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VOL 6, NO 3





BARREN in the 21 Century st





Mothers on the Move:

Navigating New Waters

In this Issue





Lori Samples Duncan (


Theresa Adams Cathy Williams (

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kennieth Allen Erica Armstrong Ruth Chapman Judy H. Cook Joy Downs Lori Samples Duncan Tammy Ferris Jean Grey Ashby Jones Shirley Keels Beth McCrary Chris Mifsud Tripp Newsome Crystal Poston Aïda Rogers Elaine Samples Matthew Spain Gina Votion


Clark Berry Photography


Melissa W. Morris

PHOTOGRAPHY Ben Barrs Clark Berry Photography Flack Media JSG Photography K. Dalton Lista’s Studio of Photography Robert Patrick Image Design Tammy Bevins Photography Find us on facebook!

Lexington Woman Magazine Woman 2 Woman Publishing (803) 785-4475 602 Northwood Road Lexington, SC 29072

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume responsibility for errors or omissions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. © 2012

From the Editor 2 Summer’s Back!

Things We Love!

3 Things We Love about Lexington!

Let’s Talk

4 6 7 9 10 12 13 14

Affordable Weddings at The Mitchell House and Gardens Community Spotlight: Marcus Williams, author of The Stop Bullying Club Take Time for YOU! A Memory from My Mother The Ashby Chronicle: Musical Mothering Meet Brooke Dawkins Give Your Child a Brighter Future Jack Loonam – an Athlete, Soldier and Gentleman


17 18 19 20

Teresa Addy – Mother of Sons “Once You Use a Mac, You’ll Never Go Back” What Now? Don’t Go Back, Just Go Here!

Health & Wellness

23 24

A Rare Form of Pain Relief ...Now in Your Neighborhood Psychology 101: Evidence-based Treatments. Assessment. Community Outreach.

26 Lexington Medical Center Updates Cancer Facilities to Improve Patient Care

Mothers on the Move

28 29 31 32 33 34

Terri Kyzer and Crystal Poston Mary Whitlock and Joy Downs Hima and Sanket Dalal Katrina Shealy and Erica Armstrong Jill and Piper Davis A Tribute to my Mother, Juanita Young

Celebrating the Survivor in You!

36 Learning to Trust a Different Plan 39 Surviving, Thriving, and Inspiring the Community Around Her

To Be or Not To Be

40 42 47 49

A Fertility Success Story: The May Boys Barren in the 21st Century: Gina’s Story Suffering from Infertility? We’re Here to Help! The Doctor is In: Maximizing Your Fertility

Business & Web Directory 51 Contact our Advertisers

Personal Note 52 Seasons of Life


irst of all, let me congratulate the graduating class of 2012—what an accomplishment! It doesn’t matter if it’s high school, college, or pre-school, I know this is an exciting time for everyone! This is the beginning of a new and exciting time in your life! This issue is all about the mother in us. Each of us made a choice to become a mother, some of us more easily than others. We have chosen many moms to feature in this issue. Some are mothers talking about their sons, some are mothers talking about their daughters, and some are daughters talking about their mothers. I have often thought every story we tell is about the success of a mother. One of my favorite quotes is one my son lovingly shared once, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”— Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). It is not as easy for some of us as it is for others, and in these pages, you will hear the struggles of infertility and also the blessings of chosen children. I hope you will be inspired as always by the men and women within this issue. We had a great time shooting the cover on the Southern Patriot! We even had our pictures taken by Becki and Clark Berry on the bough of the boat, like the famous Titanic scene. It was a lovely night, and a few mothers and daughters joined us for a light dinner and a cruise around Lake Murray! It’s a beautiful boat, and Captain Jay was a card. Ashlyn Combs sang us back into the harbor to end the night with her powerful voice. One of the things that makes me proud to live in Lexington is the people. With the recent diagnosis of brain cancer of one of our own, Lexington has joined together to support this young lady and her family. I am so excited to share a little of her story with you. She is not only facing this with grace and courage, she is inspiring the community around her! There are many ways her friends and school mates are showing her support, and we wanted to join this effort to “Pray for Kennedy.” Even if you don’t have monetary means to help with the mounting medical cost, everyone who believes can do this one thing. It won’t cost anything but a few moments of your time! I couldn’t help but think of Kennedy and her mother this past Mother’s Day. Will you join me and pray for this family and this child? Lexington Woman would not be possible without the support of our advertisers! Don’t forget to tell them where you saw them and how you heard about them. We want to support the businesses supporting us and local women! Thank you for all of the positive feedback about the last issue. I was overwhelmed by the positive response. It is always a blessing to hear from you. If you know someone you think should be featured in Lexington Woman, feel free to send me an email or give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you, Proverbs 22:6 Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.

Lori Samples Duncan Editor-in-Chief

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Things We Love!




Things We

About Lexington! by Lori Samples Duncan

FINE JEWELERS Lexington Schools and Their Teachers! We are so thankful for a great district that is committed to helping our students become world class learners and leaders!!

The “Kennedy” Bead from Dems Fine Jewelers This young lady has touched our hearts and our lives over the last few months. She has inspired young men to shave their heads to support her and has taught us all about courage and faith! To purchase this bead and to see others, visit or call (803) 407-5290. Learn more on page 38.

Specializing in On-Site Repair and Custom Design

803-996-5530 903 North Lake Drive Lexington

(look for the black awning)

Lexington Baseball! Congrats to the Lexington Woman Magazine Tee-ball Sharks for being such great sports!

Lexington Voters! We love people who show up to the polls and vote! Come on Lexington, let’s have our voices heard! Don’t sit at home and complain. Let’s make a difference at the polls this year!

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Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and Wellness

Get away for a weekend or a week!!! Enjoy tennis, fishing, pool, the beach, and much more! Visit or see their ad on page 8 of this issue to book your next trip to Hilton Head!

This is a great organization and a wonderful group of ladies committed to helping you change your lifestyle! See their ad on page 48, or visit www.

Summertime is Here! Savor every minute of backyard barbecues, pool time, and vacations!

Let’s Talk


The Mitchell House and Gardens


ou’re engaged to be married, but you want to keep your budget intact as you plan the wedding of your dreams. A memorable wedding with the air of splendor is possible on a budget, says Phyllis James, owner of The Mitchell House and Gardens in Lexington, where thousands of brides have said “I Do” since the gracious Southern home was renovated and opened in 1992 as a special event and wedding location. Some of the most beautiful weddings are the simplest, said Ms. James. We offer packages for every budget and every taste bud! Here are 10 tips from The Mitchell House consultant, Karen Petit, for affordable, elegant weddings: Location, Location! Choose one location for your wedding AND your reception. This can save money because you won’t have to decorate two different venues.


Invite from Your “A List.” Choose the people who are the most special to you and just invite the “short list”.


Let Nature Help You Decorate! An outdoor wedding/reception with lush lawns, the green of trees, and blooming flowers will help trim your decoration.


Timing Is Everything! Be flexible with your timing. A morning or afternoon will cost you less than evening. The fare will be lighter, but delicious, says Patsy Kiser, Vice President, of The Mitchell house


Are Fine. 5 Fewer Limit the number of bridal attendants to save on flower bouquets. Know It All! When choosing a venue for your wedding and/or reception, The Mitchell House has packages that include the entire wedding, the catered reception with food and cake, decorations, full set up, etc. without any hidden costs to discover later.


Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Forget the favors – the guests do! The drinks are on … Cash bars are the new trend and are socially acceptable.




“Say It with Flowers!” Flowers are the WOW factor, but don’t have to BLOW the budget. Nicole Lee, floral designer at The Mitchell House, says you can save money by working with the “in-house” floral staff and choosing flowers that are in season.


Remember What Day It Is! This is the day that you’re marrying the love of your life. While you want this day to be beautiful and memorable, your wedding is a celebration of your love and your future together. What guests remember: (1) How the bride looked, (2) the food served, and (3) the floral decor. Other costly details will be overlooked and forgotten in the years ahead.


Have a Blast! And on the special day, Ms. James’ advice to brides and their mothers: “You’ve worked hard to plan a beautiful event, so let the burden slide off your shoulders. Bring the dress and we’ll handle the rest! You should laugh, love, enjoy, dance — and have a blast!”

3 6


The Mitchell House and Gardens is the longest-running premiere, full-service wedding facility in the Midlands. The business is wellknown for helping brides and grooms create the weddings of their dreams, regardless of their budgets.

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VOL 6, NO 1






VOL 6,









e Extrem SITY


RO ning, GENE extreme coupo

We feature in this issu several makeovers e health to land– from personal scapes!

Through s that Joyce Hansell proveto give! everyone has time



The Surv ival of a TA-T INI


Jessica Ara ya shares her inspiring stor y with us!



Kayla Stevens talks to us about stepping up to the plate for her siblings after tragedy struck

SUPER KIDS Lexington is home to countless young people who inspire us!


Mandy Sum



My Daughter’s Diagnosis L ed Businesses of

Locally Own



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Community Spotlight

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


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

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

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

Let’s Talk photo by Clark Berry Photography


Judy Cook


s a mother, I know how stressful and hectic our schedules can be. While you celebrate Mother’s Day this month, take some time to pamper yourself as well! Here are just a few ways you can create an at-home spa experience to relax, rejuvenate, and reward yourself! A hot bath is a great way to refresh your senses! Light some candles, put on your favorite music, and bring a great book or magazine. Our Orange and Vanilla scented Spa Indulgence line creates an amazingly tranquil experience! An at-home facial is also a wonderful way to unwind, and you don’t have to spend hundreds dollars for one! When we do home spa shows at Aloette, one of our favorite products to highlight is the Restorative Enzyme Peel. Made with papaya, cucumber, and grapefruit extracts, this peel gently exfoliates

without the harsh after-effects of a chemical peel.

I hope that you take time for yourself as well this Mother’s Day.

I don’t know any woman who doesn’t feel better after she gets her nails done, and an at-home manicure is easy and fun! Aloette’s Hot Soy Manicure Candle is perfect for an at-home manicure—it hydrates and conditions your hands and nails at the same time.

Judy Cook is the President of Aloette of Central South Carolina and has been in the business for 30 years. She is the mother of two and grandmother of 3. She has always believed in her mission for her company to empow-

er women to reach their full potential financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Her office is located at 4721 Sunset Boulevard in Lexington, and you can reach her at (803) 808-1818.

So many of my customers and my Consultants are mothers, and I am overjoyed to give them the opportunity to feel pampered with at-home tips such as these.


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Let’s Talk

A Memory from

My Mother by Tammy Ferris

Tammy Ferris


as this ever happened to you? You walk by a shop and all of a sudden a wisp of a fragrance will bring back floods of memories. Our sense of smell is powerful and a direct connector to events in our lives.

The smell of yeast bread baking is a trigger for me into childhood memories. My mom used to make yeast rolls and when she did, she had our full attention. Mom would mix the dough, then knead it, while my sister and I helped – an activity that usually kept us from fighting with each other! After that she would form the dough into rolls, cover it with a kitchen towel and we would wait for it to rise. But eventually the waiting would be over and the dough would go into the oven. Dad was usually home by then so the three of us would sit in the kitchen with our butter knives ready for hot bread out of the oven. It was a treat my sister and I cherished and I remember experiencing pure joy with the first mouthful of bread dripping with melted butter. It was a family favorite and just one of the ways my mom made our home comfortable.

