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4761 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach LOCATED DIRECTLY BEHIND PUBLIX, MID-ISLAND

239-463-FOOD (3663) • BayfrontBistro.C O M mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


From the Audrey Brooks | PUBLISHER / OWNER

Dear Valued Reader,

The sprint is officially on to 2020. But before we get there, it’s tradition this time of year to take pause and give thanks, even give back through any number of worthy charities. While there are so many amazing organizations supporting families during the holidays, I’m partial to the Harry Chapin Food Bank. They feed Southwest Florida families year-round, but it becomes especially poignant for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Find out in this issue how the organization continues to grow and change with the times, as well as how you can help make a difference. In this issue we also introduce you to local businesses that can help you get your home ready for the holidays, help you with your personal style and improve your health. Our cover story features the inspiring journey of Margarita Sanchez, the Dominican Republic native who left her warm island for the cold of Alaska where she realized her cosmetology dream. Not only is she an accomplished stylist but also an entrepreneur, the owner of ART DIRECTOR

Teddy Tedford Teddy brings a wealth of branding, marketing and creative experience to livinglocal. Throughout his design career he has worked with local SWFL businesses and luxury brands across the state.

NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

Publisher Alemar Salon in Bonita Springs. Find out what sets her apart in the realm of service, expertise, and products. I’ve got so many things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. On a personal level I met my forever a year ago, after nearly 13 years of singlehood, and we were married just a few months later. I’m excited to celebrate the holidays this year as a married couple, and of course with my 21-year old son, Timothy, a junior at FGCU studying civil engineering. He will always be the apple of my eye! On a professional level, livinglocal has completed its first year as a bimonthly publication, its look has continued to evolve along with the content, and I could not be happier. I’m especially grateful for our business partners that make this publication possible and our loyal readers who see value in supporting local business. On behalf of all of us at livinglocal, we wish you a joyful Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas.

Audrey

LOCAL CONTRIBUTOR

Gina Birch Gina is a freelance writer for USA Today 10Best and a well-known TV & radio personality in SW Florida. Google her blog, “The Birch Beat” and follow her on Facebook & Twitter @GinaBirch.


side Inside this edition i

Margarita Sanchez Alemar Salon

Jose Rodriguez

Dr. Joseph Magnant

Dr. Michael Collins

Dr. Ana Scopu

Dr. Peter Ameglio

Mike & Tiffany Kriz

Best Home Services

Vein Specialists

Collins Vision

Park Family Dental

Ameglio Orthopedics

Kriz Physical Therapy

Jose & Neida Carvalho

Stone & Tile from Portugal Our mission at livinglocal includes spotlighting local non-profits that are making a difference in our community. In addition to sharing their story, we also provide a monetary donation on behalf of our advertisers. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is committed to the hunger relief efforts in Southwest Florida. They do this by maintaining food distribution to more than 150 nonprofit partner agencies including church food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, disaster relief agencies and more. Every $1 that is donated turns into $8 worth of food, feeding more than 28,000 individuals every week. www.mylivinglocal.com

Serving Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita & Naples C O NNE CT W ITH U S

mylivinglocal.com

TO ADVE RT IS E

239.245.7365 advertise@mylivinglocal.com

PUBLISHER

Audrey Brooks audrey@mylivinglocal.com

Š2019 Brooks Infinity, Inc. - All content is property of the publisher and may not be used or reproduced without expressed written consent from Brooks Infinity, Inc. mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


NOV/DEC 2019

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PRODUCTS & Margarita Sanchez Owner/Operator • Color Specialist • Master Stylist

Set Alemar Apart

“I’m around chemicals everyday so I want to use products that are good for the client as well as me.”

NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com


TECHNIQUES

in the Salon Scene N

o two heads of hair are created equal and Margarita Sanchez gets it. The CEO of Alemar Salon in Bonita Springs just celebrated her one-year anniversary in Lee County. G row i n g u p i n t h e D o m i n i c a n Republic, the energetic young woman took a circuitous route to get here. As an 18-year old university student, a flier posted in a hallway caught her eye. It was promoting an international studies program but because she was tight on time, she was unable to get the pertinent information. Then Hurricane George hit the island, causing severe damage. After the storm had passed, she made her way back to the school, through debris and water in an attempt to find the flier, only to find it wet and torn in half. Disheartened but not defeated, she continued searching, eventually finding a phone number to call for more information. Sanchez had to make a three-hour trip to Santo Domingo just to apply and was eventually able to scrape up enough cash to enroll in the program. Scheduled to complete her studies in Baltimore, her file got lost. She remembers, “They said they couldn’t find it and they couldn’t find any more spots--except in Alaska.”

The teenager hailing from the warm and balmy Dominican Republic ended up in the snow and cold of Alaska. Still optimistic she says, “I had never traveled before, so I wasn’t so picky. I was just excited to get on the plane.” Speaking no English, Sanchez got job in Denali Park at a Mexican restaurant, but quickly realized the Spanish spoken there was not the same as in the Dominican. Even the word for beans was different. Not only did she have to learn English, but also more Spanish. On her island home Sanchez was interested in a career in tourism but had a knack for styling hair, which she did on the side. “Hair is not a career in the Dominican Republic,” she says. “Then I came here (U.S.) and saw there were so many schools focusing on it. It was so exciting, and I fell in love with it.” In between studying and selling tacos, she stopped in a nearby salon for a second job. As luck would have it, the salon had an apprenticeship program. From working in the humidity of the Dominican, Sanchez had excellent technique in blow-drying hair to silky smooth and frizz-free. But the salon world is much bigger than blowouts and she needed to learn more skills.

Conitnued on next page mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


Before “My boss taught me the new skills and in 4 weeks I was doing all kinds of haircuts, especially for the military guys,” says Sanchez. Alaska has tough requirements for cosmetology licensing, but she put in the hours, passed the tests, and was officially on a career path. Five years later she moved to the Orlando area where the weather was more like home. It was also closer to home. The commute from Alaska involved four plane changes, now she could fly direct. The stylist got a job in a corporate salon where there were limits on what was offered and what she could do. By this time Sanchez had attended hair shows in New York and Miami saying, “I wanted to be able to do all of the cool things I was learning. I never thought I could own a business, but I kept thinking about it.”

Those ownership intentions finally brought her an opportunity to meet with a salon owner looking for a buyer. As excited as Sanchez was, the finances didn’t line up. “So, I worked and worked and saved all of my money. Then I finally got a loan and had just enough to buy the salon,” she says. By that time the owner had closed her doors, enabling Sanchez to negotiate a better deal with the landlord. “When you think of money or not having it, it stops your dream. I had thought about this for years. I already had the name of the salon and everything. You have to do the little things first so when the big moment comes you are ready,” says Sanchez. The girl with big dreams had little business experience; little savings left and admits to making a lot of mistakes. She laughs, “I didn’t mess up bad enough to close the doors though.”

Customized HAIRCARE & Premier PRODUCTS NOV/DEC 2019

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After She estimates some 85% of her clients from the corporate salon followed her, allowing the young entrepreneur to stay afloat the first year. After seeing her success, four of Sanchez’s former co-workers joined the salon. “I was having more fun and they wanted to be a part of it,” she laughs. Having built a successful business in Orlando, love threw a monkey wrench into her plans. Sanchez became friends with a man from Southwest Florida through an online dating service. When they finally met in person there was an immediate connection. Following a two-year courtship, he proposed, and she moved to the Bonita Springs area where she is starting over again, a bit more business savvy now.

Goldwell. “Goldwell products are safe for both the hair and the stylist using them. I’m around chemicals everyday so I want to use products that are good for the client as well as me,” says Sanchez. Goldwell color is ideal for anyone with a sensitive scalp; it stays fresh longer and adds shine, according to Sanchez who says, “This product is very unique and sets me apart.” She has a s taple of additional products not found in most Southwest Florida salons. This paired with her skills at cutting and coloring, along with her infectious optimism and bright personality, make a visit to Alemar Salon one you’ll want to repeat.

