation, and is also a transplant patient advocate.

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She enjoys public and motivational speaking, and focuses on several humanitarian efforts. Julia joined the Northeast Kidney Foundation family in 2016, just months before receiving her very own kidney transplant. She has brought tremendous growth to the foundation and its outreach efforts.

Julia looks forward to servicing local and regional sectors and continuing advocacy, education, and services for patients suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease.


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BEYOND THE SCARS BY JULIA YAW

Last year on NY Organ Enrollment Day, we hosted an event called BEYOND THE SCARS, an art gallery and exhibit highlighting life before and beyond transplant. We didn’t focus entirely on Scars; we focused on life before and after them. We focused on patients still awaiting their life-saving scar or organ transplant; and we focused on patients and living donors who were living life to the fullest after receiving their gift. These scars are gifts. They are beautiful 66

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testimonies of redemption, love and healing power. . . If a picture can tell a thousand words, these scars will carry you to stories that are so profound and miraculous, that you couldn’t help being impacted by seeing them! We dreamed about making a statement with this event- capturing photos that were POWERFUL- each beautifully unique to every individual being photographed- and we think the photographers far exceeded every expectation we had. Thank you to Jason Breese and

Michael Crisafulli for capturing the majority of these images and for contributing photographer Kelly Lemon Photography. Thank you to each and every patient for their contribution and allowing us to feature these beautiful pieces. If you would like to see these images or rent them for a traveling display, or if you are a patient interested in being photographed, contact us today! julia@healthykidneys.org www. healthykidneys.org


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JILL MICHEL Since beginning my career in Finance and Accounting in 2000, I have held progressively senior roles and accumulated 20 years of financial, operational and managerial experience in both large multinational settings as well as within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi before returning to Rochester in late 2018. Thankfully the majority of this time has been spent working in the healthcare sector, which I have found to be significantly more rewarding than my earlier work in pure finance. Upon completing my MBA from the Simon School of Business at the U of R, I joined Fresenius Medical Care, an extremely large MNC who primary business is focused on the full vertical integration of dialysis products, pharmaceuticals and services, and is headquartered in Germany. Here I held various positions beginning in Business Planning and progressively growing to the International Business Development Department. In these roles I was instrumental in using financial information to develop long-term plans for expanding the business through M&A activities as well as large investments in 82

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production facilities, world-wide marketing campaigns and other strategic initiatives. This is where I had my first true exposure to creatively pairing business knowledge and principles with clinical needs to further patient well-being. One such project was focused on understanding why peritoneal dialysis was so successful in rural areas of Romania and Turkey

and then expanding this therapy for other patients in countries with vast rural areas. Also during this time I learned of the importance of having a specialized type of dialysis for fragile hospitalized patients which is broadly known as CRRT, and a different therapy than normal hemodialysis which is an outpatient therapy. Here my work was focused on the needs in the majority of European

countries and how to deliver with a reasonably priced device with a smaller footprint. After a brief period of consulting from the US for IBD while my daughter was born, in 2010 I undertook the role of establishing the business for one of the MSA’s I had worked to establish in conjunction with the government of Abu Dhabi (SEHA Dialysis Services) in the UAE, first as CFO, then as COO. In this capacity I have been responsible for all financial and operational aspects of this Business Entity of SEHA, utilizing my financial experience while honing my skills as an executive manager with a significant number of staff from multiple disciplines reporting to me. Here we were able to make significant improvements in the full scope and progression of kidney disease, from pre-ESRD care and early identification to designing and building the infrastructure for such a vast population of patients in the Middle East. I first started celebrating World Kidney Day in Abu Dhabi, bringing patients and caregivers together with the community to broadly educate in the prevention of kidney disease.


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{ FOR { SHIFT+CONTROL A GOOD CAUSE } } “I first started celebrating World Kidney Day in Abu Dhabi, bringing patients and caregivers together with the community to broadly educate in the prevention of kidney disease.�

Every year there is a slightly different theme and focus area for World Kidney Day, these are relevant to the current state of kidney health and contributing factors such as diabetes and heart disease. So much international work and exposure to other health systems throughout the world has been a wonderful learning experience; however I was keen at that stage of my life and career to return to my hometown of Rochester, giving my daughter the same experiences that I had as a child in this community, while continuing

to develop myself professionally as well as benefiting a reputable organization. In my current role at Unity Dialysis, I have been fortunate to establish a wonderful relationship with the Northeast Kidney Foundation. About a year ago when I was planning a World Kidney Day event for Unity Hospital, I reached out to the NEKF for support in executing our celebration, complete with education and a free screening for indicators of kidney disease. This initial contact has led to a continued partnership between Unity Dialysis and the NEKF, supporting

each other with social work events, education for both patients and staff, and of course the goal which is close to all of our hearts, advocating for the best care and support for our patients while navigating the challenges of providing excellent healthcare in the US given the financial and regulatory constraints. I personally look forward to continuing to overcome these challenges and specifically rise to the occasion of improving transplant rates and preESRD care for patients in Rochester and the surrounding area. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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LAURA TORIBIO OVERSTREET PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

Laura Toribio Overstreet, is a Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), board certified by American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, currently working for the Division of Solid Organ Transplantation at the University of Rochester Medical Center, providing multi-organ transplant (kidney- liver and pancreas) services to the Western New York region, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and the Southern Tier.

As a volunteer member of the Northeast kidney Foundation (NeKF) committee for Hispanic/Latino support group, Laura’s commitment to her patients and to her community is to educate the public about kidney disease, it’s causes, how to prevent it, how to improve the lives of those living with kidney disease and ultimately to provide information on the importance to become an organ donor.

prepares all student assignments, facilitates post-conferences on clinical training, and ensure compliance to all academic course program and evaluates their performance. Laura also shares her knowledge and skills with nurse practitioner students from St. John Fisher College and University of Rochester. She provides academic preparation and shares necessary skills for role development of a nurse practitioner.

Her role is to care for patients who are receiving or donating organs via a transplant surgical procedure from the preparation phase, provides post-operative care and work with a multidisciplinary team to prepare patients for discharge. She also sees patients for concerns such as rejection, infection and follows up on post-surgical procedure and testing. The majority of this job is to educate patients and families about medications, test results, and treatments.

“Education is the cornerstone of success!

As busy as she is, she enjoys taking pictures and long walks with her Fiancée Frank Halpa and dogs Leo and Alice.

As a Transplant Nurse Pr a c t i t i o n e r, L a u r a understands the key components of donor selection and organ allocation in the state of New York. There are over 123,000 Americans currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant, more than 101,000 need a kidney, but only 17,000 people receive one each year. Every day, 12 people die waiting for a kidney. Thus, the biggest challenge on organ donation is the lack of organs. Poor education due to limited access on information on becoming an organ donor (living or after death), has been known to be the number one factor as to why people are discouraged to become an organ donor.

Laura has participated in the Rochester Catwalk for Kidneys, besides helping raise funds, the Catwalk has given her the opportunity to “celebrate life” with her family, friends and organ recipients. When someone receives an organ that saves their lives, it is literally getting a second chance to live.

One of my personal goals in nursing has been to help mentor new and emerging nurses to give them the knowledge they need to be successful.” Laura stated and this why she also dedicates her time to share her knowledge and skills with undergraduate and graduate students. She is an adjunct faculty nursing clinical instructor for St. John Fisher College. Laura’s job responsibilities are to educate nursing students in a medical surgical floor. She

“It is always good to see how someone that is really sick return to good health and we all have the power to do so, so yes, become a super hero, pass on life.” “I am excited to be part of the Northeast Kidney Foundation and make a difference here locally. There are so many thing that we can do to improve the lives of those living with kidney disease and those waiting for a life-saving transplant. My colleagues and I are anxious to bring resources to the kidney community and encourage everyone affected, and friends, family members and colleagues to join our efforts!” CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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EDELMIRA T. ROSENFELD, BSN, RN PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

Ambulatory Care Manager Edelmira Rosenfeld normally goes by Edy, and is a bilingual nurse, currently working as an Ambulatory Care Manager for Rochester Regional. Her role is to work closely with other disciplines identifying and managing high risk patient with complex medical diagnosis. In her role, she looks closely for ER and IP visit frequency, discharge disposition rates, readmission rates, and physician appointment attendance for patients. She has the outstanding ability to understand patients’ intrinsic needs in health literacy, socioeconomic and multi-cultural background allowing her to s e r ve p a t i e n t s efficiently. She has close to 20 years of experience as a nurse, having worked in an Emergency room, Trauma, Cardiac, Home Care and as a supervisor nurse. Her passion for transcultural nursing came while working for Home Care Of Rochester as a Case Manager for the Hispanic team and received a 90

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certification for transcultural nursing. Edy poses the ability to recognize and appreciate cultural differences in healthcare values, beliefs, and customs. By doing so it ensure patient satisfaction and positive outcomes during their care. Edy attended Jamestown community

college where she received an Associates of Science in Nursing, then attended Roberts Wesleyan College and received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Edy also attended the Universidad de Panama and has a degree in accounting. She has experience in marketing, networking and public speaking. Besides her medical work,

Edy also worked as an Editor for La Voz, a monthly bilingual publication in Rochester addressing cultural, social, political and health issues in the community. Edy is heavily involved with multicultural events and is the President of Latinos de Corazon (LDC) a not-forprofit organization in Rochester NY with the mission to create awareness and to unify the community through cultural expressions, art and dance. Edy has performed at the Eastman Theater, the Ibero American Action League (IAAL) Gala, St John Fisher University, Nazareth College, Rochester Institute o f Te c h n o l o g y, the University of R o c h e s t e r, t h e City of Rochester Latino Night, the Rochester Puerto Rican Festival and St Michael’s Latino day. She currently a member of the Memorial Art Gallery Hispanic committee where she is the organizer of the Multicultural Fashion show for the Hispanic/Latino Family day. Edy is truly honor to be part of North East Kidney foundation committee for Hispanic/Latino support group


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SHIFT+CONTROL } } { {FOR A GOOD CAUSE ““Providing a forum for open communication and support is vital for any patient living with a chronic illness. We are excited to bring this resource for the Latino population through the Northeast Kidney Foundation.”

for kidneys. She always looks forward to educate patients and families with Chronic Kidney disease CKD, finding resources and educational materials to improve quality of life. For her it is a duty to educate the community about organ donation. She is excited to be part of the team that will be introducing a support group for the Hispanic population, something that is very needed. “Providing a forum for open communication and support is vital for any patient living with a chronic illness. We are excited to bring this resource for the Latino population through the Northeast

Kidney Foundation. While COVID has challenged us in terms of when we can introduce the support group, we are working hard to have this resource available and look forward to sharing the information when appropriate.” She had walked the Rochester Catwalk for kidney the last two years and plans to do it this fall to continue to “celebrate life” with patients, family and friends of organ donors, recipients’ and living with kidney disease.

Edy is married to Adam Rosenfeld a full time Staff Sergeant in the Army Reserve currently serving as the Battalion Motor Sergeant for the 865th Combat Support Hospital in Niagara Falls. Edy and Adam have 6 children between them ranging in age from 17 to 26 and one 2 year old grandchild. Edy has passed on to her family her love of culture and dance, and family members often join her during performances. On her time off you will usually find her cooking for her family and friends.

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ADAM ROSENFELD PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

Staff Sergeant Adam Rosenfeld is a 17 year veteran of both the Navy and Army, currently serving full time in the Army Reserve with the 865th Combat Support Hospital. He has also spent the last 8 years as the Secretary of Latinos de Corazon, a local folkloric dance group and has managed the production of several 94

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galas, military balls, and even planned his own wedding. Adam is married with 3 children, 3 step children, and one grandchild. In his spare time, he enjoys video games, dancing Tango, watching movies, and working on his houses landscaping. Adam is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in

Organizational Leadership from Columbia Southern University and is looking forward to pursing a career in military logistics management once retired from the Active duty. Adam currently sits on the board of the Northeast Kidney Foundation and serves as the Events Production Manager.


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RICHARD PEREZ PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

CO M M I T T E D TO F E L LOW PATIENTS AND CREATING TOMORROW’S HEROES From being taken in by a loving Rochester family when abandoned in his youth, and a serendipitous career in retail and then financial security, to starting a family with his late wife, Maria, which yielded a son and recently twin grandsons, 63-yearold Webster resident Richard Perez feels blessed by his life in Rochester. A Life-Saving Opportunity A life-saving liver transplant on July 21, 2003, at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital (SMH) would turn out to be among Richard’s greatest blessings. Given a rare second chance at life, he has since embarked on a new mission and purpose—to help educate our community about organ donation and transplant, as well as providing comfort, support and comradery to fellow transplant patients. Even before he received his own transplant, Richard seemed to know, intuitively, that there was a need in Rochester’s Donate Life community—a calling—that he could help fill. “I was sitting across the table from my surgeon, Dr. Mark Orloff, listening to the prognosis, how contingent on and rare that there would be a viable liver available, given that participation in the organ donor registry is so low,” he remembers. “I asked him right then if there was anything I could do to help change that.” So, after his transplant, Richard began volunteering with the Rochester Eye and Tissue Bank, now the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester, educating the public about organ donation and encouraging people to sign up for the Organ Donor Registry at various community events. 96

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“Richard has this ability to make you think about organ donation differently,” says Karen Guarino, communications director at the Lions Eye Bank. “His vibrant enthusiasm for life, his humble and sincere gratitude for his donor, and his donor’s family, touches people in a profound and positive way.” Care and Compassion Grow From Shared Experience By June 2004, while he was busily helping raise awareness and get folks registered as organ donors, he also expanded an official volunteer program with SMH’s Friends of Strong to help comfort and provide comradery to inpatient patients and families who were now experiencing the same transplant journey that he and his family had also travelled. Since then, he’s volunteered more than 5,000 hours at SMH to make their lives just a little more bright. “Richard is always smiling and never down,” says Sandy Arbasak, director of Friends of Strong. “He generates enthusiasm and goodwill with patients, family and staff with every visit.” This program, with Richard leading the charge, now includes at least eight volunteers at any given time—all of whom are fellow organ transplant recipients and uniquely able to provide comfort, hope inspiration to those who face the same daunting obstacles much like they themselves have overcome. Throughout the years, Richard has helped a significant number of the more than 700 liver transplant recipients, 2,000 people who have undergone a transplant evaluation, and innumerable family members who have turned to him for reassurance. They come from all over Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. “These patients must

often wait years for a lifesaving donor organ to become available,” says Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, M.D., director of Solid Organ Transplant at Strong Memorial Hospital. “He knows and understands the patient perspective and he provides a level of reassurance that is different from that of our clinical team members.” A Home Away from Home One of the more remarkable ways Richard has given back to our community was when he secured an apartment—half donated and personally paying the remaining balance—which he then worked with social workers to provide for families to stay near their loved ones while awaiting and recovering from transplant surgery. From 2004 to 2010, more than 105 families from throughout the Rochester region were able to avoid hotel costs or what might have otherwise been a stressful daily commute from outlying areas. Although he no longer provides this donated home-away-fromhome, he now serves as somewhat of an ambassador, connecting families-in-need with Harbor House, which provides that same service in the SMH neighborhood for today’s transplant patient families. Striving for Continued Awareness and Commitment Richard continues volunteering throughout the Rochester area to help bring greater awareness and support for organ donation. He works tirelessly to recruit those he meets to register for the New York State Donate Life Registry, and over the past six years, he has become one of Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network’s most stalwart volunteers. According to the organization, which coordinates organ donations at 36 hospitals throughout the Finger Lakes, Central and Northern New York regions,


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SHIFT+CONTROL } } { {FOR A GOOD CAUSE “He’s pro-active and very innovative with his ideas to improve the patient experience here at Strong, both before and after their organ transplant, and he’s all-encompassing in his compassion for patients, families and their support team.”

the percentage of registered organ donors in our local region has grown from 27 percent to almost 40 percent in the time since Richard joined in their efforts. “This accomplishment can be attributed, in large part, to the hard work of our volunteers—particularly Richard Perez,” says Rob Kochik, executive director of Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. His own volunteers witness his dedication on a daily basis. “Richard puts his heart and soul into caring for patients and their families,” says volunteer and organ

recipient Larry Rosner. “He’s pro-active and very innovative with his ideas to improve the patient experience here at Strong, both before and after their organ transplant, and he’s all-encompassing in his compassion for patients, families and their support team.” Most people may not think about or consider the possibility that they or someone they love may one day find themselves in need of a life-saving organ

donation, let alone the personal energy that goes into treatment and healing on the part of the patient and family. For patients and families who find themselves in such a circumstance today, the outlook is a little brighter because of Richard’s kind heart, steady volunteer ethic, and his group of volunteers who are now in place to give guidance, wisdom, or a kind and listening ear from a perspective that few are in a position to provide.

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DR. MATTHEW GROSS PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

When asked to write a few words - I pondered what is our main mission in serving those afflicted by chronic kidney disease (CKD). I concluded that our efforts should always be directed at making life better. I am a nephrologist at Strong Memorial hospital. I am passionate about serving others and I am a strong patient advocate. I am honored to be asked to serve on the Northeast Kidney Foundation board. One of my main efforts will be educating other colleagues about kidney disease and opportunities to advance the care of the ever growing population of patients with CKD. Also -there is a growing need to reach out to the community, to other care providers and to families about opportunities such as kidney transplant and living kidney donation. Cultural barriers and lack of knowledge and understanding regarding transplant and transplant donation are low hanging targets which could greatly impact outcomes of those with advancing CKD. It is hoped that with an increasing presence we can carry out our mission and really improve quality of life. The mission of the Northeast Kidney Foundation appealed to me because of its emphasis on patients and serving at the local level. While these times are uncertain for sure, there is a great amount of work we can do when we come together and I look forward to making a difference as much as I can! 100

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KRISTOPHER FERRARA PHOTOS BY CHARLENE MANN FORD

Kristopher Ferrara is a husband, father, and supporter of helping others. Kris is 37 years old and has spent most of his life trying to help others. Since 18 years old, he has been a volunteer fire fighter and EMT. Kris has been a paramedic for 8 years and works per diem for Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network as an organ procurement coordinator. Kris pours himself whole heartedly into everything that he does. Once he has committed to doing something, he doesn’t let anything stand in the way of him completing that task. Kris is funny, outgoing, and energetic. He is at his best when he is around people and making them comfortable. Whether it is bringing levity to a stressful or hard situation or comforting someone in their time of need in a difficult situation. Kris has a beautiful wife, Daryl, of 13 years, a 9 year old daughter, Gabriella, and a 5 year old son Dominic. Kris and Daryl met while they both worked in the food court of a local shopping mall 19 years ago. In the course of getting to know each other, they realized that they had actually gone to grade school together and that they shared many 102

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mutual friends. After a long courtship, Kris finally won Daryl over and they had a beautiful wedding and started a wonderful little family. Kris and Daryl welcomed their first child Gabriella in July of 2010. It was immediately clear that Gabriella was a small carbon copy of Kris. She has always been energetic, outgoing, and always moving. She is involved in karate and never lets someone

feel left out or picked on. She is always the first one to lend someone a helping hand as well. Four and a half short years later Kris and Daryl rounded out their perfect little family with Dominic. It is just as clear as it was that Gabriella was Kris’ clone as it was obvious that Dominic would be a carbon copy of Daryl. He is the most caring, quite, and tender child. He is shy and enjoys the quiet. He wants nothing more than to

be with his family and be close to them. From a young age Kris has been helping others in his community as a volunteer fire fighter and EMT. It initially started as a way to chase that adrenaline rush by fighting fires or providing rescue service and quickly morphed into a part of Kris’ personality. “I remember while I was still in EMT class when I was 18 and I came upon a motor vehicle accident and the fire department hadn’t arrived yet. I was able to comfort one of the passengers until the fire department arrived and from that time on I knew that I wanted to be that person that came to help people in their time of need.” Kris spends countless hours training and responding to calls with the fire department and while continuing to work part time on the ambulance. Additionally, the fire department raises funds to improve community education and fire prevention services. He worked for multiple ambulance services providing critical care patient services and treatment. While working as a paramedic, he discovered the world of transplant through a mutual co-worker


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“I remember while I was still in EMT class when I was 18 and I came upon a motor vehicle accident and the fire department hadn’t arrived yet. I was able to comfort one of the passengers until the fire department arrived and from that time on I knew that I wanted to be that person that came to help people in their time of need.�


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“Since 18 years old, he has been a volunteer fire fighter and EMT. Kris has been a paramedic for 8 years and works per diem for Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network as an organ procurement coordinator. ”

who was a coordinator for the local organ procurement organization. When the opportunity presented itself for Kris to move into the work of transplant, he jumped in with both feet. He currently works full time as an organ procurement coordinator based mostly in Syracuse, while still working in emergency services in his off time. Kris first became involved with the Northeast Kidney Foundation during the 1st annual Catwalk for Kidneys. He was blown away by the dedication that was being put into making this event great and how much passion Julia and Doug Yaw, and Olivia and Jeremy Morgante put into making sure the 106

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show went off without a hitch. Julia and Olivia did a great job of relating what donation meant to them and it struck home with Kris and he immediately approached Julia about getting involved with the foundation. It took another year and another Catwalk for Kidneys event for Kris to really get involved. He was able to help with set up and small things for the show and made some great new friends in the process. Kris and his family got to know Doug and Julia more over the next year and when Julia asked Kris to get more involved with the foundation, he jumped at the opportunity.

When Julia asked Kris to be part of the community advisory committee he couldn’t be happier. Kris is looking forward to use his ability to talk to people and contribute his networking skills. Kris also hopes to bring his love for helping others and community involvement to the Northeast Kidney Foundation amongst educating the communities that we serve about the services that the Northeast Kidney foundation can provide. Kris hopes to be able to use his contacts inside the healthcare and transplant community to make a difference. You can find him on the Catwalk this fall!


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JASON BREESE

Jason Breese of Breese Photo is a wedding and portrait photographer out of Rochester NY, striving to be the world’s okay-est dad, husband, and entrepreneur. As the son of a father in the Air Force, he has moved throughout the country (and world) every 3-4 years, and was able to claim Rochester, NY as his permanent home in 2007. I discovered my passion for photography when my wife and I had our first kid, Joseph, in 2015. I was so madly in love with him that I spent countless hours with Creative Live and YouTube classes so that I could take stunning images of him as he grew in to a young man. 108

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Through that process, I fell in love with creating images of people that tell you who they are, rather than just what they look like. A few years ago I had the opportunity to come on board with the North East Kidney Foundation through a friend, and donor. To be honest, I am shocked by how little I knew about anything related to organ donation. Growing up we never had conversations about those options. I have lost so many friends and family members over the years and it pains me to think about the lives that could have been saved if some of them had donors, or if some of them had been donors.

Awareness is why I am devoting anything I can to this cause. The generosity that is in the heart of a living donor has to be the most admirable thing I have ever witnessed. We have the opportunity to restore hope and give life through living and non-living organ donation and I am truly honored to have a gift that can help create awareness, and shine a light on the everyday ordinary people who have given so much of themselves to save the life of another human! We have an amazing opportunity and responsibility!