My mom passed away several years ago and bread is now a delicacy for me as I continually strive to maintain healthy weight, but the memories are a constant. To me yeast rolls are a symbol of home, comfort and security – that will never change. The impact of this spills over into my business philosophy as well. As a business owner I LoVe it when I can help people feel comfortable in their homes. Here’s a yeast bread roll recipe I found on Who knows, maybe you will use the idea to help create a memory in your home.

Recipe • 2 cups hot water • ½ cup margarine • ⅓ cup white sugar • 2 teaspoons salt • ½ cup cold water

• 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour • 2 eggs

Melt margarine in hot water. Add sugar and salt and stir. Add cold water and yeast. Stir to dissolve yeast. Add 3 cups flour and mix. Add eggs and 2 ½ - 3 cups more flour. Mix, cover and let rise until dough doubles in size. Punch down and let rise 30 more minutes or until doubles. Make walnut size balls of dough. Place about 2 inches apart in well-buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 30-45 minutes. Brush top of rolls with margarine while hot.

Tammy C. Ferris is President of Gene Love Plumbing, Air, Electric serving greater Lexington and Richland Counties. Visit www. or call 803719-LoVE (5683) to learn more.

It was a family favorite and just one of the ways my mom made our home comfortable.

Let’s Talk photo by Clark Berry Photography


Musical Mothering by Ashby Jones

Ashby Jones

Don’t misunderstand me. I have really bad taste in music. But so does Maggie, and this is how we bonded from the start. In the year 2000, Maggie loved the boy bands. I remember listening to NSYNC and dancing with Maggie. Well, I danced and she wiggled inside my tummy. Once she was outside my tummy, we danced to some Christina Aguilera (before she was Xtina) – our favorite song was Come On Over. I held my little bald baby girl and we bounced while I sang my version “come on over, come on over Mag-gie!” When she could stand by herself I introduced Mag to Janet Jackson. Maggie held onto the kitchen counter and tastefully bounced to Nasty Boys. I am such a good influence. Mercifully, I was not her only influence. When she was two, Maggie started saying “I-BEE-CUSE” after dinner. I had to call her Other Mother/babysitter Kay to find out what in the world my daughter was saying.



his July, I will have been a Mom for 12 years. I’m starting to figure this job out! One thing is certain: I could not have made it this far without all the help from Maggie’s Other Mothers (they know who they are), chardonnay, and music. When Maggie had matured sufficiently and was emotionally ready, I introduced her to Britney. (She was four years old). Our favorite song was Toxic. Mag knew all the words. She explained to me that when Britney sang “You’re dangerous – I’m lovin’ it” that Britney was talking about traffic. Because bad traffic can be so dangerous. We listened to this song so often, Maggie suggested my sister name her firstborn child Toxic. From age 4 to 11, the music was a whirl of Justin Timberlake, Britney, Maroon Five, Britney, Adele, Nelly Furtado, Shakira, and Britney. On the first day of 6th grade we were both extremely uptight. Ok, I was extremely uptight. Mag was fine. I was about to drop my BABY off at this big awful school. We played Lady Gaga. And it soothed us both.

sic and dance her own dance. Just because everyone else is drinking margaritas and lining up to do the Macarena doesn’t mean she has to. I need the music to help me explain true love. I’ve already made Maggie listen to Fleetwood Mac sing The Chain and explained to her that the two vocalists loved each other and hated each other at the same time. I’ve explained that while those vocalists sounded pretty great at the time, true love sounds nothing like that. True love sounds like her daddy singing Blue-Eyed Girl to me, even though the song is actually called BrownEyed Girl. I need the music to remind her to come home. Even though Mag will go off to college someday and might follow JLo’s lead – dating

I realize I only have 6 more years of music with Maggie. Ok, I know there will be music after that too, but it won’t be the same, because I won’t control the iPod.

Kay had taught her to say “may I be excused?” when she was finished eating. I think this balanced out what I had taught her – that Let’s Go Crazy is the perfect song to crank up real loud and play repeatedly while you run in circles through the house in your diaper.

I have so much more music to play for Maggie. Mag needs to hear and see Milli Vanilli. She needs to know that just because a man looks nice and is a good dancer does not mean he has true talent. Maggie needs to know she can choose her own mu-

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women

a series of dumb-but-sexy back up dancers, she can always come home. Even if she makes bad decisions like changing her name to a symbol and later realizes she has made this bad decision and then decides to change her name back to a non-symbol, everyone will forgive her, especially me. And she can come home. If I know anything, I know that even though Maggie is now potty trained, even if she now knows Britney was not talking about traffic, and that Nasty Boys might not have been an appropriate song for a dancing toddler - she will always listen to music with me. And if the timing is right, and no one is looking, we might put on Let’s Go Crazy and run around the house in circles.

Maggie needs to know she can choose her own music and dance her own dance.





Attorneys at Law


• Auto Accidents • Injury • Divorce • Custody • Criminal Defense

803-359-1003 303 South Lake Drive

Lexington, SC 29072

Fax (803) 359-1378


Let’s Talk

Brooke outside Crossroads Animal Hospital, her part-time job (photo by Flack Media)

Meet Brooke Dawkins


by Aïda Rogers


hen Brooke Dawkins leaves her home in Gilbert to study nursing at USC Beaufort, she’ll take more than a suitcase and laptop. She’ll take her certificate as a nursing assistant and nine years of experience caring for close relatives with cancer. At 18, she’s spent almost half her life helping her mother, both grandmothers, and grandfather with the disease. She was in the fourth grade when her parents told her about her mother’s Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the eye. “My heart just fell,” Brooke remembers. “It dropped. I was crying; it was like, ‘It can’t be you that has cancer. It has to be a mistake the doctors are making.’” Brooke accompanied her mother to many of her doctors’ appointments. “It was a scary experience, but when I got in there, I was so eager to learn about what kind of cancer it was, and I asked a bunch of questions: ‘Is it treatable? Will my mom be okay?’”


Brooke’s essay and recommendation letters from teachers and Dr. Amy F. Spies, the veterinarian who hired her for part-time work at Crossroads Animal Hospital, convinced the scholarship committee that Brooke fulfilled the program’s mission to help a student who proves “moral integrity, need, and the potential to become a productive citizen.” The scholarship has been awarded since 1995.

Lisa Dawkins, Brooke’s mom, eventually would be okay, and Brooke’s goal to become an advanced nurse practitioner oncologist earned her the 2012 Doris Burkett Scholarship, awarded by the Greater Lexington Chamber to a deserving Lexington One student each year.

Torn between choosing a profession that would help animals or people, Brooke decided on nursing because of the various cancers that have taken both of her grandmothers and her great-grandmother. “I was really close to my grandmothers,” she says. “Sometimes it hits me that they’re not going to be there.”

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She confesses she sometimes has difficulty sleeping, knowing that cancer runs in both her maternal and paternal families. “And if something comes up on me, like a bump or something, I’ll freak out,” she says. “Cancer scares me.” Of the many professions within oncology, advanced nurse practitioner oncologist is what appealed to Brooke most. Empathetic interaction with patients and their families is what nurse practitioners can provide. “Cancer can bring a family together and it can bring them apart, because you want to blame people for why your loved one was struck with a diagnosis that might not be curable,” Brook reflects. Those insights and experiences, along with her volunteer work at South Carolina Oncology Associ-

ates and participation with Gilbert High School’s chapter of Health Occupation Students of America, should provide firm footing for her future. “Brooke has been through more stuff than anybody can imagine,” Lisa Dawkins says, recalling how her daughter shadowed Cindy Frick, her doctor’s nurse practitioner, “and just fell in love with that job.” Lisa Dawkins has been in remission since 2004, and Brooke remembers the drawing she made for Dr. Rosemary Lambert-Falls when she learned the good news. It had the sun, clouds, grass, and flowers, as well as Dr. LambertFalls and Brooke—with “a big smile on my face.”

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

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

Give Your Child a BRIGHTER Future

by Kennieth Allen


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

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

452-5933 or by e-mail at Visit us online at Make a difference in your child’s life today!

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

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

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by Ruth Chapman

JACK LOONAM — an Athlete, Soldier and Gentleman


t has been said, the Apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. In the case of Jack Loonam, it is fair to say this is true. There are moments in our lives that sometimes define who we are. One such moment was on a crowded bus for a Lexington teen. Now there is one more set of proud parents in Lexington, Tim and Betsy Loonam, owners of Grace Animal Hospital, who have two children, Jack and Katie. Jack is a Freshman at the University of Georgia and Katie is a Junior at Lexington High School. Betsy says that one hard and fast rule in their home is when it comes to church, there is no question about attending. As she says, “Church is not an option, it is a family activity and commitment that we do together.” Betsy believes that prayer is one reason why their children excel. Ever since Jack was a little boy, all he wanted was attend the University of Georgia and be a Bulldog! With tuition at $40,000/year the only choice was how to pay for it? Jack decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the ROTC. Even though Jack was not involved in ROTC in high school, he trained hard and decided to apply for an Army ROTC scholarship. Mom


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was not completely thrilled with the idea, but was very proud of her son for setting a goal and achieving it. Jack was awarded a full ride through the Army ROTC. He is currently majoring in Finance and would like to work in an athletic department, perhaps at his alma mater. You see, not only is Jack in the ROTC and training daily, he decided to try out for football as a walk on. Through associations he made in high school and his parents assisting him by sending in his football tapes, made when he was a student at Lexington High School, he was awarded a spot on the University of Georgia football team as a tight end. He trains with the football team during the season and in the off-season he works out with the Army ROTC team. As if that isn’t enough, he was given yet another award recently. The story goes: Jack was riding on

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a very full campus bus, where seating was limited. He was holding on to a strap, but witnessed a scenario he didn’t like while riding. It seems that a male student was sitting in a coveted seat. When a girl, not particularly beautiful, got on the bus, the guy looked at the girl, then turned away, forcing the girl to stand holding on to a strap, just like Jack. But at the next bus stop, a pretty girl got on the bus. The same guy stood up and gave the pretty girl his seat. Jack was incensed about the scenario and tweeted, “Bro, when a girl is standing up on the bus, give her your seat, no matter what she looks like, it’s the right thing to do. Be a gentleman.” He also put a note about it on Facebook. He had 70 likes on Facebook within 2 hours. Eventually, the vice president of a new chapter of the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) on campus noticed. The club is a conservative women’s book club and

they believe that there is a decline in chivalry which leads to a mutual disrespect between the sexes. They sponsor a national competition each year, Gentleman of the Year, through likes on Facebook from March 1 through March 31. When the vice president recommended Jack Loonam because of his chivalrous comment, he received the most likes across the nation, 385. Jack’s reaction is summed up in his comments, “It’s one of the most humbling things I’ve ever gotten. I felt so humbled that I actually had that kind of impression on people, because I thought it was just the right thing to do. Being the guy – for once – actually paid off.” If you know his parents this honor doesn’t surprise you. Congratulations to Tim and Betsey for raising such an outstanding young man. Congratulations to Jack for doing the right thing! We are looking forward to hearing great things about you in the future.