Besides falling in love with a man, Sanchez fell in love with color, even traveled to Europe to study with

Margarita Sanchez Owner/Operator • Color Specialist • Master Stylist

3440 Renaissance Blvd Bonita Springs

239.949.9030 ]V

AlemarSalon.MySalonOnline.com QE @AlemarSalonBonitaSprings

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Customized HAIRCARE & Premier PRODUCTS COLOR • HAIR CUTTING & STYLING EXTENSIONS • SPECIALITY TREATMENTS

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Before

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G N I Z I M CUSTO ES BRAC etic Dentistry

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ike so many adolescents, at the age your daughter before you go pulling teeth of 12, Vanessa Stantcheva received that have not even come through.” She braces to straighten her teeth and took his advice and got a second opinion. improve dental function as she transitions When Dr. Scopu examined Vanessa, into adulthood. Braces may seem straight- she wasn’t sure she could save all three forward, but that’s not always the case as teeth in question but was fairly confident Vanessa found out. “My dentist thought she could save one or two. The dentist my mouth was too crowded and there uses advanced technology to virtually, would not be enough space for all of my plan and predict how her patient’s teeth permanent teeth, so she wanted to pull will move with braces. “I can see the three of them,” she remembers. movement happening before it The teeth in question had actually does, so I can work not broken through the out any kinks in advance for a gums yet, so to extract them more predictable outcome,” would involve major surgery, she says. which worried both Vanessa In addition, Dr. Scopu is one and her mother Jessica. of the only dentists in the area Jessica was a patient of Dr. VANESSA STANTCHEVA to use Insignia custom braces. Long Huynh at Park Family She starts by creating a digital and Cosmetic Dentistr y and imprint of the face that includes the expressed concern about her daugh- teeth, bones, and more. Measurements ter’s situation during an office visit. are made and the brackets for the braces At the time Dr. Ana Scopu was in the are custom milled for each patient. “It’s the process of relocating from New York way of the future as far as orthodontics City to join the team at Park Family. She are concerned. We have the best system practiced general dentistry in the city on the market,” says Dr. Scopu. with a specialty in orthodontics and was Vanessa’s traditional wire and bracket adept at dealing with complex cases. braces were removed and Dr. Scopu Jessica remembers Dr. Long saying, fitted her for the custom version. The “please have Dr. Scopu take a look at difference was immediate. “The custom

690 Goodlette-Frank Rd • Naples • (239) 300-9741 NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com


braces were smoother, they weren’t so bulky and it was not so obvious that I had them,” she says. “The brackets fit each tooth and there were also no rings on the back molars so they were a lot more comfortable in the back.” Dr. Scopu explains, “Custom braces use wires that are very flexible. They are low force, allow for a lot of movement and are not as painful as what the older generations may remember.” The average amount of time an adolescent spends in traditional braces is 24 months, but custom braces can cut that time to as little as 16 months according to Dr. Scopu. Vanessa is 14 years old now, her braces are off, and she is wearing a retainer. “My teeth are very straight and I’m so happy with outcome. Some of my friends have had braces for two to three years and their teeth still aren’t straight yet.” Braces can be applied on children as young as eleven years old but the preparation begins much earlier. That’s one reason why regular dental checkups are so important. Dr. Scopu explains, “I can see growth patterns very early allowing me to work with parents in advance to come up with a treatment plan.”

About her experience with Dr. Scopu, Vanessa says, “She is very kind and patient. She really listens and answers all of my questions and makes me feel like I’m actually involved in what is going on. I would definitely recommend Dr. Scopu and Park Family.”