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OLIVIA MORGANTE PHOTOS BY JASON BREESE

My story starts about four years ago when I heard that my friend’s body was in crisis. She is a wife and mother, and just 29 years old. A diabetic since childhood and now in need of an emergency triple bypass surgery. We stood by their family’s side throughout her heart surgery and she miraculously pulled through but was still very much aware that the fight for her health wasn’t over yet. Not only was her heart in trouble, but she was also in need of kidney and pancreas transplants. The next step for her body to be restored to health was receiving a kidney. In August of 2016 she was able to meet all the requirements to be placed on the kidney transplant list. It was then that I felt God ask me to step up and be her donor. “Umm, me? God? Are you sure? Remember, I’m the one who is terrified of needles, hates the smells and sounds of hospitals, and has never even given blood because, oh yeah… I’m terrified of needles!?” But, God asked. And with that ask, He gave me an extra dose of bravery. I brought it up with my husband and assured him that I wasn’t going to offer my kidney unless he was completely on board. He responded: “I was wondering when we’d be having this conversation, because I had a feeling you were going to do this.” I realized I didn’t even know my blood type or if I was a suitable donor for her. So, I made a call to my doctor and found out that my blood type is A+. (Which meant nothing at the time because I had no idea what type she was.) 110

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So with the full support of my husband and a promise from God that He wouldn’t ask me to do something He hadn’t equipped me to do, I made the call to my friend.

Our surgery was set for November 29th, getting my friend her life saving transplant before needing to go on dialysis.

She answered and I went speechless. (I mean, how exactly does one go about offering ones’ kidney?) But I managed to awkwardly offer up my organ. Then it was she who was speechless.

I answered and heard the voice of my transplant coordinator. They were in the middle of a board meeting to review my case and give me the final stamp of approval. She said that something in my blood work from last week looked off and that they needed me to come to the hospital right away for more blood work. Off I went, confused and anxious about what the hematologist might find. He informed me that he had uncovered some type of platelet disorder and that he could not in good conscience allow me to go through surgery.

It was silent. She said she had never expected to get this call. I nervously asked, “So, what blood type are you?” To which she replied, “I’m A+.” Immediately, I started crying (happy tears). This was just the first of many miracles to come!

But then I got a call.

I was devastated.

I made the call to the URMC Kidney Transplant Program and let them know I was interested in being a donor and the process began.

The doctors asked me to go off of a supplement I was taking and to come back in two months to have my blood work checked again.

Blood work, urinalysis, tissue typing tests, and a two day thorough evaluation at the hospital were all required before continuing in my quest to donate my kidney to my friend. We would anxiously wait for each test result to come back. One by one, all of the results revealed that before the beginning of time, my body was created for this. My kidney function was measuring at double the average person’s. (I believe the term “super kidneys” was used.) And as far as compatibility with my friend, she and I share four matching antigens. In other words, our bodies are more like siblings than those of no blood relation. Miracle after miracle came in and the whole team sat there in awe at how beautifully orchestrated this whole situation was.

Meanwhile, my friend ended up needing to go through dialysis and having to keep up with the rigorous schedule required. Three times a week she found herself at the treatment center for sessions lasting 4 hours or longer. Late December I received the call from my kidney transplant coordinator saying that we had been approved by each of the doctors and surgeons involved and we were given a new surgery date of February 8th! The first surgery, the transplant, went perfectly. I was progressing and healing at an average rate and was discharged after a six day stay. But after a few days of being home, battling fatigue and


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SHIFT+CONTROL } } { {FOR A GOOD CAUSE “Umm, me? God? Are you sure? Remember, I’m the one who is terrified of needles, hates the smells and sounds of hospitals, and has never even given blood because, oh yeah… I’m terrified of needles!?”

nauseousness, I called that Friday to let my team know how I had been feeling. At their request, I returned to the hospital and was immediately admitted into the transplant unit. My surgeon stopped by to see me and ordered for blood work, X-ray, and a CT scan to try and narrow down what could be going wrong. Saturday he returned to say that the CT scan revealed “free air” in my abdomen. The primary concern was that I might have a perforation in my intestines. Prior to surgery, my team had listed off every possible side effect and this was among them. However, I had pretty much always been convinced my surgery would certainly be free of

any complications and hadn’t thought through that this could be a very real possibility. Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure if there was a perforation, was to reopen my incision and remove my intestines for inspection. I was desperate to stay away from the operating table and together with my team decided to wait 24 hours. Perhaps the symptoms would change. Perhaps there was a different answer. However, the only change in symptoms was a spike in my fever to 103. After another CT scan, my surgeon sat at the end of my bed that Sunday morning. He compassionately and firmly admitted

that he was uncomfortable waiting any longer and that surgery was needed… NOW. He needed to get me into surgery immediately and examine the possibilities. Within fifteen minutes I was headed down to the operating room to get prepped to be opened up, yet again. They used the incision that had just been made twelve days ago and removed and inspected my entire intestine track twice. Miraculously, there were no perforations to be found and they were able to safely close me back up again. We returned back to our hospital room for another six day stay. After being discharged and home for a week, I CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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“For three years now I have been left with a physical reminder of the gift that God made me brave enough to give. To some it might look like a five-inch-long scar. But to me, it will forever read: “Great is Your faithfulness.””

returned to the hospital for my one week check up. I met with my surgeon and he said that my incisions look great and that I’m healing up perfectly. He told me that in his twenty years of being a surgeon, I was his first patient he has ever had to reopen for fear of complication. (Aren’t I the lucky one?) I think about all of the pain I’ve had to endure. All of the mental anguish I had to face knowing that I wasn’t just going to need to heal from one surgery, but from two. I think about the complications and hardships we faced throughout this entire six month process leading up to surgery. And I ask myself, knowing all that I know now, would I do it again? Was all of this worth it? And then we ran into my friend who had just finished up a follow-up appointment with her doctor. They had just finished telling her that she is a “rare case to be doing this well”. Her new kidney is functioning at a normal level (which is apparently extremely hard to achieve this soon after transplant). She has lost a total of 19 lbs. She has so much increased energy that she can handle 114

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being up and on her feet for hours at a time with no problem. She is no longer chronically cold- her entire body temperature has changed because there’s increased circulation. Her chronic high blood pressure is now normal without medication. She has been able to eliminate eleven blood pressure medications that she has been needing to take for the past year. And she no longer has to live with

daily pain and fatigue that kept her from being able to live life to its fullest with her husband and four precious little ones. At the end of my appointment my surgeon presented me with the Gift of Life Medal of Honor. It was such a humbling experience as he thanked me for my gift and reminded me just how valuable it was. He went on to explain that over 89,000 people with end stage renal disease (kidney failure) die each year. That

even though dialysis can be a lifesaving treatment, it’s only temporary. That my friend’s life expectancy would have gone down 20% each year she had to remain on dialysis. That most patients only live 5 to 10 years once starting treatment. Hearing him so passionately express these startling statistics reminded me that this was absolutely worth it all. Every single moment of it. That there’s no question in my mind that I’d do it all over again even knowing what I know now. This was literally a life giving experience that I will be forever grateful and humbled by the fact that God asked me to be a part of it. For three years now I have been left with a physical reminder of the gift that God made me brave enough to give. To some it might look like a five-inch-long scar. But to me, it will forever read: “Great is Your faithfulness.”


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BECKY ROFFE MIRACLE OF LIFE My life is full of many miracles...I give God all the Glory. My name is Becky Roffe, I am the second oldest of three sisters. We are all 11 months apart in age therefore we grew up very close, and even having the same friends throughout our lives. With music as my mother’s part time career, she taught us piano but mostly sang four part harmony with my sisters throughout our primary and high school years. We sang at numerous places, Retirement parties, Eastern Star, Weddings, and graduations (including our own) to mention a few. Music and prayer were my coping strategies, through a stormy, troubled and unpredictable childhood. By the age of 26, I had suffered the unimaginable loss of two children; my son Mitchell Ryan and daughter Autumn Lynne, and 2 miscarriages. During this journey I have had many, very close relatives and friends pass away including a nephew and niece which was devestating. At times, my faith was the size of a mustard seed, but I held on to my faith with everything I had... I believed in God’s Promises.

God took my pain and intense grief, and transformed my heart to a deeper level of caring, loving and helping others.... especially children. For 20 years, I worked and nurtured

children in Special Ed, taught Sunday School, four years as a Girl Scout leader, volunteered at Teresa House (a house for end of life care) spent several summers at Genesee Valley Rotary Camp “Here Is

Love” for special needs children. Ive been Blessed to have traveled to Africa, three different times, to a Kenyan orphanage to help build dormotories and pour our love on these precious orphans who were saved from horrific conditions and situations. Currently, I am a “Wish Granter” for Make A Wish Foundation, a foundation that grants wishes for children who live with life threatening diseases. God has Blessed me with an amazing husband for over 30 years. We have two beautiful daughters who have given us so much joy. I am the proud grandmother of six wonderful grandkids, who inspire me daily. Our youngest grandson, Collin James, is a true Miracle, born at only 1.2 pounds, a micro preemie, whose skin and vital organs were not fully developed. We held prayer vigils over his isolette at Golisano Childrens Hospital, where he was revived countless times, we held on to our faith. After 5 months, Collin James came home. Our miracle grandson is a happy, active four year old. Trusting in God has been my strength...I dont always understand, but I trust in His plan for me, so when my daughter CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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“By the age of 26, I had suffered the unimaginable loss of two children; my son Mitchell Ryan and daughter Autumn Lynne, and 2 miscarriages.”

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Autumn Lynne died tragically and unexpectedly, on the day of her first birthday party, I made the heart wrenching decision to donate her organs.

Program sat under my jewelry box all these years until my friend Julia learned of her story (and also my pastor’s story, of donating his kidney to his mother, which saved her life)

My sister Debbie was there for me, supported my decision and assisted me through the paperwork for organ donation. Autumn Lynne gave life to a boy in Utica who would have died without her liver. Her kidneys went to a woman in Pittsburgh who no longer needed diaylsis. The letter from the organ & tisse Procurement

For the past 2 years, I have volunteered for the Northeast Kidney Foundation, as a committee member, helping with fundraising and patient services.

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Autumn Lynne lives on through the lives of others with her story. She was a special gift to me, her life was very short, and in that short time,

she made an impact on others with organ donation. Autumn Lynne has been a Miracle. God doesnt always answer our “why” questions, but He gives us Himself the Comforter. I continue to trust in God, who has the perfect plan. God promises us, those who Believe in Him, will have eternal Life, where I will be reunited with my children and family who have gone before me...Miracle of everlasting Life.


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LOREN METZGER I have been asked at least a dozen times over the past year why I would donate a kidney to someone I didn’t know. My initial response was that I couldn’t think of a reason why I wouldn’t. I felt a strong push to take action, and was hard-pressed to talk myself out of it. Someone in the world needed my help, and I was going to give it to them. When I was questioned by a psychiatrist as part of the process for evaluating potential donors, I explained to him that the world can be a very dark place for some people. I told him I understand this action will not change the entire world, but that maybe this action will change my little corner of it. And upon seeing that change, maybe other people would try to brighten their own corners. Maybe the light would spread. Even if this light did not drive others to take the same action, just seeing positivity in the world can make people’s burdens feel lighter. I saw the plea for help on Facebook. This person was my age. She struggling for most of her life, and all of the best parts of my life were unrealistic for her. She couldn’t travel, or swim, or even drink water without care. I messaged her and we spoke the rest of the day. I could tell she was proud, and tough, and kind. She works so hard, and she loves animals. Her name is Nicole. I wondered how many other people would see her post, and even fewer, how many would respond. Even fewer still, I wondered how many would get evaluated. I called the transplant team the next day. 120

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During the process of being evaluated, I spoke with many people about the idea of donating a kidney. Most were taken aback. I had never had any type of surgery before, not even something as small as a cavity. I hadn’t had any conversations with other donors or recipients at that point, and I was wide-eyed and curious. Nicole and I spoke at length about the prospect of this donation. I was very honest with her that I didn’t want to set any expectations or make any promises that might not come to fruition, and that I was very concerned about disappointing her. She did not pressure me whatsoever. She answered all of my questions very honestly, and we became good friends. As I completed each step of the evaluation process, from bloodwork to stress cardiograms to CT scans, I became excited. Each time I texted Nicole and told her it went well, we rejoiced together. I became hopeful. I was nervous, but I was hopeful. I also became aware of something I hadn’t considered—she was nervous, too. Just like me, this would be her first surgery. The few months between seeing her post and entering pre-surgery were a blur. I was finally there, and after so many tests and questions, it was happening. I saw Nicole before I went into surgery, but it wasn’t a huge emotional scene with crying and hugging. We were wearing our hospital gowns and socks, and we talked about funny videos and games on her phone. We were both very

groggy since neither of us are morning people. It was exactly what I needed that morning. We were two people and we were in it together. It has been a little over a year since our surgery, and we still remain close. Through the Northeast Kidney Foundation, Nicole and I participated in the Catwalk for Kidneys event last spring, and I took part in the Beyond the Scars gallery event, as well. I expected my donation to have an impact on Nicole, and other people in our lives, but I did not expect it to impact me and my life as deeply as it has. After working with the Northeast Kidney Foundation, I became aware just how big the organ donation community is. I became inspired by the number of people united under this umbrella, all working towards the same greater good that I had idealized when I decided to donate. I have a new appreciation for the human body, and what it can do, as well as for the love and support humans are capable of, even in the darkest times. My journey is far from over. I will begin volunteering at Strong Memorial Hospital as a donor volunteer. I will continue to spread the message of living donation. I will share my story and my experiences with all who will listen. I’ve said it before and I will say it again—if I had another kidney to give, I would do it all over again.


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JAN SHARP A SHARED JOURNEY As a child, I was sick a lot. More so than most children. In my late teens it was clear that something was not right. In the 1980’s we basked in the sun slathered in baby oil. You had to have great color and big hair before you stepped out. I would get rashes on my cheeks and felt exhausted. I still went out. Suffering for days after.

pain and my body started filling up with fluid. I could only wear ballet type shoes because my legs were so swollen and sore. It was becoming harder to see the definition of my spine because of the edema. Then came patchy hair

In 1994 I was involved in a bad car accident. A pickup truck went through a stop sign, hit me on the driver’s side, pushed me into another car, I hit a telephone pole and ended up in a cornfield. I recalled almost nothing. I was flown to Strong. No broken bones, just lacerations on my arm, leg and a torn earlobe. It took hours for the surgeon to dig out the little cubes of safety glass embedded in the side of my face, upper eye lid and forehead. It could have been much worse.

When I was 18 years old I dated a fellow named Jason Panzarella. His Mom and I became very close. She was my “Mamma Panzarella”. My Mom loved her dearly also. Jason’s sister Lisa had had a kidney transplant She too was often sick. In the mid 80’s my sickness grew more intense. I had strange reactions to medications. A lot of ED visits. It made no sense to me or the doctors. I became paranoid thinking no one believed me. I was always tired and in a lot of pain. On June 1st, 1988 I saw a Rheumatologist. A quick diagnosis was made. I had lupus. They started steroids right away. Over the next two years my lupus was literally killing me. My Kidneys were failing, stabbing pain in my lungs from pleurisy, mouth ulcers, terrible joint

In 1990 I started chemotherapy. ( IV Cytoxan). I likened it to killing a fly with an atom bomb. My hair was falling out and I was terribly sick. After 2 years of tapered chemo the atom bomb worked. My lupus settled down.

loss. I felt so ugly. Endless tests. Difficult for an average person to comprehend. Lisa was the only person I knew who had a kidney transplant. I thank God I had her to talk to.

I had a bad concussion which has wiped out many pieces of my past memories. Within a few months my lupus flared again. I had another 1 ½ years of tapered chemo. My blood counts were too low. It had become too toxic. They started Cyclosporin and sadly that also became too toxic. It was just a matter of time before I would need a kidney transplant. It got to the point that my kidneys were not capable CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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“My beautiful Donor has given me 14 years of life that I would never have had were it not for her. I talk to her each day. Even though she doesn’t answer, I know she is very much alive inside of me.”

producing enough erythropoietin to stimulate red blood cell production. After I would have a period I would need a blood transfusion. They started Procrit injections. After a couple shots I got hives. They said that was not possible. I went and showed them. No more Procrit. I had to have an endometrial ablation in order to stop having periods. I knew that meant I would not be able to ever have a baby. That absolutely broke my heart. A similar drug to procrit called aranesp was not yet on the market. Thankfully the pharmaceutical company gave me free samples to try. It worked. In 2003 I had to have a fistula made for dialysis. It was too small. The second one saved my life. I clotted on the operating table and they found that I had antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. That meant blood thinners for life. Lisa was so blessed to have been given the Gift of Life twice. Her first transplant was in 1977 and her second in 1996. She had 27 years she would never have had were it not for her donors. Such a blessing! Sadly, Lisa passed away on St. Patrick’s day in 2004. It was her Mother’s Birthday. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground. My Dad blew snow and he, Mom and I made our way over to the Panzarella’s. In 2005 I was too stubborn to start dialysis but I had to cave. On my first day of dialysis I cried my eyes out on the way home. I told God I couldn’t take this anymore. My Mom was in the hospital. She had suffered a heart attack, had Cdiff and pneumonia. I could not see her. Day 6 of dialysis I drove myself! On February 28th 2005 124

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I got “THE CALL”. The nurse told me they had a perfectly matched kidney for me. All I could think of was that God was givng me this gift because he was going to take my Mom. My best friend. She was still so sick. After speaking to her she insisted I accept. When I arrived at Strong and the bifold doors to the main lobby opened right in front of me stood my Mamma Panzarella and Jason! What were the odds of that happening? Mamma had a Doctor’s appointment and they were leaving. I don’t believe in coincidences. I do believe in signs from God. After that happened a calm came over me. There was a bad snowstorm that night. My donor was from States away so they had to wait until morning. That gave me time to talk with my Mom and pray for my Donor and my Donor’s family. I could not imagine what they were going through. Their Daughter had died suddenly. At perhaps the most horrific moment of their lives they decided to donate their beautiful 15 year old Daughter’s organs. The most unselfish thing anyone could do. I am forever grateful. On February 26th 2011 my Mom died peacefully in her sleep. On February 26th 2017 my Mamma Panzarella died with Jason by her side. In April of 2017 I had heart attack symptoms and was taken by ambulance to Strong. They discovered that I had 3- 90% blockages and 1-60% blockage in my heart. They caught it in time. I had a double bypass. It was silly to think

that the lupus had attacked the rest of my body and had left my heart alone. Jason visited me and sat with me even when I didn’t know he was there. These words barely scratch the surface of my journey. During life’s most difficult times you find out who really loves you. Joyce Meyer once said “ You can be pitiful or powerful but you cannot be both at the same time” My story may sound pitiful but God gave me the strength to be powerful. My beautiful Donor has given me 14 years of life that I would never have had were it not for her. I talk to her each day. Even though she doesn’t answer, I know she is very much alive inside of me. Jan Sharp


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BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD THANKS TO ALTRUISTIC KIDNEY DONOR, UR MEDICINE SURGICAL INNOVATION Kidney recipient Odesi Junor was born with polycystic kidney disease, passed down from her father who died as a result of the hereditary condition. Odesi went undiagnosed until she began to have health issues. The Brockport resident suffered quietly with the condition for several years, telling few friends and family members about her struggles. “I didn’t want it to define me,” she recalls. But in early 2019, her health worsened and she began preparing for peritoneal dialysis, a grueling daily treatment performed at night while a patient sleeps, which would allow Odesi to work during the day at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital as a certified registered nurse anesthetist, but would inevitably take a toll on her body. At that time she considered opening up about her situation, possibly seeking a living donor, but she was reluctant to ask anyone for such a gift. And that is when an altruistic living donor, who after months of testing was approved for donation by the UR Medicine Transplant team, offered a kidney that was a perfect match.

“I was shocked,” Odesi says of the generous individual who she still has not met, who wished to remain anonymous. “I was prepared to be on dialysis for at least five years. My donor was God-sent, risking their life for a total stranger.” The fact that robotic-assisted transplantation was being introduced at UR Medicine was another miracle, according to Odesi, who is a Jehovah’s Witness and cannot accept blood transfusions during surgery. The robotic technique eliminated the need for that.

Odesi became the first patient in the Northeast to receive a living donor organ robotically, an innovation for the UR Medicine Transplant team, which consistently seeks to improve surgical techniques to positively impact patient outcomes. Odesi now sees her future as bright and is excited to get back to her position in the operating room, and to experience life with a different perspective. “I now have a brighter and healthier tomorrow.”

TRANSPLANT TECHNIQUE EVOLVES A year ago, UR Medicine began using the robotic-assisted technique for living donors, to remove their kidneys for transplant. The significant benefits include minimally invasive surgery, more precision due to better optics and 3D technology, and a shorter recovery period. This prompted transplant surgeon Randeep S. Kashyap, M.D., M.P.H., to consider expanding the use of robotic technology to kidney recipients. Robotic surgery is the next evolution of minimally invasive transplantation. With robotic technology, the surgeon performs the operation using small incisions and equipment, but sits across the room at a computer console to direct the robot and surgical instruments virtually. As the optics are of an even higher quality, the precision is further improved. The incisions are even smaller, thus less pain, faster recovery and fewer incidence of wound complications. Under the leadership of Kashyap, UR Medicine has successfully performed more than 25 cases using robotic technology to remove donor kidneys for transplant, and has now performed multiple kidney recipient cases. Kashyap trained extensively for the robotic technique with support from his UR Medicine Urology colleagues, who provided 3D printed simulation models, as well as surgeons at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, one of only a handful of centers CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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“We are excited to have been the first in the Northeast to offer this innovative roboticassisted technique, with benefits that further improve care for our patients in Upstate New York, both living donors and now recipients.”

in the nation using robotics for recipient surgeries. “We are excited to have been the first in the Northeast to offer this innovative robotic-assisted technique, with benefits that further improve care for our patients in Upstate New York, both living donors and now recipients,” Kashyap says. “And it broadens the patient population we can help. For those individuals who are overweight or obese, who in the past were often unable to undergo transplantation due to potential complications, this technique is truly a game-changer. We can now offer more second chances by providing life-saving

transplants to wider range of patients.”

and the kidney transplant team.”

Making history The UR Medicine Transplant team is proud to lead with another innovative technique, says Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, M.D., chief of the Division of Solid Organ Transplant at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

UR Medicine Transplant provides care to patients across Upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania, offering kidney, liver, pancreas and heart transplants, as well as a pediatric liver and kidney transplant program through UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. A significant focus is on living donor kidney and liver transplants, including a paired kidney exchange program.

“Our talented, driven team continually works to expand the offerings of leadingedge treatments for patients in need of transplants, as seen with this new use of the da Vinci technology,” Hernandez-Alejandro says. “This program provides innovations available nowhere else in the Northeast, thanks to the dedication of Dr. Kashyap

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CATWALK FOR KIDNEYS BY JULIA YAW

CATWALK FOR KIDNEYS IS THE AREA’S BEST FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISING EVENT! We wil feature the area’s finest boutiques, cocktail hour and dinner buffet, stories of hope & inspiration and a special vendor marketplace where you can shop for beauty items, a chair massage, accessories, home goods and more! OUR MODELS WILL WORK THE RUNWAY TO RAISE FUNDS FOR PATIENT AND COMMUNITY 130

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PROGRAMS, RIGHT HERE IN THE ROCHESTER REGION!

New Yorkers are waiting for a life saving kidney transplant.

Catwalk for Kidneys has a story to tell! Our models feature philanthropic members of our community, patients and family members, donor families and clinical & academic professionals all joining together with a common cause - to make a difference right here at home with an annual show in Rochester, Syracuse and Albany!

