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VOL 7, NO 3







Julia Early and Marie Bridges share their amazing story along with other strong women in our community

Meet an


LOCAL DUO Richard Culliver and Stephanie McMillan share their journey

In this Issue





Lori Samples Duncan (


Crystal Poston Cathy Williams (

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Pastor Mark Crumpton Briana Davis Lori Samples Duncan Hope Halfacre-Bryant Mayor Randy Halfacre Ashby Jones Jamie Lober Beth McCrary Elaine Samples


Robert Patrick Image Design


Melissa W. Morris

PHOTOGRAPHY Clark Berry Photography K. Dalton KLinh Evelyn Grace Photography Robert Patrick Image Design Steve Headden

From the Editor



Health & Wellness

2 A Great Place to Live

3 What’s Happening?

Things We Love!

4 Things We Love about Lexington!

Let’s Talk

5 6 9 10 11 13 14

Talk of the Town with Mayor Randy Halfacre America’s Next Top Model Victoria Henley The Ashby Chronicle: Club Med Your Morning Friends Eric and Heather at 89.7 WMHK A Fairytale Come True If I Could Turn Back Time Lexington Strong

All About Mothers

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. © 2013

17 Help for Moms this Mother’s Day 18 A Mother’s Heart 21 The Art of Building Families

28 Itchy Ears

30 33 35

Sometimes....You Need a Little Help at Home Childhood Obesity: How Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Can Help The Big 4-0 Navigating Your Way Into a New Decade


36 39 40

Meet Ali Woron of Northside Academy Book Your Next Stay in Charleston Girl Scouts of South Carolina— Mountains to Midlands Celebrated Five Local Women of Distinction

Business & Web Directory 43 Contact our Advertisers

Personal Note

44 See It Before It Happens

Celebrating the Survivor in You!

22 26 27

Stephanie McMillan and Richard Culliver Making Each Day Count Kennedy Branham: Putting Others First


exington is a great place to live and raise a family. I have heard it over and over in the last ten years, and I have said it myself more than once. Nothing makes this more obvious than the way Lexington has wrapped its arms around three local children who are all battling a life threatening disease. All over this community you will find people wearing bracelets that say “Jesus Loves You” – Richards Journey NEGU. Flyers hang in store fronts for upcoming fundraiser events to help Nathaniel Fournel’s family, and I know I don’t sit at a single traffic light where I don’t see a “Pray for Kennedy” car decal. Not only do we have an award winning school district, beautiful Lake Murray, and every festival from the Peach Festival to the Okra Strut, now we have the Wine Walk and concerts on the river to entice families to make Lexington County their homes. Most important of all we have people who love people. Lexington people who genuinely try to support one another. In the good times and the bad times, and yes there may be a few bad apples just like any other place on earth, but we are incredibly blessed. I personally feel thankful to be a part of this amazing community. From our churches to our country clubs, families are formed by people who are not blood related but who find commonalities in their lifestyle and faith. This issue has a little bit of everything. We hope it educates, motivates, and inspires you to want to be a better you. As always, we ask you to support the businesses in the pages of Lexington Woman Magazine, because it is through their continued support that we are able to bring you each issue. Each of them have committed to providing you and your families with quality services and products. There is not one advertiser that I wouldn’t personally recommend to my friends and family. We welcome your feedback and suggestions, and if you know an inspiring woman we should feature, email us. I read every email. Loriduncan86@ is how you can reach me. Lexington Woman is about all of us — the Lexington Community — we want your input! Your friend, Psalms 8:1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

Lori Samples Duncan Editor-in-Chief

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women


AROUND TOWN LTC students win awards at state HOSA competition Members of the Health Occupations Students of America chapter at Lexington Technology Center competed at the State Leadership Conference held by the South Carolina HOSA chapter.

Lexington Technology Center HOSA Chapter

CSES Students Use iPad Technology to Make Music The Carolina Springs Elementary iPad Ensemble will finish a second successful year after performing at the AdvanceED Fall Conference, Glen Forest Elementary and CSES holiday and school assemblies. CSES Music Teacher David Headrick formed the ensemble last school year after watching a video of an iPad band on YouTube. A group of teachers and administrators selected students to perform in the school’s first ensemble that played for the AdvanceED team that visited the district as well as at the 2012 Chick-fil-A Leadercast Conference.

Carolina Springs Elementary iPad Ensemble

This year the group consists of CSES fifthgrade students Adam Graybill, Jamison Belec, Kendra Thompson, Samantha Hoslins, Gabby Bustamante, Murray Newell, Horacio Honoret and Preston Hage. The talented group is directed by CSES Music Teachers Barbara Burns and David Headrick.

What’s HAPPENING? 4th Annual Love For a Cure Tennis Tournament May 3 – 5 Lexington County Tennis Complex

The Love for a Cure tournament is hosted by the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission in memory of Jay Criscione. An event that helps raise money for the Lexington Medical Center Foundation “Cancer Fund” benefiting the Midlands. There are so many stories that your dollars support through the Foundation supported programs such as the Mobile Mammography Unit, Crystal Smith Breast Cancer Fund, Becky’s Place, Project Prescription and much more. Thank you for support of Cancer Care in our community. Please feel free to purchase towels, wine glasses, and an extra ticket to the event social. Tax deductible sponsorship opportunities are available.     Divisions of play will include “Doubles” on Saturday, May 4th and “Mixed Doubles” on Sunday, May 5th. The Players Social will be held on Friday, May 3rd from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. For more information, call (803) 957-7676.

2013 Lexington Wine Walk May 11, 6 – 9 p.m. (ages 21 and up) 100 Block of East Main Street

Exhibitors, Main Street Merchants, and Restaurants will serve wine and hors d’oeuvres. Ticket price includes a complimentary wine glass, hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings, and live music. Learn more at the website below.

Swim 4 Nathaniel May 18 Country Club of Lexington

Come out and show your support for Nathaniel Fournel, a fun loving, spirited 13 year old 8th grader at PHMS in Lexington who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Featuring family friendly fun for all ages with a silent auction, food, a live DJ, and games for little ones. Enjoy swimming, racing, diving, cannon balls, and more with members of the USC swim team. Learn more about Nathaniel and this event at the website below.

Get Your Bid On Silent Auction & Wine Tasting May 30, 6 – 9 p.m. The Greater Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center

Come bid on a variety of products and services while trying wines and sampling food from local restau-

rants. Keep watching our Facebook page to view all the wonderful auction items that will start coming in the first of May — Tickets are $25 per person, and no paper tickets will be issued. Call (803) 359-6113 for more information or to sponsor.

Blood Drive – Neighbors Helping Neighbors May 31, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Radius Church

Join the Chamber of Commerce, Radius Church and Mead & Hunt to help those in our community by becoming a donor or volunteering. This winter has been particularly harsh, impacting a large portion of the country causing a significant number of blood drive cancellations and impacting our blood supply. Since February, weather has forced the cancellation of over 425 American Red Cross blood drives, resulting in a shortfall of more than 16,000 blood donations (48,000 hospital patients could have been impacted) through the Red Cross. All blood types are currently needed. Schedule your appointment today, help your neighbor and maybe even save a life! Contact Brittany Williams at Brittany.Williams@

The Great Falls Rescue Annual Rodeo June 14 – 15 , 6 p.m. 2536 James Baker Blvd, Great Falls

Gates open at 6 p.m. with the Rodeo starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 ages 4-12, and free admission for ages 3 and under. Parking is $5. Uncle Si from Ducky Dynasty will be featured at this year’s 2013 Rodeo! He will “Meet & Greet” on Saturday, June 15, 2013 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets to meet Uncle Si which also include admission to Saturday’s rodeo are $40 per person, $20 per child and ages 3 and under will be admitted for free (proof of age may be required).

Festival of Flowers June 20 – 23 Greenwood, SC

The fourth weekend of June will prove to be most entertaining for all ages. The George W. Park Seed Company’s famous Trail Gardens, featuring over with 1500 varieties of annuals, perennials and vegetables, will be open to the public. Tour the private gardens of local residents, or visit the craft, art and photo shows, one of the best in the southeast. Join us for more than 35 events including sports, concerts, tours and wonderful family fun!

Things We Love!


Things We

About Lexington! by Lori Samples Duncan

LHS’s Johnson receives National Achievement® Scholarship award The National Merit Scholarship Corporation awarded a National Achievement Scholarship to Lexington High senior Madeline Johnson. Johnson received the $2,500 scholarship after advancing through three rounds of the National Achievement Scholarship competition. Johnson was one of more than 160,000 students who entered the program in 2011 after taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as high school juniors. After advancing through the first round and being named a Semifinalist in the second round, Johnson continued to fulfill requirements for Finalist standing, which included holding a high academic performance, recommendation from an official at their school and earning excellent SAT performance scores.

White Knoll DECA Chapter participants at The State Competition DECA

M. Gallery in Lexington

This program thrives in Lexington School District One and across our state. What a wonderful way to prepare our young adults for the business world. I encourage fellow business owners to participate and sponsor this program. We need programs like DECA for our 21st Century Learners to be successful!

What a wonderful gallery to find the most interesting pieces of art and home decor. Mandy Summers even has in house design services, and this is one of my favorite places at Lexington’s Old Mill. You can read more about M. Gallery online at

Dixie Youth Baseball

It doesn’t matter how many times I see Eddie, it always amazes me. Happy 10th Birthday to Eddie! Visit to find out about all the family fun ways Edventure is celebrating this year.

I look forward every spring to watching all the little competitors in Lexington at Ball Park Road. Baseball is big business in Lexington. Congrats on being the host of the 2014 Little League World Series!

Grace Animal Pets I love the staff, the veterinarians, and the state of the art facility at Grace Animal Pets on Charter Oak Road in Lexington. They also offer boarding and will refer you to a local “dog whisperer” if you need one.

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

EdVenture Children’s Museum!

Madeline Johnson, Lexington High Senior

LHS band director receives Hall of Fame honors The S.C. Band Directors Association inducted Lexington High Band Director Jerry Gatch into the association’s Hall of Fame.