Abour Dr. Ana Scopu Born in Serbia, Dr. Scopu graduated from Bingham University in New York and completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from NYU College of Dentistry. Her list of specialty training is impressive and includes a Masters in Specialized Orthodontics from the prestigious Medical College at Munster University in Germany, a degree earned by fewer than 20 general dentists in the U.S. Her husband is a ceramist at Park Family and they have a toddler, Stefan, who takes up most of their free time. Dr. Scopu is tri-lingual and enjoys spending time on the beach and on personal growth when not working.

www.MyParkDental .com

Follow Us mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


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incredibly fulfilling to know that if you put in the effort and are willing to grow to your potential, you can reach success.� Jose has been happily married for 12 years to his high school sweetheart Lismary. They have a 9-year-old son named Kaiden and have lived in Southwest Florida for 12 years. Jose is a dedicated manager who treats his team like one big happy family. When Jose is not working, he is spending time with his family or working on his art. Best Home Ser vices is a local, family owned and operated company that is focused on caring for their customers and the community. Their team relentlessly works to continuously improve their service in order to make Southwest Florida homes safer, more comfortable, and more efficient-one job at a time! To learn more about Best Home Services’ story and their Best Home Services Guarantee, please visit their website at WWW.GETBEST.COM or call 239-217-1698.

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Could Your be a Sign or Symptom of

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t all started with little red dots on her ankle. Allison Ferguson had no idea what these little rash-like marks were, nor that her research for answers would begin nearly two years of visits to a variety of physicians and specialists before landing in the office of Dr. Joseph Magnant, founder of Vein Specialists in Southwest Florida. An experienced Vascular Surgeon with a practice focused on vein disease, Dr. Magnant was able to diagnosis the condition as stasis dermatitis and successfully treat her, finally providing the relief she so desperately sought. For about a month she suffered from constant itching. She finally stopped by her employee health clinic and was given a topical steroid cream. But it didn’t help. “It looked kind of like a heat rash, it was really bothering me and it was not going away,” remembers Ferguson. Her next visit was to a dermatologist. “The doctor thought they were bug bites, like scabies,” she recalls in disbelief. A biopsy was taken, and the medicine prescribed did not improve the condition. There were more creams and more biopsies but s till no relief and no answers. She remembers,

Joseph G. Magnant NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

MD, FACS, RPVI Vascular Surgeon & Vein Expert


y r a t n e m i l p Com n o i s s e S A & Q “It felt like poison ivy and we were now get ting into the hot months of summer. I was miserable.” She went to a rheumatologist, then an allergist, and back to a dermatologist before finally seeking help outside of Southwest Florida. She made an appointment with a physician and professor at the University of Miami Center for Dermatology who performed yet another biopsy and then conducted his own lab work. “He said I had dermatitis that was caused by a vein issue known as stasis dermatitis” says Ferguson. “I remember at some point previously, another doctor had mentioned it could possibly be a vein issue, but that was kind of in passing and it was never pursued.” Armed with new information and hope, Ferguson called Dr. Magnant. “Allison had venous insufficiency; however, her symptoms were atypical; a rash and itching without noticeable varicose veins,” says Dr. Magnant. Venous disease affects about 20% of the U.S. population, about 40-50 million adults. Venous insufficiency occurs when valves in the leg veins fail to close, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart. This causes blood to pool in the legs, resulting in varicose

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Wed, Nov 13 & Wed, Dec 11 LIMITED SEATING ALL SEMINARS BEGIN AT 4:30PM RSVP AT 239-694-8346 veins, swelling, inflammation, and a host of other presentations, including skin conditions like stasis dermatitis. Dr. Magnant explains, “Her diagnosis of stasis dermatitis, even though it is one of the less common presentations of venous disease, is more often than not, treated as just a skin condition by many specialists without investigating the underlying cause.” He continues, “Stasis dermatitis is not that hard to diagnose but physicians in general don’t receive much education about it or venous disease during their residency training. Venous disease intersects with dermatology in this population of patients, who have what I like to refer to as “DermatoVenous” disease.” Dr. Magnant treated the veins in both of Ferguson’s legs with a procedure known as endovenous ablation in which a radiofrequenc y catheter (ClosureFAST™) was used to seal leaking veins by heating them closed. She describes it as, “quick and painless.” “I’m pretty young, although venous disease can happen at any age,” says Ferguson. “It took so long to diagnose because I did not have any commonly recognized outward signs like varicose veins. Today I’m in the clear thanks to Dr. Magnant.”

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mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


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mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


Captains for Clean Water Board Member, Dr. Michael Collins, making a pledge at the annual Restore Gala.