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Teresa Addy – MOTHER OF SONS by Ruth Chapman


s every parent of multiple children will tell you, each child is an individual. John and Teresa Addy have three sons, J.K., Josh and Jeremy, each with their own unique personalities. Teresa says that they tried to raise their sons, 23, 21 and 20 years old, respectively, to be the best they can be, to be ambitious and courteous. So when their youngest, Jeremy decided to open a clothing store, they were excited and supportive. Jeremy entered Clemson University two years ago and pledged Kappa Sigma fraternity. As a fraternity member, clothing is essential and Jeremy quickly learned where to go for the “right” clothes in Clemson. Through meeting and working with Steve at M.H. Franks Clothiers in Clemson, he learned the art of dressing and decided that he really likes the opportunities afforded a small business owner. He is majoring in Economics/Finance at Clemson and has decided that his niche is as a business owner. So, in April of 2011, Craig Reagin Clothiers was born and is owned by 20 year old Jeremy Addy, then a freshman at Clemson University. When Jeremy approached his parents about the opportunity, they were all for it. They had been business owners for many years with a car dealership and were used to retail hours. So a deal was struck between parents and child. And where does the name come from? Joshua Craig and Jeremy Reagin – their middle names were combined to create the name. Once a location was selected Mom and Dad bought the building and renovated it for Jeremy. Mom agreed to run the business during the week while Jeremy continues

When Jeremy approached his parents about the opportunity, they were all for it.

J.K., Josh, and Jeremy Addy his studies at Clemson. The catch is that he has to come home on weekends and run the store on Saturdays. Mrs. Addy says that Jeremy does all the buying for the business, dresses the mannequins, keeps up with the store’s Facebook page and pays the bills when he comes home. She says sometimes they can be found in the store on Sundays catching up on paperwork and if they see someone peeping in the door, they will attend to their needs. The store is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Jeremy says of mom, “She is a tremendous help and I could not run it without her. I know that she treats customers with great customer service and I am confident that when the week’s done, it was handled as if I were there.”

Teresa says that when they owned the car dealership, it became a second home to the children and their friends. As you can imagine with only 4 years between the oldest and youngest, their circle of friends is communal and their friends, too, hung out at the dealership. She believes that part of Jeremy’s reasoning for opening a store is to provide that second home once again to the boys, who all help out. For instance, if Teresa has appointments or errands outside of the store, she calls J.K., the oldest son, to come “mind the store” in her absence. So what does Craig Reagin Clothiers carry? Their inventory includes name brands such as Southern Tide (fish emblem), Vineyard Vines (whale emblem) and Coast (crab emblem.) They carry all types of men’s clothing and accessories to include pocket squares, bow ties, socks, wallets, ties and belts.

They are looking into a shoe line and will soon being carrying men’s suits, in addition to the casual wear they currently offer. In the future, they hope to begin carrying a tuxedo line as well. As for expansion, Jeremy says he is considering adding another store or two and has already begun scouting locations. He’ll be home over the summer and you can bet growing the store will be on his list of priorities. The store celebrated its first anniversary in April of this year and has done very well. Mrs. Addy says that all of the profits from the store have gone back into inventory. What a big accomplishment for a young man who is only 20 years old, attends Clemson University (4.0 GPA), is in a fraternity and has a girlfriend. We can’t imagine when he has time to sleep! No doubt John and Teresa Addy are very proud of all their boys.



“Once You Use a Mac, You’ll Never Go Back”

by Matthew B. Spain


ou may have heard it said, “Once you go Mac, you’ll never go back.” As a result of the “hype,” some folks have decided to step out on a limb and gave it a test, but there are still many people who are afraid to give an Apple or a Mac a shot. Personally, I really like Macs; I have owned many and have been nothing short of thrilled with every one! They are built solidly, have great performance and style, and are fun to use. It is my humble opinion that the Windows based world has polluted the Mac waters and I, for one, think that we need to set some thing straight. Myth 1: “Macs aren’t compatible with PCs, and the world uses PC.” FALSE. At one time, Macs had compatibility issues with Windows based products, but that is very much a thing of the past. Macs are extremely compatible with most of today’s technology. Users are able to use email, open attachments, and even send attachments to Windows based computers. The Mac version of Microsoft Office is also available for purchase, and almost all printers and computer accessories have the “Mac Compatible” version of the software to run the devices. Myth 2: “Macs are hard to use when I’ve always used a Windows computer.”

FALSE! When I have heard this said, it is almost always from an individual who has never even tried a Mac. There are various differences between Mac and Windows based computers, but just like all things new, there is a learning curve. The Mac learning curve is a ever so slight, and many of the differences are intuitive and easy to learn/follow. Most of the time, once you have become accustomed to the differences, you will like your Mac more! Myth 3: “Macs never get viruses.” This one may come as a shocker, but it is FALSE. I have heard it countless times, and I use to believe it. I rarely see a Mac with an infection, but it is very much a

Macs are extremely compatible with most of today’s technology. possibility. However, I do believe that Macs are much less susceptible to infections than Windows based computers. Because Macs are built on a highly secure UNIX platform, there are built in measures to protect the core of the operating system. I believe that Mac’s are much less of a target to hackers than Windows based operating systems due to the sheer number of computers in the world today that are Windows based. It seems

that hackers pay more attention to the majority.

I personally use a Mac and a Windows based computer on a daily basis, and in fact, you can use Windows on a Mac! I love my Mac and I like my Windows based machine. They both have their places in my office and I sell both quite frequently. My technicians have to stay up on both platforms so that we are able to provide support for both. Please let us know if you need any help with either platform or have any further questions. We are here and ready to help!

803.354.0074 602D East Main Street • Lexington ON-SITE REPAIR FOR YOUR COMPUTER EMERGENCY

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NOW WHAT? We are committed to your success. We possess the knowledge, competence, and reliability that you should expect from your accountant. We want to help you become more profitable and secure in retirement, long term care, and make provisions for those who depend on you. Sleep easy!

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111 Library Hill Lane, Suite A Lexington, SC 29072 MEMBERS: American Association of Certified Public Accountants SC Association of Certified Public Accountants

by Tripp Newsome, CPA


ow that tax season is out of the way let’s move on to next year. Spring is a second new years in the financial world. The tax debt or refund is known, anticipated, or received, and all major “gift-giving” holidays are over… as they say once moms happy, everybody’s happy. You need a financial advisor. There are too many products to ensure your financial wellbeing. They change all of the time and it is a full time job to keep up with them. This is what we count on our financial advisors to do for us. It is important to understand the difference between “putting money aside” for retirement and “saving” for retirement. Throwing money in a savings account at less than 2% would be an example of putting it aside. Maximizing your employer’s matching amount on a 401k would be an example of saving. So where do we go from here? I work with a lot of financial advisors and the biggest complaint I get from them is a lack of preparation on the client’s part. Sitting in a room for a free one hour consultation from an advisor and not knowing your spouse’s stance on major issues does not make for a pleasant environment. • When do we want to retire? • How much do we need to receive each year in retirement? • What are our other sources of retirement? (Military, Social Security, etc.?) • Are we going to pay for our children’s education? In part or in full? Weddings? • Will the house be paid off? Are we planning on down-sizing and using that equity, or moving to the lake? • Do we want to travel? • Will we need to take care of our parents? • Have they made plans? There are many questions that need to be answered before you can arrange your savings objectives. It is best to have at least four

months set aside in an emergency fund (interest producing) such as a money market account. Make this estimate as low as possible. For example, don’t include your XM radio bill, or cable sports package… they will already be gone. Don’t include landscaping; you will be mowing the grass again. Don’t include going out for dinner as much… you have found a liking to Manwich. This is what emergency fund means. Some people will argue three months, or six months, it doesn’t have to be exact. I find that the shorter the period the more extras we include, so it ends up being the same dollar amount. Once you establish your emergency amount insert it in an interest bearing account as soon as possible. This allows you to start making interest on the lump sum immediately. In other words, suffer in the short term to make the emergency fund appear. It is not part of your savings process. My advice is to shop local community banks for the best Money Market interest rates. It makes a relationship with the bank for future endeavors, they typically have the best rates on CDs and MMAs, and if they go under you are almost guaranteed to be reimbursed by FDIC. After all of this is done find a financial advisor that suits your needs. Mine pushes me to the limits, and sometimes tells me things I don’t want to hear. He has also kept me out of risky endeavors, and longing to find out how many miles I can get out of my clunker. Retirement security is a wonderful feeling; it allows you the freedom to work, relax, and play within known boundaries. Come on in... the water’s fine.





he fastFORWARD program at Newberry College is a realistic, affordable solution for working adults who are looking to complete their Bachelor’s degree in Business or Education.

Our program is unique with the combination of online learning coupled with the intimate mixture of face-to-face classes, creating a blended learning environment that is both practical and convenient. The commitment of Newberry College to serve adult students in this blended program offers a direct route for each student to complete their Bachelor’s degree and move forward in both their professional and personal goals.

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Newberry College’s fastFORWARD program as number two in student engagement and assessment.

Each student in this award winning program has a personal, academic plan created by the Director Charli Weatherford, to guide them every step of the way to complete their degree. Celeste Culbertson, is a graduate of the 2nd cohort of the Organizational ManCelebrating, Motivating and Educating

of Study

Newberry College currently offers two degree completion tracks in the fastFORWARD program; Organizational Management and Early Childhood Education.


U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Newberry College’s fastFORWARD program as number two in student engagement and assessment. Newberry’s strong programs give students the opportunity to participate with one another by having access to faculty who facilitate learning through individual and team assignments. “As a faculty member, I have worked with many of my students on an individual and team level and have been amazed at the student-centered learning environment which makes this program successful”, states Instructor Kelley G. Kelly, who teaches four different classes in the Organizational Management program.



agement program and said this about the program “I came to Newberry College to complete my Bachelor’s degree that I had started many years prior, however, due to ‘life happenings’ I was never able to complete it. But, I made it! In spite of all the obstacles I’ve faced, Newberry College helped me accomplish my personal and professional goals in completing my bachelor’s degree,” states Culbertson. It is through the fastForward program at Newberry College that many adult learners have finally been able to complete their degree and move onto career advancement through the Organizational Management Program. “Thanks to my degree in Organizational Management, I now have the career I always wanted,” states Stephanie Sullivan, another graduate from the fastFORWARD program.

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The Early Childhood Education program is a 2+2 program designed for working adults with a 2-year degree in Early Childhood Development, such as Head Start, child care, and Pre-K staff and teachers who are interested in earning their Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and becoming a certified teacher. Classes for this program are geared toward working adults with classes meeting in the evening, Saturdays, and online.

ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM The Organizational Management program is designed as an adult degree completion program where upon completion; the student will have a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a concentration in Organizational Management. This will allow the graduate to advance their career into management, start their own business, as well as enable the graduate to enter in a Master’s degree program.

Newberry College is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and a member in the S.C. Independent Colleges and Universities.


“Thanks to my degree from Newberry College, I now have the career I always wanted.” – Stephanie Sullivan

PROGRAM INFORMATION t Students transfer previous

college credit hours from twoyear schools or four-year schools to earn a degree in Organizational Management in as few as 18-24 months. • Students attend classes in the evening and online. Blending face to face interaction with the flexibility of online learning. • Classes are taught in an accelerated 8 week format with a clear path to graduation.