89.7 WMHK This radio station is a personal favorite. It always seems like when I start my day with them, it goes better. I love that I don’t have to lower the volume of the songs because I am afraid of what my children might hear. I also love their morning DJ’s Eric and Heather who just so happen to be featured in this issue...shhhhh!

Real Women

Jerry Gatch, Lexington High Band Director

Gatch received the honor in recognition of his service as a band director and for being a leader in instrumental music education in South Carolina. He is the youngest member of the Hall of Fame.

Let’s Talk


of the town



ur town is growing beyond anyone’s imagination, especially those of us who remember Lexington just a decade or two ago. Town Council and I are proud of the LexingtonVision Plan which is serving as a roadmap to our future. Since its adoption in May 2012, we have built Lexington Square, provided Main St. businesses grants to help improve their exterior facade and have expanded our annual Christmas celebration into a weekend full of activities. It is wonderful to see how much we have achieved within the last year. Our newest LexingtonVision Plan initiative is Project Icehouse. The property includes the former Shirey’s on Main (101 W. Main St.), the adjacent building (103 and 105 W. Main St.), Palmetto Propane and Ice, Inc. (111 S. Church St.) and 113 S. Church St.

The land will be transformed into a destination retail center and public green space which will include boutique retail, eateries along with plans to construct an amphitheatre and will help revitalize Lexington in addition to allowing for connectivity in the downtown area through a proposed 1.1. mile walking trail. The trail will provide citizens an opportunity to experience walking, jogging and nature from Main St., S. Church St, Virginia Hylton Park, Fort St and Lexington United Methodist Church. To learn more about the LexingtonVision Plan, visit our website at or contact Johnny Jeffcoat, Community and Economic Catalyst at (803) 358-1586. Randy Halfacre, Mayor Town of Lexington

New Members of the Chamber (As of April 2013) Adams, Gyemant, & Griffin Advisory Group (803) 477-3385 Air Claws Heating & Cooling (803) 957-2377 Alliance Consulting Engineers, Inc. (803) 779-2078 AllState Insurance – Laurie Griner (803) 926-1170 American Time Data, Inc. (803) 791-8463 Busy Bee IT (803) 210-2121 Carolina Encouragement Center (803) 931-8758 Colonial Life (803) 356-0086


(803) 356-8080

Compton’s Kitchen – Lexington (803) 399-1272 Custom Images Inc. (706) 495-6714 Edward Jones Investments – Aaron Peshek (803) 957-1179

Elite Vapors (866) 611-5806

Pratt Industries (803) 730-0757

Hoss Consulting LLC (803) 456-0607

Post No Bills (803) 254-4334

Huei Salon & Spa (803) 996-1689

ProServe Business Solutions (803) 297-4590

Johnson & Associates Insurance, Inc. (803) 250-2088

SC Lions Foundation (803) 457-7077 SC Medical Association (803) 798-6207

Laser Chicken (803) 466-6865

Sodexo (803) 535-5812

Lexington County Veterans Affairs (803) 785-8400

Sunset Dental PA (803) 807-2370

Lexington Girls Softball (803) 251-9474

Tonella’s Bistro (803) 785-8663

Liberty Tax Service (803) 996-1040 Matters of the Mind Consulting (803) 817-3303

University of South Carolina Career Center (803) 777-7280

Ola Johnson, Attorney at Law (803) 360-8692 Orkin Pet Control (803) 791-3112 Palmetto Athletic Center (803) 951-2090

Let’s Talk


Victoria Henley

by Lori Samples Duncan


ictoria Henley wasn’t given the prestigious title of America’s Next Top Model via the reality show starring supermodel Tyra Banks, but that hasn’t stopped her from moving forward to accomplish her goals. Never really the quintessential pageant girl, Victoria was actually a “Tom Boy” before her first pageant — Little Miss Pulpwood — in her hometown of Colquitt, Georgia. After much prompting from her grandmother, she finally agreed to enter the contest. While Victoria doesn’t necessarily recommend pageants for everyone, she attributes her pageant experience with providing her confidence to speak in front of others. “Ultimately I am grateful for that one experience,” says Victoria, “but then those full glitz beauty pageants were never really my thing.” Animals have always been a big part of her life, as her parents ran a veterinary clinic in Colquitt, where even in the small southern Georgia town, Victoria had a passion for the entertainment industry. With her first subscription to Vogue at the age of eight and runway lessons around the same time, one might say that Victoria Henley was destined to be in magazines. “It was very odd for me to grow up in an agrarian community and have such a compelling interest in something that is so completely opposite from my environment,” she points out. “But my parents were always very supportive and encouraged me to pursue my passion.” While she travels so often that she doesn’t get to spend much time in Colquitt (she was in Columbia for a fashion shoot when we spoke), it is still her home base, and Victoria finds much comfort

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

in the supportive network that she has at home. Since appearing on the show, Victoria has been able to use the perks of the show to do things she has always done in her dreams, including traveling all over the US working runway shows for international designers and a recent stint at Miami Fashion Week. If you happened to catch Victoria on America’s Next Top Model, you may not have seen the very best of her personality. “The bad thing about reality shows,” says Victoria, “is the editing for ratings, where situations are set up, people are encouraged to fight. To be honest, watching myself on the season of America’s Next Top Model, some of the episodes were so over edited, that I was in shock at some of the things I saw…I definitely felt like I was pigeon holed into being one dimensional – the home schooled mother hen.” From her experience on the show, Victoria was able to learn some things, one very important that I hope we can all learn earlier rather than later: words are just words. “Everyone has their own opinion and you cannot let others’ opinions affect you in a detrimental way. You

Real Women

must determine the core of who you are and no matter what hardships you face, you must always be true to yourself and never betray your code of ethics.” Another thing Victoria learned? Not to take herself so seriously. “Reality shows make you feel so silly,” she states. “I wish that sometimes I had just thrown my head back and laughed at the situation. That is my advice to women: take time to laugh every day.” (See Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good like medicine.”) With a title like “America’s Next Top Model,” I asked Victoria if she feels the pressure to always look her best. She admitted that her industry can be very superficial, and the pressure to look good is certainly there. But she says that she has breakouts just like everyone else. “Anytime you are feeling insecure about yourself, you just have to bring yourself back to reality and say, ‘This is me and I love myself for who I am,’” says Victoria. Admittedly a Type A personality, she reminds herself to ease up, regroup, and remember that everything is going to be okay. Sound familiar? But Victoria feels like being pretty is a state of mind, which starts with

the idea of not measuring up to some unreal standard, creating a negative atmosphere and negative energy that resonates with others. “In that way,” says Victoria, “it is not good to think in a negative way about yourself. We all have those days. Instead, I try to shift my focus to my blessings. I have such a wonderful family, two legs on which to stand, and I have done a lot of good in my life. We all have things we can be proud of.” A bright young lady with an obviously bright future, Victoria Henley was a delight to talk to. It is nice to see that even in the bustle of Hollywood, she remains grounded and committed to her values. But you know I couldn’t let her go without asking her for some beauty tips. (You’re welcome.) This is what she said: • Drink plenty of water • Get enough sleep • Always wash your face at night • She uses a Mint Julip (like the drink) Mask before bed (found at natural pharmacies or Ulta Beauty Supply) We all know that beauty starts from the inside and goes outward. Here’s to the beautiful woman YOU are!

Photo: KLinh Evelyn Grace Photography Stylist: Tyson Keanum




Attorneys at Law


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


303 South Lake Drive Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women

Lexington, SC 29072

Fax (803) 359-1378

Let’s Talk photo by Clark Berry Photography


Club Med by Ashby Jones

Ashby Jones


y Husband and I took a week off of work and got away, just the two of us. Since we had just been to the mountains and the water at the beach is not warm enough for swimming, we spent a week on the fourth floor of the Lexington Medical Center. Bret is going to be just fine, and so am I. This is due in large part to his stubbornness, my mean streak, our parents, our siblings, and all of you. (I will explain how you played a role in a bit).

But first, you need to know how to vacation at the Lexington Medical Center. It is not necessary to purchase fancy attire. I wore an oversized high school sweatshirt, yoga pants, Dearform bedroom slippers, and a worried expression. Everywhere I looked, people were wearing similar getups. You know how on a cruise ship you are seated with other families each night for dinner? And your waiter is the same each night and is the most charming young person you have ever met? Cruise directors want passengers to interact with other vacationers and the cruise staff, so that the cruise experience is joyful on every level (these new friendships are useful when the rotavirus hits or there is an engine fire and you all have to sleep on the deck). At the Lexington Medical Center, you will not be pressured to befriend other vacationers or the staff. If you prefer, you can put a No Visitors sign on your door and refuse to make eye contact with anyone. This vacation strategy is actually super appealing. Your loved one is hurt, you cannot stop the hurt, you are finding it difficult to use your manners, and you are tired. Everywhere I look in this hospital,

I see families surrounding a sick loved one. Like my family, these families are struggling. The questions are endless – When will he be better? When will he stop hurting? How will it be when he gets out of here? Who will help us? Then, there are the other questions – When can I go to lunch? When can I take a shower? When should I return that phone call? Every family in every room on this cruise ship is asking themselves the same questions. It is a quiet camaraderie. While we are asking ourselves if our lives will ever be the same and simultaneously wondering when we will have the next opportunity to brush our teeth, our friends arrive. Our friends are better dressed, because they have come straight from work and bathed that day. But, our friends wear the same worried expression and have the same questions – When will he be better? When will he stop hurting? How will it be when he gets out of here? We try to answer our friends’ questions. We can’t answer our friends’ questions. So we cry, and they do too. Grown men say words to their golf buddies or college roommates that have always been understood but never said

out loud. I love you. I will help you. I will take care of you. And then, the conversation strays. Beth tells about the time she almost fell through her attic into the kitchen. Since she was in a hurry to get out of town, she got in her car and drove away from her house, leaving a foot-sized hole in her kitchen ceiling. Ben is headed to the masters with his wife Liz, who is only moderately excited about golf, but super excited about reconnecting with her Augusta National security guard buddies. Wes and Donna are trading stories about their internships on the psychiatric ward during medical training, which leads us all to discuss the varying degrees of “crazy” and what is actually required to receive a formal “crazy” diagnosis, anyway? All over this hospital, on about every surface, are stacks of this magazine. If you are reading this magazine, chances are you are in this hospital, sitting in a waiting room and worrying. Maybe you are here to support a spouse. Maybe you are here visiting your high school best friend as she waits for her husband’s surgery to be complete. Maybe you are here for a coworker because you can’t relax at work knowing she is here.