Investing in a

Culture of Giving C

ollins Vision has a longstanding commitment to service in Southwest Florida; service to the community and service to the individual. Led by practice founder Dr. Michael J. Collins, Collins Vision embodies a culture of giving back that is exemplified in ways large and small and can be felt throughout the community. “We feel like giving back is one of the best ways to not only make an impact externally in our community but it also organically creates more camaraderie and engagement within our own organization,” said Dr. Collins. “It’s so heartwarming to see how much our team rallies together to share in a vision and support a cause.” EMPOWERING FAMILIES ONE LIFE AT A TIME One of the charities Collins Vision supports i s ve r y n ea r a n d d e a r to D r. C o l l i n s ’ hear t. March of Dimes leads the

fight for the health of all mothers and their infants, including premature b a b ie s . “ M y daug hter Ellie wa s b o r n p re m a t u re , w e i g h i n g o n l y 1 pound, 3 ounces and we spent the first three months of her life in the pediatric intensive care unit,” said Dr. Collins. “This was a life-changing experience!” Today, Ellie is a happy, thriving student at Ithaca College. “Without the support and technology that the March of Dimes spearheads, she may have had a different outcome,” said Dr. Collins. “Helping other families in this situation by supporting the March of Dimes seems like the right thing to do.” THE CARING POWER OF COMMUNITY Another organization in which Collins Vision invests time and resources is United Way, which is dedicated to creating solutions that build stronger communities, improve education, strengthen financial stability and make communities healthier. “The community of Southwest Florida has embraced us and we want to return that love in the best way we can,” said Dr. Collins, who actually serves on the board of the organization. “The United Way

NAPLES OFFICE NOV/DEC 2019

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860 111th Avenue North


“The community of Southwest Florida has embraced us and we want to return that love in the best way we can.” – Dr. Michael Collins touches and helps so many people in our community. Last year, Collins Vision became a Pacesetter Company by running our campaign early in order to help the United Way reach its annual goal. 100% of our team contributed to the effort and I couldn’t be prouder!” C H A M P I O N I N G C O N S E R VAT I O N Dr. Collins is an avid fisherman and boater. “One of the reasons I decided to live and practice in Southwest Florida was the year-round ability to enjoy the outdoors,” he said. Captains for Clean Water (CFCW) has gained international recognition for educating the public about what needs to be done to improve water quality, decrease pollution and protect the estuaries and Everglades of Southwest Florida and beyond. Dr. Collins serves on t he board of t his gr as sroot s organization. “This is truly a passion project for me,” he said. I T ’ S T H E C O L L I N S V I S I O N WAY In addition to the higher-profile organizations they partner with, Collins Vision quietly gives and serves in countless other ways on a smaller scale. Why? Because when you truly buy into a shared company culture of giving and serving, it’s just business as usual.

CollinsVision.com

Follow Us | f y T n I t ’s not uncomm on to f ind D r. Collins donating a cataract surgery or pterygium removal through the We Care Program in partnership with United Way. Or to find the team working together to provide gifts and meals for sponsored families around the holidays. “We all know there is more happiness in giving than in receiving,” said Dr. Collins. Collins Vision has experienced impressive growth since opening its doors in 2004 and Dr. Collins likes to think much of it is due to its unwavering dedication to giving back to and serving the community. Today, the comprehensive ophthalmology practice has two locations in Naples and Fort Myers and offers a range of eye care services including Cataract Surgery, Laser Vision Correction Surgery (LASIK and ASA), Corneal Surgery, Ophthalmic Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Comprehensive Eye Exams, Custom Contact Lens Fittings and Cosmetic Facial Injections. Looking for an eye care practice with a heart for the community? Join the scores of Southwest Floridians who have chosen to See the Difference and become a part of the Collins Vision family. For more information, visit CollinsVision.com or call 239.789.2119.