• Most adults qualify for substantial financial aid for tuition. • Enroll now for classes starting in August, 2012.


For more information please visit our website at or email us at or call us at (803) 321-5691


There’s No Place Like Home! Call 803.445.4636 Helping People Maintain Affordable, Quality, Independent Lives 1 — 24 Hours • Infants to Seniors


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What is Rolfing?

Rolfing is a type of bodywork that helps your body’s muscles work together more efficiently. It helps to eliminate chronic pain and injuries, and anyone can benefit from it! Rolfing can alleviate pain, as well as improving your mobility and flexibility.


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Serving all of South Carolina Let us make the day you always dreamed of the day you will never forget! Call for a Free Consultation 1.800.364.6965 | 803.422.9349 | 803.276.6080


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A special thanks to the Timberwolves Coaching Staff!

Health & Wellness

A Rare Form of Pain Relief…

Now in Your Neighborhood by Chris Mifsud


f pain stops you from enjoying activities you love, you may be surprised (and relieved) to discover a little-known therapy that treats a part of your body you’ve never heard of.

The Hidden Cause of Your Pain Do you ever stop to consider the miracles that happen in your body every second of your life? Without any conscious effort, our bodies breathe, digest, circulate, and regenerate. Yet, we only pay attention when pain alerts us to the unconscious mechanics of our bodies—and it’s often a rude awakening! Every organ and muscle of your body is individually wrapped in a special collagen protein tissue called fascia. Layers of fascia also connect the organs and muscles, holding the body together. This system of connective tissue acts like a spider web; when one area moves, the entire system responds. Much like the rest of your body’s automatic responses, if one part is injured, other parts instantly act to compensate. This domino effect can cause imbalance, long-term dysfunction, and pain—unless the pattern is interrupted. A unique therapy called Rolfing® can restore flexibility and balance to your body, addressing your pain at its source.

The Origin of Rolfing® and How It Relieves Pain Rolfing was named after its inventor, Dr. Ida Rolf. In 1920, she earned a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York. Dr. Rolf worked

at the Rockefeller Institute for 12 years and became an Associate there—striking accomplishments for a woman of that era! During the 1930’s, Dr. Rolf was motivated to find solutions for her own sick child. Dissatisfied with the medical treatment of the day, she explored osteopathy, chiropractic, yoga, and other healing methods. For the next 30 years, Dr. Rolf developed and taught her technique, which became known as simply, Rolfing. Today, students travel to the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration in Boulder, CO—the only facility in the United States that offers certification in Dr. Rolf ’s methods through a program requiring over 1,000 hours of training. There are currently only about 1,700 Certified Rolfers™ worldwide; only eight in South Carolina, according to the Institute’s website.

Kimberly Richey ly, the body heals itself.” - Dr. Ida P. Rolf

Meet Kimberly Richey, Certified Rolfer in Your Neighborhood

Rolfing is a massage-like technique that focuses on the fascia; however, recipients remain partially clothed. Rolfers strategically apply deep pressure, a basic energy to which all bodies respond. The muscles then move freely, which corrects the posture so that simple gravitational forces have a therapeutic effect—a new experience of feeling “right with the world”!

Kimberly Richey heard about Rolfing ten years ago in massage school, but an injury to her thumb encouraged her to become a patient. “As a massage therapist working in a medical setting, the pain in my thumb worried me,” Kimberly explains. “After three sessions, I felt better and knew I had to become a Rolfer.” Kimberly recently moved to Columbia from Charleston, and is enthusiastic about providing this rare healing therapy to her new neighbors. “I’m passionate about helping people become advocates for their health and well-being,” she asserts.

“When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneous-

Rolfing consists of ten initial sessions. Each session focuses on a different part of the body and

‘I’m passionate about helping people become advocates for their health and well-being.’

builds a strong foundation for the next. Kimberly asks her patients to direct their attention to bodily sensations and describe them. She works on specific areas of pain and assesses the body as a whole to find the source of the discomfort. She then teaches her patients how to break harmful patterns with exercises, stretches, and small adjustments to everyday movements. As a result, Rolfing provides longer-lasting relief. Rolfing is a mind-body healing experience, resulting in a relaxed mindfulness. As you stop and pay attention to your miraculous body, you can uncover hidden sources of pain and a path to greater vitality.

Kimberly Richey is a Certified Rolfer who loves helping her patients feel better, live their passions, and achieve their goals. To learn if Rolfing is right for you, or to make an appointment with Kimberly, call (803) 445-4636 or visit


Health & Wellness



hile it is often assumed that the practice of psychology focuses primarily on providing therapy to people to assist them in alleviating distress in their lives, licensed psychologist A. Nicholas “Nick” DePace, Ph.D., of The Palmetto Center for Psychological Solutions in Lexington describes other activities and services that psychologists provide to assist a variety of groups, including concerned relatives, community organizations, businesses, and medical and legal professionals as they attempt to understand issues of behavior and mental health. Specifically, in addition to the use of evidence-based interventions for the alleviation of distress and improvements in the quality of lives, psychologists can also utilize psychological assessment procedures as well as share their knowledge about psychology with others, thereby providing clarification to those wanting to learn more about specific topics. Evidence-based Treatments. “Evidence-based treatments” are those that have been shown by rigorous research to be effective in alleviating many struggles that people experience. “We know from well-designed research conducted over the years that some treatments are effective for certain kinds of problems and some are not. It is those effective treatments that should be used when working with the specified problem.” Clinicians often use “cognitive-behavioral therapies” or other evidence-based treatments while working with people struggling with a variety of depressive and anxiety disorders such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Helpful information about evidence-based treatments for youth and adults can be found at the websites of the American Psychological Association (www. and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies ( Psychological Assessment. Confusion and uncertainty about someone’s


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Psychologists can ‘assist a variety of groups, including concerned relatives, community organizations, businesses, and medical and legal professionals as they attempt to understand issues of behavior and mental health.’ emotional or behavioral struggles make psychological assessments very informative to those requesting them. “There are hundreds of combinations of learning, behavioral, and

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Providing Psychological Services throughout South Carolina

A. Nicholas “Nick” DePace, Ph.D

Assessment. Consultation. Evidence-based treatment.

803.358.9410 123 Library Hill Lane Suite B Lexington, SC 29072

mental disorders that vary in intensity and course and, when examined in the context of each individual’s personality traits, their own personal stressors, and their own history, a thorough assessment of the issues is essential because of the uniqueness of each individual. To simply state ‘you’ve got depression’ or ‘you’ve got ADHD’ is not as helpful as stating ‘you appear to have some depressive symptoms and, based on the data and my knowledge of these issues, here are some ways that we can address your struggles.” Dr. DePace indicates that clinicians who are trained to conduct in-depth interviews, to obtain data from other sources, and to examine statistically-based and empirically-validated psychological tests can often provide significant clarification to the issues needing evaluated. Community Outreach. Other than what people learn through mass media, often incorrectly, or through a family member who may be struggling with an emotional issue, there are often very few opportunities that people have to learn about psychology. Many psychologists use their knowledge to educate the public on the many varied issues associated with psychology, mental health, and behavioral issues, thereby eliminating some of the stigma associated with the struggles that people experience and also fostering a greater

understanding of psychology as a science. Dr. DePace’s experiences in working with individuals indicate that they often do not know how to go about obtaining therapy or how it can help them. For this reason, he is particularly interested in helping consumers become more knowledgeable about the psychotherapy process. In recognition of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Dr. DePace is offering free seminars on mental health and treatmentrelated topics. These seminars will be offered on Mondays in June and July at 6:00 PM at his office in Lexington at 123 Library Hill Lane, Suite B. Because space is limited, please call The Palmetto Center at (803) 358-9410 to reserve your seat.

June 25 ADHD in Youth: Evidence-Based Treatments for Inattention and Hyperactivity July 9 The Basics of Therapy: What It Is and How to Get the Most Out of It July 16 Social Anxiety Disorder in Youth: Evidence-Based Treatments for a Very Common, Yet Undertreated, Condition July 23 PTSD: Evidence-Based Treatments for Coping with Traumatic Events

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Updates Cancer Facilities to Improve Patient Care


exington Medical Center recently finished extensive renovations to its Oncology unit in the hospital’s South Tower, its Infusion Center and at Lexington Oncology Associates. These renovations will continue to help Lexington Medical Center provide the highest quality care to meet the needs of our community. Oncology Construction to remodel the hospital’s Oncology unit began approximately a year and a half ago. The entire floor was updated. “We have a beautiful area now. It is open and inviting – really feels like home,” said Theresa Altman, nurse manager. Before the renovation, the unit had smaller, outdated patient rooms. Now, with larger rooms, patients have access to more safety features including walk-in showers and additional safety rails. And with the new window sofas, family members are able to rest more comfortably. The unit also has a consultation room for physicians to meet with family members and an updated family room.


home-like comforts have made patient care better and improved satisfaction on the unit. Patients love their rooms and our staff are proud to come to work,” said Altman.

Infusion Center The new, state-of-the-art Infusion Center at Lexington Medical Center opens in May. The facility was designed specifically with patient needs in mind. After eight months of construction and relocating to the Ground Floor of the hospital’s North Tower, the 4,500-sq-ft Infusion Center features 12 private patient rooms and larger doorways to accommodate patients who use wheelchairs. The previous location had only seven private rooms and two semi-private rooms.

“Enhanced safety features and

“The increased level of privacy and reduced noise level will benefit patients the most,” said Kim

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Diamond, Infusion Center nurse manager. The larger facility also benefits the highly skilled staff in the Infusion Center, allowing them more space to care for patients efficiently.

Lexington Oncology Associates The renovations Lexington Oncology Associates began in May 2011 and ended in February 2012. Previously, the practice had two locations in Lexington Medical Park 1 – the infusion center and lab in Suite 105 and the clinic in Suite 402. “We ran specimens between the two floors every 15 minutes or less. We had ten exams rooms and no space for our providers to work near them,” said Stacey Bannister, a director in the hospital’s Physician Network.

Lexington Oncology Associates is now a 26,000-sq-ft office, which includes 24 exam rooms, a central lab, Healing Garden, Research Suite for on-site clinical trials, and also a Resource Room full of reference books and patient education materials. One of the biggest changes is the addition of a pharmacy with two chemo hoods and one non-chemo hood. Lexington Oncology Associates also added a Tosoh machine for on-site tumor marker studies and increased the lab processing area. Best of all, patients and their families love the new office. “Most patients say they love the view throughout the office. It feels like a healthier environment and it isn’t as crowded,” said Sharon Nipper, an RN at Lexington Oncology Associates.

Mothers on the Move:

Navigating New Waters

photography by Clark Berry Photography


by Crystal Poston

Terri Kyzer and Crystal Poston


y mother spends most of her day in a wheelchair, yet manages to somehow move mountains! I watch her and am constantly amazed. Not just at the things she does, but at the person she is. Her muscles are weak, but her soul is strong. She teaches me how to be a mother. I watch her with my babies and my heart smiles. She loves them. She cannot carry them, but her lap is their playground. There have been times when that is the only place they want to be. Whether it’s a wheelchair vs. tricycle race, or a ride in the yard to look at wind chimes and flowers, she gives them memories!