In any case, thank you. Thank you for sitting here. Thank you for listening, for filling the silence, for asking the questions, for telling the silly stories. Thank you for holding her hand. Thank you for telling him you love him, and for saying it out loud this time. Thank you for showing up and not knowing what to say. Thank you for showing up and saying the wrong thing. Thank you for forgiving us when we say the wrong thing. The truth is, whether we choose to sit with the strange family at dinner and learn a little about the charming young waiter or not, we are all on this vacation together. We all want to arrive at the same port, the one where concerns are what are we having for dinner and who is going to pick up the dry cleaning. Within each of these cabins, prayers are being spoken, families are showing love, and friends are showing up. This bundle of humanity, along with the expertise only Lexington Medical Center offers, serves to steadily steer this ship. And you, Lexington Women, you are here for when the ship veers off its course or has to momentarily rest. Thank you for this. Thank you for being our anchor.

by Jamie Lober

photos by Robert Patrick Image Design

Your Morning Friends



ric and Heather are hosts at 89.7 WMHK radio and the shoes fit them perfectly. Eric tells that he has two children, is married for twentythree years and has been in radio since he was sixteen. His dad got him a job at the local country western station but since he always had a relationship with Jesus, Eric prayed for an opportunity to get involved with contemporary Christian music that better aligned with his beliefs. “The company I was working for said that they were doing some restructuring and did not need me anymore but even though I did not have a job to go to, I knew that God had answered my prayer because he put me on a different path and I am here today at 89.7 WMHK,” said Eric. Eric finds the best part of his job to be the stories that he hears from callers. “This is something I can go home everyday and feel proud (to be a part of) just knowing that my children know the songs that they play and sing them and they know what their dad does and that is rewarding,” said Eric. His radio partner, Heather, also wound up on a different path than she originally planned. Having been raised


Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

in a farm community, Heather hoped to be a television producer working in news. After several jobs in various cities including one that she considered to be a huge mistake, Heather walked out the door, prayed and waited for God to guide her. This meant moving and eventually coming to work at 89.7 WMHK. Heather was so sure God was calling, and she knew she had to answer that call. “God said he needed me here to do a job here and I felt very strongly called since God obviously orchestrated this and made this happen, so it is kind of hard to argue with that,” said Heather. Heather describes herself as “brand spanking new” and has only been with the station for two

Real Women

whole months, though she and the rest of the staff cannot imagine representing any other station. “We are a family-friendly station and see it lived out in every staff member, just letting kids be kids and encouraging them to be silly and have a great time is what I appreciated,” said Heather. The community is grateful to have access to a faith-based station like 89.7 WMHK. “Radio stations have a unique niche because people say my radio station is 89.7 WMHK; they do not say my television channel; they kinda take ownership of that radio station which is really a tribute to what music means to that person,” said Lori Duncan, editor at Lexington Woman Magazine and Midlands Woman Magazine. Families can place trust in the

voices and sounds of 89.7 WMHK and feel strongly that they want future generations growing up with them as well. “It is more than just a great station; you do not have to be worried about what is going to come out of someone’s mouth because it is something that you consider a ministry and not just a job,” said Duncan. This is one of the many reasons our magazine felt inclined to raise awareness about the station. “The fact that I can get in my car and turn the radio up and not play the role of a “sensor” is something I feel good about.” Listen across the Midlands at 89.7 WMHK or online at www.

Let’s Talk


Fairytale COME TRUE by Elaine Samples


ast summer was a fairytale come true for five local Lexington County girls. After a week-long competition in Hartsville, SC, with 169 contestants from all over the state, they returned home from the Little Miss – Teen Miss South Carolina pageant as real-life “princesses” with sparkling crowns, scholarship money, and memories that will last a lifetime. The LMSC pageant promotes community service and academic excellence, as well as encouraging poise and positive self-esteem in their contestants. Since its partnership with Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in 2002, they have raised over $152,000 for them. Sarah-Katherine Cantrell, Little Miss Tiny Tot South Carolina & LMSC Overall Princess, is the 4 year old daughter of Joshua and Kayce Cantrell. She has one older brother, Cohen, and a miniature Yorkie, Prince CoCo. She attends the 4K program at First Baptist Learning Center and is very active in tap and ballet at South Carolina Dance Company and competitive Cheerleading at SilverJax. She has had an amazing year representing the Little Miss South Carolina Organization and making friends that will last a lifetime. Rylee Jeffcoat, Wee Miss South Carolina, is a six year old kindergartener at Chapin Elementary School. She is the daughter of Wayne and Christy Jeffcoat, and has one brother Hunter who is eight. She loves to play with her three dogs, Sugar, Buster, and Cupcake. She has been fortunate to be a part of the sisterhood of LMSC twice. She was also Miss Tiny Tot South Carolina at the age of two in 2009 Haley Heustess, Little Miss South Carolina, is the nine year old daughter of Edgar and Kristie Heustess and a 4th grader at Carolina Springs Elementary School, where she is a member of student council and Girls on the Run. At the pageant, she was also awarded the Congeniality award, a Presidential Volunteer Service Award and the Aimin’ High Community Service Award for serving over 400 hours and donating almost $11,000 to several organizations. During the past year, she has continued to give back to her community and has traveled the state making numerous appearances and meeting new people.

Riley Yates, Young Miss South Carolina and LMSC Overall Queen, was also the overall talent winner. Riley is the 13 year old daughter of Jody and Laurie Yates. She attends Lexington Middle School, where she is in the 7th grade. Riley has been enjoying volunteering across the state and promoting her platform: “Don’t Sit, Get Fit!” where she is working to develop after school dance programs in our local elementary schools. Riley will be competing for the Miss Jr. Teen America title in July in Orlando. Catherine Kirkland, Young Miss Teen South Carolina, is the 15 year old daughter of Joe and Teri Kirkland. She is currently a freshman at Lexington High School, where she is a cheerleader and an Honor student. Catherine received a Gold Level Service Award for her community service at the Little Miss South Carolina Pageant, along with the award for Miss Congeniality and the Overall Interview award from among 119 Contestants ages 7 to 19. Catherine is being sent by the LMSC program to represent the state of South Carolina at the Miss Teen America Pageant in Orlando, Florida this July.

(left to right) Riley Yates, Sarah Katherine Cantrell, Catherine Kirkland and Haley Heustess

In a few short weeks these young ladies will travel back to Hartsville to crown their successors. Although they will no longer wear a shiny crown, they will come away with lifelong friendships and experiences some can only dream of. Their fairytales will end as all fairytales do...happily ever after! For more information about Little Miss-Teen Miss South Carolina pageant visit Rylee Jeffcoat



Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women

Let’s Talk

If I Could Turn Back Time by Pastor Mark Crumpton


s I prayed about what the Lord would have me write for this article the Lord woke me up in the middle of the night with the thought of a mother full of regrets. It is a woman who’s name is not mentioned we simply know her as “Lot’s wife”. Gen 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. (KJV) As a pastor I know that we may preach on this passage from many different angles however the simple reality is that this woman was a mother. A mother who “looked back” in deep emotional distress; a mother who was leaving some of her children behind in a land full of regrets. I think it is often very easy for us to look at the life of someone else and see very clearly their mistakes but when it is us too often we don’t see them so clearly until after we have made them. In life we all make

mistakes. The tragedy is not that we make mistakes in life or even as a parent. The tragedy is that many will wait until it is too late to turn around. I can not help but wonder what might have been if this mother would have turned around years earlier. I believe it may have saved her family. There was a very popular song in the late 1980’s called “If I could turn back time”. I am sure it was so popular in large part because all of us can relate. All of us have done things or said things we wished we had not. In life we all make mistakes. The good news is that no one expects you to be perfect. I want you to know that you

don’t have to live in a land full of regrets. Friends we can’t turn back time we can only go forward. You have time today to turn around and make some things right before it is too late. It is not too late to ask forgiveness and it is not too late to forgive someone that hurt you. I have already preached too many funerals where I witnessed someone “look back” with regret after it is too late. “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” — Alexander Pope

I don’t know who this is for; but I know that the Lord cares enough about you and your family to wake me up in the middle of the night. Oh, how He Loves You! John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV) Bishop Mark Crumpton, Pastor of Lexington Church of God 1228 S. Lake Dr., Lexington, SC 29073 (803) 957-6675 Visit or find us on Facebook

I think it is often very easy for us to look at the life of someone else and see very clearly their mistakes but when it is us too often we don’t see them so clearly until after we have made them.