239.936.4706 mylivinglocal. | com

NOV/DEC 2019


FUNCTIONAL PHYSICAL THERAPY Restores

QUALITY OF LIFE

I

by Gina Birch

f you’ve ever been injured or had surgery, there is a good chance your doctor prescribed physical therapy. At Kriz Physical Therapy, owners Tiffany and Mike Kriz specialize in a method called Functional Manual Therapy. It’s a hands-on approach used to restore and improve strength and mobility. Mike explains, “Af ter surger y or injury or with many chronic conditions, movement patterns are altered because people are trying avoid or reduce pain. Many people have to relearn movement patterns and it is best done with hands-on, guiding body parts or regions through space efficiently.” Suzanne Wright experienced severe whiplash from an automobile accident when she was 21 years old. Some 20-years later she was in another accident. “My car went down a ravine,” she says. “I should not have survived.” Suzanne had broken bones all over her body, underwent back surgery, and has been in chronic pain since. Physical therapy has been a big part of her life. But it wasn’t until she found the functional manual technique that she began to get real relief. “Mike uses gentle manipulations to help my body function the way it is supposed to physiologically.” Suzanne has been active

Owners Tiffany and Mike Kriz

her entire life and says, “I’ve managed to make this body work all these years and I’m not ready to stop. I wasn’t ready to give up golf either, and because of Mike, I can play with minimal pain,” says the 76-year-old. Mike had a business degree and worked in the computer field for many years remembering, “I wanted to do more and had always been interested in anatomy and biology.” At the urging of his stepmother, he looked into physical therapy and was accepted into the program at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. That’s where he met his future wife, Tiffany. Tiffany had attended the University of Miami and knew what she wanted to study, before attending

Contact Us

(239) 992-6700 27180 Bay Landing Dr. By Appointment Only

NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

Bonita Springs


Widener University. The two worked in corporate physical therapy offices in Northern Virginia before transferring to Southwest Florida where Mike’s father lived. Twenty years later they have a 10-year-old girl (Madeline) and 14-yearold boy (Ryan.) About working with his wife Mike says, “Some couples barely see each other. It’s nice to be able to see her all day long and I think sometimes I take that for granted. I love working with my wife. I would not want to work with anyone else.” Their children are of ten in the office contributing to the family feel. Suzanne says, “We talk about them and laugh a lot. It’s a very friendly and laid back place, but at the same time very professional.” Besides the family atmosphere and treatment methods used at Kriz, the personal attention given to patients by therapists sets this practice apart from others. Mike explains, “In many PT offices, patients spend the majority of time with assistants or other lesser trained staff. We didn’t go to school to delegate treatment. We went to school to learn how to evaluate and treat. We keep emphasize continuing education and do all we can to be exceptional therapists.” Patients receive 45 minutes to an hour of hands-on treatment with a therapist during each visit. The volume is lower, and the quality of care is better than higher volume practices, according to Mike. Many people who’ve tried physical therapy without the results they were looking for have found success here. At Kriz the team is more “old school and I like it that way,” says Mike. “New modalities and equipment come and go but none of that matters if you are moving

incorrectly to begin with.” They treat conditions from head to toe, most often taking care of patients healing from surgery or injury to the hips, knees, shoulders, neck, and back. Mike calls physical therapy after surgery “incredibly important.” Suzanne adds, “If you’ve ever had back issues, or any issues really, you know it can make you miserable. Mike has the ability to talk you through things, put you at ease and help you with your physiological functioning so you can live a relatively normal, pain free life.” Tiffany’s patients will tell you the same according to Mike. If you are suffering from chronic pain, recovering from surgery or injury, and need help restoring function, strength, and movement, call Kriz Physical Therapy to find out if functional manual therapy is right for you.