She loves the Lord, and she loves her children. There is nothing she wouldn’t do to protect them or make them happy. She laughs too loud. She makes fun of herself before you get a chance to. She smiles

no matter what her heart is feeling. She starts conversations mid-sentence because she knows that we were probably thinking the same thing. She will do anything to make me smile. She puts everyone before herself. She cares what people think of her, but not enough to change who she is. She tells me what I am doing wrong, but follows it up with something I did right. She is careful, and cautious. She makes up silly songs. She has a way with words that will comfort you when nothing else can. Her faith is powerful. There is no one I trust more than her. She can make me smile, when I want to pout, and no one can make me laugh the way she can. No one understands me the way that she does. She is the

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The best compliment anyone has ever given me was, “You ARE your Mother’s Daughter!”


She teaches me how to be a mother. definition of love. And I want to be her when I grow up! Being a mother is one of the hardest things I have ever done, yet she makes it seem so easy. I know that one thousand prayers I have prayed for her, could not hold a candle to the prayers she has prayed for me. She loves unconditionally. Everyday, I learn something new from her. She keeps me grounded, and she keeps me faithful. She loves me even when I am wrong.

I could spend forever trying to explain to her in words what she means to me, but I don’t have to. She already knows. The look I give my children when the world goes away and they are all that matters, is the look I learned from her. You don’t need words for that. If my children grow up and love me as much as I love my mother, and as much as she loves hers... I will consider my life a success! A success that I owe to her! She is a blessing, and I am in awe of her. I could never be the amazing woman she is, but I hope to spend my whole life trying.

Mary Whitlock Joy Downs


by Joy Downs


y mother Mary Whitlock is 94 years old, was born with a twin and the last of 8 children. My father Lawrence Whitlock is 96 years old and they have been married 72 1/2 years. They have been in love 80 years since they were in High School.

Suzy Scott with her daughter Kayla Brazell When my daughter was young, I would always sign notes and cards with “our secret code – 381. “381” means I Love You. 3 – Words; 8 – Letters; 1 – Meaning. My daughter is now 24 years old with a child of her own and I still sign – “381” Mom

Mary and Joy Mary and Lawrence were raised in a small town (3,000 people) in southern Indiana (Edinburg). To my knowledge they are the only ones living from their 1935 graduating class. As you can see they didn’t marry right out of High School as my mother liked to travel between Indiana and Miami, Florida, where her parents lived part time. She would work for half of the year sewing in a garment factory in Indiana and spent the other half of the year making drapes for a local shop in Miami that provided them for the hotels. Shortly after my parents were married, WWII began, and her twin brother, older nephews and my father went off to the war. With many of the men in the service, my mother found herself busy helping her father run the family businesses, which included pumping gas at the service station, and setting burial vaults they built in the cemetery. The family owned a tombstone business, so we grew up living close to the cemetery and thought nothing of it. When she was young, her father owned a miniature golf course, a restaurant, and several other businesses, and the family worked hard in all of them. She grew up understanding the meaning of work.

Later in her life, she started a real estate business and a subdivision. Even though my father was a fire chief on an airbase in Indiana, he worked hours that allowed him to build houses on the side, and between them they were a great team.

Debbie Lucas with her daughter Becki Combs and her granddaughters Ashlyn and Natalie Combs Meet three generations of lovely ladies from the Lucas family!

They later retired to Roswell, Georgia to be with my brothers and my family and lived there for 34 years where she worked part time in my children’s shop. During this time, they traveled abroad many times. She often talks about standing on the Berlin Wall before it was torn down. She had open heart surgery when she was 83 and says “there was nothing to it”. For the past five years they have lived with me at Lake Murray, and she enjoys seeing her grandchildren who live close by and always enjoys a visit from my brother who still lives in Roswell. Even though she has severe neuropathy, she insists on walking with a walker short distances and staying out of the wheelchair when she can. Her grandson, Jay, owns the Southern Patriot and she enjoyed her Mother’s Day on the boat, especially when he carried her to the top deck where she enjoyed the view and the breeze..

Beverly Abdalla with her daughter Ruth Chapman My mother is one of the most genteel, Southern women you would ever meet. She never meets a stranger so if you see her in a restaurant, watch out, she’s liable to come over and start up a conversation with you – whether she knows you or not!



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Mothers on the Move

Hima and Sanket Dalal


ima Dalal and her son, Sanket Dalal, are a very close-knit pair. Hima and Sanket are more than just Mother and Son, they are good friends and business associates, and enjoy spending time with each other. Hima and Sanket meditate together, take trips together, laugh together, as well as work together.

When we’re at work, we respect each other and each other’s space. different ideas, we’re on the same wavelength and we know exactly what we want to accomplish as far as the business goes.”

Sanket and Hima “We just have a very easy-going relationship — I don’t think that we’ve ever even gotten short with each other,” Hima said about her son Sanket. “We really work well together. We’re both very quiet and we have a very interesting and good relationship with each other.”

that are a priority to him during the daytime, so I’ll work with him on those,” she said. “If something is a big priority for me, I try to tactfully tell him that instead of bossing and ordering him around as a mother would. When we’re at work, we respect each other and each other’s space.”

It is that laid-back partnership at the helm of Hima’s alternative therapy business that has molded Vital Energy Wellness and Rehab Center into the successful business that it is today.

Although Hima says that their effortlessly easy relationship goes back to the “very beginning,” their business partnership has resulted in mother and son growing even closer than they were in the past.

For Hima, however, the key to their success can be attributed to the fact that both she and her son share a mutual respect for each other.

Sanket, who owns several of his own businesses, said he began working with his mother at Vital Energy Wellness and Rehab Center while he was still enrolled in college.

“We have so much fun together. I can tell when he has certain things

At the time, he was interested in

business, and had already gotten his commercial real estate broker license. But it wasn’t long before he began to show an interest in the alternative and healing methods his mother used. “When he was 18 years old, that’s when he learned the first healing technique that I learned,” Hima said. “However, he gradually started getting more involved in the business side of Vital Energy. And now he handles all of the administrative duties for the business,” she added. Sanket told Lexington Woman that one of the things that he enjoys most about working with his mom is the way that their individual personalities complement each other. “She definitely doesn’t pressure me,” he added. “We don’t have

These ideas include one goal in particular. Both want to see Vital Energy Wellness and Rehab Center expand into other states. Locally, Vital Energy is the only center that offers traditional therapies (i.e., occupational therapy, physical therapy, aquatic therapy) along with alternative therapies (i.e., myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, lymphedema therapy, cardiac rehab – just to name a few) and techniques with a latest in therapy trend state of the art building/facility. “My son and I, we just have such an easy-going relationship. My children are the best children that I could ever ask for. You hear so many parents say, ‘I can’t wait for my child to go away’ or ‘When they’re grown up they need to go away,” Hima said, laughing. “But we want children to be around us and vice a versa. I’m very happy and blessed with my life, family and the Lexington Community.”



Katrina Shealy Erica Armstrong Dorothy Kimbrell with her daughter Connie Stuckey My mother is a retired nurse from Blacksburg, SC. She and her husband, Ray Kimbrell, have two daughters and 5 grandsons. They are very involved with their church at Mt. Paran Baptist, where they were married 55 years ago. They spend the summers vacationing in Myrtle Beach and gardening.


or as long as I can remember, my mother has stood up for what she believes in. Whether it was making sure I had every opportunity in school, protecting my feelings during those years of high school, helping out anyone around her who needs help, and now protecting and spoiling her grandchildren.

My mother is so many things to so many people.

Katrina and Erica

Beth and Hannah McCrary Eleven years ago God blessed me with my daughter Hannah. It has been a privilege to watch her grow up and handle living with a chronic, life-long disease with grace and strength. She is wise and strong beyond her years, yet has the free-spiritedness of youth.

“A mother is someone who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” ~ Unknown


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by Erica Armstrong

I recall very vividly a moment in elementary school at an orchestra concert when she stood up for someone she didn’t even know, who was being berated by two other ladies. I remember her telling me afterwards that you have to always remember your surrounding and the feelings of others. That moment has stuck with me over the years in my dealings with those around me. I also remember a time when we were in a restaurant and she noticed a young man who was discussing with his friends what he could afford. For the rest of our meal she worried about whether that young man would be able to eat what he wanted, while all I could think is, “I would have never even noticed what was going on”. Ever since that day I have tried to tune my radar into those around me to better notice their needs. She seems to do this still without any effort. Just recently, after hearing of a family’s need for groceries she rushed out and bought them everything they needed without a second thought. What an awesome way to live and serve others!

Over the last few years I have watched in wonder at how she juggles the demands of her daily work schedule, church activities, and campaign events, all the while keeping up her philanthropic activities. She donates her “extra” time to fundraising for Lexington Medical Center, as well as mentoring young ladies at the Department of Juvenile Justice. But no matter how demanding it gets, no matter how tired she is, she presses on with a smile, knowing that the work she is doing will make a mark on the future of those she encounters. My mother is so many things to so many people. She is the insurance guru who has been working for the same company for over 25 years. She is the lady in the church choir with the beautiful soprano voice. She is that “Katrina Shealy lady “ running for State Senate. She is the person to call when you need help, because she will do anything and everything she can to make sure that whatever it is will be done. But to us, she is just Mee Maw who always has a surprise for the boys, and the Mom who is always there to listen when I need to talk. Most of all, she is my friend, and that is the greatest gift I could get.

Mothers on the Move

Jill and Piper Davis


ill Davis was just a hard working mom who took her daughter for a first haircut that changed the course of her life. Jill saw a need for a child friendly salon and set out like so many smart women to create just a place for Lexington mothers. With the support of her husband, Gil Davis, they have created the best “little” person spa and salon in the Midlands (in our humble opinion). Here is what she had to say to us. Lexington Woman: Tell us a little about yourself… Jill Davis: I grew up in Greenville, SC, as the only daughter amongst four boys. My dad worked out of town a lot, and I watched my mom work HARD to take care of us all. I got my work ethic from her! I went to Wofford College on scholarship, majored in Business Economics, and started with Enterprise Holdings after graduation. I’ve been there for 12 years and can’t imagine working for any other company. I met my husband, Gil Davis, on his first day of work at Enterprise….. when you see something you want, you have to go after it. HAHA! We have a 4 year old daughter, Piper. LW: How did Snip-its in Lexington come to be? JD: It was time for Piper’s first haircut, and after the internet results showed no local venues, we ended up in an adult salon. With a camera around my neck, and my finger trigger happy for Facebook picture postings, I spent the next 15 minutes consoling a child sitting on my lap, while my husband consoled me, and the other salon patrons looked on as if we were ruining their special salon day. That night, I told my husband that Lexington needed a kid’s only hair salon. Gil, aka, husband of the year, went online a few days later and researched the industry. We fell in love with Snip-its because of its uniqueness, but more so because I believe they are the best at balancing the needs of kids, parents, and stylists.

...Piper makes me want to be a better person...