Lexington STRONG

by Beth McCrary


Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women

Let’s Talk


hortly after hearing about the explosions at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, my thoughts quickly shifted to my friends Julia Early and Marie Bridges. Both were running in the Boston Marathon after qualifying for the first time, Julia at age 42 and Marie at age 67. Both are Lexington strong women. I frantically searched on Facebook for news of their safety and quickly learned that Julia had crossed the finish line with a time of 3 hours and 49 minutes, approximately 35 minutes prior to the bombs going off. She was safe and accounted for. Yet no news on Marie’s safety would surface for several hours. I first met Julia while our kids were in preschool at Gateway Academy in 1998. I vividly remember volunteering for the Halloween Carnival and Julia and I were paired together to run the Cake Walk in one of the preschool rooms. Julia was dressed in the most authentic Cowardly Lion costume I’ve ever seen. The authenticity was appropriate for one of the most real women I’ve met in my years of living in Lexington. I first met Marie in September of 2009 aboard a Lake Murray cruise boat for an anniversary party for mutual friends. Earlier that day we had both completed our first USMC Mud Run at Fort Jackson. I was 46 and she was 63. Still very new to running, I remember wanting to be as energetic and enthusiastic as Marie at her age. I remember wanting to have her drive, determination and desire to be going strong in my 60’s. By 5:00 pm on the day of the bombings, I finally received a text that Marie was safe. She had been diverted by policemen from the finish line just .75 miles shy of completing a full 26.2 miles. She was told there had been two explosions and that it would be dangerous to go any further. “I never crossed the finish line, but in my mind and heart, I ran Boston and loved every single minute of it until

they stopped me and I found out what happened.” Upon news of Marie’s safety, relief swept over me as I was trying to comprehend all that had transpired throughout the day. The sanctity of the oldest and most long standing marathon in the US had been shattered. Innocent lives had been cut short and many others were critically injured. The city of Boston was on lockdown with conflicting news being reported. Transportation was at a standstill and cell phone usage was minimal. The list of unknowns was staggering. Would there be more bombings? Who was responsible for this unfathomable act? Would Julia, Marie, their family members and friends be able to get home to Lexington safely? Weeks later, the list of unknowns is still long. What is known is that the people of Boston are strong and resilient. This senseless act of terrorism will make them stronger and more determined. Marathon runners like Julia and Marie who devote countless hours to train and compete are equally as strong and determined. Especially Marie, as she trained for and ran Boston with a torn meniscus in her right knee. Julia, a 17 year resident of Lexington, didn’t set out to qualify for Boston. A runner since her early 30’s, her bucket list included completing at least one marathon before she got too old. She chose the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February of 2012 for its flat course and favorable weather. Her running friends encouraged her to register for Boston when her finishing time qualified her to do so. Julia

accepted the challenge and began following a strict training regimen in December of 2012 to be strong for Boston in April of 2013. Marie, a Lexingtonian since 1981, also qualified for Boston after running in the same Myrtle Beach Marathon. Marie and Julia have much in common besides their love of running. Both were born into career military families with fathers who retired at Fort Jackson. Both women started running at age 30 and both are Lexington Medical Center employees. Julia is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at LMC’s Heath Directions and Marie is a nurse-midwife with a physician’s practice owned by Lexington Medical Center.

‘I am so blessed and thankful to be back home.’ Both are also well respected in health and fitness circles in the Midlands because of their deep commitment to the wellness of others and themselves. Their hobbies include playing tennis, spending time with their families and their volunteer work. The inner beauty and strength that radiates from both Julia and Marie is their most noteworthy commonality. Having survived the tragic events of April 15th, both ladies feel incredibly blessed to be home in Lexington with family and friends. They have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of care and concern shown to them by the community

of Lexington. From Julia, “As to the number of people who contacted Pat Norcia and I to find out about our safety, I am overwhelmed! I had no idea so many people cared about me! I feel so very blessed in so many ways.” Julia also shared, “The most important thing I took away from my experience is to live everyday like it’s my last. I thought when I heard the sirens and realized bombs were exploding, it might be my last day on earth. I always try to be kind and compassionate, but this event has made me realize that I take too many of God’s blessings for granted.” Marie shared that she has not known this type of concern since battling throat cancer in 1990. “I am so blessed and thankful to be back home. It seems like a surreal experience. I appreciate the prayers, the calls, the notes of concern sent via many means. God was there that day! I’m certain of that. I am trying to focus on the entire 4 days and not just the race. It was the most wonderful race day...51 degrees at my start time of 10:40, the crowds were amazing, the 26,700 volunteers were doing everything they possibly could to make this event a wonderful memory; the millions, literally millions of dollars that flowed into the various charities... something like 44 million...will continue to be used profitably. It wasn’t all horrible. For some their lives will never be the same. All of us will remember this day as another time we are made aware that we are a fallen people. May God have mercy on ALL of us!” Beth McCrary is a freelance writer and avid runner living in Lexington, SC. She never ceases to be amazed by the strength and perseverance of the running community.


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hw Allison B. Bullard, of counsel with Harling & West, LLC helps individuals and couples navigate the legal issues associated with adoption and assisted reproductive technology. Allison works with clients to help build families through: Adoption | Egg donation | Embryo donation In vitro fertilization | Gestational Carrier Agreements/Surrogacy 16

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(803) 957-0889 Real Women

203 West Main Street, Suite B Lexington, South Carolina 29072

All About Mothers

HELP for Moms this Mother’s Day


appy Mother’s Day! Being a Mom is one of the most rewarding gifts in life, but being a Mom can also become extremely stressful when there is a sick child involved.

Chiropractic care may be able to offer you and your child relief. Chiropractors are trained to get to the root of your disease. By looking at your nervous system, how the brain communicates with your body, the chiropractor is able to detect and treat the interference that often results in pain and illness. Among the many issues that are commonly seen by chiroprac-

tors are headaches, ear infections, digestive problems, sports injuries, bed wetting and ADD. Put chiropractic care first among your health care efforts and you will be amazed at the progress your child will make. The chiropractic adjustment is very gentle and could save your child from needless medications and surgery.

Dr. Shane Conner has been caring for all ages in the Lexington community, and would love to help your family. Conner Chiropractic is currently offering a Mother’s

Day special for a free consultation and evaluation for both mom and child through the month of June. See their ad on page 16 for more information!

Chiropractic care may be able to offer you and your child relief.



Mother’s Heart

by Hope Halfacre-Bryant photo by Robert Patrick Image Design

I learned of Hope Halfacre-Bryant’s struggle to get pregnant in 2011 after we did an issue called “Love By Activation.” Hope sent me a message thanking me for talking to Lexington about adoption. She told me about her diagnosis of PCOS and shared that she and Shawn were strongly considering adoption. I wanted to share her story with you because I wanted to show you that it doesn’t matter what man says. When God shows up, He shows out. Here is Hope’s story in her own words.


Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women

— Lori Samples Duncan

All About Mothers


od works miracles for those who are willing to surrender all to Him. This is a lesson that I’ve learned over the last few years as my husband and I focused on having a family through what seemed to be the impossible.

When I was 14 years old, my parents suspected something was wrong. I wasn’t having regular monthly cycles, had unexplained weight gain, and had frequent mood swings. After many doctor visits, blood tests, and evaluations, I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. At the time, information about PCOS was just beginning to surface but it was still a syndrome that no one truly understood. What doctors did understand about PCOS is that it was and still is one of the leading causes of infertility in women, it causes unexplained weight gain, is a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes, and there isn’t a cure. The endocrinologist told my mom that I would never be able to have children. This news devastated her and she couldn’t find the words to tell me because she knew that one day I would want to have a family.

adoption, fertility treatments, and medications. We trusted that at some point in our lives God would answer our prayers in the way that He wanted them to be answered.

Fast forward to my college years. After a yearly routine visit with my doctor, we discussed my chances for children. She told me that a lot of research had been conducted on PCOS and things were looking brighter for those who had PCOS. She shared that it would still be difficult to get pregnant but there was a possibility. This gave me hope. The hope that I would hold on to for many years.

set at the same time. I was upset because I didn’t think it would ever happen for us. I didn’t want to feel upset every time someone shared their good news so I prayed that God would open a different door for me. God opened the door for me to get my Masters degree and then begin my Doctorate degree. Going to school became my excuse of why we weren’t having children instead of talking about my infertility struggles.

I was honest with Shawn before we got married about PCOS and that I most likely wouldn’t be able to have children. I wanted him to be aware of my problems with infertility. He was always very supportive and never had a problem with it. He knew that we would create a family somehow, someday. We discussed

After 3 years of not preventing getting pregnant, Shawn and I had no success. I went through a difficult time of bitterness. I had so many friends and family members who were having children and each time I was happy for them but up-

ed it. After studying the Bible and praying, I realized that I needed to surrender all my problems to God. I was willing to wait on Him as He carefully prepared the plans for my future. The more I prayed and studied God’s word, the closer I felt to Him. As He opened my eyes to His miracles, I began witnessing friends of mine who also suffered from PCOS conceive or adopt children. I knew that He was molding my heart and mind to becoming a

would take about a year for us to go through it. We were both very excited about the new possibilities that lay before us. Around the middle of February I decided to write down my prayers for a child. I wanted to put my words on paper so I could one day look back and see God’s miracle. On February 22, 2012 I wrote my first prayer to our future “child.” On February 24, 2012 I wrote another prayer about an incredible conversation Shawn and I had about having children. On February 19, 2012, Shawn attended a bible study at the Criminal Justice Academy. The study that night was about Abraham and Sarah’s difficulties with conceiving a child. How fitting! The leader also shared his own story about how he and his wife were told they weren’t able to have children. He shared that they trusted in the Lord, believed in His perfect timing, and were blessed with 4 beautiful girls. When Shawn called me that night to tell me about the bible study, I couldn’t stop crying because day by day, God was answering our prayers.

I knew that He was molding my heart and mind to becoming a mother.

Over the three years of trying to conceive, my faith grew tremendously. Instead of letting the bitterness stay in my heart, I opened my heart to God. I knew that He already knew the desires of my heart and He already had a plan for Shawn and me, even when I doubt-

mother. The excitement continued to build inside of me as I continued to witness others receiving their own miracles. One weekend in early February 2012, I told Shawn that the Lord had put a very strong urge upon my heart about being a mother. I asked Shawn to pray for me and pray for what God was trying to tell me. Little did I know at the time but God was working on my heart as he was preparing my body to conceive. During this time, I felt like our only option was adoption. We both were excited about adopting after watching several of our friends go through the process and receive the sweetest babies! I explained to Shawn that I had researched the whole process and it

On March 25, 2012, I had my first positive pregnancy test after 3 years of trying. On November 18, 2012, our miracle child Harper was born. She has given us more joy than we could have ever imagined. Shawn and I both thank God each morning as we wake up to the most beautiful smiling face in the world. God has great plans for Harper and we look forward to watching His plan for her life unfold.


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All About Mothers

THE ART of Building Families

by Allison B. Bullard


re all of your friends having babies? Does it seem like some people look at a man the wrong way and bam, they are pregnant, while you have tried for years and nothing seems to be happening? Do you feel ready to start your family or add to your family, but it just isn’t happening? You are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6.7 million women in the United States ages 15 to 44 have an impaired ability to have children and 7.4 million women ages 15 to 44 have used infertility services. In 2010, 443 fertility clinics in the United States reported to the CDC that there were 61,564 infants born through assisted reproductive technology procedures. 36% of college educated woman are waiting until after 30 to have their first child.