Suzanne Wright Kriz Physical Therapy Patient

KrizPhysicalTherapy.com krizpt1@gmail.com

Follow Us | f y

mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


Customizing Your

KITCHEN & BATH home is your castle and when it Y our comes to remodeling kitchens and

baths you want a company with not only the best service, but also the most unique and outstanding products to reflect your style and taste. You want Neida and Jose Carvalho, the owners of Stone and Tile from Portugal. Whether you need new countertops, a new outdoor kitchen, or a complete bathroom makeover, the Carvalho’s can make it happen from start to finish. “Right now, everybody is going crazy for the whites and greys. We’re doing a lot of light-colored countertops,” says Neida. She has been in the construction industr y in Southwest Florida for some 30 years while Jose’s family in Portugal has been in the stone business for generations, giving him a direct connection to suppliers and materials unlike any other similar businesses in Southwest Florida. Portugal is the second largest marble exporter in the world. Some of the stone the Carvalho’s purchase actually comes

from the area where Jose grew up. It was on a trip to visit that area and relatives in Portugal, that the couple decided to establish the family trade across the Atlantic Ocean and open an import company in Southwest Florida. The Carvalho’s idea was to bring in the finest stone from Portugal and other parts of Europe. They received their first slabs two years ago along with their first frantic call for help. Neida remembers, “Our customer was having a problem with their contractor. It was a week before Thanksgiving and they desperately needed their countertops completed. It was crazy but we got it done Wednesday, Thanksgiving was Thursday.” It was this experience that further transformed their import business plan to include complete remodels. Neida is also licensed to install cabinets, so the Carvalho’s are able to offer a full range of services that include indoor and outdoor kitchens, as well as baths. In addition, she says, “Jose has a g r e a t ey e f o r d e t a i l , a n d h e speaks four languages, that is huge. We have such a mixed community now in Southwest Florida.” The Carvalho’s are hands on from beginning to end; no salespeople, no corporate office policies. “You get that personal touch, so if you want to change something you don’t have

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Before

to ask seven different people to make it happen,” says Neida. Customers begin the process with an appointment at the Car valho’s showroom where they can look at a menagerie of colors, textures, products, etc. The next meeting is in the home where measurements are taken, and a design plan is made. “We get that lined up and try to make it as seamless and as stress free as possible,” says Neida. “From start date to finish we only want you to be without a kitchen two weeks or less.” Stone and Tile from Portugal carries stone from all over Europe, India, and in the United States. The selections range from the exotic and hard to find to traditional and affordable, fitting all budgets and tastes. Materials that customers can choose from include marble, quartz, granite, and onyx. Some of Neida’s favorite projects have been for veterans. “Can you imagine losing a limb serving our country and trying to get into a standard shower or tub? Most people just don’t think about those things.” Neida does. She served in the U.S. Coast Guard; that

service is what initially brought her to Southwest Florida. Since opening their business, the Carvalho’s have worked with the Veteran’s Administration to make bathrooms handicap accessible for local veterans—at no cost. New to the lineup of specialized selections are premium travertine pavers and marble decking. “The reason it is called premium is because it has no holes in it. Standard travertine has all of these little nooks and crannies, so you have to seal it,” says Neida. “In Europe, they’ve been using the products we have for hundreds of years without a problem.” These pavers are ex tremely popular and practical for outdoor decking, including the areas around swimming pools. “I love to design things, to take something that is not user friendly and make it practical for the homeowner. Then I love seeing the finished product when it transforms into WOW.” If you are looking for that WOW transformation, want to update your space or just make it more functional, call the experts at Stone and Tile from Portugal.

239-223-9577

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mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


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SuperPATH S

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My friends are amazed that I had both of my hips replaced within 3 months, and in less than 2 months I’m back to my daily routine including volunteering regularly. I’m really blessed, fortunate, and so glad I found Dr. Ameglio.

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Peter Ameglio, MD Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

Join Dr. Ameglio for a FREE seminar to learn how you can be on a faster road to recovery with SuperPATH. He will also discuss treatment options for unresolved buttock, hip, leg & groin pain. Dates: Thursday, November 14th OR Thursday, December 12th Time: 6–7pm Location: Gulf Coast Medical Center Auditorium | 13681 Doctor’s Way, Fort Myers (use main entrance of hospital)

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SW FLORIDA’S 1ST & MOST EXPERIENCED SUPERPATH SURGEON mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