Jill and Piper LW: How has being a small business owner changed your life? JD: I RESPECT great customer service from small businesses more than I ever have. Small business owners never have a day off….they tried to tell us. WHOA!! Luckily we chose one that Piper enjoys. Having worked in a corporate environment for 12 years, I love the ability of the small business owner to make immediate decisions and impacts. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed becoming part of the community. Things that impact Lexington, impact our business. I’m paying much more attention. I’ve met amazing people, and I’ve learned how genuine our community is.

for years “to find a hobby.” Voila! The Snip-its model is such that you do not have to work in the salon. They equip owners with tools to be able to manage from home, work, or the beach! Honestly, it’s genius! It forces an owner to make hiring the best talent their #1 responsibility. My experience with Enterprise Holdings prepared me well for this! I empower my team to make great decisions. We reward success and learn from failures. This has resulted in a level of commitment and ownership from my stylists that I truly believe is rare in the industry. We also have a tremendous amount of support from our families and friends.

LW: How do you manage being a mom and having in essence two careers? JD: I guess I don’t really feel that Snip-its is a job…. It’s my “golf ” as I like to say to my husband when he worries about my stress. My own mother has been telling me

LW: What is your favorite thing about being a mother? JD: I love SO many things! If I had to say one thing, I’d say that Piper makes me want to be a better person every single day. Her actions are a direct reflection on mine and Gil’s parenting. She teaches me

how to view the world from a blank slate perspective. She has no biases, no preconceived opinions, but she has opinions! And she shares them often! I love it. Piper and Gil both make me want to wake up every morning and make a difference... simply, to be a better person! LW: What are your plans for the future in regard to Snip-its? JD: We want to continue to grow within the Midlands and throughout the state. Kid’s deserve Snipits!! They deserve a stylist who cares about them, knows how to engage them, and doesn’t run to the breakroom when they checkin. We currently have a second location in the works for the Midlands that should be open within the next 12 months! After that, the sky is the limit! LW: What do you love about owning a business in Lexington? JD: I love that I live in a town that wants to support its local businesses. It was important to Gil and me that our first Snip-its start in the city that we reside and in the community that we love. Lexington wants the best for their kids!


Mothers on the Move

A Tribute to my Mother Juanita Young

by Jean Grey


ut the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22 How do you give proper recognition to a life of 88 years—how do you sum it up in words on a page? How do I give her the significance she deserves?

“Come join us at ‘The River’ and become part of our family!”

Juanita and Jean I thought of all the names and titles she has had and the memories attached to each one. The characteristics she reflected as those memories were created. She was Juanita, a brown-eyed beauty, one family member recalled. She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt—much loved in her close-knit family. A family that taught her the importance of love, togetherness and commitment and when all else fails- the family holds firm. She was a sister that would patiently teach a younger brother to drive. She was “Nita” to the love of her life, Lewis. I wonder if when she agreed to go out with him, sitting on the steps of Bradley Memorial Methodist Church, if she had any concept of her capacity to love and be committed to a 70 plus year relationship? No, I’m sure she didn’t, she had no idea where her life would take her. Yet in the midst of any struggle, she always stood by her man, never wavering, always the


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loving, faithful wife. Even against me, that is the only time she would get mad with me, was when I would fuss at Papa, usually about her. But she did NOT like it, she was always an example of self-control. In the early years, she showed an adventurous side. Sister Sue related that she drove long before she had a license- all the way from Gastonia to Charlotte. When one of the sisters was available to baby-sit Larry, she would drive to the bus depot to pick up Dad, in her night gown I might add. Sure wish I had known that when I was a teenager!!!! She was Mother, always caring, always making sure that we had our favorite dishes— especially the boys! They would walk in and Mother would hop up! She was constantly serving with joy anyone in her home. She was my dearest friend!! In her active years, there was no one that I had rather spend time with, shopping or going to lunch

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her baby doll. She just loved little ones. Then she became “Other Nana�, and then “Great Nana�. She handled all these titles with the gentleness and grace that personified her, and looked so forward to their visits.

or just to sit and talk. Judy and I both loved that about her, she was fun to be with. I cherish the hours spent around the table, sharing a meal or cake and coffee and just catching up on news of the family. Just like going to MawMaw Plyler’s on Sunday afternoon-who wanted to be anywhere else- not me. That says a lot about them, Mother and daughter-full of love and joy, gentleness and grace. I loved those afternoons, those are times the now generation doesn’t have and they are missing something vital because of it. Facebook connections are better than nothing but they don’t take the place of that sharing time. She was “Juanita P.� in all their many business endeavors. Even in this she just rolled into each job and learned that business and performed it with expertise and self-control. The many facets of the insurance business and it’s changing rates etc. The golf business with its golf packages and she did the billing by hand, with an adding machine, not on the computer. She was amazing! She couldn’t have prepared herself for all those positions even if she had known. She was so much more than a wife; she was a life partner in every way. Maybe her most important role was “Nana�, and she was that to so many! She loved a baby, especially in her declining years, when the children came around, she just lit up. When there were no children, she would smile at

They were both Nana and Papa to others outside of the family, caregivers and their children, friends and work associates of ours. They were happy in that role. When I think of her last years I have to say she was way beyond patient. You had to be patient to live with Papa, so I guess she had years to practice. Oh my goodness to sit there day after day, listening to the world go by, having very little input, yet accepting it with gentleness, kindness, and grace, always humble. Never saying a cross word to those caring for you. Even when you would say “I love you�, she would whisper “Thank You�. When you told her how pretty she looked, she would give you a frustrated look. Matthew 7:16 tells us: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.� No, Nana, thank YOU, for bearing fruit every day of your life for us to see! So the way we give her proper recognition and honor her significance on this earth is by cherishing the memories connected to the name each of us called her. Her love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol, those were the fruits by which we will remember her. That is her legacy for us. I hope to honor her by leaving such a legacy of my own.

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a Different Plan by Beth McCrary


s our new neighbors moved in across the street in the fall of 2000, I was delighted to see that a toddler was part of the family. It was Thanksgiving weekend and I began to envision play dates and sleepovers for my soon-tobe born daughter and the sweet little girl with the really cool name, Kennedy.

photo by K. Dalton


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Survivor in You!

photos by Robert Patrick Image Design

Kennedy and Rivers We welcomed the Branhams with a poinsettia for the upcoming Christmas holidays and began a friendship that has seen our families endure many changes in plans over the years. As neighbors we became so close that we had keys to each other’s house and cared for each other’s children and pets like they were our own. We have become like family experiencing the birth of children and surviving the loss of loved ones. We have leaned on each other during job losses and changes. And we have coped with raising our children in challenging times. Our families have shared meals and celebrated countless holidays and milestones together. We have laughed together, cried together, and grown strong together over the past 12 years. We have supported one another through life’s challenges and disruption of best laid plans. Our plans did not include our daughters being diagnosed with challenging and potentially life threatening diseases. No, our plans for our girls are for them to enjoy good health, prosperity, and opportunities we never had. Our plans are for them to make a difference in their world.

Lexington High School Varsity Baseball Team

The opportunities to make a difference have come, but not the ones we envisioned. In late January of this year, Kennedy began having blurred vision, persistent headaches, and random episodes of vomiting. An MRI revealed a brain tumor and surgery to remove it was scheduled for Tuesday, February 21st at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Just two days later, on her 13th birthday, Kennedy was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme brain cancer. GBM is classified as a Stage IV brain tumor. It is aggressive and has the greatest potential for rapid growth. It must be treated just as aggressively. Instead of party plans, Kennedy’s family began making plans to get the best and most effective treatment for her. This proved to be a challenge as GBM is extremely rare in children accounting for less than 3% of all diagnoses, thus treatment protocol is hard to come by. Having thoroughly researched top cancer treatment facilities in other cities, the Branhams chose to stay home in the Midlands for Kennedy to receive chemotherapy and radiation. Six weeks into her treatment, they are happy with their decision. Re-

maining in their hometown and receiving the support of family and friends has allowed many opportunities for Kennedy’s story to touch lives and for her to make a difference right here in Lexington. It’s just not the way the Branhams had planned for Kennedy to make an impact in her community. The Branhams are now learning to trust a different plan for Kennedy’s life. Kennedy’s mom Erin will tell you that their world has been rocked. “I don’t know what the future holds, but we are trusting God’s plan for Kennedy’s life.

nedy has gone from being a relatively carefree 7th grader at Lexington Middle School to being a person living with cancer. Notice I didn’t say a person dying with cancer. Experiencing life to its fullest is a daily choice and it’s all about perspective. Reality is that none of us is promised tomorrow. Her choice to battle cancer each day makes her a survivor. Kennedy’s days are now filled with doctor’s appointments, chemo and radiation treatments, scans, and blood draws that leave her weary and fatigued. She is no longer in the classroom at Lexington Middle, but receiving homebound instruction. She makes every attempt to attend the numerous fundraising events in the Lexington community that are helping her family offset the rising medical bills for her treatment. She approaches each day with a smile on her face and a warm embrace for everyone. Her faith and strength are amazing.

I don’t know what the future holds, but we are trusting God’s plan for Kennedy’s life. We want to take this from her so badly and often question, why our Kennedy? We draw strength each day from the support of our family, friends, and community. We also draw strength from the lives Kennedy is influencing and changing.” In just a little over 3 months, Ken-

She doesn’t complain and she doesn’t feel sorry for herself. She bravely faces each day and what it brings. She is both grateful and overwhelmed by the support of


Celebrating the

Survivor in You!

photos by Robert Patrick Image Design the Pray4Kennedy campaign that was launched by family members and has permeated Lexington. The Pray4Kennedy bracelets, t-shirts, and car magnets can be seen everywhere. She loves that people are praying and trusting God. Kennedy has gone from being quiet, shy and reserved to swimming with the dolphins in Discovery Cove and attending the Lexington High School Prom with her neighbor, Rivers Bedanbaugh. After hearing Kennedy’s story and seeing her fortitude, Rivers knew he wanted Kennedy to be his prom date. He wanted her to have the experience of dressing up and going to prom. The Lexington High School Varsity Baseball team, currently vying for the 4A State Championship, became aware of Kennedy’s battle in mid-April. They invited her to throw out the first pitch in their first playoff game for the District title on April 26th. As a sign of solidarity the entire team shaved their heads and has dedicated their season to her and has chosen “Win It 4 Kennedy� as their battle cry. These young men realize that Kennedy’s battle is larger than baseball.

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Her diagnosis and battle to beat cancer is an amazing testimony of choosing to be a survivor.

“Kennedy� To purchase this bead and to see others, visit or call (803) 407-5290. Dems Fine Jewelers, through their Bead It to BEAT IT! program, donates 20% of

Her diagnosis and battle to beat cancer is an amazing testimony of choosing to be a survivor. Kennedy’s example of learning to trust a new and different plan for her life is inspiring others and making a difference in her world.

the proceeds from the sale of this bead to SCOA Cares Foundation. Thank you for your support!

Follow Kennedy’s story at:

This article is brought to you by Dems Fine Jewelers. Visit or call (803) 407-5290.

www.facebook/ or KennedyBranham


by Beth McCrary

photo by Robert Patrick Image Design

Surviving, Thriving and Inspiring the Community Around Her


ne of the many lives that Kennedy’s story has touched is Rivers Bedanbaugh. Rivers is an 18 year old senior at Lexington High School. He stands 6’2” tall and weighs 250 pounds. He is a big, strapping young man who is headed to Wingate University to play football in the fall and pursue a degree in exercise science.