The use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) as a means to build a family is prevalent in the medical community. Those of us practicing in the area of ART law are working to make sure the individuals and couples who choose ART as the way to build their family are also creating a family that is acknowledged and protected by the law. Below are a few examples of how ART lawyers are addressing these medical advances.

While infertility is the result of many factors impacting both men and women of all ages, the fact that we are getting married and having children later in life means that getting pregnant “the old fashioned way” just isn’t cutting it for a large number of people. Thankfully the medical community continues to make great strides in the area of infertility treatments and we are not as dependent on our biological clock to make decisions about when to have a family.

I spoke with a woman recently who has been married for over three years and trying to have a baby for almost two years. She finally went to a doctor to figure out what was going on and she discovered she has never ovulated. What a life changing revelation! When this happens, a physician will inform the couple of their options about how to approach their infertility. After treatment, if the woman is still not able to produce eggs, she may be left with the choice of us-

Donor Egg Contracts

ing donor eggs. Many women have a strong desire to carry their own child. Additionally, many men want to have their own biological child. The way to solve this problem is for the couple to get a donor egg and have the donor egg fertilized with the husband’s sperm and then transferred into the uterus of the wife. When a donor egg is used a contract should be drawn up between the donor and the donee to make sure the rights of each party are protected and clearly understood.

Gestational Carrier Contracts Another scenario in which the use of ART and ART law becomes necessary is when a woman is not medically able to carry a child to term. The medical causes for a woman’s inability to successfully carry a pregnancy to term are many and varied. If a woman learns that she cannot carry a pregnancy to term, then she has the option of using a gestational carrier. A gestational

Allison B. Bullard carrier is a woman who compassionately agrees to carry another couple’s. The gestational carrier is not genetically related to the child. Most of the fertility clinics in South Carolina encourage couples using a gestational carrier to seek legal advice and some even require it. It is my position that this is absolutely imperative to have a contract in place prior to medical treatments to ensure the legal rights of all parties, including the unborn child, are adequately protected. Using ART to build a family is becoming more and more common and we in the legal community are here to work with you and your doctors as you figure out what is best for your family.



Meet the inspiring duo who has won our hearts

by Lori Samples Duncan photos by Robert Patrick Image Design


Real Women Lexington Woman c e l e b r a t e s t h e s u r v i vo r i n yo u

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Celebrating the

Survivor in You!


month or so ago, I ran an ad for a fundraiser at McDonalds of White Knoll. The fundraiser was for a little boy named Richard Culliver. The ad included the line, “putting the unity in community.” Although it wasn’t the first time I’d heard about Richard and his family, this little phrase kept running through my mind. I had been following Richard on Facebook for months. While I don’t usually follow these kinds of feeds because as a mother, it can break your heart, Richard’s page was different. It included little stories about Richard’s day and things he was doing with his family and friends, in spite of being diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. Richard Culliver’s mother, Stephanie, said, “Three hundred children a year doesn’t seem like a rare disease to me, but when you consider that is worldwide, I guess that is pretty rare.” This disease has already taken the lives of eight children this year and several others are fading fast. It was mid-morning when I visited, and Richard was watching one of my favorite movies, “Dolphin Tale.” This little man looked so handsome in his blue shirt and when I conveyed that to him, he signed “thank you” back to me. His knowledge of sign language was one of the many things that impressed me about Richard that day. I asked Stephanie about it and she explained that when her children were little she wanted a way to communicate with them. She had babysat a deaf child when she was a teenager and fell in love with signing, so she taught her children. Some people choose to never see God, mostly because they don’t look for him, but isn’t it amazing that Stephanie was chosen to be Richard’s mother? She taught him a language that he can now use to communicate when his tumor has made it difficult for him to speak legibly at times. He spoke to his mother many times during our interview and she understood every word. I was able to pick up on some of what he was saying, but not all of it. It was October 4th, 2012 when Stephanie’s life was changed forever. “I had taken them running with me because I was trying to get healthy. I wanted to get the kids involved because it would make it easier for me to go if they went with me. So we went and he kept swaying while we were running. I was thinking he is a 7 year old kid that does not want to participate, so we went home. At home, he did pushups, wall sits, and all of his little exercises. I noticed that his eyes looked a little strange, and there again I thought maybe he

just saw someone else doing that and kids pick up other children’s habits. So I watched him for a couple of days. Two weeks prior, he had fallen and gotten a huge knot on his head I took him to the ER thinking maybe he had a concussion because he threw up twice before we got there, and then one more time before we left. The doctor did not think he had a concussion, and advised me, ‘You can do a CT Scan if you want to, but they have been proven to be unhealthy for children if they do not need it.’ So I decided against it. We went home and Richard woke up like nor-

She feels that God was preparing her for Richard’s journey long before his diagnosis. mal, so we went on with life.” Fast forward two weeks. “I went to school on Wednesday morning and he went out to mileage club to run. I was sitting in the classroom with a teacher and the next thing you know, Richard comes in crying. He had fallen down again, so I left him at school and went on to work. It was just gnawing at me and I called the nurse line at my insurance company. She said this is one of those things that I would say take him to the doctor. So I turn around and take him back to the ER to have a CT Scan. They saw a tumor on the CT Scan.” Richard was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. It was her job with FedEX that brought Stephanie to Lexington County. Stephanie shared her

thoughts about Lexington after arriving, “I am going to get some roots and stay around for a little while. I have absolutely fallen in love with this place.” She feels that God was preparing her for Richard’s journey long before his diagnosis. There was a terrible car accident, “I was working 14 hour days when I had that car accident. I had just taken over a small business and I only had one team member. She quit. So I worked at the store from open until close. This meant the kids were at daycare during that time. I came back to work after being in a wheelchair from the accident. I knew God had a plan for me; wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but sure He had one. Looking back, He knew that I needed to slow down and enjoy my kids. I went back to work and decided not to work those long hours and spending that much time away from my kids ever again. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last five years in their life and I am like, ‘Okay God. Now I get it. Okay. Thanks for slowing me down.” Reading Richards Journey had given me a glimpse into the faith of his mother already, so I wasn’t surprised to hear the strength within her comes from above. Stephanie could have chosen to take a different approach with Richard’s diagnosis, but instead she tries to make as many memories with him as she can. Richard has gotten to enjoy many things that he might not have otherwise had a chance to do. These memories are as important for her other children to Stephanie as they are for Richard. “You know there are moments in your life that are hard and you absolutely could give up. People would understand if you just crawled into a cave and spent your time in sadness. I know people would even understand that, but I have always been an extremely positive person. Sometimes to a fault. Because I will always try to see the best in everyone, it has come back to slap me in the face a few times.


Celebrating the

Survivor in You!

Stephanie and Richard Even through this, it has caused some hardships in my personal life, but I believe fully that everything that happens to you, you can take a positive message out of it, and just live your life the best way you possibly can, you are going to be okay. God is not going to leave you there to suffer and He is going to put amazing people in your life to help you, and that is what he has done. I cannot imagine what we would have done if we did not live here in Lexington County. All of these people being so kind to us has provided so much love and support.” There were moments during this interview that tears were shed. Tears because Stephanie is overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers, tears because both of us were overcome with emotion about what is an unfair diagnosis for a seven year old boy, tears for the strength of a mother who is simply doing everything she can to make her son’s life as wonderful as it can be for however long that may be. I asked Stephanie if she wanted so share anything with you, our reader, about what this experience has taught her. This is what she had to say, “It has helped me realize because of the world we


Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

‘I cannot imagine what we would have done if we did not live here in Lexington County. All of these people being so kind to us has provided so much love and support.’ live in, you forget that there is so much good. We are so saturated with the bad that happens across the world every day. When I started writing and sharing our personal story, I started on my personal page. My friends started his Facebook Page, and we just copied and pasted over it from my page, so it was not even something I thought about when I began. Sharing our journey was just something I needed to do. I see so many people — people who are in the horseback riding community, the bike community, sports fanatics; so many different people across the world. Richard has gotten packages from as far

Real Women

as Italy and Australia. And our story is proof that there is way more good than there is bad. We do not often look for it. We are so numb to all the tragedy and hardships that we focus on those things, and we put ourselves in fear of what could be, causing us to forget to look around and actually see the beauty around us that is so much better.”

Stephanie has chosen to live her life in the moment. Many times on Facebook, I will see her thanking God for another day with her son. I wonder how much richer all of our children’s lives would be if we appreciated every moment of every day the way this mother does. Pray for Richard and his family. If you would like to know ways you can help Richard, or if you would like to follow him on Facebook, you can do so at Richards Journey at www.facebook. com/RichardsJourney.


Celebrating the

Survivor in You!


photo by Robert Patrick Image Design


ince their son Nathaniel’s diagnosis with a cancerous brain tumor in December of 2012, the Fournel family has learned the important difference between counting each day and making each day count. Stephanie and Daniel agree that their faith has most definitely become more important and that their relationship with God has grown tremendously. “Although we may not understand why, we know that God’s love is immeasurable. He is in full control and he has a purpose. I pray that God provides us with the wisdom we need to use this trial to glorify him.” The Fournels are one of three Lexington area families with a child battling a form of brain cancer. Their son Nathaniel was diagnosed with localized pineal germinoma which is very treatable and has a 90% cure rate. Nathaniel recently underwent a second two-part surgery at NYU Langone on March 20th. His doctor felt a better script could not have been written after surgery when pathology revealed that Nathaniel would be able to receive low dose radiation treatment. “Daniel and I both said to each other that we did not write this script. God knew the plans he had for Nathaniel before he was born.”


14th, his 14th birthday. He will continue to have MRI’s as well as lab work indefinitely. He will also be followed for the next 5 years as part of a sister study to the clinical trial he is currently participating in to track any possible neuro-cognitive deficits from treatment.