No matter your participation, know that you will be helping the Northeast Kidney Foundation provide grants that help patients with medical, nutrition and housing needs right here in the region. Thank you for helping us to make a difference!

One out of every three people are at risk for kidney disease. Nearly 10,000

For information call (585) 993-3161 or email julia@healthykidneys.org


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ARISSA “QUEENRI” JOHNSON BY TAMMY REESE

Arissa Johnson was raised in the heart of The Bronx, NY. I learned entrepreneurship from my parents and at six years old I was designing, creating and selling earrings. I loved the excitement I felt by earning money from my hobby. My parents and I would vend at different flea markets and events throughout New York City. As a pre-teen I modeled in several fashion and hair shows. This helped fuel my passion, increase my confidence and made me feel beautiful inside and out. I dreamed of one day owning my own clothing line and being able to style people and give them that same feeling. I moved to Syracuse, NY in 2002, and graduated Nottingham High School in 2003. While attending College in 2006 I became pregnant with my first child and left school in my final semester due to complications. In 2011, I earned my Associates Degree in Humanities/ Liberal Arts from Onondaga Community College. I took many business courses at Southside Innovation Center and completed Entrepreneurship bootcamp at The Syracuse University Whitman School of Management. Although I no longer had the time to make jewelry, the passion and drive to start my small business was great. I wanted to give more to my daughter and be able to leave a legacy. QueenRi’s Accessories was started in 2013 with a Hundred dollars and a dream. I purchased earrings and began 148

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hosting jewelry parties and pop up shops around the city to get my name out here. I began to get excited when I noticed women were loving my products and telling their friends about me. Because of my love for fashion I decided to

expand and converted my business into QueenRi’s Boutique in 2016. I chose African fashion first because I am a Black, West Indian and Puerto

Rican. I have always been proud of my heritage and want to showcase that. I want to celebrate us and our culture and help others like me feel proud. I want my customers to turn heads when they walk into a room. As a stylist I handpick one of a kind pieces and deliver them to my customers creating a total experience and this is what makes my Boutique unique. Customers select pieces from the comfort of their home before making their purchase. It also allows for me to get to know them for the future; many of them are return shoppers and word of mouth referrals. I am grateful for the amazing people I have met so far on this journey. In addition, I have attended several vending events like The Syracuse Black Expo where I am a proud board member and vendor coordinator, and The Watertown Juneteenth to name a few. In 2019 I was the backstage assistant for New York Summer Fashion Explosion fashion show in New York City. I assisted with runway operations and model wardrobe changes including Celebrity actress Karina Seabrook of Mob Wives. I co-coordinated fashion shows for the NYS Winter Fair in Syracuse, NY in 2019 and 2020 and was able to showcase my Boutique. QueenRi’s Boutique is a one stop fashion shop that sells African Clothing, accessories, African Black soap, African raw shea butter, sage smudge sticks, all-natural toothpastes, soaps, incense, oils and more. Back in November I


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I started a GoFundMe Campaign to Help QueenRi’s Boutique Go Mobile. I want to be able to purchase a bus and take my fashion business on the road. I would be able to attend different events throughout the city, as well as travel to different states while meeting new people along the way. It is truly a desire of mine to help uplift my people through expression of beauty and fashion. I love the feeling when I see my customers 150

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strutting and feeling fabulous. I have built so many great friendships and partnerships while doing what I love and to me that’s the biggest reward. I am now a mother of two daughters, and I make sure to be a great example of how far love, compassion, empathy, drive, hard work, purpose and dedication can get you in life. I teach them to go hard for what they want in this world. Where I shine the brightest is in my desire

to educate, motivate and empower. I will always make sure to reach my hands back to help comfort, guide, nurture and support with love and light. To contact Arissa “QueenRi” Johnson Email: ari.johnson24@yahoo.com


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CARONA DIOP BY TAMMY REESE

WOMEN IN FILM

Carona: Horror.

Central NY Woman Online Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing with Filmmaker Carona Diop- CEO/ Executive Producer of Diop Productions LLC

CNYWO: Why this particular genre?

CNYWO: Would you consider that being raised in one of the world’s most exciting and innovating cities as having something to do with your choice of starting a production company?

Carona: It gets us… CNYWO: What do you mean by “It gets us?”

CNYWO: Tell us about “The Opening” project? Carona:The Opening is my heart. She is my very first book, script and film. She’s still in post-production and will be out for screening this year.

CNYWO: How long has Diop Productions been up and running?

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CNYWO: What points or direction are you trying to give to your viewers and readers through your books, films, etc? Carona: I want to motivate and inspire. I am to the core someone who wants to assist others in their mental and spiritual growth. I’ve always been surrounded and supported by beautiful, strong, accomplished women and I want to share that gift.

Carona: I would say most definitely! Don’t get me wrong, I was always a really imaginative child but, New York City has a way of bringing out one’s strengths and talents. I grew up around actors, singers, dancers, musicians. I was raised in a place where seeing a famous actor on the street and your friends on television was the norm.

Carona: We are now going on our third year of production and will also be adding a magazine, sports, and publishing department as well as some other filming and writing projects in the works.

fear? Many of our daily activities are accomplished around worry and fear so as you can see it’s a powerful emotion that can either strengthen you at your core or cease everything creative inside of you and that can go for whatever you do in life.

Carona: You have romance, drama, experimental etc, but what gets to most people if not all is fear and we have witnessed this in the past couple of months alone. Personally I see fear as one of the best tools for us to look within ourselves. Why are we afraid? Is this necessary fear? Will I survive this

CNYWO: So, it’s a book as well as a film? Where can we find it? Carona: Yes. I wrote the book 6 years ago when I was living in Georgia working as a chef in a school. CNYWO: From chef, to boutique owner to film producer, author, writer and director. Why the sudden shift in


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{ VISIONARY MINDS } “ There are ups and downs to owning any business but, I welcome the good and the bad because they both bring experience.”

Carona: Honestly, even at an older age I was still trying to find myself and fit into my family’s schedule. This took me through a couple of different career choices. Believe it or not the entire time I knew that I wanted to be writing and filming during this entire course but it didn’t seem conducive to taking care of my family.

to yourself to change that, I did. CNYWO:Is there a downside to owning your own production company? What is the upside of being a part of Diop Productions?

I have heard so many horror stories about the film industry yet, I am constantly running into individuals whose passions, ideas and love for the art is just as fueled as mine. I can not say enough about written contracts. Please write out a contract if you decide to work with anyone, even family.

CNYWO: Seem? Carona: Yes. I knew what I really wanted to do but I was too afraid to move on so I tried everything else to fill that void but nothing did. So the older I got the more tired I became of talking myself out of things because of the kids or we couldn’t afford… I was basically lying to myself, led by fear. CNYWO: What advice would you give women of your caliber in concerns with following their dreams and being more self reliable? CNYWO: My advice. Be true to yourself and what you desire in your life because time is precious. When your children grow up and leave the nest what do you have set up for yourself as an individual? For many of us nothing. Make a promise

at the hip since. Not only do I look for actors to film but I also want my staff and crew to be multi-experienced so I will do this by staying in the background at times while they shine by allowing them to direct, write and produce their own films in way of Diop Productions.

Carona: There are ups and downs to owning any business but, I welcome the good and the bad because they both bring experience. Diop Productions is a family first. We look out for each other as a person before anything else. If a business does this for its employees everything else will fall into place. Most of us met 3 years ago for the production of The Opening and have been stuck

Verbal agreements are nice and easy but very painful in the end. One decision can have you in court for years with your project flapping in the wind… and yes I speak from experience. Also, there is way too much technology out here to have any excuses. I learned the hard way and try to teach others before they make the same mistakes that I did. To contact Carona email: diopproductions@aol.com

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JAMIE MORGAN BY TAMMY REESE

Hello everybody who is reading this in Central NY Woman Online Magazine, I am Jamie Ann Morgan, a 34 year old actress in the Central New York area.

someone pulled the rug out from under you. The first one I did landed me right on my butt. Of course the trainer let me know “It is a back bump not a butt bump.”

I have lost more matches than I have won, but I will always feel like a winner with every single time I got in there, did the damn thing, did not hurt myself or my opponent.

I say actress, but I really want to do stunts. I would love to be known as a phenomenal stunt woman. If we can all be known for one thing and one thing only that is what I would want, I think.

So, I did it probably around 6 more times, until I had a resemblance of the right way. I will never forget those memories because that was the start of a wrestling career that

From wrestling I started wanting to do stunts in indie films. Thought there were so many similarities in wrestling and stunt work. To start I answered ads on Craigslist. Soon realized that many were great and legit, I got some experience with music videos, commercials, bit parts in local jobs. Many great people I met, worked with, became friends with and really loved.

In my opinion there are certain attributes that we all bring to a project that could be any project of life. Work or personal. For me it is my enjoyment of physical activity. I tend to say working out and listening to music is my favorite pastime. That is what I believe at least. About 17 years ago I was with a friend of mine on her trampoline, she says to me “Would you be interested in getting into wrestling?” I have been a fan of WWE since I was maybe 9 years old. I remember the first training session I went to, it was a Tuesday night 6pm at a warehouse off Midler Ave in Syracuse. The trainer was a tall, long brown-haired man of athletic build and when he spoke he commanded the room. I was intimidated for sure. He said, “Get in the ring.” And I did. Then he had his assistant, who he called Little D, show me how to do a back bump. A back bump is basically throwing your body backwards onto the mat, kind of like 156

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Then of course there were the scammers, the fakes, few were not on the up and up. One day I went to a man’s apartment and he locked the doora behind him. What is wrong with some people? God only knows. Lesson learned. Always ask for details. If they can’t give you them, then they are not “real” and try to keep your distance. I can’t say I would change the way I did anything. I didn’t know any other way and it got me here writing this

kind of changed my life.

to all of you.

I worked for 5 years on and off as Dee Licious, a good girl who turned bad and was so much better at being bad. I worked for organizations such as Ultimate Wrestling, Old School Pro Wrestling, East Coast Pro Wrestling and NWA Capital.

I have had so much luck in my outings and I know some people don’t believe in luck, but I do. How else can I explain the chances that I have been given? I am just a foolish girl who wants adventure. I just enjoy entertaining when I can and I think it has something to do with the feeling of


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being someone else. Of trying to be bigger and better than I actually am. I have been in 30 films, both feature length and short. My favorite film that I have been in is a film I have not seen yet. I loved everything about it. The filming process, the cast, the concept and Writer/Director. The film is called Radiant Dark, the film company is Mad Angel Films. It is about 4 unlikely people who come together to save their land from the darkness that threatens it. It is an action adventure. I played a bad.. 160

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I don’t believe you can even call me a girl, my character is more of a creature, so fun to be bad and the fight scenes are on point. I for sure got to put my stunt skills to the test in that one. I have not been told much about post production. Thinking next year it may come out. One of my favs no doubt about it. If you are looking for something you can see me in that is out now I will say Amityville Island by Wild Eye Releasing,

I am second to lead in that one, so that is what I recommend to see a bit of me. And if you want to see a “bit” of me then I will say Bloody Island by A Shadow In The Dark Productions and Revolt Of The Planet Of The Apes by Polonia Bros. Entertainment. Thank you so much for caring about my words. Well, that seems to be my story. Stop reading this and go out and write your story. If you love yourself the rest will follow. To steal a line from Ellen Degeneres… “Be kind to one another.”


Finding Families for Waiting Kids. For more information contact: 888-835-8802 or 585-232-5110 info@capbook.org ChildrenAwaitingParents.org

Spring2020-CAP-RW-ad.indd 1

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ALL ACCESS CBD BY MIKE MACARTHUR

Rochester native Mike MacArthur brings his company, All Access CBD, to Webster, NY. As a graduate of Fairport High School, Mike went on to pursue a career in music as a saxophone player. He moved to Florida along with his family to attend Florida State University School of Music, eventually transferring to Manhattan School of Music in NYC. After leaving school Mike settled in Tampa and toured the world with his saxophone playing with Maynard Ferguson, Diane Schuur and Frankie Valli among many others. Mike opened up All Access Vapor in 2014 and grew the business to 3 Tampa based locations. CBD became a natural progression as he built a pharmaceutical grade ISO-6 rated laboratory to manufacture his vapor e-juice and now products for All Access CBD. The company has 3 CBD retail locations in the Tampa area and now the 4th and newest location in Webster, NY. “Bringing the business to Rochester just made sense with the network of family and friends I have there”. 162

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The mission statement at All Access CBD reads, “Our mission at All Access CBD is to provide an unparalleled retail experience for our customers. Along with customer service, knowledge,

perspective, not a corporate minded business. Mike says “The idea is to create a place where employees can feel appreciated and at home with a career in front of them. It’s simple, if you show them love, they will love you back”. Mike goes on to say that over the years they have experienced wedding engagements, weddings, first time home buyers and even babies! It is a true family. All Access CBD takes the utmost pride and time in crafting all of the artisan products that bear the name. In addition to the lab, which has 10x the amount of air filtration as a more common ISO-7, all of the staff who work in the lab are certified under Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). Lab Manager Manny Gacet runs the lab and along with GMP certification, is a graduate of Sativa University.

quality and vibe, our employees are what set us apart from the rest…and we call them Family”. The culture that has been created at All Access CBD comes from a family oriented

The products include tinctures, lotions, creams, flower, cartridges, bath bombs and much more. All of this is in a store with a crisp and clean environment.


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{{ INTRODUCING... SHIFT+CONTROL } } “This company and the people involved have become a huge part of my life and I can’t wait to see how much more we can grow together.”

The products include tinctures, lotions, creams, flower, cartridges, bath bombs and much more. All of this is in a store with a crisp and clean environment. That was important to Mike. “It has to be inviting, professional, crisp and comfortable”. Webster store manager Alex Stevens and Mike have known each other since high school and provides the foundation to extend the Florida based company to NY. Alex spent weeks in Florida with hands on training in multiple locations as well as the lab. Educating the customer is an essential part of the business and it is something that Mike takes seriously. With the emphasis on education and the facts about CBD, the products offered speak for themselves.

With the CBD world growing, it is important to understand where it is made, what is in it and most important, lab testing. When products are produced in the lab, one of every All Access CBD product is sent to a 3rd party testing facility that provides accurate lab results. This process is done for every batch of CBD that they receive from the farm. This will confirm that the amount of CBD on the label is the actual amount in the product. Not all CBD is created equal and All Access takes pride in sourcing the best possible product along with paying attention to every detail in maintaining the quality of what makes it to the shelves.

CBD would not be possible without the amazing team he has by his side. General Manager Richard Girard has been there from day one with the very first store and has seen the growth of the company. He said, “This company and the people involved have become a huge part of my life and I can’t wait to see how much more we can grow together”. You can find more information about All Access CBD and All Access Labs at www.allaccesscbd.com.

Mike has made it clear that All Access CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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HOMELESSNESS BY MARY LUPIEN

Almost 2 months ago now Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the New York State On Pause order, shutting down all nonessential businesses and instituting Social Distancing. Pause stands for Policies that Assure the Uniform Safety of Everyone. Everyone, used in this context, must by necessity mean everyone. It cannot be taken to mean, everyone we find relevant. The most vulnerable among us, the homeless, have not been addressed adequately in this declaration. These measures are critical to the survival of the citizens of our state and we cannot pretend that the homeless are not a part of our state, and potential victims of the current pandemic. Most of us can follow the guidelines of Social Distancing when away from our homes. For those without homes, Social Distancing becomes immeasurably more difficult. They are crammed into crowded shelters at night and left to roam the streets during the day. With businesses and libraries closed there is nowhere for them to go. Shelters are doing the best they can. They have policies in place to check temperatures and numbers to call if residents appear symptomatic. They have been asked to keep beds three feet apart and have guests sleep head to toe to increase the distance between them. But potential transmissions are increased by the reality

of shared bathrooms, dormitories and dining areas, as well as working with skeleton crews. Keeping their guests safe from infection is worse than difficult, it is nearly impossible. Those who have taken it upon themselves to help the homeless are finding it an insurmountable task to maintain Social Distancing in crowded shelters. Michael

Gil, an advocate for the Peace Village Homeless Encampment, said this. “The people out on the street are not fully aware of the severity of the pandemic. And there are too few examples still of the best practices for people in designated essential businesses. I see very few people wearing masks and very little adherence to proper distancing. The cost in dollars

to the public to quarantine any infected homeless person is considerable, and the cost in lives and suffering is heartbreaking. Most victims of homelessness have trust issues with authority. They often feel threatened when dealing with police or social workers. Few will voluntarily seek help until their symptoms force them to seek medical attention, some not even then. For this reason alone it is inevitable that their rate of infection will soar if we simply accept the status quo of the homeless community. It is critical that steps are taken immediately to remove them from an environment which makes it nearly certain that they will eventually be exposed to the Coronaviris and once infected, spread it to others. Quite often the homeless interact with different people every day. Keeping them well protects all of us. Rather than crowded shelters, empty hotel rooms should be procured to give them a safe space. Current shelter conditions violate the policy of groups larger than ten people congregating together. The homeless literally have no choice but to put themselves in a position which the CDC says constitutes a major risk of infection. By their very nature, most shelters violate the policies put in place to minimize the transmission of contagious diseases, and they should CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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“Most victims of homelessness have trust issues with authority. They often feel threatened when d them to seek medical attention, some not even then. For this reason alone it is inevitable that th

be closed or forced to limit numbers of occupants to allow compliance with safe distancing protocols. They should also allow twenty four hour access. We must shelter the homeless in ways that follow the guidelines established to slow the transmission rate between members of the community. Renting unused hotel space will cost less than the amount given to most Americans for unemployment compensation. It will be a lifeline for the hotels whose cash flow has been decimated by stay at home orders and it will save the lives of hundreds, possibly thousands of homeless and others who might come in contact with them. Because of the level of coordination this will require between city, county, and state agencies as well as hotel operators and non-profit housing providers, any time wasted at the beginning of this endeavor will translate into loss of life in the coming weeks and months. Lessons learned by implementing this policy would serve as a model for areas not yet experiencing the crisis levels seen here, enabling them to save even more lives. St. Josephs Hospitality House serves the community by providing hospitality and meals during the day and winter shelter at night. Jasmin Reggler, House Coordinator at St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality summed up the situation perfectly. 174

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“Why are we waiting for the people in shelters to become symptomatic before they are moved to hotels? By the time someone shows symptoms they could have exposed others in the shelter. Also, people don’t always come forward to say they aren’t feeling well and I doubt shelters have the capacity to do wellness checks every day on folks staying in shelters. We are told to social distance and not be in

gatherings of more than ten people. Many shelters in Rochester are already beyond that. Is that not reason enough to start placing people in hotels before they start showing symptoms. This effort will reduce numbers in already crowded shelters and begin to slow the spread of this virus.” Inherent in making plans for when this

crisis passes, is the acknowledgment between all of us that it will pass and that we will have learned from it. One of the most important lessons we need to learn is that housing the homeless and preventing future homelessness should be an immediate priority for the safety and security of the victims of this tragic shortcoming our society has allowed to happen. The response to the Coronavirus pandemic has shown us the need and the ability of individuals and officials at every level of government to work together to make sweeping changes in situations we never imagined we would face. While our immediate focus must be helping as many people as possible survive the unfolding threat, we will have the opportunity after we have overcome this disease to reexamine the systemic failures it has exposed. We must use the things we have learned to reorient government to the cause of providing the best possible life to the most possible members of society. We will have the best opportunity of the last seventy five years to shape the future of America into one where the needs of every citizen share equal importance in the eyes of those we elect to govern us.


{ FOR A GOOD CAUSE }

dealing with police or social workers. Few will voluntarily seek help until their symptoms force heir rate of infection will soar if we simply accept the status quo of the homeless community.�

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{ LOCAL { WOMEN BUSINESS WHOSPOTLIGHT ROC } }

WELL TRAIL BY KELLI LAPAGE, MS, ATC

“Strength can be found in the deepest corners and the darkest places. Sometimes it helps to have someone with a flashlight to guide you back to your path….” In 2008, following a near-tragic accident, Kelli LaPage was forced to make a decision – continue down a career path that was harming her physical and mental health – or follow her heart, her intuition and her passion and begin a new journey on her own terms. That decision led to the creation of WellTrail, Inc, a uniquely personal and customizable occupational health and injury management platform that now supports employee well-being for organizations that include over 3000 lives in 6 states, including in CNY. Kelli LaPage’s initial aspirations to help others began by pursuing pre-med at Washington University in St Louis. Following several of her own substantial athletic injuries, her interests were initially focused on orthopedics and she worked through college as both a student athletic trainer and as an intern at Barnes Hospital and with the Wash U team physician. “Having the opportunity to see both sides of the field I loved was crucial to my ultimate career path. I loved everything about the work I observed in the orthopedics office and in surgeries. But what I quickly realized was that my gift and my passion resided in being with those injured athletes in their moments of need. Being the person that was there when they needed an explanation, encouragement, a kick in the you know what, or just someone to hold space for them while they experienced their pain – physically and mentally… that was what made ME whole.”

At the end of her senior year, having completed all of her pre-med requirements and earning majors in Biology and Psychology, Kelli completed the prerequisite classes to sit for the national athletic training certification exam and subsequently, as a certified athletic trainer, accepted a coveted graduate student athletic training position at Syracuse University in 1995. The program was rigorous. In addition to pursuing a masters in Exercise Physiology with a Nutrition and Athletic Training focus, Kelli

worked alongside and learned from some of the greatest mentors in athletic training, and the local medical community. Upon graduating with her Masters Degree, she was offered a full time position with the Sports Medicine team where she stayed until 2002. She worked with all varsity athletes, but specifically oversaw coverage and rehabs for many of the non-revenue sports. She helped run the daily physicians clinics, and helped initiate and run the nutrition and eating disorders support team for the sports

medicine department. “The experience I gained at Syracuse, under Don Lowe and Tim Neal, was priceless. We were exposed to so many learning opportunities, and we learned and worked alongside of the best medical professionals in our area”. In particular, Kelli recalls how two physicians really shaped her career – even more than she could have realized at the time. “While I was at SU, my philosophy for patient care and “bed side manner” was most shaped by our two team physicians, Dr. Irving Rapheal (team orthopedist) and Dr. James Tucker. I remember early in my career we were all working together with one especially challenging athlete situation. I was frustrated because we had not been able to find a solution to the athlete’s pain and inability to functionally recover. Dr. Raphael and Dr. Tucker sat with me after her doctor’s visit and asked me what I thought was going on. I remember I hemmed and hawed and said something like, “Well, it’s probably not important, but…”. They both stopped me before I could finish the sentence and told me that being able to see your patient as a human being, with fears and flaws and a whole separate set of variables outside of that one injury (or condition) you are treating them for… that therein lies the true magic in medicine. And I remember Irv winked at me and said, ‘You already have that part of it down’. From that moment on I fully embraced the power of compassion and I never again second guessed my instincts to inquire beyond what medical condition was obviously presenting in front of me”. Kelli continued at SU, mentoring student athletes and incoming GA’s while fulfilling her coverage responsibilities within the department until 2002 when she gave birth to her daughter, Taylor in April of that year. CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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Kelli describes the choice to leave the career she loved so much as “one of the hardest choices” she ever had to make. She loved her career, she loved the people, she loved the incredible opportunities for growth and learning she experienced daily. But stronger than that pull was the need to be a part of her daughter’s life. She knew 70+ hour work weeks and overnight travel several nights most weeks was not what her daughter deserved, and at the time, there was not another option for the position. She stayed on through the summer and then left to take a part time athletic training job at a local high school. “I was so torn during that time. I knew I had made the right choice for my family, but something was missing for me. I loved the kids, I loved my co-workers, but I wasn’t challenged and I couldn’t grow. And I was still facing a harsh reality that once my daughter started her own school and sports – I would be forced to miss most of that. So, I was still torn between trying to hold on to the profession I had envisioned myself growing old in, and the life that I wanted to share with Taylor”.