One of the many lives that Kennedy’s story has touched is Rivers Bedanbaugh. Rivers is an 18 year old senior at Lexington High School. He stands 6’2” tall and weighs 250 pounds. He is a big, strapping young man who is headed to Wingate University to play football in the fall and pursue a degree in exercise science. A year ago, Rivers had never met Kennedy Branham. Having just moved to Lexington the summer prior to his senior year, Rivers’ family was still getting to know their new neighbors. It didn’t take long for the news of Kennedy’s diagnosis with Stage IV Glioblastoma brain cancer to quickly spread throughout the neighborhood. Rivers’ family added Kennedy to their prayer list and put Pray4Kennedy magnets on their cars to encourage others to do the same. Paula Gunter recalls that it was about three weeks before the Lexington High School prom that her son Rivers called her into his room to ask her a question. His question was, “Mom, do you think Kennedy’s parents would allow her to go to the prom with me? I would be honored to take her.” At first, Paula didn’t realize how much thought her son had put into his decision, but the more they discussed it, she became aware of how much he sincerely wanted Kennedy to experience going to prom. Paula was

overwhelmed with emotions of happiness, joy, tears, and thankfulness, and just touched by her son’s idea. While Paula wasn’t surprised by her son’s thoughtfulness and compassion for Kennedy, she was a bit surprised by his decision to ask her to the prom because he has a shy side. “Rivers is a quiet guy that just sits back and observes his surroundings. He does think of others, their situations, and how they may feel. I’m thankful that Rivers could act on his compassion for Kennedy.” After receiving permission from Kennedy’s parents and discussing Rivers’ idea with her, the planning began. Businesses and families in the community quickly stepped in to make going to the prom a very special experience for both Kennedy and Rivers. Dazzles, pageant and prom apparel, donated Kennedy’s dress and jewelry and the White House Florist donated their flowers. Paula, Rivers and his older brother, Colton, age 20 have lived in Lexington County their entire lives. They are active members of Steadman Baptist Church where they have learned to love and honor God first and foremost with their lives. Paula has taught them that the most im-

photo by Ben Barrs

Kennedy’s battle has certainly inspired me and touched my life. portant relationship you can have is with God and that life isn’t about what you get, but what you give; whether it be your time, money, compassion, love, a smile or a hug. Paula’s parents, especially her dad, have been huge influences on the young men her sons have become. She feels blessed to have her mom and dad so close to her family. It is evident by Rivers’ decision to ask Kennedy to be his prom date, that he has been a good student of what Paula has been teaching over the years. “Kennedy’s battle has certainly inspired me and touched my life. I realize that I have nothing to complain about…Kennedy wakes up and has to fight for her life. It has taught me to appreciate the life that God has blessed me with and to enjoy each day. My senior prom was awesome thanks to Kennedy.”



by Shirley Keels

Success Story: THE MAY BOYS

photo by Robert Patrick Image Design


here is Baby A….and there is Baby B. Amy was used to hearing shocking news and handling it in stride…for her clients in her law practice. But this new mother of twins didn’t know how to react to this news, so the tears started when she saw two heartbeats on the monitor. This was the second set of tears Amy had shed about her new pregnancy. But it certainly was not the only tears she shed about getting pregnant. Amy and her husband Jon knew the moment they met they both wanted children. Because multiples run in Amy’s family, we wondered what it would be like to have twins. Amy said, “Twins were not something we thought about as a real possibility or planned on but we never thought our marriage would be complete without a baby…or two.” A few years into their marriage, the time came to try…and like so many other couples the time also went. When Amy told Dr. Neuffer she was ready to get pregnant, Amy remembers Dr. Neuffer saying “Okay, just call me if you have a positive test.” They thought it couldn’t be simpler. But, Amy and Jon had close friends that struggled to get pregnant, and used the assistance of fertility drugs, IVF and also adopted to start a family. “We weren’t naïve…we knew that it was not something that was an absolute the first try. I was 34 when we started trying to conceive, so we knew it could be a long road or a short


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road. Of course we wanted a short downhill road,” Amy recalled. She also spoke with her Neurologist about how her chronic migraine disease might affect her fertility. While there is no direct correlation, she did need to discontinue a medication that helped prevent her migraines prior to conceiving. Her migraines would be more likely and frequent and she would generally feel worse until she got pregnant…however she was assured that most pregnant women don’t get migraines – they would probably go into remission once she was pregnant. Amy thought, “I wonder how long I am going to suffer with headaches until I get pregnant…how many days am I going to have a migraine and try to get pregnant and practice law? It was overwhelming to consider.”

thing came back normal. But, because of the migraines, Amy and Jon agreed to start Clomid to help. “When the nurse called to tell her Clomid was the plan, Amy remembers the nurses comment as, “Now, Amy, there is an increased chance of twins using Clomid.” And Amy’s response…that’s alright. Amy remembers telling Jon, “There is an increased chance of twins with this medication.” Jon said back to her “Isn’t there already an increased chance with your family history? I’m in.”

Three months of charting, testing and calendaring passed and no pregnancy. The tears started. Amy’s migraines got worse. She went to see Dr. Neuffer for routine hormone blood work and every-

Three more months of charting, testing and calendaring passed, on Clomid, and no pregnancy. And more tears. The next month, a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to check Amy’s uterine health – a

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We have a fertility story, not an infertility story...

very common procedure for anyone battling infertility – and it was normal. The plan was three more months of trying and then a referral to a fertility specialist. Three weeks later, Amy was pregnant… And the tears came once more, and then they stopped. Amy and Jon say this “We have a fertility story, not an infertility story...and the story ends with our two precious boys.”

Amy Landers May is a shareholder with the Columbia firm of Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC and Jon May is a Quality Assurance Inspector at Boeing Aircraft in Charleston. They live in Ballentine with their twin boys, Finnegan and Landon. This article was submitted by Shirley Keels of Columbia Women’s Healthcare. Visit or call them at (803) 254-3230.



in the 21st Century:

Gina’s Story

by Gina Votion photo by Clark Berry Photography


planned out my life just like you may have done with the intention of being a mother one day. My plan was to have a baby at 28 years old and then a second child at 30. I naively thought that I had control of when I would have a child. However, three years went by with no birth control and no pregnancy. who were easily conceiving. Prior to infertility, I had experienced a sense of belonging with a loving husband, family, and many friends. I had a sense of success because I had been able to accomplish most of the goals I had set for myself. This uncomfortable “I don’t fit in” feeling was new to me.

someone else. The doctor reviewed my medical record and listened to some comments from Tim. Then we jointly developed a treatment plan.

My 30th birthday was the impetus for change in my casual approach to infertility. I felt different from other women – different from my own mother who easily conceived me at 22 years old. I felt different from my co-workers and friends

After some thought, Tim and I decided to go forward with infertility treatment. I will never forget how businesslike this initial meeting was. I brought my black leather Franklin/Covey Daytimer with me and discussed our infertility problem like I was talking about

Tim and I had a lot of talking to do and so much to consider. However, no matter how together I looked on the outside, I was running on pure emotion. I wanted to be a mother.

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After test upon test, our diagnosis was “unexplained infertility,” which means there is no medical explanation. My husband, Tim, and I thought that a pregnancy would eventually happen for us, so we focused on other aspects of our lives during this time of waiting, such as our careers, church activities, and friends.


This was our first day in the world of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

At this point in my infertility story,

I began to learn many life lessons that would span the next six years of my life. These lessons would deepen my faith and trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God. They would bring a new depth of intimacy to my marital relationship. While taking an “emotional break” from my infertility treatments, I prayed earnestly that God would answer my prayer for children without fertility treatments. I desperately wanted a miracle! Lessons come at unexpected times, as do miracles.

I was having a bad day. It was a Friday evening and I had endured yet another baby shower at work. I came home, crawled into my bed and hid under my cozy down comforter. Tim came home and was surprised to find his wife in bed at 6:30 p.m. He asked me to get out of bed to go with him to a local church to hear an evangelist speak. We arrived late, so we stood in the back of the small church. We joined in singing some worship songs and took seats in the back row. It was then that the evangelist stood at the front of the church and pointed directly to us. He walked toward us with penetrating eye contact and asked us, “Do you want children?”

Soon after, I received a phone call from my doctor’s office reporting that my hormone levels had not increased as they should have. Two weeks later, I went in for another ultrasound. There was no fetal heartbeat. I thought my heart would stop beating, too. I have never before or since that moment felt such strong grief. The pain affected my body, soul, and spirit. It was an “all encompassing” sense of grief and I wept for the loss of my baby. Why? Why did God tease me with this short experience of pregnancy? I was sad and angry. But I just kept saying over and over to myself “I serve a good God, who is sovereign and who has a plan and a purpose for my life.” I said it until I believed it again.

Lessons come at unexpected times, as do miracles.

Tim and I looked at each other in disbelief. How did he know? Why did he point us out? We had never met him and were just visiting this church. He repeated himself; “Do you want children?” We stared back in awe and simply answered, “yes, we want children.” Then the evangelist asked us to come to the front of the church and said, “The Lord says that you will have not one child, but two children. He has heard the desires of your heart.” This man exuded such love that I felt as if Jesus himself had heard my cry of despair and had arranged this evening, this encouraging word to comfort Tim and me. The events of that evening would serve as a confirmation to us that we would cling to for years to come. God had heard our prayers. We did not know how or when, but that night faith was made firm. We were going to be parents one day. The next Christmas, Tim gave me a collector’s Winnie the Pooh double picture frame. On Christmas morning I opened the gift in front of my family. I just looked at Tim for an explanation. He told me that he was confident that God would give me the desire of my heart, which was specifically to have twins, and that God would fulfill His promise to us. This frame was for the pictures of our children. It was for the future. It was a Christmas gift of hope from a man who loves me very much. It was perhaps my best Christmas gift ever.

I did not try another cycle of ART for a year. Then, on my third attempt using drug therapy and IUI, I experienced the moment I had dreamed about: I was pregnant!