The Fournels will begin traveling to Jacksonville, FL for Nathaniel to receive 20 treatments of Proton Beam Radiation Therapy. Nathaniel’s last treatment will be on May

While balancing various doctors’ appointments, MRI’s, lab work, audiology screens, and traveling for medical care, Nathaniel is receiving homebound instruction from Mary Carpenter, one of the 5 teachers nominated for Teacher of the Year for Lexington County School District 1. Mrs. Carpenter says, “Nathaniel continues to be the hardworking student he has always been. I have been absolutely amazed at his courage and perseverance through his journey. He is always upbeat and spirited, determined to maintain his learn-

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women

ing and excellent grades. Again, he simply amazes me!” The Fournels feel that no matter the outcome of teacher of the year, that Mrs. Carpenter will always be their choice for teacher of the year. Throughout the many changes in his young life, Nathaniel has remained the same outgoing and loving kid. He is humbled, yet a bit uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of someone needing support. “It has been hard to adjust and sometimes difficult to find the words to show my appreciation. My entire family is so appreciative of the community coming together to support me!” Two upcoming opportunities to support Nathaniel’s family are Friday, May 3rd at Chick-Fil-A of Lexington and Saturday, May 18th at the Country Club of Lexington.

‘Although we may not understand why, we know that God’s love is immeasurable.’

Just mention Nathaniel’s name and Chick-Fil-A will donate 15% of the proceeds to the Swim4Nathaniel charity. The Swim4Nathaniel event at the Country Club will include food, a silent auction, swimming with USC swim team members, games, and a DJ. For more information about events and to purchase awareness bracelets and t-shirts please visit

Celebrating the

Survivor in You!

Kennedy Branham:



by Beth McCrary

photo by K. Dalton


ach Paquette’s favorite memory of playing baseball at Lexington High School is not the time he scored the winning run or made a great catch in left field. While those are special memories, his favorite is not a personal or team accomplishment on the field. photo by Steve Headde


Zach’s best memory of playing varsity baseball is the time he, his teammates and coaches shaved their heads in support of Kennedy Branham’s battle to fight brain cancer. Their simple act of support during the 2012 season speaks volumes about the impact Kennedy is making in her community. Fifteen months after her diagnosis with glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer on her 13th birthday, Kennedy continues to inspire all who know her story. Her current treatment regimen includes 15 day cycles of port infused and oral chemo to fight glio, a type of cancer rarely seen in children. Very few clinical trials exist to treat it in female children her age which makes it extremely hard to predict results. At the conclusion

of each clinical trial, an MRI is taken to determine what happens next. For Kennedy and her family it means a lot of unknowns and lots of waiting. Her last two MRI’s have shown that the tumor has remained stable. No growth in size, yet no decrease.

Pageant where she was crowned 2nd runner up for 8th grade and also won Miss Congeniality. She maintains a full schedule that includes her treatments, homebound schooling, and appearances at the many awareness and fundraising events hosted in her honor.

Kennedy’s mom Erin says, “Glio is a beastly and aggressive form of cancer. It is unpredictable and there are so many unknowns. These are the hardest parts of the battle.” She goes on to say the best part of this journey is watching the amazing transformation of who Kennedy has become. Once shy and reserved, she is now a social butterfly who is comfortable and confident with everyone she meets. Kennedy recently competed in Lexington Middle School’s Miss Wildcat

Over 300 people participated in the Run 4 Kennedy 5K hosted by the Lexington High School Varsity Baseball Team this past February 9th. The team, led by head coach Brian Hucks, has once again dedicated their season and pursuit of the 4A State Championship to Kennedy. Their motto is “Finish It For Kennedy”. Proceeds from the 5K enabled the team to present Kennedy’s family with a check for $10,000.00 to offset her medical expenses.

Through all of this Kennedy’s focus remains her faith, her family and others. She surprised everyone at the recent St. Baldrick’s event in the Vista where she decided to shave her newly grown in hair in support of other kids fighting cancer. She told her mom, “It’s not about me, it’s about them.” Every week at the cancer clinic, she trades in her points for stuffed animals to give to other kids who are newly diagnosed and fearful. Such grace, maturity and compassion is rarely seen in teenagers. For our town of Lexington, Kennedy Branham is not your typical teen. Follow Kennedy’s journey at www.




by Briana Davis


f you have a pet, odds are, at some point you have seen them shake their head or scratch their ears. Some of the most common culprits of itchy ears are ear mites, yeast infections, bacterial infections, and allergies. These different causes can cause very similar signs. A thorough exam of your pet’s ears by your vet is recommended to determine the cause, and appropriate treatment, for your pet. Ear mites are a contagious parasite passed from animal to animal through direct contact. Ear mites cause intense itching, often so much so that pets will scratch their ears until they bleed. Owners may notice brown waxy debris in their pet’s ears secondary to the ear mites. Because ear mites are contagious, if one pet in the household is affected, it is best to treat all of the pets in the household. Yeast and bacterial infections may be confused for ear mite infestation because they may cause similar signs. They too can make pets intensely itchy around the ears, can cause scabbing and inflammation of the ears, and produce yel-

low-brown waxy build-up in the ears. More severe signs of bacterial infections can include purulent drainage from the ears, head tilt, and balance problems. Many owners want to know where their pet contracted their ear infections. The answer in some cases is the pets themselves. Pets, like humans, have a protective barrier of microorganisms living on the surface of their skin and ears, their surface flora. This flora is composed of yeast and bacteria. Balanced surface flora is important because it acts as defense against invading micro-organisms, a sort of germ warfare if you will. However, many things can cause normal surface flora to become imbalanced. When

surface flora becomes imbalanced, an over-population of yeast, bacteria, or both, develops. This overgrowth creates an infection. Risk factors for flora overgrowth include any thing that irritates or damages the skin surface, including excessive moisture in the ears, scratches, and allergies. Treatment for these infections varies based on type of germ and severity of infection. This brings us to another common cause for itchy ears, allergies. In mild cases the only sign may be inflamed, itchy ears. However, as mentioned above, if the inflammation continues for any length of time the allergic ears will develop

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secondary floral overgrowth/infection. For pets that have recurrent infections there is often an underlying food or environmental allergy that is the primary problem. Without addressing the allergies, the secondary infections will recur.

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Health & Wellness


You Need A Little Help at Home by Lori Samples Duncan photo by Clark Berry Photography


ometimes, you could just use a little extra help. Whether it is the mother who just came home from the hospital with new twins, or the 92 year-old grandfather who is still able to live on his own, we could all benefit from a little extra help sometimes. BeWell Home Services provides just that: non-medical home care. Providing assistance with daily living (i.e., personal hygiene, bathing, dressing, and toileting), medication reminders, transportation to medical appointments, running errands, grocery shopping, light house cleaning and laundry services, BeWell can help with a plethora of personal and family needs. I sat down with the management team at BeWell to get a better understanding of their services and how they can help our readers. Across the state, as ministry of Lutheran Homes of South Carolina, BeWell has offices in the Upstate, Midlands, and Lowcountry to serve readers and their families. While in many instances, the primary goal of BeWell is to allow the individual to live independently and safely as long as they can, BeWell also works in conjunction with Lutheran Homes and other agencies when a client is already under medical care. “For instance,” says Heather Sessions Brazell, Community Outreach Director at BeWell Home Services and Trinity on Laurens in Aiken, “Say your grandmother is in the hospital and your family needs a break, but you don’t want to leave her there unattended. We could come in and stay through the night until the next family member comes in.”


Home Services in Columbia, “and they have a urinary tract infection, and you are uncomfortable leaving them because they had a bad night the night before. We would come in and sit with them one-on-one, providing that special care that a large facility could not.”

ship between client and caregiver is important, and they work very hard to pair together personalities that they think will be a good fit. Clients are given the opportunity to interview potential caregivers in order to determine who will best suit their needs. With 135

The more I talked with management at BeWell, the more I realized that their services really are for everyone.

“Or your family member is in a rehab facility,” adds Cathi Cooper, Program Director for BeWell

BeWell also provides memory support training for their staff so that they can best provide services for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related concerns. They look at challenging behaviors and try to determine whether the incidences are circumstantial or if they may be tied to a deeper problem, and require the involvement of the family and physicians. BeWell understands that a caring relation-

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caregivers between the various areas, BeWell has enough staff to ensure that everyone is taken care of well. The more I talked with management at BeWell, the more I realized that their services really are for everyone. As a working mom whose husband works in the evenings, I am often overwhelmed and even torn (i.e., baseball prac-

tice in one venue, football in another – how do you choose). I realize that I could use BeWell to help me with these errands. They can help cancer patients who need companionship on trips to chemotherapy or new moms freshly home from the hospital who do not have other family to help. In some cases, there may be assistance available. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Association provides a $500 voucher to people whose doctor has signed off on a dementia diagnosis and they can use that $500 voucher for respite care or they can use it for in-home assistance. More than a warm body, the staff at BeWell provide companionship to their clients and loved ones who may be facing challenging situations, and just need a little help. If you find yourself needing a little help at home (wherever home is), give BeWell a call at (803) 251HOME (4663) or Toll free 1-877BeWell-3or visit us online

‘Or your family member is in a rehab facility,’ and they have a urinary tract infection, and you are uncomfortable leaving them because they had a bad night the night before. We would come in and sit with them one-on-one, providing that special care that a large facility could not. — Cathi Cooper


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Health & Wellness


How Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy Can Help


n society today, the prevalence of obesity in children can be traced to various factors. The grocery store is filled with items that are especially enticing to children. Fast food is another culprit which contributes to obesity in children. Obesity in children can lead to life-threatening conditions such diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep problems, cancer, musculoskeletal impairments, and other problems which can be emotional or psychological, including anxiety and depression, as well as antisocial tendencies. Obese children are also more likely to be obese as adults. The percentage of obese children has increased to 17% over the last few years and continues to steadily increase. As children are living a more sedentary lifestyle, obesity remains a problem which is reaching epidemic proportions. Occupational/Physical Therapy can help put the fun back into your child’s physical activity. The occupational/physical therapists at Vital Energy Therapy can work with your child to increase the physical activity levels through interactive, fun exercises that won’t seem like exercise at all. Each Plan of Care for your child is personalized to help ensure your child will avoid injury to themselves. Obese children who start including exercise into their daily routines without having a professional and personalized plan established for them risk injury to themselves and/or tend to give up on their plan all together. Parents are given an at home program to utilize between therapy visits to assist them in their child’s improvement. Increased physical activity, in conjunction with a proper diet, will assist your child in losing weight, improving their health, and improving their self-esteem. As your child learns new ways to have fun through exercise, along with an at-home exercise program, this will help reduce depression

and a low self-esteem which is often associated with obesity. There are approximately 300,000 adults in the United States each year that have been associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Here at Vital Energy Therapy it is our goal to assist individuals who are struggling with their weight. We are able to assist children, youth and adults with their weight, whether they need to lose only a few pounds or suffer from severe obesity. The obesity program at Vital Energy offers a thorough evaluation of the person for the following: • BMI assessment • Type of body format and shape (i.e., mesomorphic, apple, pear) • Weight distribution/proportion causing higher risk on certain joints • Muscle strength • Myofascial restriction • Joint flexibility/soft tissue mobility • ROM of joint • Functional mobility/strength/ endurance • Cardiovascular strength • BP/Pulse/O2 monitoring • Appropriate exercise prescription based on evaluation • Manual therapy

As children are living a more sedentary lifestyle, obesity remains a problem which is reaching epidemic proportions. • Physical/Occupational Therapy modalities to help control pain • Hydroworx pool with underwater treadmill walking, avoid pressure on joints • Nu-step – A non-weight bearing exercise bike • Progress to land exercises • Parallel bars to assist with land exercises • Increase strength with isometric exercise vs. isotonic to protect joints till patient can decrease body weight • Our equipment, plinths, chairs, exercise equipment all meet the needs of an overweight patient. Our educated and experienced staff, along with our state of the art facility, help the patient to shed off weight without injuring themselves. This, in and of itself, keeps them motivated.