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As fate would have it, a local heavy equipment dealership was looking for an athletic trainer through an out of state wellness company. Kelli saw the ad and was interviewed for the position. At the end of the interview, the part time position had become an offer for coverage of NYS CAT facilities, along with a regional sales and operation manager position for the wellness company – tasked to grow the then 6 person company throughout the NE. Less than five years later Kelli had hired over 20 employees and was managing locations from NY to CA. The company grew to one of the leading onsite health coaching companies in the Northeast, but with growth came a lot of changes and challenges that did not align with her values and goals. She found herself struggling with being on the road at 3-4 days a week, with a toddler at home, and professionally wearing so many hats for her company that it was increasingly difficult to find anymore hours in the day to support all of those responsibilities. She was back to working more than 60 hours a week, and was putting an average of 65,000 miles a

year on her car. Business was booming, but in that growth came a lot of concerns and conflicts with Kelli’s own strong beliefs – professionally and personally. And then, as it had done once before – fate intervened to open her eyes… On November 1, 2007, Kelli had just said good bye to her daughter (then 5) for the weekend when her neighbors’ daughter called her and said one of the horses was out at their barn, where Kelli’s horse was boarded. While trying to contain the situation to prevent the rest of the horses escaping, she was double barrel kicked in the pelvis (by the loose horse which was actually from a barn over a mile away). It was not known at the time, but the force of the kick had caused subluxations and significant damage to her hip, pelvis and back. She was rushed to the hospital, unable to feel or move her leg. “There were so many things going through my mind – but the worst was, what if I can’t teach Taylor how to ride a bike. What if I can’t coach her soccer team. What if I can’t walk her down the aisle. I was overcome with a


{ LOCAL { {WOMEN { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER BUSINESS WHO STORY SPOTLIGHT ROC }}} } “Being the person that was there when they needed an explanation, encouragement, a kick in the you know what, or just someone to hold space for them while they experienced their pain – physically and mentally… that was what made ME whole.”

sense of loss that hadn’t even happened yet. But I could see it and feel it so distinctly. I’m not sure I recognized it at that moment, but looking back that was the pivotal moment to me finally embracing where I was supposed to be.” Months of rehab led to only more frustrations. Pain was constant but the worst part was the lack of function. “I couldn’t sit, and if I did, I couldn’t walk or stand upright for quite some time after. Imaging was saying there was nothing wrong so I just kept trying to rehab and push myself, but I just got worse. I had been forced to reduce my travel routine for the short term and this created a number of conflicts for my position. It was really at a breaking point. I thankfully had a number of colleagues and existing clients around me who with unyielding support, told me I could do this on my own – I should do this on my own. So, I gave my notice and started the ground work for my own business.” That decision was the scariest decision Kelli remembers making. “I was a single mother, with a 5 year old at home. I was physically limited and I had no family within 6 hours of me to help. But I knew this was what I was supposed to do. I knew I had something to offer others. I knew that I could build a company that could offer support for people’s health, no matter how challenging their circumstances. I recognized how lucky I was to have knowledge and support from amazing people around me – and I knew I could pay that forward. I was the perfect example that strength can be found in the deepest corners and the darkest places. Sometimes it helps to have someone – or something- shine a flashlight to guide you back to your path… “ So with an incredible amount of encouragement from colleagues, friends and family, she took the jump. Kelli officially founded WellTrail on July

17, 2008. Several months were spent developing the platform and resources that would support the vision for her onsite health and injury management delivery model. “I was so incredibly blessed to have the support of my brother, Brad Cronk who gave me an early injection of ”angel funding” to bridge the gap for Taylor and I during those first few months where there was no income. Looking back at the chance he took, and the belief he had not only in me, but my vision, was exactly what gave me the strength to take that leap.” By the end of 2008 Kelli had signed her first client, a local manufacturer with 200+ employees, a client she personally delivers service to every week to this day. In early 2009 WellTrail was looking poised for rapid growth. They were working with three local Syracuse clients and had already hired its first employee to help with service delivery. They had formed an internship program with Syracuse University’s Public Health and Wellness department with several onsite interns. Kelli was booked for speaking engagements and consulting at local and regional organizations of all sizes. Drawing on connections made at both the University level and her previous work with Caterpillar, the young company had almost a million dollars in late stage proposals that were in the final planning stages, when the 2008 recession hit. All of the WellTrail’s large national prospects were forced to put all spending on hold. And with that, the rapid growth model Kelli had projected shifted back to a local focus. What makes WellTrail’s story so unique is that all of the challenges it was faced with as a young company, and all of the challenges Kelli herself was facing simultaneously, were exactly what made the company successful, and what shaped its platform so clients that were able to stay on board during the financial crisis. “All of my local clients

told me during that time that they were so grateful to have us onsite because it was in exactly those moments of uncertainty and fear and anxiety that they knew their people needed our support the most”. Their belief and valuation of the service I was providing, alongside the everchanging landscape for a small business like mine, allowed me to reshape WellTrail to emulate the values I held so dear. I realized (half through fate and half through the support and loyalty of my clients) that rapid growth was NOT the best option. Then and there WellTrail decided to commit to 100% servicing of existing clients and grow only as opportunities made logistical and moral sense to the vision of the company, the support of its clients, and the well-being of its own employees. This decision also allowed space for Kelli’s own journey. She endured 3 arthroscopic hip procedures leading to a hip replacement in 2011 – something she says would have been impossible for her to make time for if her original growth plan had come to fruition. 3 months before the hip surgery she was also faced with a frightening health scare and in those moments of uncertainty she realized the full breadth of her gratitude for being in the place she found herself: A career she loved and was passionate about every day, the ability to create space and time for her own healing, and most importantly, the ability to be present and available to her daughter. “In a weird way, my ability to help others was really the best therapy for me. It was my constant reminder, as I was telling others to prioritize their health, that I had to do the same – as an example to them AND an example to my daughter. I knew when I was being a hypocrite and not taking care of MYSELF – and that helped me keep a balance through those challenging times.” And perhaps as rewarding, she found she had been able to create a career path for other athletic trainers and medical professionals who had also been struggling CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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{ LOCAL { {WOMEN { SHIFT+CONTROL COVER BUSINESS WHO STORY SPOTLIGHT ROC }}} } “What makes the WellTrail platform so unique in the world of corporate wellness and occupational health is that it is fluid and completely customizable.�

with the same work-life balance challenges. In 2010, WellTrail signed with one of the largest CATERPILLAR dealerships in the country, (who was part of WellTrail’s original prospect group back in 2009) and a new version of the WellTrail delivery model emerged. “Because this site had almost 2000 employees, with locations in 5 states, all of varying sizes and most more than 2 hours apart, we had to find a method of delivery that blended the personal support that differentiated us from other wellness companies, and the ability to be available to people remotely. We started small, with myself and local staff travelling out to several of their locations monthly. As interest and participation ramped up, we hired our first WellGuide in that territory and a year later added two more to service the various demographic regions.â€? As of 2020, WellTrail is serving over 3000 employee lives in 6 states. THE WELLTRAIL DIFFERENCE What makes the WellTrail platform so unique in the world of corporate wellness and occupational health is that it is fluid and completely customizable. “Health is personalâ€?, says Kelli, â€?so the solutions have to be personal as well. You cannot look at just a person’s injury or their illness – you have to look at them as a whole person (Wholistically ( with a Wđ&#x;˜Š). Each person has their own challenges, restrictions, likes and dislikes. They each have different things that drive them, and different things that are important to them. And they have their own goals. Just because someone should do something for their health doesn’t mean that, in that moment, they are ready, able or willing to do so.â€? WellTrail’s philosophy believes that you have to meet people where they are, encourage and support small steps in areas that they are ready to make change, and be constantly available for when they decide they are ready to work on something 182

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else. WellTrail provides this support for their clients through the placement of WellGuides assigned to their client locations. Most WellGuides are athletic trainers because the training of that medical profession is incredibly diverse. They are trained in both health and injury management and are unique in the medical field in that they are used to working alongside of their clients – not sitting in an office waiting for someone to report a problem. “Our WellGuides are uniquely trained in their previous lives as athletic trainers, to be right alongside of their “athletes�, observing their movements, proactively looking for areas of risk and constantly communicating with them in order to understand where they would like support. They spend time with employees right out in the workspaces. It is a completely proactive process that encourages regular contact for everyone in the workforce.� By building these relationships, WellGuides become a trusted resource within the organization. Clients report a visible shift in “wellness culture� that include people sharing their health and injury management successes freely, encouraging others to utilize WellTrail resources and incredible participation rates, both in individual consultations but also in larger health challenges and training opportunities. While the foundation for WellTrail’s service model is the one on one consultations with the WellGuides (onsite or remotely) they also offer a wide variety of additional support resources for their clients. WellTrail developed its own proprietary Health Risk Assessment which is used by most employees annually as a comparison of how their health and behavior choices have changed during past 12 months. The WellTrail HRA is unique in that it allows year over year comparison as well as point of time assessment when creating its aggregate reporting for employers, thus

allowing assessment of more relevant data to determine health improvements and areas of need within the workforce. Their HRA also addresses pain and injury concerns, existing behavioral investments and areas in which people want to begin investing. “Our HRA really allows both the individual AND The company to look at where the low hanging fruit are. We need to align interest and willingness to make change alongside of areas of risk in order to present the most effective workplace strategies and program offerings while always supporting the individual through their one on one time with their WellGuide,� states Kelli. WellTrail offers a wide array of onsite and remote learning opportunities including, exercise training, ergonomics, nutrition, injury prevention, disease state management and much more. They customize training sessions for their clients and can create online platforms for on demand learning opportunities. They also offer unique challenges and group activities. These include the proprietary Healthy Change Challenge, and fun events like the Seedling Swap, Know Your Numbers initiatives, Activity Challenges and their WHOLE U and QUIT IT Challenges. WellTrail will also customize and manage WellCredit programs which support reductions in health insurance premiums through employee involvement in healthy behaviors and goal setting. And as always, these group opportunities are supported by individual follow up opportunities with the onsite (or remote WellGuides) WellTrail operates with full confidentiality extended to participants, sharing only aggregate data and anonymous success stories to its clients leadership teams. Ironically, Kelli shares that many employees openly share their success stories with management and leadership and often grant permission


{ SHIFT+CONTROL }

to use their names in the reported success stories. “I have found that when sitting with our leadership teams to give the Annual Reports, most of them immediately flip to the back pages where we have all of the success stories – and they just start reading those. Its truly a testament not only to the positive change WellTrail is able to affect, but also a true testament to the dedication of our clients to the people in their workforce. They are truly proud and excited for these positive changes their employees report. And I am so grateful for their partnership and support.” As Kelli looks forward to 2020, there are obvious challenges on the horizon again. The emergence of the novel coronavirus and the subsequent restrictions on workforces of all sizes has certainly had affect on WellTrail’s business and plans as well. “It is another challenge for us for sure. My focus for 184

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now is to keep all of my employees whole and provide them with the support that they need during this time of uncertainty, and to continue supporting our client’s employees. The degree of anxiety and fear is pervasive throughout the workforces we visit – but it’s important to realize that it is different for each person. We have been truly blessed that our clients have seen the value in continuing our support for their workforces because they know that now – more than ever – people need to invest in their own health.” While WellTrail will continue to adjust to the everchanging landscape businesses are facing right now, and will offer increased remote support and extended hours to be accessible to their clientele, they will also continue to look forward. Kelli has come to embrace these challenges along the way. “I have truly learned to lean in to what I

used to see as difficulties. I know that I have learned from every bump in the road, and I have been able to apply that not only in my personal life, but to the model for WellTrail that can then support others. I believe we can better serve others when you have true empathy for their challenges as well – even if those challenges are not the same as your own. I don’t know what will happen during the upcoming months, but I know we will continue to learn and grow and add value to our clients, and always be here to support the thousands of lives we are so blessed to work with every day. “ WellTrail is working on an upgraded HRA and WellCredit platform that it hopes to role out in 2021, and they continue to seek expansion opportunities across the country. To contact Kelli email: klapage@welltrail.com


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SHIFT+CONTROL { {SPIRITUAL SPEAKING} }

PSYCHIC ASTROLOGY BY TAMMY MCGHEE

HOROSCOPES FOR MAY 2020 ARIES - MAY 2020 There’s nothing more Aries likes, than a good challenge to set your creative juices a flow. But the focus of the challenge is on finances. Hold on tight to your cash flow this month and spend wisely. It’s a time when you feel your communicating better in a work situation and this will hold you up in peoples estimations. Find the balance between being too shy or too aggressive as close relationships as a rollercoaster of emotions emerge but harmony is restored in the later half of the month when sensual sparks will fly. TAURUS - MAY 2020 Your birthday month is giving you the urge for freedom and change. Although you can be set in your earthly ways, there seems to be a recognition of need for higher consciousness. It’s time to express your originality. This will bring you a new circle of colorful friendships and interesting characters. It’s time to show people a side of you that you have kept hidden for a while. It also could be the best time to make new assets to your collection or taking full control of your possessions, to what is rightly yours. You uncover your dynamism in your new self discovery. Shine on! GEMINI - MAY 2020 With your usual charm and charisma, you find a different way of communicating. You are an outstanding communicator and 186

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mercury is pushing this aspect full on. There will be episodes of vagueness as your attention span is of a wondering nature. There could be an aspect of betrayal from someone close to you or in a work situation. You tend to attract a lot of admirers but equally enemies too. So unexpected conflicts may arise. Be on your guard. Remember forearmed is forewarned. You have the ability to smooth over any situation to your advantage. Be prepared for one too many awkward person[s]. Nothing that your charm can’t handle. CANCER - MAY 2020 Your deep sensitive nature over flows with emotions this month. Your will be letting out deep rooted experiences for the first time. With this emotional cleansing it enables you to help others on a deeper level. Do not fear, trust your inner-self. There are some new rewarding projects that will bring out the best in you. Your love of romantic adventures will see more opportunities to take an unexpected break to a secluded beauty spot. A time to reflect and rebuild old relationships on your terms. Time to drop the facade and show the real sensitive you to that someone special. LEO - MAY 2020 Your strong personality illuminates your path to further your career or to gain the recognition you so deserve. You feel the need to hold on to every once of the power you exude, as you love being center stage given the opportunity. There is a strong influence of female friendships that

will make an impact on you. There will be some unexpected events this month that will effect your energy levels and cause some sleepless nights. But your fearlessness soon replenishes balance and order. Your inner regal tendencies will help you regain control, brush yourself down and straighten your crown. VIRGO - MAY 2020 Your stable rational thinking can often escape in moments of madness created by others. For a moment your are free from the orderly predicable life you appear to live. This month your are able to let your hair down and let your inhibitions ride, even if only short lived. More people will rely on you for your steadfast support. You will feel honoured by people reactions towards you. Time to take some appreciation from those who work along side you. Your modest inner self deserves that recognition. Take extra care of you, avoid the excess workload, it will pace itself. There is a pull on the heartstrings where children are concerned. Its a case of learning to let go. LIBRA - MAY 2020 Overall a very good month for Libra ,boosting your sense of general well being. Not only on an emotional and loving level but there are some financial gains that will lace your bank balance. Your generous nature will soon get the better of you, giving to others brings you the joy you need. This month will also be a time to share your success with those closest to you. It is the love in return that


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{ {SPIRITUAL SHIFT+CONTROL SPEAKING} } SCORPIO - MAY 2020 “Everything this month is focused on your close relationships and home environment. �

nurtures the nature of your loving personality. It seems where ever you go, love follows you. Your loving cup is over flowing in abundance. Seeking wisdom from an older person may be necessary to put things into place for future security. SCORPIO - MAY 2020 Everything this month is focused on your close relationships and home environment. It could be the best time to lay our cards on table and tell your partner exactly what you want from the relationship, although there may be a bit of upheaval. You meet in the middle where you passionate and secret behaviors occur. There is a sorting out of priorities and a strong urge to change colors around your environment at home. You may have to leave your cards on the table for a few weeks before they are truly absorbed and addressed. By the end of the month you feel you are in a more secure position as you have used your articulate, passionate manipulation to get what you want. SAGITARIUS - MAY 2020 There seems to be a lot of important meetings gong on. Ideas are being put to the test. Couples or partnerships will be taking stock and firming future plans. Attitudes of people close to you will surprise you. Unexpected extra support will be found from an unexpected source. There will be a marked improvement in your finances. This month there is a sigh of relief as you are now on the crest of the wave for cherished ideas. Your steadfast determination pays off. You

are able to give to those less fortunate in a bigger way than usual. You are gaining back some of the power that you thought you once lost. CAPRICORN - MAY 2020 You are full of energy and creativity this month. You have strong desire to make things around you more homely. Harmony seems to be in your partnerships but you will tend to question because of your insecurities, but things will become anchored, never the less a good time is proven equal. You are making many contacts this month whether its is work related or socially. You have the abundance of energy to cope with it all. There seems less pressure at work and home seems harmonious due to a new creative outlook that planets have bestowed on you, make the most of it.

take a short fuse as you will see the world differently. There seems to be a cluster of episodes that irritate and disturb the deepwater of your soul. In the later half of the month peace prevails and harmony is restored. A big change is in preparation of things to come. Your need to clear the air and give someone some straight talking is essential to your wellbeing. Calm is restored and your home environment offers you that solace that you need. A trip to a waterfront is essential too. www.angelamcghee.com

AQUARIUS - MAY 2020 Your singular, independent stance in life stands you in good stead. There are some major changes to come this month but you will take things in your stride as usual and no fuss will be made, just as you like it. There is some upheaval due to someones shady hand. Your responsible attitude and maturity will help you rejuvenate the situation you thought was lost. Luck and love is on you side. Take time to appreciate the little things in life. Time for reflection and gratitude. Your inner philosopher shines. An old relationship will rekindle itself. PISCES - MAY 2020 Tempers will fly this month your cool and collect appearance seems to CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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{ CNY POINT OF VIEW }

LIFE DURING COVID19 BY SONIA CONLIN

And just like this the world stood still or did it? Seemingly overnight the economic titan took a deep breath and stopped, along with many other countries. Americans sit in front of their TV, but not as they used to. They count deaths, they compare them, alarmed by those numbers. They are binging forgotten, or maybe never noticed before, tv series like “Contained” or movies like “Contagion”. Hunting for the news, the reassurance, the hope that all this is just an overreaction and the update pertains to “others”: the other countries, the other states, the “others”. Meanwhile, reality gradually settles and crawls silently and relentlessly in our dayto-day lives.

to get to know once again their kin; making time to rediscover each other’s fears and strengths; reviving the joy

Gradually we realize the nation (and the world) did not stop. It is alive and breathing something it had neglected for a long time. We are watching the new heroes, who are not gifted with uncommon or impossible powers, but people with the Power to live every day, resilient, unstoppable, tenacious. Our new heroes have the powers of determination, persistency, relentlessness. They never give up, because they believe in each other and they have rediscovered the true power of the people, We all.

We try to push it away, as something belonging in a sci-fi movie. We gaze outside our windows at roads, once buzzing with traffic, that same space now left to the occasional passerby. These lone strollers try to forget this entrapment by rediscovering the simple joy of a short walk, inhaling the still crisp air of a northern NY spring. Parents are suddenly realizing they always have been “teachers” of their children. They are now using this time

“comfort” food, that, We the people, had ignored how much better it tastes when prepared together.

of a meal consumed together, and savoring, in these previously sporadic moments of cooking together, some

The new heroes we see on the screen don’t wear a cape, they wear a mask, not to hide their identity, but to hopefully save one more life today. They wear the scars of long and frustrating hours, which makes them sick, not only in the body, but especially in the soul. They too often come to realize of how powerless We all are in front of this microscopic organism that is claiming the life of those, that more and more we recognize as members of our family, as members of our community, as members of our institutions. Suddenly those folks don’t belong anymore to “another” reality. In this moment of darkness, we find CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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{ CNY POINT OF VIEW } “During this “social distancing” we have uncovered the power of “social”. We understand that being together doesn’t mean being in the same room, it means being close to each other.”

new strength we didn’t notice was there, and we fight back, becoming conscious we can do it only if we truly are united in our actions, in our support. Thus, we find ourselves sewing homemade masks for our heroes, cooking meals for our neighbors, donating money we are not going to earn again because our country needs them more. In this reality, that to the naked eyes seem to have stopped, we are working relentlessly around the clock to build hope and 192

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to elevate each other. During this “social distancing” we have uncovered the power of “social”. We understand that being together doesn’t mean being in the same room, it means being close to each other. Even our grandparents, whose resistance to technology was like the Berlin wall, are now learning to Facetime, to Zoom, to Google meet. And just like this, as a new normality, we spend much more time “together” across

the ocean and lands, and “reunited” in ways we never thought possible, reconnecting with friends and family we had not talked to in years. We learned to work “together” from our home and broadcast “together” from our basement. We, The People, have turned and once more rediscovered the power of people.


{ THE ANIMAL { SHIFT+CONTROL CARE SACTUARY } CORNER }

THE EPIC RESCUE TRIP BY ANN LEWIS

Last week, six doggos made the journey from Sullivan County Animal Shelter in TN to ACS! Traveling through four states, with nine legs of the journey & close to 15 volunteers. After a yearlong partnership & 50 dogs transferred, we finally met our rescue partner Eva Brandenburg & foster extraordinaire Debbie Owen. This epic rescue trip happens every week and couldn’t be done without amazing volunteers who are giving these dogs a chance at a beautiful life, while making space for more in need!

approximately 10 times over the total course of the journey until they finally reached their new, and hopefully temporary, home at ACS. “We’re partnered with a Sullivan County shelter that helps us with this program to vet dogs at an overcrowded shelter and bring them up here where we have more room,” ACS’s Rachel Rossiter said. “These dogs have stayed at foster homes before coming up here, so we know they’re great dogs.”

On March 19, Animal Care Sanctuary took in six more dogs that made the near-1,000 mile journey from Tennessee thanks to the efforts of numerous volunteers across multiple states. Specifically, the six canines were transported to the shelter through a team of drivers and coordinators from an overcrowded shelter from Tennessee. The dogs were switched to new vehicles 196

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It’s really amazing that these volunteers take sometimes up to four hours out of their day just to transport these dogs,” Rossiter said. “They do so much to help these little guys out. Brandenburg, who usually coordinates the trips but this time actually traveled the whole journey to meet the drivers personally, said all of the trips and transfers are monitored. “We try to maintain constant communication and keep updating all the drivers on locations and arrival times,” she said. “Because you never know when a driver might be held up or taken off course because of an accident or traffic. So we work with them through all of that.

Check out the journey below. Apply to adopt or foster today. If you’re interested in driving get in touch with us! Businesses may be shutting down and people may be staying out of the public, but shelter dogs still need to find new homes.

next leg of the trip.