I did another cycle of drug therapy and IUI, but this was unsuccessful. At that point, we were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist who specializes in In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). We then met with our new doctor and discussed my treatment history and the IVF procedure. By now I was familiar with the language of infertility. Later that same year we proceeded with IVF. We went through the drug therapy to stimulate my ovaries and then I went into outpatient surgery to remove the eggs for fertilization. I remember, waking up from the anesthesia with Tim, the doctor, and a nurse by my side. The doctor looked at me bewildered and said, “There were no eggs to harvest.” He could not explain why I had not produced any eggs with the drug therapies administered in the weeks before the procedure. The two-and-half-hour drive home was very quiet. Both Tim and I felt sad and disappointed. We were deeply grieving. We knew in our hearts that this was it. We should stop fertility treatments. The cost and the emotional pain were too high. Just a month following our failed IVF treatment, we decided to attend an “Adoption Fair” in our community to learn more about all of the adoption opportunities available to us. We found it very informative and helpful. We began to lean toward pursuing an interna-

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To Be or Not To Be tional adoption. We decided that we wanted a child or children less than one year old, but not necessarily a newborn. We realized that there were children in poor countries who would be orphaned if someone did not adopt them. Our hearts were touched by news reports about orphaned children in Eastern European countries who grow up in spartan orphanages or even live on the streets. How does God see adoption? I reflected on what the Bible says in James 1:27. Years earlier I had chosen this to be my “life verse.” It says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

and they are boy/girl twins from Romania born in fall of 2000. Another couple was planning to adopt them, but they do not believe they can financially afford to adopt twins. Gina, do you want these babies?” I replied, “Well…yes, I want these babies. By the way, where is Romania?” ... I just knew confidently in my heart that these were my children. I then made arrangements for her to come to our home and proceed with the acceptance of the referral so that we could begin the process of an international adoption. In preparing to write this chapter, I read one of my journal entries dated December 24, 1999. It reads: “The pain of infertility is still very intense for me. The holidays are a trigger with the focus being on children. I also recently held Melissa’s baby, a 15 year-old mother, and I held Kris’ baby, a co-worker. I have been very sad as I anticipate my 34th Birthday next month. I never would have imagined that I would be this age before starting a family. This coming year, 2000, will be the year for a child through faith, fertility technology, or foreign adoption. I want to be a Mom. Please God, may I trust that you will provide? May I submit to your timing, knowing you have a specific time and purpose for our children.”

We began to talk openly to others about our desire to adopt.


Several years before, I believed that God was giving me direction for my life with this verse. We believed that God desired for us to adopt children who had been orphaned or abandoned by their biological parents. We concluded that the best decision for us was to adopt from a country where there was little opportunity for orphans. We began to talk openly to others about our desire to adopt. Tim is a Chiropractor and one of his patients told him about a specific adoption agency. She asked for permission to give the adoption agency our phone number. Tim agreed, but forgot to tell me. One evening in December of that same year, I received a phone call from the assistant director of this adoption agency. She explained that she had heard from a mutual friend that I was interested in adoption.

Dr. James D. Whitehead III

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At this point in the conversation, she asked me what type of child I had in mind. I remember pausing because articulating what I wanted in a child seemed odd; I mean biological parents don’t get to choose what they want. I continued the conversation by saying, “I have been praying specifically for twins that are less than a year old from somewhere in Eastern Europe, probably Russia.” Then there was silence. I thought to myself “oh, no! She thinks I am totally unrealistic in my expectations.” Then she replied, “Gina, I only have two children available for adoption right now

It is inspiring for me to note that the children I would eventually adopt and name Victoria Faith and Philip Samuel were actually born on August 26, 2000 in Bucharest, Romania. This would mean that they were conceived by their birth mother around the time of this journal entry and prayer. The twins were born on our 11th wedding anniversary and their photos look adorable in the Winnie the Pooh double picture frame that waited years to be filled. Yes, I am barren in the 21st Century but only in the medical sense of infertility. I don’t feel “barren” anymore. I am a mother. Victoria and Philip are the answers to my prayers. God’s timing was perfect and now all the years of waiting make sense to me. Victoria and Philip are God’s precious gift to Tim and I and perhaps as God sees it, we are a precious gift to them. I do serve a good God who is sovereign and He has a plan for my life. And dear one, He has a plan for your life too!


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To Be or Not To Be

Suffering from Infertility? WE’RE HERE TO HELP!


nfertility? Information is power. Advanced Fertility understands you want the latest medical facts. Talking to experts who know the medicine but also have high compassion, can provide a new outlook for your future. know the time is right and you need the specialized care Advanced Fertility offers, what is your next step?

With the right medical team, highest level of fertility experience, and answers that lead to a new plan, you begin to realize that hope can be restored and your goals realized. The Advanced Fertility team offers gentle, sensitive, positive and hopeful encouragement. Many couples are ready to get to the heart of the matter, understand their options, become comfortable with the available procedures, and be informed of the available financial support options. Some patients feel a sense of urgency. They understand that there is indeed a biological clock and they may need a little professional help to keep them ahead. Women may have talked to their regular health care provider but they may not have shared their concern with many others. This is the case with many patients seen at Advanced Fertility. The fertility team understands that the biggest fear is the unknown. The sooner you know, the sooner you can get information to make informed decisions.

Whether you have shared your concerns with anyone else or not, when you go to Advanced Fertility, you are surrounded by a new family… one with a singular goal—to help you take home a baby. When you meet with Gail Whitman-Elia, MD for the first time, it’s the start of designing your custom plan you and the Advanced Fertility make together. With every piece of medical history, and every specialized test, the desired destination starts to come into focus for patients at the clinic. One in seven couples has some level of fertility challenge. That equates to hundreds of thousands nationwide. Some will simply wait and hope. Others will take action to get quality information. Action-takers will turn to Dr. Whitman-Elia, her advanced technologies, the Advanced Fertility state-of-the-art new facility and its understanding team which helps patients realize their dreams. Your physician, the internet, magazines and friends are all information sources but when you

There’s a sensitive, professional team waiting for your call. When you schedule your appointment, you’ll meet with Dr. WhitmanElia where you’ll be surprised how much you may learn in a single consultation. You’ll leave empowered, already having a sense of the level of care and compassion available to you and, if the time is right, you can begin your journey toward pregnancy. At Advanced Fertility, they welcome physician referrals but you should also be aware that you can make an appointment on your own to get this specialized level of information. In addition, Dr. Whitman-Elia presents free fertility seminars on a monthly basis. The monthly seminars are posted on the practice website (www. or by calling (803) 939-1515 to make sure you receive notification.

The bottom line is you are not alone and you don’t need a referral to schedule an appointment to meet Dr. Whitman-Elia. Your consultation gets you information—you have no further commitment unless you feel you could benefit from the life-changing therapies offered at the Institute helping thousand to conceive. Turning to a fertility expert doesn’t mean you are giving up, it means you are getting a higher level of expertise involved to help you. Once pregnant at Advanced Fertility, patients return to their OB/GYN physician for pre-natal care and birthing but Advanced Fertility is often one of the first visits after the new baby is born. “When those patients have their beautiful new babies, they often bring them by to see everyone in our office,” says Dr. Whitman-Elia. “That’s one of the most special times for us all—to see the realization of ‘family’ and that’s very rewarding for me personally and for our team.”

One in seven couples has some level of fertility challenge.


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What can women do before conception to optimize their chances of becoming pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy? Start taking a multi-vitamin or pre-natal vitamin with folic acid in it before you try to conceive. Folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect. If you smoke, quit. And, learn to manage stress — stress can negatively impact fertility. How does weight impact fertility? Some women who are overweight can have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is often associated with weight gain and missing menstrual cycles. And one-third of women with PCOS will have trouble with fertility. Also, if you are overweight when you become pregnant, you are at higher risk for gestational diabetes and other problems. Conversely, being too thin can also impact fertility and the ability to ovulate. If you’re having a regular menstrual cycle every month, there’s a 98% chance that you’re ovulating.

How long should you wait before consulting a doctor about trouble becoming pregnant? Technically, you’re not considered infertile until you’ve tried to conceive for a year. Be patient. According to statistics, 85% of couples are able to conceive naturally, but on average only 15% will become pregnant each month. Keep in mind that fertility decreases significantly after age 40. And, male factor infertility causes 30% of infertility. What are some common problems that cause infertility? Sometimes, infections in the pelvic area or certain sexually transmitted diseases can damage fallopian tubes. Secondly, poor thyroid function can keep you from getting pregnant. Also, as I mentioned before, PCOS can cause infertility. And, approximately one-third of women with endometriosis, a condition where tissue from the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, are infertile. Lastly, patients can have fluid on their fallopian tubes that prevents a fertilized egg from implanting.

What are the best options for longterm contraception after you’re finished having children? The least invasive method of contraception is a birth control pill. Studies show that long-term use of the pill lowers your lifetime risk of ovarian cancer and many types of the pill help with acne, too. Secondly, patients can use a Nuva Ring, a device that’s inserted into the vagina for three weeks. In addition, women can have a DepoProvera injection once every three months. Another option is Mirena, an intrauterine device (IUD) that releases a small amount of hormone and lasts up to five years. Moreover, Nexplanon is a rod implanted into the arm just under the skin that slowly releases progesterone and provides contraception for three years. If you’d like something permanent, talk to your doctor about tubal ligation, a minimally invasive procedure that blocks off the fallopian tubes through a small incision. Tubal ligation methods include the old-fashioned postpartum tubal ligation or a modern laparoscopic tubal ligation. Essure and Adiana

Dr. Thomas Austin are hysteroscopic tubal occlusion methods, meaning you don’t need an incision. The tubes are blocked surgically through the cervix. Or, you talk to your partner about vasectomy, an outpatient procedure that’s slightly safer than traditional tubal ligation.

Sandhills Women’s Care offers two convenient locations: 114 Gateway Corp Blvd., Suite 350, in Columbia and 2728 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 202, in West Columbia. There are three physicians: Dr. Douglas Addy, Dr. Thomas Austin and Dr. Crystal Johnson. You can make an appointment by calling 803-788-0268.




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A Personal Note


hat a beautiful day this has shaped up to be. The sun is shining and there is a nice breeze. I love being able to look out the window while I work. So many things in life are based on perspective. Summer is barreling toward us, and in a couple of days, there will be a reprieve of the buzzing of alarm clocks in the rooms of my children. For a period of time, no one will have to wake at the crack of dawn and fuss about bathroom time. There will be lazy days spent in the backyard getting their vitamin D fix.


I remember Summer as a magical time of playing with puppies and camping. The Samples household was never short on visitors and Mama and Daddy always had something in the oven. Daddy liked to cook; Mama cooked because she didn’t want to clean the mess Daddy made when he cooked. There was always a gallon of Kool-aid and a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge. We even had a clothes line, where my sister and I were charged with the task of hanging out the towels. Those days when I was ten to twelve seem etched in my memory with a sweetness outlining each moment. I would go fishing with my dad and brothers, And I loved it! I would even help clean the fish, and Daddy would always save the caviar for me. I thought that made me sophisticated. I remember a hot summer day when he asked me to go fishing and I said, “No, not today.” When he came home with a cooler full of fish I declined an opportunity to sit with him and clean the fish as well. He looked at me with the strangest look in his eyes. I heard him remark to my mother, “ I don’t know what is wrong with Lori, she doesn’t want to go fishing with me or clean fish anymore.”


I will never forget my mother’s response. “ Lonzo, she is not a little girl anymore. She is becoming a young woman.” Ahhh, I felt so proud. I was growing up. I watch my children now as their hobbies change. I watch with a sense of longing at the passing of another era in their lives, and I watch with a sense of thankfulness because life is moving forward as it supposed to do. This is the last summer that I have children at all three schools, Elementary, Middle and High School; the last summer that my daughter will spend as a middle schooler; the last summer that I will have a preschooler at home. Time marches on. We have loved, grieved, laughed and cried as a family this year. Though it’s May and 2012 is just getting into full swing, as a mother my years tend to run from Lexington’s first calendar day of school to it’s last. This month is baseball games, talent shows, award ceremonies and preschool graduation. God is so good. All the time! I am taking a moment to reflect on his mercy and love for us today. Thank you Lord, for another season of life, my hope is in You.


Your friend,

Lori Samples Duncan

Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor, it is the gift of God.

Ryan 52

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