• Healthy lifestyle changes for eating, drinking, sleeping, working and recreation is taught to the patient. Nutritional advice, learning healthy food choices and how to shop for these choices is offered to each patient. • Yoga and relaxation techniques are taught to keep stress away and improve self-esteem and self-image. The therapists at Vital Energy will also educate parents on proper exercise and nutrition to help their child obtain the maximum benefit. The programs offered at Vital Energy are focused on the child and their well-being. Please contact Hima Dalal, OTR/L and Owner at (803) 359-1551 for more information or to schedule an evaluation. Most insurance plans accepted.


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Health & Wellness

The BIG 4-0

Navigating Your Way Into A New Decade


ou’ve devoted years to developing a successful career. You’re a mom who invests time and energy nurturing your children. You have a comfortable marriage with a husband who loves your home-cooked meals. All while you’re creeping closer to your 40th birthday.

Dr. Kimberly Hicks,

‘Beginning at age 35, women lose 1 percent of muscle mass each year if they’re not exercising.’

Lexington Family Practice-Lake Murray

Then one day, you step on the scale and there’s a number that you’ve never seen before. Or, you’re standing in a department store dressing room when you suddenly realize you need a bigger dress size. And BAM! It hits you like a ton of bricks – your body is no longer the same. Women’s bodies change as we near age 40 – and not necessarily in a good way. Here’s some advice to help make the big 4-0 your best year yet. “Beginning at age 35, women lose 1 percent of muscle mass each year if they’re not exercising,” says Kimberly Hicks, MD, of Lexington Family Practice-Lake Murray, a Lexington Medical Center physi-

cian practice. “So, your baseline metabolism decreases and you’re burning fewer calories with your normal routine.” Hicks, who is also a fitness instructor in Lexington, says that’s why it’s important for women to increase strength training with weights or resistance bands to build back lost muscle mass. Cardiovascular exercise – like jogging or walking – is not enough. “Once a woman reaches 40, her body has begun to change for the next phase of her life – menopause,” said Deb Doudoukjian, personal trainer and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health Fitness Specialist at Health Directions, Lexington Medical Center’s health and wellness facility. “From the age of 20, her basal metabolic rate has decreased by as much as

2 percent per decade. That means her body needs less calories to function.”

of more than 35 inches increases your chance of heart disease. So eat right – and keep it that way.

Changes in sleep patterns from hormonal changes can lead to fatigue, which makes it hard to maintain an active lifestyle. Combine that with a hectic schedule of working and taking care of a family. It can all lead to weight gain.

“There cannot be an expiration date,” adds Hicks. “Your diet must be sustainable.”

“Even an active woman who has been running three times per week will notice that she needs to bump it up a notch,” Doudoukjian said. “The same mileage on the treadmill is simply not enough to keep everything from going South. She’ll need to begin cross training to get a positive response from her body.” And it’s not just about exercise. According to the clinicians, diet is the buzz word. While exercise will keep the pounds from coming back, maintaining a healthy diet is the most effective way to lose weight. “You can’t outwork a bad diet,” Hicks says. Many women eat a diet that includes way too many carbohydrates and not enough protein. Carbohydrates can deposit around our mid-section, turn to sugar and be stored as fat. And belly fat that creates a waist circumference

The right combination of diet and exercise can make turning 40 easier. And, 40 is the new 30, right?

Exercise Guide for Active Women 30 minutes of “moderately intense” cardio 5 to 6 days per week. “Moderately intense” means respiration and heart rate have increased enough that it would be difficult to carry on a conversation. You can exercise in short intervals: for example, 10 minutes on your lunch break. Short intervals will add up throughout the day and be effective. Strength training 2 to 3 times per week. Along with keeping bones strong, strength training will help keep lean muscle mass on the body and slow the decrease of metabolism. Choose 8 to 10 exercises and perform 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of each. Make exercise a priority. And remember, it’s called “working out” for a reason.



MEET ALI WORON of Northside Academy

by Elaine Samples


orthside Christian Academy (“NCA”) provides a quality education built on Christian beliefs and Biblical truths for children ages preschool through 9th grade in an atmosphere that is encouraging and supportive. Each child is provided the opportunity to succeed academically, grow spiritually, and become a true follower of Jesus Christ. Ali Woron teaches upper school Mathematics at NCA. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ali moved to Columbia after completing graduate school in Augusta, Georgia and becoming engaged to her fiancé, who had just graduated from the University of South Carolina. Ali and her husband had been praying that she would land a teaching assignment in a Christian environment and while driving down the road one day, she saw construction work for NCA. The rest, as they say, is history. “I love that we are teaching our kids that we are not struggling through the academic school year,” notes Ali. “We teach students to have a strong faith and relationship with Christ, and once they have that relationship with Christ, it is amazing how disciplinary issues just fade away. Academic performance


Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

becomes stronger. We are a Christian school that puts Christ at the center of everything we do, including behavior, and any disciplinary issues are dealt with according to Bible verses. We rely on our gifts and blessings God has graced upon us to help the children grow, so we have a much better power working for us than trying to do it without Him. “I really love the enthusiasm our kids show for learning because they know they are learning for God and we teach them from Day One that our disciplinary belief is that Jesus is our Core. Core stands for Commitment, Oneness, Respect, and Effort. If you have Him at your Core, then we are going to succeed so much more in the Academic Classrooms.” Ali says the best thing about NCA

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is the love: “the love for our kids and the love for our faculty. I tell my husband I can never work anywhere else again. And I believe our students know their teachers love them. And we do not have rules that say we cannot hug or comfort an upset child like the ones that public schools are implementing. Instead, we operate much the opposite. We are expected to show our children Christ-like love every single day.” Before coming to NCA, Ali worked at a private school and also taught at a public school. And she says that for a family considering private school, she would encourage them to just spend one day at Northside. “Just walking in the building, you feel the difference at our school. The presence of God is here and once you experience it, you will know what I mean.”

In addition to Academics, NCA offers athletic and art programs. They sing, dance, act and develop their athletic ability in various areas such as basketball, track, and cross country. Northside also earned their season certification this year, receiving full accreditation on just their first visit. This is important when students apply for college, and it allows their students to participate in various competitions with other schools (i.e. SCISA spelling bees, singing competitions, and science fairs). Every parent wants the best education for their child in a safe environment that encourages them to thrive. If you have a school age child, perhaps you will take Ali up on her offer to spend just one day at the Northside Christian Academy. You may become an NCA parent yourself.

Looking for Academic Excellence with a Biblical Perspective? NCA offers a truly balanced education: Spiritual | Academic | Social | Athletic SCISA Accredited – Exceed State Standards – Small Class Size Now offering 9 Sports, Art & Music Programs! “We are so amazed at the positive changes in our children after just a few months at NCA. Their academic and spiritual growth has enormously exceeded our expectations. Our children have a new found desire to go to school and learn!” - Drs. Randy and Billie Jean Colby

So generations to come might know Him. Psalm 78:4

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Book Your Next Stay in Charleston

at the Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center by Lori Samples Duncan


recently traveled to Charleston to the awards ceremony of a statewide competition for DECA. I had the pleasure of staying at the Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center on this visit and I wanted share a little with you about my experience. From the moment I arrived, the staff of the Hyatt Place was courteous and professional. When I received my key card, I was also asked if their assistance was needed for anything else. I was given a rundown of the hotels amenities; a business center equipped with computers, a gym, and a swimming pool were among a few of those. The room was clean and spacious. Everything appeared new and modern. My accommodations were more than satisfactory, and I was just yards away from the convention center where the event I was scheduled to be was held.

There was a convention in town for gymnasts that coincided with the DECA competition and the hotel was to capacity. The traffic around the convention center was maddening, but I didn’t have to be concerned since The Hyatt shuttled me both to and from the event. The driver was professional and pleasant. The following morning, I was in a rush to get back to Lexington, so time was precious. The onsite hot breakfast – with healthy optionstook the need for a quick satisfactory breakfast out of the equation.

From the moment I arrived, the staff of the Hyatt Place was courteous and professional.

I know as a traveler, in certain hotels, we expect certain things. Two important things that you can’t always count on are the quality of

staff and attention to anticipating the needs of their patrons. This Hyatt is an excellent choice on both accounts. Thank you so much Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center for an enjoyable visit. I will be seeing you again soon! For more information or to make your next reservation, call (843) 725-4010 or visit their website at They are located at 3234 West Montague Avenue, North Charleston.


Professional (left to right) Sara B. Fisher, Barbara Willm, Elise Partin, Cynthia Cooper and Liz McMillan

Girl Scouts of South Carolina—

Mountains to Midlands Celebrated Five Local Women of Distinction


irl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands honored five women at its 20th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Dinner on Thursday evening, April 11.