ACS has been bringing in canines through the transportation program since May, and have now accepted 49 dogs since that time. According to coordinator Eva Brandenburg, volunteers throughout the journey’s course agree to take the dogs up to about two hours worth of the trip towards their destination. Those drivers meet with other volunteers at a certain point, and the dogs are transferred to those vehicles for the

There’s no fear that we’ll get lost or lose time,” driver Claire Skinner said. “It’s all connected and coordinated. They do such a great job.” As the dogs exercised their energy built up on the trip on the grounds of their new home, Rossiter and Brandenburg shared a hug. After numerous coordinated trips and 49 dogs being transported to ACS since May, this was the first time they met. “Everything has just been so crazy lately, but people are still out here doing what they can to help animals find new homes,” Rossiter said.


{ THE ANIMAL { SHIFT+CONTROL CARE SACTUARY } CORNER } “Everything has just been so crazy lately, but people are still out here doing what they can to help animals find new homes.”

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KEARN CHERRY BY TAMMY REESE

Kearn Cherry is a speaker, coach, entrepreneur, author and collaborator. Some of her topics are “How to Put Butts in the Seats”, How to Raise Funds for Your Event/Conference”, “Turning Connections into Major Collaborations”, “How to Get the Most Out of Your Conference Booth”, and many more. She is the owner of PRN Home Care which is 23 years old. She’s vested over 30 years in the healthcare field and holds a degree in Occupational Therapy. She is co-founder and director of Success Women’s Conference which produced over 1000 attendees which will be held September 11-13, 2020. She also has Power Up Summit which will be held July 31 - August 2, 2020 in New Orleans, La. Visionary author of her new book anthology - “Trailblazers Who Lead” with over 25 co-authors sharing their stories due to be released late May 2020. She encourages women to network to increases that “Net” worth while building relationships that can lead to major collaborations. She often says “When one door is close go to the next one. Create Your OWN, but never give up.” She received numerous awards and recognitions: HONORS – AWARDS – RECOGNITION 2001 - ESSENCE MAGAZINE (INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE) - FEATURED BUSINESS OWNER “COMEBACK QUEENS” 2005 ESSENCE HARDBACK BOOK (INTERNATIONAL) – SELECTED AS A FEATURED BUSINESS OWNER IN

MAKING IT HAPPEN – CREATING SUCCESS AND ABUNDANCE

2019 - ACHI MAGAZINE ENTREPRENEUR AND WOMAN OF ACHIEVEMENT NOMINEE

2018-2019 - TOP 50 LEADING BUSINESS WOMEN OF MISSISSIPPI

Who is Kearn Cherry? ANSWER: I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi where I reside now. I have been here the whole time I move back in 1995 after living in Germany and Arizona. My plan was to keeping driving through until I got to Florida, but we were made some great job offers and stayed. Both of our parents lived there too.

2019 - COVEY AWARDS TOM TANDLER - LIFETIME AWARD FOR SUCCESS 2019 - MS GULF COAST BLACK NURSES ROCK - EMPOWERING

WOMEN THROUGH COMMUNITY SERVICES AWARD 2019 - GOVERNOR’S INITIATIVE FOR VOLUNTEER EXCELLENCE (GIVE) AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN EMPOWRMENT INITIATIVES 2019 - COAST TOP 10 COMMUNITY LEADERS AWARD 2019 - GULF COAST GOSPEL MUSIC AWARD’S TELEVISION HOST OF THE YEAR

I have been in healthcare for over 30 years. I own with my husband PRN Home Care (23 years), coFounder/Director of Success Women’s Conference which we had around 1,000 participants last year and I am the TV show host and executive producer of the “Unwrinkled Heart Caregivers’ Journeys”. I am very active in my community, on several boards where I contribute my time and money. I have over the years several other conferences, networking events, and other events. I am still co-director Blessed Gyrls Rock Conference. I’m also staying involved with our women’s group - Lighthouse Business and Professional Women (BPW). So, I stay busy. My family: I have been married to my husband and partner, Dennis, for 34 years this July. I have three children (boy and two daughters) The girls were born in Germany while my husband, Dennis was in the Army. They are all grown. My son, Dannan, has his own company, Handy Dandy Moving which is national. He has my only grandchild Dannan, Jr, but we call him Dino. There’s absolutely nothing better than grandbabies. My daughters, Jasmine and Denise have finished at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (Ole Miss’ healthcare school). CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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{ {POWERFUL WOMEN} } SHIFT+CONTROL “I have owned with my husband, PRN Home Care (23 years), co-Founder/Director of Success Women’s Conference which we had around 1,000 participants last year and I am the TV show host and executive producer of the “Unwrinkled Heart Caregivers’ Journeys”.

Jasmine is a medical doctor in residency for Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. Dennis is a dentist and doing residency at Howard University for Orthodontics. PRN Home Care was certainly not my first business. We felt like PRN Home Care was going to allow us to help people stay in their home as long as they want. My husband and I have degrees in Occupational Therapy. When we first enter the field it was paying tremendously well, but attending several national conference I was hearing that change was coming. So, we started PRN Staffing first - hiring and placing therapist (OT, PT and Speech). In 1999 the change happen. We had only been in the field 4 years so it was like - What do we do? Well, God has a funny way of showing you your path. 2 years prior a client offered to hire both of us to take care of her husband at home. Let’s face it, we were making lots of money at the time. She offered $10/hour. As therapist, that wasn’t enough. Two years later we decide to turn that idea into a business charging less than she offered. Funny how things work out. We are still here 23 years later. Tell us about Success Women’s Conference. It certainly has help fulfill a void missing after stopping my R.I.P.E. Conference. This will be our 5th year. For over 15 years, women on the coast talked about the need for a conference. 202

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We were having the same conversation. My partner, Dorothy Wilson and I were meeting and decide let’s do this. We decide to do it that year. Our goal what we want to address: “Inspire, Empower, Recharge

keynote as well. Now there are three directors. Tiffany D. Bell has joined our team. Now you were featured in Essence Magazine not once, but twice? Yes! 2001 - I was featured in the “Comeback Queen” story, because we had already run three business by then to include “Sunrise Adult Care Center”. August 2005 - I was featured again. In Essence’s “Making It Happen” which was a hardback. Several women were feature. I thank my friend Tanya Lewis who introduced me to Deborah Gregory who writes for Essence. It was truly God again intervening. I didn’t get a chance to promote it as much because of Hurricane Katrina. What’s coming up? My first book anthology with over 25 authors - “Trailblazers Who Lead release late May/ June 2020 Power Up Summit will be in New Orleans, La July 31- August 2, 2020

and Connect” women from all over. We had around 540 women attended the first year. In the past several years we have had some amazing keynotes like Robin Roberts, Lisa Nichols, Gloria Mayfield Banks and Dr. Iyanla Vanzant. Last year we had over 1,000 attendees from 25 states. We have some really exciting news about this year’s

Success Women’s Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi September 11-13. 2020 To contact Kearn Cherry email: kearn@prnhomecareservices.com


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NOW IS THE TIME FOR WOMEN TO PLAY BIG BY DR. PAM DENTON

“Women by birthright are the change makers, the trend-setters, and the decision makers. Women are real creators and visionaries. We want you to hold a positive vision for the progress of humanity.” –Dr. Pam Denton

life and are willing to do what it takes to access the changes you seek, then you must:

Truly, in this moment we are going through a massive shift. The awakening is so profound that many of us are wondering what to do.

• Begin to build power.

• Step beyond fear and restriction. • Let go of limiting thoughts and beliefs.

So much has shifted from the change in our global health 2020. You may be wondering: “What’s next? How can I step forward? How do I repair what I have lost?”

Move into your creative glory and abundance. Use community to support you, instead of suffering in silence. I don’t know the details of your life, but I do know you have a hidden power to Play Big. And the expansion of your Inner Knowing helps heal the blocks you are facing. I want you to own your space, hold the space, and create the space for you to Play Big.

This time is for those who feel there must be way more to life than just the mundane parts of life to excel. • Maybe you want to live life from a more expansive place.

• Or You want to make more money! Don’t buy into fear-based living. It’s not worth the investment. When you decide you want more out of

Many years ago in my health and coaching practice I was guided that women must look to the other side of our stuck and sabotage to find their Inner Strength, become leaders, and activate on the ideas inside of us! Big Ideas!

I know you have a project inside of you that is valuable, money-generating, and powerful. Your idea is inside of you, waiting to be born, monetized, and built into a powerful structure of purpose, business, and leadership.

I want to say, Yes. Yes. Yes!

• Maybe you want to achieve more access to life change.

We are being called to make change a reality, to play big and step outside the box.

Now is the time. We have the time right now to change, grow, and shift.

If something inside of you wonders, “Is this article relevant to me to play big? Can I apply this to my particular needs? Am I a Play Big leader? Do I deserve to Play Big as a leader? Especially, right now, while people are suffering and challenged by health and possibly losing jobs.”

• Maybe you believe in more possibility.

is the calling.

The Play Big process is for women who want to tune into purpose, find their calling to live a largely expansive life – outside of the box. Most of all, it’s for those who feel that it’s time for women to emerge as leaders and lead in their own feminine way. And this pressure we feel inside of our souls and in the global climate of change…..it

Play Big refers to breaking patterns that hold you stuck and in a small position. Women, in particular, are taught to “play small” at a very young age: hold back, hide our feelings, not be heard, not share the truth, fit in, and not stand out. “Be the same and fit in” is the message we hear repeatedly. Women are taught to apologize for our mere presence on the earth, say I’m sorry and make excuses for ourselves, our words, our thoughts, our actions. When we’re taught this, when these are CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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the expectations for us, how can we ever Play Big and make an impact in the world? All we’re doing is running programs and stories, holding patterns imprinted into us as children, passed along through generations of training. So how do you shift this? Play Big begins with a calling, the inner knowing of a woman who is embracing purpose, choosing mission first, and leading from that mission. Play Big means honing the creative powers that create our passion. Play is using our inner creativity and knowing 208

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to make the life that we want. It is leading from our mission and playing in our natural birthright of success.

Play Big means you are done with lack and want abundance. This is spirit moving you forward.

That’s a calling. When we are called, we feel passion. It’s an inner surge of energy and a positive drive to do something bigger, to move outside the box we’ve created for ourselves (or the one that has been created for us!).

I call it ‘living in our star power’: it’s the gift, the superpower, the calling that is simply just what we are good at. Now is the time. I want to hear you roar!

When called to Play Big, there is a sense of inspiration.

Dr. Pam Denton is the founder of Superpower Your Success and Superpower Conferences. If you feel called to lead from purpose and passion join us at www.youhavesuperpower. com for success events. We are here for you to help you emerge as a female leader, owning your power!

There is a sense of spiritual guidance, because you are intuitively moved to step outside the box. You are moved to stop feeling constricted and limited.

Now is the time to Play Big.


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{{ ASK ROBIN HERTZ } SHIFT+CONTROL

DETOXING BY ROBIN HERTZ

D E TOX I N G A N D BUILDING THE BODIES IMMUNE SYSTEM UP TO FULL SPEED! Ever wonder why some people sail through life with few health issues and others just struggle? During this Epidemic I often wonder why some people are effected so drastically by the Coronavirus and others very little symptoms, are carriers or only slightly!

Also if you have done the 23 and Me gene testing the answers are in there. That test will also show if your liver detoxes properly and if you make adequate supply of glutathione which is critical to your overall health. So genetically I was set up to have poor detox pathways which weaken my system…. HOWEVER... THEN… there was the implants. Nothing like adding fuel to the fire!

They involve many different chemicals and processes to work properly. AND our lifestyle plays a roll in it. Where we live, the water we drink and bath in, the products we use, the foods we eat, the air we breath and even our mind set.

I have a genetic predisposition to be one of the worst methylators according to my genetic Dr. . I do not get rid of toxins easy. Especially heavy metals and chemicals. My genetic snip also involves the absorption and utilization of B vitamins which are needed for every cell in the body to grow and function properly. It’s called MTHFR and over 70% of people have it in one form or another. A simple blood test will tell you if and what type.

I know how to eat right but one thing I needed was to chelate the toxins like mercury out. I tried so many things. Dr. Klinghardt’s protocol, eating tons of fruits, binding mercury with DMPS or EDTA… nothing was working and I was not getting better. Then I remembered my friend Sue Thompson. She had been sick for years and no Dr could figure out what was wrong. She was not functioning, overweight, her head was foggy, she had a hard time wanting to get out of bed and just felt awful.

Genetics play a huge role in it. How our bodies fight infections, our immune response, how we methylate toxins and how we detox.

Our genetics are huge and sometimes we need support where we don’t even realize it.

mercury was off the page and I felt like I was not right. After almost exactly 3 months some of my symptoms came back. This is common as we all need to detox after removing the implants. Actually everyone should detox whether or not you’ve had them or not.

No one with MTHFR should have implants. They are made of all toxic materials and chemicals. I had them for over 15 years and had so many weird symptoms along the way. Implants are toxic to everyone since you are putting a chemical soup of toxins inside your body but It’s even worse if your body doesn’t know what to do with the constant inflammation and toxins. I had them removed October 30, 2019 and instantly felt so much better but just because I removed the source did not mean I was out of the woods. My immune system was compromised and I knew from testing my

I hadn’t talked with Sue for a few years and when I heard from her she was rambling on and on about how she had to come see me. This woman use to talk like Eeyore! Slow and even had trouble finding her words. Now I’m hearing from an upbeat super happy articulate different person. She came over and I was shocked. She had lost so much weight and was just alive like I never saw her before. Why did I decide to try IMMUNOCAL®? Mainly because I saw the dramatic changes in my friend, but also because she explained that it’s a patented food supplement that’s guaranteed to supply the raw materials the body requires to make glutathione (GSH). It seems that every cell in the body has a requirement for glutathione and that the CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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{ ASK ROBIN HERTZ } “Our genetics are huge and sometimes we need support where we don’t even realize it.”

defensive mechanism of the body depends on GSH to neutralize and flush out toxins of every sort, including molds, candida, chemicals, and heavy metals. In fact when it comes to detoxing our need for glutathione is second only to water. When you look at glutathione in different age groups a striking fact becomes clear in the boring statistics… I don’t want to get too technical but clinical evidence shows that healthy young people make plenty of glutathione. But after 20 GSH production gradually drops off until by the age of 60 -80 most have critically low levels. On the contrary the oldest of the old continue to have a good amount of GSH. So you could say that we age because we make less glutathione! Because our body is designed to make it from the foods we eat, it becomes critical that we find a way to supply the amino acid building blocks that enable the body to manufacture GSH. Unfortunately they are difficult to get in adequate amounts in our modern diet. Happily I feel these positive changes … after 2 weeks it was as if I felt and looked brighter, healthier, even happier! I never had anything that worked like this in my life and I’ve tried SO many things! As my health improved while eating IMMUNOCAL® I came to understand that our life depends on glutathione - literally. Without it, your liver would shrivel up and die from the overwhelming accumulation of toxins, your cells would disintegrate from unrestrained oxidative stress and, as if you 212

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needed more problems, your body would have little resistance to bacteria, viruses or cancers. Protective systems of the body including the immune system, rely heavily upon this exceptional molecule. So does the optimal functioning of antioxidants, detoxification pathways and cellular energy production. In fact it’s remarkable that we don’t all succumb to the daily onslaught of toxins in our food, air and water. as chemicals and heavy metals influence all sorts of living tissue and interfere with many bodily functions, the renal (kidneys) system, the cardiovascular (heart and circulation the hematological (blood) system, the gastrointestinal (digestive) system the endocrine (hormonal) system, and many others are impacted one after another, thus contributing to the aging process. We have our body’s defense mechanism to thank, especially the glutathione (GSH) detoxification process. But like all biological systems, this can be overwhelmed by extensive or prolonged attack, and may eventually begin to function poorly. Glutathione is the most important thiol in living systems. It plays a critical role not only in humans but in all life, including insects, plants and micro-organisms. I started to eat Immunocal because it contains the building blocks the body requires to manufacture glutathione to support the detoxification process. I also am preparing my body for the most effective immune system it can have to fight any virus or infection! Immunocal is proven to help build antibodies! Including COVID19! Im taking a full approach! I eat tons of organic fruits and vegetables, and clean antibiotic and hormone free organic meats along with this one product. OhI also take a bile builder for even more liver support.

Its from UNIKEY! They have videos online on the importance of building your bile for detoxing effectively! I am also rebuilding all of my cells and muscles with the daily supply of essential and non essential aminos. As we age our bodies slow down the natural production of all aminos and we lose muscle, our growth hormone slows way down and our hormones decrease. Every system and organ requires aminos! Every muscle! Every tissue! I’m so excited to not only share my experience but a way to help everyone get healthier in order to fight any and all diseases and be as strong as possible during this terrible epidemic! I thank God for this product! My system was in trouble and I finally feel like I’m stronger than ever! I’m taking 4-6 packages a day right now to really build up! And as always I’m here for everyone for questions and support! AskRobinHertz@gmail.com You can find information in the drug section of the PDR, Physicians’ Desk Reference (https://pdr. net/full-prescribing-information/Immunocalcysteine-257) and to order it, please contact Sue yourself! She is in Montana which is Mountain Time Zone Sue Thompson 406-314-1147 suezqt7@yahoo.com


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VYANA YOGA BY ROCHELLE BILOW

The Yoga Studio Owner Whose Dream Finally Came True — As Soon As She Let It Go … it’s all about the art of nonattachment. Helena Zera dreamt of owning a yoga studio for two decades. She meditated on it, thought about it, talked about it, and envisioned exactly how it would look. Her yoga studio would live in the center of a town and have close access to water. There would be plenty of parking. It would be a place for multigenerational practice. It would be a serene haven for spiritual growth. Years went by and Zera expanded her yoga practice and business. She completed numerous trainings, adding certifications and wisdom to her teaching repertoire, including Ayurvedic Consulting, Polarity Therapy, Pelvic Floor Therapy, Tantra, and Structural and Spine Alignment Therapy. She started a yoga clothing company, created the HastaPada® yoga strap, and launched a charming line of car ornaments called VediVaahan. She also worked as an R.N., raised three boys, and maintained a loving relationship with her husband, local orthopedic surgeon Glenn Axelrod. Many of Helena’s dreams came true — including ones she never imagined. But no yoga studio. So Helena practiced aparigraha, one of the ethical codes of yoga known as the yamas. Aparigraha means non-grasping, or nonhoarding. In other words: She gracefully allowed that particular goal to slip out of 214

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her line of vision. That is, of course, when everything clicked into place. In late 2017, when a friend tipped her off that there was available rental space at an empty spot in the Kinlock Commons plaza, Zera’s interest was piqued. But she didn’t get her hopes up. After all, she had let go of her dream at that point. She decided to visit the spot — just to look. The first thing she noticed was that the place needed a lot of work. But even amidst the dust and

the scuffed (real wood!) floors, Zera could see potential. She peeked over a row of boxes and caught a glimpse of the deck and stream running behind the building. Bingo. At that same moment, her eye was drawn to a large stone fireplace. Although her dream never included that particular detail, she was incredibly moved. “My practice has always been about tending the heart fire, and that’s what Vyana is all about,” she explains, referencing Vyana Vayu, a form of prana, or energy, that moves in a circular motion, originating at

the heart. Suddenly, she remembered that the first yoga class she ever took was in the basement of that building. That same night, she began drawing up the architectural plans. You can guess what happened next. Opening a business is never simple. Major construction projects are rarely straightforward. Combine the two, and well, you’ve got the makings of a very interesting few months. Zera worked tirelessly from the moment she signed her lease, navigating bureaucratic red tape, creating a beautiful practice room complete with a Tantric Yoga swing, installing a Kurunta Great Rope Yoga Wall®, ordering and inventorying a variety of products for sale, and cultivating a knockout group of core teachers. It all adds up to a dizzying number of decisions, from the big (What will the membership pricing structure look like?) to the small (What color would the walls be?). There have also been a few big frustrations, but every issue turned into a positive. And P.S.: The walls are a peaceful shade called “Lotus White.” Zera opened the doors to the yoga studio in June of 2018, and the tea lounge was officially serving up turmeric lattes exactly one year later. There has been much growth and change as both portions of the business have evolved. Vyana now offers over 20 classes a week, with styles varying from Hatha to Vinyasa to Sivananda — even Qigong. Nationallyrenowned instructors come to teach and


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“Everything here has a story behind it. Every challenge that I went through provided a lesson I needed to learn. And I have the power to respond differently in the future.�


{ SHE HUSTLES TALKS } “Opening a business is never simple. Major construction projects are rarely straightforward. Combine the two, and well, you’ve got the makings of a very interesting few months.”

offer workshops. Local instructors and wellness practitioners are invited to share their knowledge. There has never been one predominant style of yoga offered — and that’s exactly what Zera intended. “Listening to youth is very important, because although we have wisdom in age, the younger generations have much to offer as instructors.” As a result, the studio is a welcoming space to all levels and ages of practitioners. “I envisioned our students being 20-70 years old,” she says. “Daughters, mothers, and grandmothers.” This echoes Zera’s personal attitude toward yoga: It’s not a one-size-fits-all sort of practice. There’s a class on the Vyana schedule that works for you, guaranteed. The tea lounge has become a gathering space for yogis, as well as the people of Manlius, 218

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Fayetteville, and Cazenovia. Students will often place drink orders when signing in, and finish class with a hot chai latte, golden milk, pour-over coffee, or matcha. Because Zera’s business plan included room for walkin customers, the studio has WiFi, as well as plenty of cozy seating and space for folks working from home or meeting friends. There is a sumptuousness about the space, but it was all created at low cost through bargain hunting, discount shopping, and a creative, make-it-yourself attitude. Many people audibly gasp when walking through the doors — it’s hard to believe such a serene place is tucked away so cozily in a shopping plaza. Although she originally hoped this dream would come true in her 40s or 50s, Zera, who is 61, sees now that everything is as it

should be. “If I did this when I was younger, I would have been much more aggressive and reactive, instead of responsive.” Zera is the type of woman who rarely shows ruffled feathers to the public. Thanks to her nursing background and motherhood (remember: three boys!), she is a pillar of strength. Others, including employees and friends, look to her for guidance, peace, and support. So it may be surprising to some to hear that the last few years have brought significant challenges. When asked if she would do anything differently, were she given the chance, she just smiles serenely and shakes her head. “Everything here has a story behind it. Every challenge that I went through provided a lesson I needed to learn. And I have the power to respond differently in the future.”


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HOPE IN ART STUDIO BY LESLEY SHAKESPEARE-BROGAN

ART IS NOURISHING FOR THE SOUL My name is Lesley Shakespeare-Brogan and I own Hope In Art Studio, located at 144 Mill St, Canandaigua NY. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate you will find something here to get excited about. Art has the ability to lift our spirits. As a teacher I am here to inspire, give you the tools you need, teach you the right techniques and create an atmosphere you can socialize as well as learn in. Many people are under the false assumption that art is a gift that people are born with. This notion could not be further from the truth. Even though there are varying degrees of creativity Art is a learned skill! All you need is desire and a good teacher! Beginners are my specialty! There is always many exciting things going on at my studio. From Paint n’ Sips, Date n’ Paints, Mother/Daughter workshops, Family

Nights, Corporate & Work Team Parties and more. Hold your own workshop! I come to you bringing all materials and instruction. Perfect for birthdays, girls nights, work parties or team building. All you have to do is choose the project you’d like to paint from www.Pinterest.com/lbrogan2-paint-

night-ideas. You can also use my facility/studio for your paint party if you do not have space to hold one in your home. Or come join us for a fun and relaxing afternoon of stillness, where you will learn the tools to relax and become a human “be”-ing instead of just a human “do”-ing!

This workshop will begin with an hour long gentle yoga class, taught by a registered yoga teacher, infused with deep stretching, mindfulness and mini-meditations. We will then create a Mandala together on black paper using colored pencils. This process will be facilitated by short mindful meditations. The Mandala is an ancient symbol used to balance and center ourselves. This is a form of active meditation that combines the mindful based practice of art, science and spirituality. It also is a stress management tool and promotes physical, emotional and spiritual healing. Come connect with your Self and with others! $60 includes all supplies and British Cream Tea as a refreshment Please bring a yoga mat if you have one and a large beach towel


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SHE HUSTLES HUSTLES TALKS TALKS }} {{{ SHE “Whether you are a beginner or intermediate you will find something here to get excited about. Art has the ability to lift our spirits.”

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My fees depend on the size and medium but usually runs around $200 – $400.

Call/text/email me 585-727-4574 with questions. lsbrogan@rochester. rr.com


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studio

HOPE IN ART * TEACHING ART STUDIO & GALLERY * PAINT PARTIES (PRIVATE) * PAINT N’ SIPS (MONTHLY) AT THE STUDIO * ART/YOGA WORKSHOPS * PET PORTAITURE 144 MILL STREET , CDGA NY 14424 I WWW.HOPEINARTSTUDIO.COM WWW.PINTEREST.COM/LBROGAN2/PAINT-NIGHT-IDEAS I LSBROGAN@ROCHESTER.RR.COM HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/HOPEINARTSTUDIO/ CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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BEAUTY FOR ASHES BY TAMESHA BECKFORD I PHOTOS BY MICHAEL THAXTON

It says in Isaiah 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that he may be glorified.”

suicide attempts, living the life of a prostitute, figting with anxiety, depression low-self esteem during my teenage years going into adulthood. It seemed like ashes upon ashes. I got married at 22 was divorced by 29. I thought my marriage was the

I have come across this scripture so many times, but I didn’t have a clue what it meant. However little did I know not only would I understand this scripture, It would be my life story, and oh boy what a story it is! I lived in Rochester, New York for 27years. My parents moved me up here from the Bronx , New York I really had no clue what this city had in store for me or what plans God had for me living here. I was about to soon find out. I grew up in a very loud household. I am the second oldest of 8 siblings. I felt more like the red-headed step child then the second oldest lol! Now I know the scripture states beauty for ashes, however I was yet to experience the beauty of everything that I had gone through, yet and still God is good! I used to be ashamed of everything I had gone through, from being molested at the age of 13, having to live with the pain, guilt and fear right in my own home, surviving 3

me the strength I needed to walk away from it all. And boy does he answer prayer! I struggled with the idea of being a single mother, since I grew up in a two-parent home. But no matter how hard the struggle I knew I had to trust God with this new journey. I’m telling you there were days when I didn’t think I had it in me to raise 5 children on my own and keep a sober mind. But the bible says that God’s strength is made perfect through our weaknesses. And I had rely on his everlasting arms for strength, his grace and mercy to help me through what I would call a tough, yet rewarding journey. I was still struggling with what my purpose in life was though. I struggled with bitterness, unforgiveness and regret for many years. Then one fine Sunday morning in 2016 I was invited to visit another church during the alter call was made, I decided to raise my white flag in surrender to the Lord and laid every problem in my heart that I was holding onto for such a long time. That was the day that I traded in my will for God’s will. That’s it!

beginning of my “beauty” portion of the scripture, however that beauty was short lived. Dealing with physical, mental & emotional abuse for most of the marriage, I finally asked God to give

Once I surrendered my will in exchange for his will, that was then and only then he exchange my garment of mourning and give me a garment of praise. In 2018 the Lord blessed me to start my first ministry called “Wake up and Live Ministries” which CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS}}} {{ SHE SHIFT+CONTROL HUSTLES “In 2018 the Lord blessed me to start my first ministry called “Wake up and Live Ministries” which airs each week on Facebook.”

which airs each week on Facebook. Then in 2019 the Lord blessed me to host my first women’s conference. I was and still am so amazed how God chooses to use me each and every time despite my past! How great is our God! Today God blesses me to share my testimony with other women. I share 228

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my story proudly, I’m finally free! Free of the guilt and shame of my past, no longer do I have to pretend to be happy, a smile on the outside but hurting and broken on the inside. He’s made me whole now and in that I can rejoice! Now not only do I understand this scripture, I am actually living it, he’s given me a garment of praise, he’s poured the

oil of joy over me in exchange for my mourning and he’s given me beauty for ashes. God will get the glory out of my story, and I plan on sharing my story with the world!


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HEIDI CARSON Heidi Carson is the founder of Rochester, NY based organizational learning business called Orglearn. Orglearn is an organization that reflects Carson’s background and philosophy. She developed a source for small to large sized business owners to obtain valuable resources, education, something that is very close to Carson’s heart. The organization is an enterprise that features and celebrates diversity and the unique abilities that employees bring to the table. We assist these innovative business owners by contributing to their growth and added success while teaching skills that transfer immediately. In addition, Ms. Carson’s thirst for learning, unwavering persistence and determination laid the foundation for the organization. Her strength and conviction were formed, in part, by the struggle she endured when beginning her own education. She learned from that experience and executes what she learned every day. Carson turns meaningful training ideas into products.... like the game Divein, which is intended to enhance relationships by way of connection and mindful philosophies (excellent for organizations, families, and individuals). Education is something that Ms. Carson is very passionate about as well, she also learned early on that running a business is multifaceted. Many owners do not realize the extent of the responsibilities necessary to lead and operate a business. Hence, she imparts practical application. It is extremely prudent to hire and

maintain an index of highly skilled individuals who contribute to your company as well as the organizations that we serve. Armed with a fierce passion for learning, Heidi Carson’s journey to Orglearn is packed with experience and a true pulse on how people learn best. “I always had an idea that I wanted to be in the

educational field, but I was not sure how the landscape of this journey would flush out. I discovered organizational training and felt that with my education and experience, this was a natural fit for me, “says Carson. Carson has a successful track record of delivering unique and meaningful educational initiatives that prove to be extremely valuable not only to the

organization but to the employee as well. Organizations are concerned about ROI and we make sure to ensure that the organizations see a return on their training and development. Carson started from humble beginnings back in 2008 when the economy has just hit bottom. “I had a lucrative consulting contract with RGH that was due to end. I had nothing else lined up due to the volatile economic scene and I was scared beyond belief. I started cold calling companies and built my client portfolio, one after another”. Part of Carson’s back story is that she had thoughts of going to Smith college for her MS degree when her mother became ill. “I had applied to several MS programs around the country, University of Rochester was one of several schools that I had been accepted into. I decided on U of R due to the grave situation with my mother. Fighting through tough situations imparts a mindset that anything is possible in life. I try to incorporate this philosophy into workforce trainings. Think about the average workplace environment. You are bringing these different people together with various worldviews and life experiences. You place them into an environment and say, now work nice, produce and have no conflict. This is where organizational learning/ training comes into play. A great part of the human condition is that conflict is inevitable and can be very positive if dealt with in appropriate ways.”

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SHE HUSTLES TALKS TALKS}}} SHIFT+CONTROL {{{ SHE HUSTLES “Heidi Carson’s company, Orglearn is a WBE (women business enterprise) certified by New York State. The company is a full-service organizational learning business that offers unique and meaningful learning experiences.”

Carson is also called upon to coach those in leadership roles that need some skill-set enhancement or employees that are being groomed for advancement. In addition, I have dealt with everything from discrimination issues to workplace violence issues. I get very concerned when organizations cease or decrease their training dollars and initiatives. You cannot expect people to grow and flourish with no workforce development. Carson likes to go beyond workplace learning endeavors and impart skills that teach work-life balance. “There are so many lines that get crossed between work and our personal life,” said Carson. 232

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Heidi Carson’s company, Orglearn is a WBE (women business enterprise) certified by New York State. The company is a full-service organizational learning business that offers unique and meaningful learning experiences. Heidi Carson often utilizes blended learning solutions that go beyond mixing training delivery modalities. Our blended learning solutions include a mix of ILT (delivered by a subject matter expert trainer in a synchronous or asynchronous (self-paced), learning delivery format) and web technologies. We often include follow-up coaching to ensure participants retain and apply the

knowledge and skills delivered during the learning process. Carson has developed over 175 live trainings and 250 online webinars designed for live facilitation as well as self-directed learning. In addition, she has developed curriculum for organizations to launch at their leisure with their own branding. Client list includes: Utilities, Firestone, New York State, Manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, Federal Gov’t.


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LAMBDA KAPPA MU SORORITY, INC. BY XI CHAPTER

On a journey of a thousand miles, one has to take the first step. On April 23, 1955, XI Chapter was chartered into the Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc. This organization of business and professional women was the first African American sorority in the city of Syracuse. Since then, we have been on a journey of community service to the city of Syracuse and the county of Onondaga. To accomplish our mission, our chapter has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life by coalescing and collaborating with numerous organizations and agencies. Over the years we have supported: Onondaga County Women’s Health Outreach, Cook-Off for the Cure, Central New York HIV Care Network, Meals on Wheels, Making Strides against Breast Cancer, and Church World Service (Crop Walk for Hunger) - to which we have contributed over $10,000 over the years. Two of the most noteworthy ongoing 234

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projects of our chapter are the Kopelles youth leadership development program and the Youth Achievement Awards. The Kopelles program builds leadership, academic skills, and aids achievement for young ladies ages 12 through 18. Kopelles are involved in a variety of leadership and community service projects on both a local and national level. The Youth Achievement Awards was initiated in 1969 and acknowledges the academic accomplishments of outstanding male and females from each of the city middle schools and high school students in the areas of the arts, science, sports, and community science. Our Carolyn Tyler Memorial Award is a four-year renewable stipend to a female graduating senior in Onondaga County. Additionally, we honor three deceased members by a one year award: the Eunice Randle Continuing Education

Award, and the Lorraine Merrick and Greta Jones monetary awards. We are proud to have contributed approximately $20,000. Most recently, we have developed a group of 2nd through 6th graders in a Legacy Program. The purpose of the group is to motivate and encourage these children to be their best by engaging with others from different schools and exploring skills by applying them in new ways. During these sixty-five years of service Xi Chapter has been recognized for their service to this community by The Dunbar Center, The Federation of Women’s Organizations, the Syracuse NAACP, the Syracuse Section of NCNW and the Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. On the national level, our chapter has been recognized as the Outstanding Chapter of the Year by our national body for four consecutive years.


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BRAND NEU SHADE BY CHRIS MCNEIL

Hi my name is Chris McNeil and original native of Brooklyn NY and my partner is Tomeisha Emanuel(Meisha) and we are Brand Neu. We created a brand from nothing to something. We had an idea and it took a few tax dollars to flip a dream into a fully functioning business. The pure investment was the best thing we’ve ever done together not even the choice of getting married was better. The business has been something that we’ve wanted to do for years and once we saw people decided to sell sunglasses we were so excited about doing it. Now not only do we have a business we have a fashion brand. After 7 years of being together there was something a little more that we wanted to obtain, like a different goal together. There were a lot of naysayers telling us not to do it. There have been people trying to come in and take over the business as well but we stood fast and stuck together through it all. The best thing about the Brand Neu vision is that our eyes and ears are always to the ground looking for something to help people feel better about themselves...by accessorizing their lives. We want to have the brand so big that people who do not know us make sure they know our brand. We always feature exclusive items and a fresh look to Syracuse and create 236

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an access to have or brand travel to all states. There’s something about Brand Neu that is very special. Our first day selling the shades at a vending show was like a thrill that we had never experienced. It was like both of us knew what to do to sell the pants of

have been talking about opening our own boutique and launching other brands to build upon our success. Some vending events we enjoyed as entrepreneurs are the Syracuse Black Expo, Jubilee Homes Sunday Cookout, Juneteenth, and the Queens event hosted by Tiera Rivera. Brand Neu Shade has been seen at NY Fashion Week Fall and Spring 2019 and Spring 2020, Cardi B concert at the Ampitheater in Syracuse, and even the NYC Hip Hop Film Festival 2019 by model LaKisa Renee. We really appreciate the support of the city and all of our customers thus far and going forward. If you ladies and gentlemen continue to support us we will continue to pump out the best products we possibly can. If there isn’t thing we want more is to stay fresh and keep you guys coming back.

our product. Not only do we love this, this is something that has made us both better. We are officially in the entrepreneurial world and have the experience of our business to bring us into a different walk. We love this thing right here so much that we are going to expand it even further. We

Keep us in your prayers for our lives, more success, and to bring to higher level to where we can actually accomplish all of our goals. The best thing that we love is that you all keep the energy coming back. We all need great energy and to build great relationships. To contact Chris McNeil email cmcneil81@icloud.com


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LIVING IN THE EPICENTER BY KRISTINA MIRANOVIC

Sunday, March 1st at 8:55pm I was in Manhattan standing inside Stage 2 of Rockwood Music Hall waiting for Brazilian singer Diego Moraes to perform when I received a text message from my friend stating that the first case of the corona virus, COVID 19, in NYC was confirmed. I immediately searched and saw that the woman who was COVID 19 positive had travelled from Iran and had isolated herself in her Manhattan apartment. If there had already been one individual who was confirmed to have it, how many people did she interact with before realizing she had the virus? Did she take the same train route as me? Did anyone she had come in contact take the same route as me? Most likely, but I didn’t panic. At the time I viewed this virus to be on par with the flu, which had no effect on me earlier that year when my co-workers dropped like flies. When I got into work that Monday, we continued to work as usual as more cases began to emerge in NYC and the surrounding areas. I work as a 2nd assistant accountant in the film/television industry. The production I have been working on wrapped the prior month and we had less than two months before we were done with the project. In the next two weeks, the studio we were working for asked their employees to work from their homes in Los Angeles. That is when we realized that they might ask the same of us. Friday, March 13th, when we had left the office, there was no definite answer on whether we would be coming back

the following week. We had Monday off while our boss and the studio monitored the situation. Other companies in the city made it mandatory for their employees to work from home. Tuesday, March 17th I received a call asking if I felt comfortable coming into the office. I did and drove straight there. That night we packed our desks to work from home for two weeks as the studio continued to monitor the situation. Before leaving, there

bodega, which happens only when I absolutely need something, I always have a mask and gloves on. Even when stopping by the post office I will put on protective gear. To get groceries from Wegmans and Trader Joe’s you have to wait in line outside the store, six feet apart. Only when people exit are you allowed to enter. Trader Joe’s has a policy now where if you bring in your own bags, you have to pack them. At Wegmans they have put up plastic shields between the cashier and customers. In smaller essential stores only five people are allowed inside at a time. Restaurants are pick-up only.

Thousands of people lost their jobs overnight and are unable to pay rent. A number of the tenants in my building left the city.

Our medical staff and hospitals are overwhelmed. A nurse I know said there is no isolation for patients at the hospitals where she works. COVID 19 positive patients are in the waiting room with everyone else. Nurses are calling out because of their own health conditions and because they cannot handle the volume of patients coming in. Medical professionals who are exhibiting symptoms are still asked to work as long as their symptoms are not major and they are not being tested. Medical supplies are running low. If NYC does not receive the medical supplies needed soon, doctors will have to make the tough decision to choose who will receive a ventilator. Keep in mind, this is just pertaining to COVID 19 patients and no other individuals going to the hospital for other medical reasons.

Anytime I go to the grocery store or the

The USNS Comfort has finally docked and

was no doubt in my mind I would be coming back to the office after week two. From that day on time has become a blur. In NYC we went from one COVID 19 positive patient on March 1st to over 40,000 by March 31st.

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“ In NYC we went from one COVID 19 positive patient on March 1st to over 40,000 by March 31st.”

will be taking on non-COVID 19 patients to help lighten the load of the hospitals. 68 other beds are being set up in Central Park. Other locations are opening to help alleviate the hospitals of the high volume of patients that come in. Still, this is not enough for the pandemic that has hit NYC. FEMA is sending refrigerator trucks for those who have passed from the virus.

Some days are better than others. For a while I lost my appetite and found it difficult to get out of bed. Thankfully I have a supportive family who is always open to listening to me talk about my fears while hysterically sobbing. My saving graces are honestly my roommates. I found this apartment randomly on a Facebook housing page and

An EMS company has stated that if their EMTs cannot revive an adult cardiac patient in the field then they cannot bring them into the emergency room due to the overcrowding. Ever y medical professional I have talked to personally has said that it will only get worse in the next two months. After hearing so much misinformation on the news and wanting to believe this quarantine will disappear next week, I’ve decided to stop listening to the live feeds from the administration and have been selectively reading news articles. Being in the epicenter of this pandemic has been surreal. At first I felt that there was an overreaction to the virus coming from the media. I have lived through SARS, swine flu, and Ebola. I believed this would go away quickly. After working from home the severity of the situation settled in. 242

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moved in not knowing a single person here. I could not be more thankful to have such amazing women by my side while going through this global crisis. For those who are having a tough time: I understand. At some point in our lives we are going to look back and remember where we were when this happened, and how we responded to the worst global pandemic of

the past century. March 2020 has been the longest month of my entire life, and I am sure most people would agree. When you begin to feel like you’ve got a case of the “mean reds,” find something that brings you back. Put on some positive music; “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles has been a godsend for me. Find something that keeps you busy, like writing that novel you’ve been putting off, learning how to play that guitar that’s been collecting dust in your room, learning a new language on the many apps that provide that service, etc. If you don’t have the energy, it’s okay to sob over a pint of ice cream while watching a sad movie. This is only temporary. We may feel like passengers on a plane whose pilot has been saying, “It’ll only be another 30 minutes” for the past three hours, but eventually the plane will take off. Stay strong. Remember to support medical professionals, first responders, and your community in general by staying home. To contact Kristina email kmiranovic@gmail.com


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{ WHAT NOW? }

TIMES HAVE CHANGED BY ALYSSA BLAZINA & JOHN HUNT

Alyssa Blazina- CEO Biz Hub John Hunt- Local Account Manager National Cine Media Times have changed substantially over the past month. Change can bring anxiety, but it also inspires. Some business owners feel scared and unprepared for the current pandemic crisis. Let’s remember, entrepreneurs and business owners of any kind are BRAVE, are SMART and RESOURCEFUL. Entrepreneurs, by nature, problem solvers. Most started the business because they identified a problem that needed to be solved in the community and the business was created as the solution. Now is a time to breathe, focus, reflect, and act. Let’s break this down into manageable and actionable lists.

business. Make sure they feel valued during this difficult time. There are many resources to help you with this aspect of your business from loans to grants to human resources organizations and professionals. Do your homework to try and find a solution for employee retention that works for you. If you need to make more drastic, difficult

4. FOLLOW A THOUGHT LEADER. Find ways to grow and get inspired. Look for ways to think outside of the box. Learn from those who have succeeded in your industry.

1. GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CLIENTS. As simple as this sounds, we all know the success of any business is based on the relationships we build. Check in with them. Get to know them on a deeper level and let them know you care. Send a card with an instant lottery ticket “lucky to know you…”

3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR EMPLOYEES. Your employees are the life blood of your

2. OPTIMIZE YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. Take time to examine your processes. Get feedback from your customers to find out what they like, what they love about your business and focus on expanding that into the rest of your plan. 3. GET FRESH PERSPECTIVES. Examine how you can change your business to accommodate for times like this. Get a second look from a lawyer, accountant, marketing consultant, etc. Get a fresh perspective and (BONUS) increase your contacts and network.

What are three things you should do right now if you haven’t already?

2. REINFORCE YOUR NETWORK. Now is a great time to organize and prioritize your contact list. Spend some time utilizing platforms such as LinkedIn. This crisis is temporary. Find people that can help you when things turn around and who you can help in return. As long as you’re on LinkedIn, write a recommendation or two.

to be in business too!

5. CREATE SEASONAL DEALS. Stop focusing on coupons and generic discounts, which cut into profits. Focus on best selling and most profitable tickets. Successful companies don’t discount their value; think Apple and iPhone or think “bundles” of goods and services. decisions, show them respect and empathy. What are five things you should do in the next year? 1. NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR VENDORS. Business has changed for everyone, even your vendors. It is a great time to see if you can get discounts, co-op money for marketing, or special pricing. They want

Entrepreneurs we’ve worked with know about available resources. Reach out to people and communicate. Be inspired and keep being the leader you are. Central New York has always been an innovative hub for small business. It always will be. To contact Alyssa Blazina email alyssalblazina@gmail.com To contact John Hunt email John.Hunt@ncm.com CENTRAL NY WOMAN ONLINE :: MAY/JUNE EDITION 2020

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SUICIDE ADVOCACY FOR MEN BY JEFFREY HOFFMAN

Monroe County lost 189 men to suicide between 2015 and 2017 -- a staggering loss of life, stability, and normalcy in those left behind (source). Each man’s sudden absence rips the fabric that wrapped their children, spouse, siblings, and parents in the safety of knowing they would be here tomorrow and leaves unanswered questions, notably Why? And What could I have done to prevent this? Women have higher rates of diagnosed depression (source), are more likely than men to seek help from primary care providers for mental health (source), and utilize non-suicidal self-injury (i.e. cutting) three times more often than men (source) -- suggesting that women, not men, would die by suicide more often. Indeed, women attempt suicide 1.2 times more often than men (source), so it is surprising to learn that men die by suicide four times more often than women (source). This statistic highlights that men’s mental health needs advocacy, attention, and change to save the lives of those men who are important to all of us. Visible Man is a men’s suicide prevention advocacy group in Rochester, NY, founded by Jeffrey Hoffman in 2018 as a result of his experiences battling depression and suicidality during divorce and loss. The name Visible Man was chosen to counter the feeling of being expendable and invisible -- a feeling experienced by most providers, partners, and parents at some point, whether they are a man or a woman. Visible Man aims to address this feeling of invisibility in men by connecting men who share that feeling, 246

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training these men in self improvement practices in a peer setting, and providing a visible network of advocates for men’s mental health that serve as a fabric to connect those in need with local mental health providers. In other words, to address male suicide, we must first acknowledge that suicide looks different in men and women, empower our community to support these men in their journey, and reduce men’s reluctance to seek the advice of a trained mental health professional.

“I’m a woman - so I’m not a part of men’s mental health” is commonly heard when discussing Visible Man. But women are critical to men’s mental health. Privately, men rely on the safety and privacy of their intimate relationships with female partners for talking about emotional difficulties, while publicly maintaining an image of traditional masculinity (source). Ivana Colangelo, a Rochester-based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), notes that “men tend to feel more comfortable sharing their honest and vulnerable thoughts with me

one-on-one, rather than in sessions with their partner present. Often it’s because of a fear that they will be perceived by their female partner as “weak” or “needy” or “unmanly” in some way, which would subsequently result in rejection. So I work with them on these beliefs so that they can let go of this walled off and defensive stance in couples therapy and instead share of themselves with their partner the same way they do with me in individual sessions.” This has been seen at Visible Man meetings (held once monthly at ROCovery Fitness) where patterns in openness were observed to be different among male-only groups compared to groups where women were present. And with 51% of Visible Man’s social media followers on Instagram and Facebook being women, it is clear that women are interested in men’s mental health. So the question arises, what can women do to help men’s mental health? ● Listen well: Recognize that a man’s choice to vulnerably discuss feelings directly challenges his need to project an image of strength and autonomy. As noted earlier, men do not want to appear weak, needy, or unmanly - and committing to create a discussion environment that welcomes the unconditional acceptance of feelings - without interrupting, fixing, or injecting small micro-aggressions - creates a safer place to share. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) points out that “a person may be considering suicide include talking about killing themselves, feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden to others, feeling trapped, or unbearable pain.”