Selected for their exemplary commitments to family, career and community, this year’s honorees are Cynthia “Cindy” Cooper, Vice President and Government Programs Compliance Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina; Sara B. Fisher, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NBSC; Liz McMillan, General Manager, Gamecock IMG Sports Marketing, University of South Carolina; Elise Partin, Mayor, City of Cayce; Barbara Willm, Vice President, Community Relations, Lexington County Health Services District.


tive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. States Kim Hutzell, President & CEO, Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands, “Although the personal and career stories of our honorees vary greatly, they each share the traits of strength, courage and compassion. Integrity, too, is a common theme in their stories. We couldn’t ask for better role models for our Girl Scouts.”

Cynthia “Cindy” Cooper, Esq.

The event was held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and the keynote speaker was former Women of Distinction honoree Judy Davis, Execu-

Cynthia “Cindy” Cooper, Esq. is the Vice President and Government Programs Compliance Officer for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (BCBSSC). She has held this position since May,

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2000, and is responsible for overseeing the company’s government programs subsidiaries compliance programs. Cooper earned her law

Carolina and American Bar Association. Her community leadership extends to serving as a board member for TriCenturion, Inc.,

‘Although the personal and career stories of our honorees vary greatly, they each share the traits of strength, courage and compassion.’ and undergraduate degrees from the University of South Carolina. She was a trial lawyer for five years prior to joining BCBSSC, practicing mainly in malpractice and products liability defense litigation. Cooper is a member of the South

Leadership South Carolina and the Cultural Council for Richland and Lexington Counties.

Sara B. Fisher

Sara B. Fisher has been the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief

Professional Operating Officer of NBSC since 2003. She was named Secretary of the Board in 2008 and she has been with the company since 1993. Prior to joining NBSC, Fisher served in several management roles with South Carolina Federal Savings Bank, University of South Carolina System Credit Union and First National Bank. Her extensive community leadership currently includes serving on the Board of Trustees, Richland County Library Foundation; Director, South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities; Member, Capital City Club Board of Governors, Executive Committee; and Board of Directors, South Carolina Chamber, Chairman of the Education Committee. Her honors include being recognized as a 2009 Woman of Influence by Columbia Business Monthly.

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VOL 7, NO 2

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Mary and Ron of Love” for Albertelli share their the real live “Labor Gamecock



ER BREAST CANC nthr, ! ESS Mo Kelly Baue AWAREN er survivor,

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Jon Michaels Read about a local man’s journey to The Today Show


MAKEOVERS From personal to home changes

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Daniel and Stephanie discus recent diagno s the sis of their son



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Liz McMillan is the General Manager, Gamecock IMG Sports Marketing at the University of South Carolina. She was first hired by USC as Associate Director of Corporate Relations in 1989. Two years later she moved to Athletics where she became the first female Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions. In 1993, McMillan assumed her current position for Gamecock Sports Marketing, the Media Rights holder for the USC Athletics Department. She was the first female in the Southeastern Conference to hold this position and one of the first in the country. McMillan’s current community involvement includes serving as an Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina Sports and Entertainment Department, and as an usher, Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. Her previous community leadership roles have included serving as a board member of Kappa Delta Alumni, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and the American Diabetes Association.

Elise Partin

Elise Partin has been the City of Cayce’s first female Mayor since November 2008. In addition, she serves on the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Board of Directors, Lexington County’s Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission, the Lexington County Development Corporation and the River Alliance. She also serves as a board member for the Central Midlands Council of Government, and recently completed her term as President of the Lexington County Municipal Association. Mayor Partin holds a Masters degree in Public Health and she is an Adjunct Faculty member, University of South Carolina’s School of Public Health. In recognition of her many community contributions, Mayor Partin was named as one of Columbia Business Monthly’s 2011 Women of Influence.

Barbara D. Willm

Barbara D. Willm serves as Vice President, Community Relations for the Lexington County Health Services District. In her role, she is responsible for its Community Outreach efforts while representing the Lexington Medical Center (LMC) in the community. Willm has served the organization in several roles during the past 26 years. As Vice President, Community Medical Centers, she helped open all of LMC’s six community medical centers. Willm is active on the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce Board, serving as Chairman, 2002-2003, and was awarded their Ambassador of the Year award in 2005. A few of her other community leadership roles include serving as the immediate Past Chair of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board, and Past Chair of the Leadership Lexington County Board. She holds a BSN degree from the University of South Carolina.




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Name Brands • High Quality • Low Prices • Design Assistance Available TEMPLE • BASSETT • BROYHILL • BEST • LANE (803) 781-2925 • 1201 Lake Murray Boulevard, Irmo Tuesday through Friday 10am – 6pm • Saturdays 10am – 4pm

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254 Corley Mill Road, Lexington, SC 29072 42

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(803) 315-3105 1787 Southlake Dr. Suite H • Lexington, SC 29073

Business & Web Directory Accountant Newsome & Company, PC.......................... 43 Apparel Dawn’s Bridal Boutique............................... 42

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!

LA Boutique.................................................. 42 Art and Entertainment EdVenture...................................................... 16 WMHK/89.7................................................. 20 Assisted Living Assisting Hands Home Care of the Midlands................................................34 BeWell Home Services................................. 29 Laurel Crest................................................... 34 Attorney Harling & West, LLC.................................... 16 Kinard & Jones................................................ 8 Children’s Therapy Carolina Behavior & Beyond...................... 34 Chiropractic Care Conner Chiropractic.................................... 16 Dentist Palmetto Smiles............................................ 29

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Eye Care Envision Family EyeCare............................. 34 Firearm Training Defender Firearms Training....................... 42

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Furniture Home Furniture............................................ 42

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UTC....................................Inside Front Cover Vital Energy Rehab Center.......................... 32 Home Builder Essex Homes......................Inside Back Cover Home Services Bouknight Pumps......................................... 38 E.D.’s Painting and Decorating.................... 20 Home Maintenance Services, LLC............. 20 Trey Mathias Pressure Washing.................. 20 Jewelry Dems.............................................................. 37 Landscaping Midlands Landscape...................................... 5 Pets Grace Pets Animal Hospital........................ 28 Photography Clark Berry Photography.....................................................12 Robert Patrick Image Design...................... 25 Restaurants Everyday Gourmet Café and Market......... 41 McDonald’s.................................................... 38 Salon Aqua Nails & Spa.......................................... 37 School Northside Christian Academy.................... 37

Health Services Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss.............. 29 Carolina Women’s Physicians..................... 32 Lexington Medical Heart Center.................................... Back Cover


A Personal Note


ee it before it happens is a running joke of sorts with our children. Trey says one day he is going to write a book called, “See it before it happens and other words of wisdom from my Father.”

Trent is a teacher. Not by trade, but naturally. He is patient and when he is home, he is a great help with homework and sports. I do not teach as well. Don’t get me wrong, I loved helping them all learn to read and reading to them. I love to tell them stories. I tell them stories about our past.

Trent is the teacher of all things Math, Science and History. I am the story teller. Last night at dinner, this is how the conversation went:

Colton loves to hear the story about how Trent and I met. He loves to hear about famous sports figures and he even loves to read anything he can get his hands on about baseball. He also loves to hear about anything his dad or Trey ever accomplished or participated in.

Of course Trent was the first to answer, “Thomas Jefferson.” Trent said, “How many Statues of Liberty are there in the world?”

After watching a recent episode of Duck Dynasty, Trey and I stayed up until midnight talking about his grandfather and my uncles, and how they used to go “frog gigging” and “turtle grabbling.” After we were finished he said, “Good talk, Mom. Goodnight.” So grown up at seventeen. Abby likes all stories. She just enjoys listening to the way I was when I was younger and she especially loves the stories about her Aunt Elaine and me. When we would get into bed at night (we shared a room until we were teenagers), Elaine would never be ready to go to bed. She would always wait until I was almost asleep and then say, “Lori, are you awake?” Ryan likes to hear stories about my mother and brothers. He loves his Nana. He also loves to hear stories about my dad. Ryan never got to see my Daddy. So he asks questions about him. What was he like? Did he go fishing? “Tell me about him and Nana.” He also likes to hear stories about when he was born. On Easter Sunday, we were leaving church and saw a pretty little girl. I said, “Ryan isn’t she pretty?” To which he replied, “Yeah, she is cute. She keeps staring at you. I know what she is thinking. She is thinking how beautiful you are.” Be still my heart. If you know Ryan you know he doesn’t need you to speak to continue to talking. “When I was little and I was first born, I looked up at you and thought, you are beautiful.” So I told him, “When you were little and they first laid you in my arms, I thought, here is a little boy I am going to love for the rest of my life.” I squeezed his hand and we walked on to the car. Every mother should have a little boy who thinks she is beautiful. Because as my friend Clark Berry says, “There is something beautiful about every woman. It’s my job to make sure people can see it.” If you have seen his photography, you know he takes that seriously.

Colton said, “Who was the third president of the United States of America?”

Abby replied, “Millions.” She is laughing when her Dad gives her that look. “Well there are. I have seen them at gift shops everywhere we have ever visited.” “Two,” I say. “One in France and one in NY,” Colton and Trey say simultaneously. This begins a twenty minute Q&A about everything from the Louisiana Purchase to Sacajawea. Ryan interrupts the discussion finally after not being able to answer the tougher questions and says, “Hey, hey, I have one. Why did the boy throw butter out the window?” We are, of course, all baffled and he continues without a pause. “He wanted to see a butterfly.” Even the waiter laughed. The point isn’t that we were using dinner as a teaching moment. Trent just does that naturally, as he is a good father. The point is we were talking. He took the boys outside to the car while Abby and I waited on the check. The waiter stopped back at our table to tell me to please bring Ryan back. “Bring him late on the weekend. I need him to meet some of my friends.” Abby and I laughed and as I left the restaurant. I was thinking that years from now when they are living in their own homes, I will tell my grandchildren about this night. I will tell them about “Dinner with the Duncans” and how papa quizzed them about History and Science and how Ryan stole the show with his butterflies. God Bless,

Lori Samples Duncan

“A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.” —Chuck Swindoll


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