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{ VISIBLE MAN } } { SHIFT+CONTROL “I’m a woman - so I’m not a part of men’s mental health” is commonly heard when discussing Visible Man. But women are critical to men’s mental health.”

● Observe: Note any changes in behavior that could be early indicators of changes in his mental health that even he may not be aware of. For example, increases in alcohol consumption, isolating from his family and friends, and changes in sleep patterns. As someone close to them, you may notice changes in subtleties like changes in texting frequency or avoidant behaviors that are uncharacteristic of his typical life. AFSP further describes “behaviors that may signal risk include increased use of alcohol or drugs, looking for a way to end their lives (such as searching online for method), withdrawing from activities, isolating from family and friends, sleeping too much or too little, visiting or calling people to say goodbye, giving away prized possessions, aggression, and fatigue.” The COVID-19 pandemic creates conditions

known to precede increases in suicide rates, such as social isoation (caused by necessary social distancing), job loss, and frighteningly, the potential for death of a loved one. The psychological impact will be far-reaching and as noted in a recent Visible Man blog post, these factors inject unprecedented levels of change that are known to be risk factors for suicide. These risk factors are noted by AFSP:

such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment, stressful life events, like rejection, divorce, financial crisis, other life transitions or loss, exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide.

● Health Factors: Mental health conditions (Depression, substance use problems, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality traits of aggression, mood changes and poor relationships, conduct and anxiety disorder), serious physical health conditions including pain, and traumatic brain injury.

If you feel that someone you know is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, 211 (for more information about local resources in Monroe County), text anything to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor, or dial 911 if it is an urgent emergency.

● Environmental: Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs, prolonged stress,

● Historical: Previous suicide attempts, family history of suicide, childhood abuse, neglect or trauma


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DON’T BE SCARED. BE PREPARED. BY TRACY SIMONE

So here we are, just a few weeks into the new year and the entire world is on pause. Things that just a few short weeks ago would have seemed impossible have happened and life as we knew it has come to a screeching halt. Well, we’re all in this together and while that takes a little of the sting out of it, it still doesn’t change the fact that somehow, here we are.

Regardless of what we have heard or seen about it, we must consider all options so that we can be prepared for the future. We have local, state and federal government officials disagreeing on how to handle it. We have some cities that are completely locked down and others with curfews as if a virus clocks out at 8:00 pm and reports back to work in the morning.

Although these are uncertain times, some of the basic ‘rules’ still apply. My father always told us not to believe everything that we see or hear… This is still very good advice. Love they neighbor. Yet another thing that we need to be mindful of during these times. Everyone has had a change to their daily lives and some friends and family will have a more difficult time dealing with it than others. Keep an eye out for each other. We are bombarded daily by conflicting messages that are confusing, questionable, and even scary. This, however, is not a time for fear. This is a time for action! Who would have thought that we could go to the store……EVERY STORE, and find empty shelves? Again, some of the basic rules apply here too. Always be grateful for what we have. While this new, and hopefully temporary, way of life has cost many people jobs, money, and unexpected extended time at home, it is a time to reflect. So many people had so much less than us even before this Corona guy showed up. 252

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could find the time to do before. Reach out to those you have been meaning to call. Maybe you can finally clean out that closet that has been calling your name. What if the web went down, the power went out, or the water was off for some reason? Plan for what you would do in those events. Virus aside, the global economy is looking pretty sick these days. If you can grab some takeout from a restaurant, that would help the local economy a bit and give you a break from cooking. Sure, you must stay current on what is going on with this virus, but do not stay glued to the tv. That is never a good idea. There are all kinds of information and misinformation out there. So yes, pay attention, but take it with a grain of salt. Let’s look at the big picture and find things that we actually can do right now.

No matter how outrageous some of the stories and responses so far may seem, here we are. We can only work on the things that we ourselves can control. What we need to do is recognize the opportunity that is presenting itself. Out of every crisis or challenging situation in life is a chance to find something positive and to take action. This may be the chance to tackle some of those things you never

This is a great time to tap into our creative sides. Time to read, write, build, and create. Make sure, if possible, to get outside and get some fresh air too, even if it is just from a balcony. Enjoy the new time with your family. Also, be compassionate. Weddings and graduations have been cancelled. My daughter’s college roommate from the UK has parents who had to get permission from the police to leave their home so they could pick her up at the airport when she had to abruptly move out of her dorm. Some international students are still not able to return home. Through all of this, we need to recognize


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{ {SHIFT+CONTROL TRACY TALKS } } “Remember that change is a constant. It is always darkest before the dawn. This too shall pass.�

that there is divinity and beauty present still. We were given an opportunity (possibly a second chance) to rethink how we were living. Should we really destroy the forests and dump trash into the oceans? Should we be wearing and using things when, in reality, a child on the other side of the world was the 256

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one who had to make them? Since the restrictions have been put in place, the pollution level has been lowered. By the way, the grocery stores are generally still carrying the food that is good for you. A lot of the packaged GMO food is flying off the shelves, but the stuff your body really needs for good health is still

available in most places. Make some healthy choices where you can. Remember that change is a constant. It is always darkest before the dawn. This too shall pass.


Where drea m s

. . . co m e home

KELLERWILLIAMS

REALTY

Dear Friends and Family, I trust this note finds you and your family all well during these difficult times. Its been interesting and I feel so out of touch with you all. I wanted to reach out to see how everyone is doing.Safety for us all—clients and their families, agents and their families, friends and their family, and of course, the general public. New York State has recently declared that all properties must be shown through a virtual format instead of the typical in person showing that is so important when making a long term decision. It is my job to make sure your safety and your families safety comes first above anything else. Experts are reporting that we are well on our way of flattening the curve, however until we are certain, virtual is the way to go. I will be available always to answer any questions, research any property that you might have interest in, research and compile a custom report of your home or any other property that you may have interest.. Please never hesitate to call/text/email me, any time. I am available at all times for your assistance. Priority is to stay safe. All my love,

RitaLujan Pettinaro Keller Williams Realty

585 261-2096 ritap@kw.com https://www.facebook.com/ritapettinaroagent/


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#FWI: FLYING WHILE ISOLATED BY DEVON MCLOED

Ladies, I know you feel me when I say this is one CRAY-CRAY TIME. I’m writing this in the last full week in March, about two weeks since it was made abundantly clear that COVID-19 was coming for New York City and the rest of the state like a tsunami. My colleagues and I at the New York City Ballet started working from home last Monday and I’ve only left my house to take a walk or to drop off/pick up laundry. A whole lot has been thrown into light these days (feels like it’s been months already). The unbelievable sacrifice of the essential workers, those stocking shelves, keeping public transit running, scrubbing down surfaces. I see from afar, my friends and their colleagues that work in hospitals, with nowhere near the support in equipment and resources that they need to do their jobs and still doing them anyway. Icons. Legends. Stars. I wish I could send more than just good energy and loving thoughts to these incredible people. They are truly heroes. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been fighting (or maybe embracing!) the voice in the brain that’s chanting “MUST. BE. PRODUCTIVE.” during this time of social distancing. I know that ever since I graduated NYU I’ve had to basically bully myself into relaxing, as up until 2017 there was never a time I wasn’t procrastinating if I was watching TV or reading for pleasure. Now that I am working from home, which is a 258

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blessing by itself, I have found that voice has found a megaphone and a tambourine for maximum effect. Not to mention the articles and posts and Instagram stories that are showing me the hundreds of things I could be doing to be productive. “Write a novel, Devon! Do 100 push-ups, Devon! Bake a perfect loaf of bread, Devon!!!!” While I am so inspired by the creativity I was seeing coming up on my social media feeds, all that pressure can be

STRESSFUL, HENNIES! After the first few days of social distancing, I realized what I absolutely needed to focus on was reaching out to my people. I made sure to stay connected with my coworkers as we got through our first week of remote work, spent time with my savior of a roommate, and talked to my family everyday. Having these connections was key to starting this indefinite period of self-isolation off with a strong foundation. I would suggest if you are feeling alone, try

to find even one person, a co-worker, a parent, a college friend, to reach out to and have a conversation with once a day. I literally set reminders for myself so I don’t go too long without connecting with my people! These little chats have been like life jackets for me and hopefully if you haven’t already, you find integrating these check ins to be beneficial. Ladies, I’m not going to share a long list of “ways to be productive” that include things like “make check lists!” and “create a chore wheel!” because I know there are many other people who have made plenty of those lists that would likely be more useful than mine. Instead, I’m going to share a short list of things I’ve done during this period of self-isolation that have made me feel accomplished. Maybe you’ll be inspired, and if not I hope you at least get a giggle out of it. Stay strong, ladies. We’ll make it through this if we band together by staying apart. And please, don’t feel like a failure if you take this time to do just that: to simply take some time. You deserve a rest. Now let’s fly (and stay inside)! Things Devon Considers Productive During Quarantine: -Binge watch the entire Daniel Craig James Bond franchise with your roommate. You won’t regret it.


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{{ {TIME TIME SHIFT+CONTROL TO FLY FLY LADIES LADIES}} } TO “Stay strong, ladies. We’ll make it through this if we band together by staying apart.”

-Do a hair mask. Hydration during isolation! -Home décor! Have a piece of art or some pictures that’s been sitting on your floor for months? Now’s the perfect time to put it up, who wants to stare at blank walls all day? -Take a nap. If you’re anything like me, 260

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you have a lot of sleep to catch up on. -If you’re lucky enough to still have them, call your grandparents and your parents. Even 5 minutes of connection can change the course of their day and yours! -Get into a new genre of movie/TV. I have NEVER liked horror of any kind and I just finished American Horror

Story Coven. Best decision. -Put on a new outfit every weekday. If you don’t consider this productive, you haven’t changed from sweat pants to yoga pants for the first time in days and felt like a new woman. To contact Devon email : devon@nyide.com


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FIRST, MOVING. BY KIERSTYN ZAYKOSKI I PHOTO BY KIP MURRAY

Got a minute? I’m certain you have had more minutes than you are used to having in this current unprecedented time. Social distancing, quarantining, the constant information from the media, all these things have an ability to mentally and emotionally tax even the most level headed people. So how have you dealt with the change? Let me share a bit about how I have spent the increased time. First, moving. I am a professional dancer, so you might say, of course, that isn’t a problem for you! This is true. However, the increase in our online clients through the New York institute of Dance & Education during this time has meant I have been moving more in our daily schedule than I’ve spent in meetings recently. Moreover, when I say moving, I also mean not getting held up in one space in my house. Working in a home office, it makes it easy to feel stagnant, to feel alone, trapped. So I have taken an hour or so each day, and worked from a different place in my house, or even outside if the weather is nice. Just a simple change in perspective lifts my mood, my heart, and increases my productivity. Just the other day I spent most of my time out on my sun porch. I shifted all of my tutoring materials, projects, and technology to the porch and found it completely refreshing. Seems simple, but I hadn’t done that. Also, I get dressed up and have a virtual party - just cuz! Now, I am definitely not opposed to a jammies and sweats day. Even during my 264

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normal schedule, on my days off I will relish the sweats. However, I’m getting creative. My sister and I are currently in the works of helping my mother and Grandmother download Zoom so we can still have Family Easter while we are all separated by distance - and that includes us each still making lasagna so we can have our traditional family meal. I’ve also relished this time to talk with people I seemingly never have enough time to fit into my dawn to midnight schedule. I’ve picked up the phone and called my family, video chatted with friends, and even downloaded a new app to stay in touch. Since everyone is home right now, we all have more time, so I’m truly using it to re-establish that connection like we haven’t in years. My best friend introduced me to an app called “Marco Polo” which is a video chat app that allows you to either send live video if you are both on, or leave video messages to check back in when you are available. This has allowed me to stay in touch with her, and her baby girl even when our schedules might not be perfectly aligned. One personal reminder is, I had to remember to allow myself to know that my emotions are valid in this time. Hell, all the time. It is ok to cry or feel afraid, if only for a few seconds. I have felt waves of strong emotion that I haven’t felt that strong in years. However, there are positives in all of this. While it has been physically distancing, I have been more socially connected because I have chosen to

be. And I’ve learned, I ultimately had made the decision I was too busy before, or allowed those I love to tell me that. Well, no more. This is something I will not allow to change when other things start to resume. I have danced with our international family multiple times a week because we are all free at the same time, I have talked with loved ones on the west coast almost daily. I have attended my favorite church services from Upstate from the comfort of my own house, which I normally only get home to do once a year or so. I am reading more, cooking more, and believe it or not, actually saving MONEY because I am not frequenting Wegmans daily! There are so many things. So I am choosing to look on the enlightened side. Things do happen to you in life, and this is not going away tomorrow, but your pain, anxiety, and anger can. If we have to do this, let’s do it well, and let’s be well! Until next time, be sure to ask yourself, “Got A Minute”? (Okay okay, we all know the answer) To contact Kierstyn Email: kierstyn@nyide.com


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“If we have to do this, let’s do it well, and let’s be well!”

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CREATIVITY DURING QUARANTINE: BY LISA WAGNER

The Arts During Times Like These Can Ease Your Mind Historic and challenging times, these are. As I type this, I think about all of you reading this, hoping that you are safe and well. Watching the news is daunting and can overwhelm even the calmest amongst us. I have had to limit the amount of time that I intake of statistics, updates and the like. One of the things that has kept me grounded and accepting of what is has been creativity. There is a beautiful and serendipitous energy when we find creative solutions. For me, I find that time no longer moves. It luxuriates in your moment to listen and just be. That mindfulness can range from simple things to finding ways to make money or being of service during a time when it seems nearly impossible. Cooking for my family during this crisis has been such a godsend. It allows me to be creative with flavors and new ingredients that I’ve had in my pantry for what seems like a lifetime and cook up something new and exciting. (Although there’s been a few clunkers that probably won’t be making a return appearance.) When you have to stretch your mind and come up with something palatable and comforting, it can help you forget about what you just saw on the news or social media. You can’t do both at once effectively. Thank goodness for that! I can’t imagine those clunkers being worse. It has also been a way for our family to spend quality time together as we bond over the meal and what it took to get it on the table. There’s also a deeper gratitude for each precious ingredient and those seated around you. Are you feeling helpless right now? Who amongst us isn’t? When I feel like I am sapped of all my energy from the mental 266

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dialogue in my head or from the news anchors, I will break out a piece of paper or my sketch pad and doodle. Just by drawing circles or those 3-D boxes, you can start to feel a powerful but quiet shift in your energy. Your heartrate will slow, as will your breathing. It allows you space to just “be.” These beautiful gaps are created for you to rest in. Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote a book, “Getting in the Gap” that showed how this technique can bring about peace. He has you picture the Lord’s prayer and the gap

in between each word. Once you are resting in that space, you say the word, “Ahhhh.” The reason behind this is that sound is the only one that you can do without any manipulation. Hence why this is the sound in most religious deity names. (Ex: God, Allah, Buddha, Brahma, etc.) This allows us to have a long string of consciousness with the Divine. That’s how it feels for me when I am “in the creative zone.” It’s like you’re connected to something far greater than yourself that wishes you peace and

oneness. As a kid, do you remember sitting around on a rainy day and coloring in your coloring books? That having that 64-count box of Crayola Crayons was like Christmas in a box. I could do that or even paint-by-numbers until the cows came home. You got lost in the imagination of it. There was one summer as a kid that it rained almost every day in August. By the end of that month, I had not only colored every page of my Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote coloring book, but I then had to go through and outline all of the pages characters with my black crayon. That poor guy was a nub by the 31st. It helped me forget my boredom and I actually looked forward to breaking that book out everyday at the kitchen table to add to the work I had already accomplished. There was a fulfillment to it that I couldn’t have achieved with another day of playing Marco Polo in the pool while my mom yelled at us to stop screaming that danged name anymore. I think she secretly loved how quiet that activity kept us. Doing puzzles can also help ease our minds and help us sharpen our critical thinking and problem-solving skills. My daughter and I, since this quarantine began, have already done about five 1000+ piece puzzles while singing to our favorite music. Not only has it helped our minds to be distracted but it also created a time for us to work together towards a common goal. There might be a little competition involved there, too. I have also become aware that my eye for color gradients has vastly improved. It is so much easier for me to spot areas on my paintings that need a touch more color saturation and where shadows and values change. I never would have imagined that a puzzle would help me do that! I wonder nowadays how many of you are fellow journal keepers? The practice of


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{ MANIFESTING { SHIFT+CONTROL YOUR TRUE PURPOSE } } “Creativity is a healing force like no other. It helps us to get back up when we mentally think it to be nearly impossible.”

noting the day’s events and how you are feeling not only helps you to later recall what happened to you during a given time. It is also a creative way to chronicle your feelings, whether they be frustrations, joys or pain. Recently, I had a close family member in the ICU for a week and in the hospital for another eight days. The first few days were touch and go. I didn’t know how to digest what was happening. It was overwhelming and just plain scary. My go-to in hard times is my trusty journal. I pray that someone is kind enough to burn them after I die without actually reading them. When I go back and read the entries that I made during that first week, I am shocked by what my mind has purposely hidden from me to protect me. It helps me to realize that I am stronger than I know and that I can survive just about anything. I have had times where, as I write, I solve the dilemma at hand not even knowing how I got there. The answer is just sitting on the page. Many times, it is written in a way I don’t recognize and is not in my own handwriting. It’s as if my hand was gently being guided to gift me words of healing. Journaling after a deep meditation can also yield beautiful words of affirmation and 268

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loving guidance. In my journal, I also like to draw out my feelings or ideas for future pieces, plans or shows. Sometimes, it’s just a scribble. Other times, it’s quite descriptive and detailed. This spring, I hope to show students during

my Rochester Brainery “De-Stress This Mess: Creating Community Through Art” workshop how to take their own creativity to make a practice for themselves that allows healing through art while on a Zoom call. Students can chat with one another to form a sense of community over being quarantined and scared about

current events. When we come together during difficult times, we can cultivate a sense of oneness. We can support and love one another in a way that no other medium seems to do. Creativity is a healing force, especially when it is done as a group. It can also lead to your best ideas. Creativity is a healing force like no other. It helps us to get back up when we mentally think it to be nearly impossible. Creating as a community, family or with our closest friends can help us to understand that we are all one; gorgeously connected by a brilliant thread of our own humanity. The best solutions come from a place of ingenuity and a willingness to be vulnerable. When we open ourselves up to what Brené Brown terms as “getting into the arena,” it allows in new and imaginative ideas. It’s where the beauty lies. Use this time of staying hunkered down and safe to explore what getting into that creative arena looks like for you. It might even lead you closer to your greatest calling that has been longing for you to find it. There are ways that you can be of service even in the most challenging times that honors you and all you touch. Wishing the best to you and your loved ones and praying for a creative solution.


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NATIONAL DAYS BY TAMMY VREELAND

National Days - what are they? A glance at your calendar and sometimes you will see an odd thing being acknowledged for the day but you pay it no mind. Seriously, do we need yet another Hallmark induced holiday? Or... are we missing a perfect opportunity for fun, fresh new ideas that not only help us grow as a person but a fun tidbit. Something we can use, to market our own product or simply use as a discussion over dinner or perhaps, even dinner itself? Exactly what is National Day? First of all, the United States only recognizes 10 National Days which are ones like Independence Day, Christmas etc. Then you have National Observance Days like Mother’s Day, Flag Day, etc - there are 44 of those. A presidential proclamation is usually a one day occurrence but the public may pick them up and use to sell a product. Which in turn coins the phrase to most, a Hallmark created holiday. But bear with me... what with work, school, just everyday living, we find ourselves too easily falling into a rut. Who has time to come up with cute and clever ideas to promote ourselves or even entertain the family at night during dinner? Just having dinner where the whole family is gathered for the night, at the same time, is a chore in itself! Asking the same questions on how their day was and talking about yours, is the main course and to be expected. But what to do when the lull comes? 270

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That dreaded silence where you know everyone, including yourself, is wondering what is on social media right now! The rule of no phones at the table was a deal you all agreed to but still hard to get completely out of your head. I’m not saying that mentioning what National Day is, will solve the entire lull but it may take a few seconds away. Whatever the case may be, what can we do with National Days? I admit, I myself never gave National Days a passing thought. Sure, once in a while I may have heard someone say it was National something or other day and I’d chuckle but that was pretty much it. Then I was trying to come up with something cute and eye catching that I could put on my Facebook page. Which in turn, would work for my Instagram account. And then, even throw on my Slasher app. could that even be possible? It started out innocently enough, by seeing someone else post that it was National Puzzle Day. Instantly, I thought of a scary movie to coincide with the day and posted it as a suggestion. A cute way, to help with the “celebration” of the day. Being an author of books in the horror genre, it got me thinking that maybe there would be other National days I could use. You know, to help me with the chore of making my social media interesting, different, and hopefully stand out… less of a struggle! Let alone, an interesting conversation starter during dinner!

On a quest, I went to search the ole reliable internet. Surprisingly enough, within seconds, I found calendars listing each National Day! Not only with one idea but actually each day had several choices, for me to pick and choose! Excited, I would see what National Day it was going to be and then go hunt for a movie (in my case a scary one) that may coincide with the day. I then would simply use it for all my social accounts, as a suggestion to help with the celebration. Granted, some days are harder than others to make fit but it became like a game to me - to make it fit no matter how bazaar or a stretch! It is my goal, it is my challenge and it is fun! Now, how could this possibly work for you? Think about it, a wealth of fresh new daily ideas for you to draw from, right at your own fingertips! Use and abuse them! It not only makes it easier on you but interesting for your audience, whether it be social or family. Think outside the box, in my case I used it for my horror based audience. In your case, the options are endless. You need only to apply it for your needs. As a wife/mom it can be a fresh idea for dinner. So many of National Days are food related, what better way to spice up dinner by using the excuse that it is National such and such day after all, what I fixed for dinner will be our celebration for it! Meanwhile, it just made your life a whole lot easier trying to come up with something different to eat!


{ TAMMY’S TIDBITS } “It started out innocently enough, by seeing someone else post that it was National Puzzle Day. Instantly, I thought of a scary movie to coincide with the day and posted it as a suggestion. A cute way, to help with the “celebration” of the day.”

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{ TAMMY’S SHIFT+CONTROL TIDBITS } “On a quest, I went to search the ole reliable internet. Surprisingly enough, within seconds, I found calendars listing each National Day!”

As for promoting, have a product to sell? Tie it either to your product or something related to your product. In my case, scary movies were quick and easy to tie to my social accounts and audience. I would simply type in search for scary movies that are related to one of the things listed for that National Day. Think about how many other movie options you have for your own needs, anywhere from romance to comedies.

Did You Know... April 1st... Obviously is April fool’s day (I already have the scary April Fool’s movie in mind for me) but also this year it’s also Childhelp National day of Hope (a good thing to enlighten) another choice is, it is National Sourdough Bread Day (good compliment for dinner)

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April 13th... National Scrabble Day, love that game! (Maybe take a picture of your product spelled out on a scrabble board?) National Peach Cobbler Day (ahh perfect excuse for dessert!) April 20th... National Look Alike Day (see, I really like this one because what better way to promote we all are the same?) National Cheddar Fries Day (seriously, serve this with dinner and everybody is celebrating!)

And yet, movies are not the only thing to use. If you want to be creative, make a meme for the day. Or, simply acknowledge it in a post, when nothing else comes to mind. It’s such an easy source of information, to get you to interact with your audience. You can go in so many directions with it. Whether you want to take the high road and use it to enlighten people or the low road to entertain, it is your choice. After all its National Day and you are just doing your part to help acknowledge it. Even leave an open ended sentence suggesting additional thoughts, you’ll be surprised at the interaction you will get.

there is a production company named Palissades “Tartan” that produce scary movies like ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’... see, you can make it work. ;)

April 6th... National Student Athlete Day (a good one for teachers or moms with kids in sports) and yet it is also National Carmel Popcorn Day, not necessarily good for dinner but you can snack on it while watching my movie selection - now see this is where the stretch is... it is also National Tartan Day - I had no clue to what a tartan even was, so I looked it up (there’s your enlightenment, lol) it is a crisscross patterned cloth… uhm ok ...so no movies on that HOWEVER

April 27th... National Devil Dog Day (ok this is going to be an easy stretch for my audience, lol) but you could do the little cake OR you could enlighten by telling how Devil Dogs was a term German Officers used to describe the ferocity Marines used to fight. As you can clearly see, the options are endless! More importantly, have fun with it! Everyone loves a celebration, even if you only use it for yourself. Treat yourself to National Day, for every day can be a celebration!


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{ SHIFT+CONTROL } } { LIVING CONFIDENTLY

THANKS MOM! BY ANGELA VAHUE

When it comes to managing your personal finances, there’s plenty of complex advice out there. But often, simpler is better. It turns out Mom really did know best when she laid down essential truths to live by. Here are some Mom-isms that have stood the test of time.

SLEEP ON IT Research shows many financially and emotionally confident working Americans put a premium on planning and getting information before making a financial decision. Taking a step back and assessing a situation can help you make the right choice.

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT Being mindful about spending got many of our parents and grandparents through tough economic times. Be honest: How much unnecessary spending do you do? Here are some painless ways to waste less of your money so you have more to put towards your lifegoals and passions.

BRUSH AND FLOSS YOUR TEETH Sure, Mom was trying to save on dental bills. But mostly she was trying to teach us the value of protective measures to prevent future pain. As

BUY QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY From candy to playing cards, this one could be a struggle for kids. But as adults, that nugget of wisdom can apply to both the objects we buy and the services we use, including your financial products. SAVE FOR A RAINY DAY What’s your “rainy day”? An interruption to your income? Retirement? An unexpected medical bill? A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? The point is, becoming a world-class saver puts you in a better position to handle anything—good or bad—life throws you.

adults, we take that advice to heart when we consider ways to protect our income and our loved ones in the event of the unexpected, with things like individual disability and whole life insurance. PUT YOUR TOYS AWAY Taking care of what we love is one of our earliest life lessons. Later in life, our toys have been replaced by cherished assets, many of which we want to pass on to the next generation. Take time to protect what you love with legacy

and estate planning. LET’S PLAY THE QUIET GAME While mom usually pulled this one out when there was just way too much chatter, it helps to take quiet time for yourself. It can help you make thoughtful, long-term financial decisions, rather than react impulsively to the next big thing. TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED This classic certainly applies to your social interactions, but it can also apply to your financials. By taking steps to protect yourself, you are protecting the ones you love, just as you would want them to do for you. A BIRD IN THE HAND IS WORTH TWO

IN THE BUSH One of the more esoteric mom-isms, this can apply to retirement planning. By selecting the right mix of retirement income solutions now, you can set yourself up with guaranteed income for the full length of your retirement. Never knew mom was such a financial guru, did you?

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HOW TO PRIORITIZE YOUR HEALTH BY KELLY SPRINGER, MS, RD, CDN

DURING THE C O R O N AV I R U S PANDEMIC

It’s a frightening and strange time for us during the coronavirus pandemic. We must adapt to a new “normal” with the social distancing and working from home mandates. How’s that going for you? I am handling it and trying to help in whatever way I can. I encourage you all to commit to your health during this time. The CDC and WHO have given a lot of advice about the importance of frequent handwashing whenever you have been in public for your essentials. I fervently agree with handwashing but want to address the importance of losing weight and reducing stress during this time as well. It’s hard to lose weight during stressful times. We all succumb to emotional eating. If you are overweight, you are more likely to have heart disease and/or Type-II Diabetes, two of the major preexisting health conditions that put people at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. That’s a lot to swallow, right? Don’t be scared though; there are some basic steps you can take to begin losing weight: EAT ACCORDING TO MYPLATE MyPlate is a platform developed by the USDA that helps you to choose foods that support your health. The platform recommends 1-2 cups of fruit a day and 1-3 cups of vegetables a 276

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day depending on your age. The platform expresses the importance of whole grains, advising that half of your grains are whole grains. The amount of whole grains MyPlate recommends varies between 3 and 8 ounces, depending on age and physical activity. In general, 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal can be considered as 1 ounce-equivalent from the Grains Group.

easy changes. If you and your family do not get enough fruits or veggies, start keeping a fruit bowl out for snacks and slowly reduce the cookies, candy, and other less healthy treats.

The platform recommends 2-6.5 ounces of lean protein a day, In general, 1 ounce

Chop some peppers, carrots and other veggies at the beginning of the week and keep a salad mix on hand to help fulfil the veggie recommendation. Frozen veggies are great to keep if you are worried about spoilage. Experiment with condiments. Cooked veggies get a bad rep for being mushy. But if you steam, roast or even grill them and add just a little seasoning they can be delicious.

of meat, poultry or fish, ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce-equivalent from the Protein Foods Group.

If you are not used to eating w h o l e grains, start simple. Replace regular pasta for whole grain pasta; swap out white rice for brown rice; have oatmeal for breakfast; choose whole grain breads over white bread; swap out chips for lightly salted air-popped popcorn (yes, popcorn is a whole grain).

And finally, MyPlate includes the importance of having 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy a day. In general, 1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soymilk (soy beverage), 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese can be considered as 1 cup from the Dairy Group. Learn more about MyPlate at myplate.gov. If you are not used to eating the way that MyPlate recommends, start by making

Use this time to learn easy, healthy recipes Did you know that dining out is one of the biggest reasons people become overweight—portions tend to be large and meals tend to be more caloric than home-cooked meals. Now that you are forced to stay home, try learning some healthy recipes. If you have always been intimidated to cook, don’t be; it just takes practice and some easy-to-follow recipes. I have dozens of quick and healthy ecipes on my website. Check


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{ KELLY’S CHOICE} } { SHIFT+CONTROL “It’s hard to lose weight during stressful times. We all succumb to emotional eating.”

then out at https://www.kellyschoice. org/resources/recipes/. EXERCISE Going for a walk, jog, or bike ride is the perfect way to prevent cabin fever and it will help you to lose weight too. Or do yard work—that is considered exercise as well. There are also many gyms across the country that are offering free online workouts. Google “free online workouts” under the News tab and you will find hundreds of gyms offering online workouts f o r f re e d u r i n g the Coronavirus outbreak. BECOME A KELLY’S CHOICE V I R T U A L NUTRITION CLIENT Kelly’s Choice is here to help too. You can have live sessions with one of our amazing dietitians through a video chat or enroll in a program that includes videos that you can watch whenever you have time. The coolest thing is that many insurances can cover your sessions with one of our dietitians. If you are a state employee and are enrolled in the Empire Plan, Kelly’s Choice accepts your insurance! Several other insurance companies will reimburse you for your nutrition session expenses.

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In addition to helping you lose weight and develop a life-long healthier lifestyle, Kelly’s Choice dietitians have had success at reducing clients’ cholesterol and blood-pressure numbers and have even reverse many cases of Type-II diabetes. Learn more at kellyschoice.org, calling 315-730-4459 or emailing kellyspringer@ live.com.

LOOK FOR POSITIVES AND REDUCE STRESS I will close this article with the importance of looking for positives. Smile when there are blue skies. Watch something that makes you laugh. Call a friend who is known for her positive mental

attitude. And there’s a super cool Positivity Project I’ll be announcing on my website, Facebook page, an Instagram feed soon! I am partnering with Healhie and we will be including fun videos of members of my team sharing ideas to make this hard time a little bit more positive! Stay tuned and be safe! Tr y y o g a o r meditation for reducing stress. If you attend religious services, look for livestreamed services online. Remember this outbreak is not permanent. We will get through it! Kelly Springer is the founder of Kelly’s Choice nutritional company. She’s been featured in several magazines and has appeared on many television shows, including Good Morning America! For more nutrition tips, visit www. kellyschoice.org, find Kelly’s Choice on Instagram at https:// www.instagram.com/ kellyschoicenutrition o r Fa c e b o o k . a t https://www.facebook.com/KChoiceLLC. You can also connect with Kelly Springer on LinkedIn.


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ELEVATE YOUR STYLE BY CASSIDY KNIGHT

E A S Y WAY S T O ELEVATE YOUR STYLE There’s no denying that fashion is one of the best ways we can share our personality and individuality. Unfortunately, the constant need to look one’s best might make you think that you need to buy the latest clothing items to stay in the style game. And while it’s nice to treat yourself to new shoes every now and then, fashion isn’t always defined by trends and expensive garments.

Breuer has previously discussed, budget-friendly clothes can still make you look exceptionally fashionable. The trick here is to pay attention to the fabric of your garments, as they can either make or break your outfits. Start by giving it a good feel. If the fabric’s too thin, that means

If you’re looking to elevate your style, here are some easy ways to do just that. PLAY WITH LAYERS Fashionistas know that there’s more to style than simply pairing two pieces together. Depending on the season, adding more layers will let you get more creative with your look — whether it’s a playful printed blazer from Topshop, or a rugged denim jacket. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to outerwear. According to the Huffington Post, you can try joining the new hot trend that is wearing skirts or dresses over pants. The best part is you can make something new with pieces you already own. DON’T JUDGE THE PRICE TAG It’s a common misconception that expensive equates to better clothes. However, as our guest writer Kelly 280

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it is likely to break easily and leave you looking sloppy. Instead, opt for fabrics that are wrinkle-resistant, such as cashmere, polyester, and wool. Plus, they add an element of sophistication to your outfits.

P L AY A RO U N D W I T H SILHOUETTES You’d be surprised how having properfitting garments can completely transform your look. From structured button-downs to wide-leg culottes, each piece has its own particular silhouette, and knowing which shapes work well with your body best can be a game-changer. For instance, the elegant collection of dresses on Woman Within have long and loose cuts, which are flattering on a range of body types. You can choose to accentuate their maxi dresses with a cinched belt, or just keep things simple and breezy. Don’t be shy to play around with forms, as finding the right ones will have you looking effortlessly stylish. INVEST IN STATEMENT ACCESSORIES Last but not least, don’t forget to complete your outfits with some eye-catching accessories to enhance your ensemble. For example, if you’re wearing jeans and a tee, putting on a pair of statement earrings such as these chic hoops from Back to You can help breathe new life into an otherwise plain look. Remember that statement accessories aren’t limited to just jewelry either. Sporting a silk scarf like Banana Republic’s leopard print one can do just the trick too, or even your mom’s beautiful embellished clutch.


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COVID-19 AND EMOTIONAL DISTRESS BY BONNIE FLOYD

We’re all currently dealing with the mass uncertainty imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we’re bombarded with information regarding the medical aspects of this pandemic, it appears that more attention needs to be paid to the emotional aspects of coping with this rampant virus. Dealing with this virus has ushered in a wide variety of changes in our everyday lives, ranging from the trivial, to those that are more significant in nature.

period of denial for any significant loss that we encounter, we lose the precious resource of time. I’ve already witnessed friends and family members engage in spirited discussions about the true nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as about the most appropriate medical and political means to address it. Others are contending with the anger phase of adjusting to loss. We’re intensely irritated that our everyday routines have

It strongly appears that many of us are experiencing the typical stages of grief and loss as we attempt to cope with this pandemic. When we encounter losses, we typically go through the following stages: denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. Losses not only include the death of a loved one. There may be symbolic losses with which we are dealing, too. Perhaps your high school senior is prevented from attending his/her prom, a cherished rite of passage. Consequently, he or she is dealing with the loss of an important event that never was allowed to take place. Some of us are still dealing with denial, as manifested by attempts to downplay the seriousness of this pandemic. In addition, we may minimize the importance of continuing to engage in social distancing as a means of flattening the curve. When we choose to remain in an extended 282

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been so powerfully disrupted. We find ourselves agitated by the quotas that have been placed on the purchase of everyday items that we need to us. Perhaps we feel frustrated by having to find novel ways to perform our workrelated activities. Personally, I’ve found myself very challenged by the process of converting the college class that I’ve been teaching to an online one. I’ve also experienced frustration with attempting

to set up teletherapy sessions for my nursing home residents. Maybe we find ourselves in the bargaining phase of grieving, assuming that engaging in extended weeks of isolation will attenuate the ultimate impact of COVID-19. We promise to adhere to a limited period of altering our lifestyle, expecting that our reward will be that our lives return to normal. The sheer uncertainty of this novel pandemic makes it much so more difficult with which to cope. We don’t honestly know how much longer, after all, that our everyday lives will be so radically altered. We all struggle, to a certain degree, with adjusting to our new normal. It’s very important to be patient with ourselves as we navigate this novel territory; having unrealistic expectations for our degree of adjustment will only compound our level of emotional distress. Hopefully, most of us will eventually come to accept the new way of life that has been recently imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll learn to be human “beings,” as opposed to human “doings.” We’ll learn to purchase adequate resources for our immediate family’s needs, as opposed to hoarding resources that are also truly needed by others. Optimally, we’ll learn to cherish increased


{ {MENTALLY SHIFT+CONTROL THINKING } } “Hopefully, most of us will eventually come to accept the new way of life that has been recently imposed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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“We’ll survive this pandemic, after all. We’ll survive together.”

time with our family members, as opposed to being irritated by one another’s flaws and imperfections. We’ll value our friendships to a greater degree and make scheduling lunch with a friend an actual priority, as opposed to a mere option. Hopefully, we’ll realize that our priorities were previously very distorted. We will learn to be more grateful for our everyday blessings, as opposed to always waiting for something positive to happen to us. We’ll avoid placing our happiness on hold. Basically, we’ll 284

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learn to live in the present, as opposed to residing in future possibilities. We will find ourselves less defined by our accomplishments, as well as by our possessions. Every crisis presents an opportunity for us. We can actively choose to focus on what we have lost, versus deciding to focus on what remains. In novel situations, it’s critically important to focus on what we can continue to control. Maybe this involves making a daily schedule of things to do, as well as setting modest

everyday goals to accomplish. Doing so will undoubtedly assist us with feeling more in control of our day-to-day life. We’re all in this together, after all. Maybe you can leave a bag on groceries on your elderly neighbor’s porch, just to make their lives a little easier. Perhaps you’ll choose to phone a friend that you may have lost touch with, for whatever reason. We’ll survive this pandemic, after all. We’ll survive together.


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MUSIC, MUSIC THERAPY AND DEMENTIA BY OLGA MONACELL

I met Kim Best, a board-certified music therapist, in early March, at the Dr. Lemuel and Gloria Rogers Health Symposium-an Alzheimer’s Association event held annually in Rochester, New York. Kim is a classically trained flutist who is also proficient in voice, guitar, and piano. After earning a bachelor’s degree in music therapy at Nazareth College, she received additional training at the Metropolitan Jewish Health System, a large hospice agency servicing the boroughs of New York City.

someone an outside stimulus to grasp onto while it is matched with the person’s energy level, heart rate and respiration. Over time, the music therapist slows down the tempo, volume, and energy of the music to reduce the presence of difficult symptoms associated with dementia. A person may be in pain or may be shouting out but music brings them to a safe, calm, and pain-free place. Q At home, family members sometimes like to listen to the radio while singing

Q. Studies have shown that music may improve behavioral issues of individuals living with dementia. Research also shows that music provides a way to connect with a loved one after verbal communication becomes difficult. Can you share with us your experience working with families impacted by dementia? A. Time and time again, I have seen a family caregiver burst into tears when their loved one sings a favorite song after months of being unable to form a coherent sentence. Often, individuals with dementia can sing entire songs without thinking about the words. Lyrics come out effortlessly, as do family’s tears after witnessing such an event. An individual “comes alive” by tapping their toes or humming along with the song. Sometimes, it is a spontaneous dance to the music. And sometimes, it is just a smile on the individual’s face. What a beautiful thing to witness! Similarly, music therapy helps reduce agitation and other heightened symptoms of dementia. Music therapists play live music and observe how the individual’s body responds. The live music gives 286

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accrue continuing education credits and renew our certification every five years. Music therapists provide layers of protection for the people they serve. We utilize evidence-based measures and adhere to a treatment plan. Music therapists are trained to observe responses such as a person’s respiration, heart rate, distress, and mood. Because we are professional musicians playing live music, we are able to manipulate the music to change in accordance with the client’s response. For instance, I sing “Edelweiss” in a slow waltz pace and my client sings along. But if they are singing faster than I am playing, I can easily speed up my tempo to match the client’s voice. I’m giving individuals with dementia control of the music at a time when everything else around them is out of their control. Q How does music therapy benefit those who care for their loved ones with dementia?

and dancing. Is this considered music therapy? A. While music can be inherently therapeutic, there are added benefits to working with a music therapist. Music therapists are professional musicians who have additional training in psychology and medicine. In addition to a four-year degree in music therapy, board-certified music therapists are required to complete a six-month internship and over 1,200 hours of supervised clinical work. After taking the certification exam, we must

When individuals with dementia sing, it releases dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter. It is safe to say they will likely be more motivated to eat, engage in interactive experiences, and do things that might otherwise be uncomfortable. How helpful that is for a caregiver! On the other hand, music therapy can be provided solely to caregivers. I have worked with caregivers to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Taking someone through a song that has depth and meaning can be a great opportunity for them to voice feelings that are difficult to communicate. Letting someone close their eyes and transport to a different place with a


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{ PARTNERS { SHIFT+CONTROL IN A JOURNEY } } “Unless someone responds poorly or appears to be more agitated by a specific song playing, I believe music is always a good idea. You can play music during meals and bathing.”

contemplative piece of music can bring much-needed relaxation into their day. Q. What can family caregivers do with music during these uncertain and challenging times? A. Unless someone responds poorly or appears to be more agitated by a specific song playing, I believe music is always a good idea. You can play music during meals and bathing. Another idea is to use your own voice and sing. It does not need to sound like you 288

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are ready to perform on stage, but using your voice to produce a real human sound impacts the way someone hears music. The music is no longer a separate entity coming through speakers, it is a relationship, a connection. Give singing a try, especially in times that may be extra tough. If you can’t think of any other song, why not try “You Are My Sunshine” or “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”? One other thought is to try moving with music. Hold your loved one’s hand and move it gently with the music, tap a soft beat to

the song on the individual’s forearm and, if the moment is right, get up and dance! To learn more about music therapy, visit KimBestMusicTherapy.com/blog. For musical inspiration, listen to Music Moments, a collection of new recordings and unreleased tracks by award-winning artists honoring the emotional connection between music and life’s most important moments that we would never want to lose to dementia. For additional information about Music Moments, visit: alz.org/musicmoments.


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If you are caring for a loved one with memory loss or dementia, call the 24/7 Helpline to learn about care options, receive around-the-clock crisis assistance, and get connected to support services in your area:

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EMPOWERED BY JUDI SWANSON

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Do you have any things in your life you want to achieve or conquer? It could range from smaller accomplishments to those on a larger scale. I have been working diligently to stretch myself to overcome my own hurdles to achieve some goals that are important to me. Writing for Rochester Woman Online is an honor and I take writing these articles seriously. Let me explain why this one is different than the other articles I have submitted.

Weeks would go by with great plans of writing this article prior to the due date and it did not happen. Until today. Today I gave myself a firm deadline of writing the day before. No more excuses. As I am writing I feel more relaxed and in the flow. Often when I am writing on the due date I feel a time crunch, pressured, and stressed. Writing this the day before it’s due feels so much better.

I wrote this the day before it was due. Yep that’s it. Every time I know the deadline to submit an article is coming I procrastinate, waiting until the last minute to write. After I am finished, I skim the article over to look for any changes that are needed and then boom, I email it. . What happens more than not is I later I revisit the article. I always see mistakes or sentences that need editing. Sometimes I can resubmit it in the time frame I have, others not. . I know the best way for me to write is to write, then let what I have written sit and look at it the next day with fresh eyes. It helps improve how I write, what I write. For me it feels better. It’s like preparing a french toast bake the night before where it sits in the refrigerator overnight blending and absorbing all the delicious flavors together. You add a few ingredients in the morning and bake a wonderful, delicious breakfast.

There are some other goals that I am proud of myself for achieving. Towards the end of 2019 I began going to two 5:30am fitness classes getting up at 4:10am to get ready. Getting up at the wee hours of the morning is something that does not come naturally to me. It required sheer determination, a no excuses mind set and a wanting to change. Yep did it. In January I added a third class which is a cycling class. For those

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who have not taken a cycling class they are a beast. My two morning classes are intense. Cycling is a s whole new level of stretch for me. There is something powerful that improves my mood and confidence when I leave each and every class. Even though my work portions and other life stuff is just getting going I feel like I have crushed my day. These goals I set for myself I did not share with anyone. None on these goals or challenges are things I had to do. All of them are what I wanted to accomplish for myself. Some research supports the idea that it is best to keep your goal to yourself. Part of it comes from other people’s fears, the naysayers, their own sense of not accomplishing goals for themselves so when you tell them yours they subtly, or not subtly, put you and your goal down. An article in Science Daily dated September 3, 2019 titled “Share your goals, but be careful whom you tell” supports the idea of being choosy in regards to whom you tell your goal. Make sure it is someone who will build you up and support you. Not someone who will bring you down. By nature I am an internal person so my decision was to share my success after. I had some wonderful cheers and good for you from some people. Others not


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{{ YOU MATTER } SHIFT+CONTROL } “Celebrate come on. Celebrate your accomplishments or successes. It does not matter what they are. It matter’s that you did it. ”

so much. Regardless I was and am proud of myself. How often do we celebrate our personal victories? In my eyes not often enough. Regardless of the achievement we should be patting ourselves on the back and sometimes sharing it with others. When we were little it felt super awesome when we learned to tie our shoes, to read, ride a bike. There was this grand sense of “I did it” and we whooped it up! This should not be something that goes away. Thrive Global in an 292

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article dated December 13, 2019 gives “10 reasons to celebrate your successes” like it’s a confidence boost, you can use the skills you learned in this achievement for others, you can inspire others around you to celebrate (one of my favorites). Celebrating your achievements is good for you. Celebrating your achievements is good for others. Celebrating others achievements is good for them and you. President Thomas S. Monson said,

“If you want to give a light to others, you have to glow yourself.” Celebrate come on. Celebrate your accomplishments or successes. It does not matter what they are. It matter’s that you did it. What you achieve and accomplish is important because who you are and what you do matters. May your did it be with you


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Profile for Rochester Woman Online

Central NY Woman Online May/June 2020  

We are excited to launch the latest edition of Central NY Woman Online Magazine, May-June 2020, with a truly inspiring and amazing cover wom...

Central NY Woman Online May/June 2020  

We are excited to launch the latest edition of Central NY Woman Online Magazine, May-June 2020, with a truly inspiring and amazing cover wom...