Hip Replacement D ean Heflin had his right hip replaced 24-years ago; he was 66 years old at the time. He was in the hospital for five days and then required extensive physical rehabilitation and was unable to drive for six months. This July, at the age of 90, he had his left hip replaced by Dr. Peter Ameglio, renowned for his use of an advanced technique known as SuperPATH®. Heflin was out of bed and dressed the morning following his operation, telling Dr. Ameglio he was ready to go home. “Things have come a long way since my first surgery,” he says in awe. The retiree had been in pain for quite some time saying, “My hip was just wearing out. I couldn’t walk straight, and my wife (of 63 years) would say ‘quit hobbling’. But I couldn’t because it hurt.” Knowing what his first surgery was like, Heflin put off another trip to the operating room, until he researched the SuperPATH approach and met Dr. Ameglio. There is longevity in Mr. Heflin’s family. His mother lived to be over 100 and his 93-year-old sister walks a quarter of a mile every day, neither had hip problems. Mr. Heflin believes his hip arthritis comes from playing football. “My thought process was well even though

I’m 90, I better get this done while I’m physically and mentally able to. I’m not sure if in a couple of years, I’ll have the same opportunity,” says Heflin. Although SuperPATH was originally introduced in 2003, it’s not a widely used technique. Dr. Ameglio is the first and most experienced surgeon in Southwest Florida performing SuperPATH. Its key lies in not dislocating the hip joint during surgery. With all other hip replacements, a dislocation of the hip is required. This results in injury to the joint capsule and small muscle attachments of the hip. Dr. Ameglio explains, “Since you don’t have to dislocate the hip joint in the SuperPATH approach, it’s much less traumatic. It takes a lot of force to dislocate a human hip; requiring the entire leg to be rotated until it comes out of joint. Therefore, although the SuperPATH approach isn’t easier for the surgeon, it is easier on the patient and the recovery time is shortened significantly.” Following surgery with a hip dislocation approach, the patient is instructed on hip precautions and certain positions that they should not place their leg. Even getting in and out of a car for the first two months following surgery is considered a risky move for fear of hip dislocation.

DR. AMEGLIO’S SOLO PRACTICE IS NOW OPEN & ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS.

6160 Winkler Road, Fort Myers (Between College Pkwy. & Cypress Lake Dr.)

NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com

239-494-3147


at Any Age

However, the SuperPATH approach does not carr y these restrictions because the joint is never dislocated in the first place. Because SuperPATH is so much easier on the body, Dr. Ameglio is now able to perform hip replacement surgery as an outpatient procedure on select patients. He says, “This is great for patients who meet the qualifications. I call them the next day to see how they are doing. I can hear it in their voices how relaxed they are. It feels like a luxury to recover in the comfort of your own home. We also send a nurse and physical therapist to help in the recovery.” Heflin says, “It took entirely too long to recover from my first hip surgery, but with SuperPATH I went in the hospital at 7am on a Monday and I was discharged the next day. I had no real discomfort.” The small amount of discomfort he did experience was easily relieved with Tylenol and aspirin. Mr. Heflin used a walker for about a week following surgery, a cane for the next week. “Then I was back to walking on my own and driving just 15 days after my surgery,” says Heflin. He recommends SuperPATH to friends who are in pain but

are putting off hip surgery for fear of a long and painful recovery process. Although his proficient use of surgical techniques, such as SuperPATH and gentle bedside manner sets Dr. Ameglio apart, so does his new solo orthopedic practice. Open since July, patients are truly appreciating the intimate feel and personal touches of the office. “I love caring and connecting with others. We are all on this life’s journey together and I feel blessed to be able to serve others in this way.”

“Dr. Ameglio is a great guy. He makes you so comfortable; I have never had a physician like him,” says Heflin. “He is down to earth and puts me in the posture of being a close friend. I’m definitely not a number with him.”

SPECI A LIZING IN

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SI Joint Dysfunction • Therapeutic/Diagnostic Injections • iFuse SI Joint Surgery

PeterAmeglio.com @PeterAmeglioMD

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mylivinglocal.com | NOV/DEC 2019


NOV/DEC 2019

| mylivinglocal.com


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Food For brought in a total Brantley Garcia, 6, held a food drive and t butter and jelly of 417 pounds of food, including peanu rbury School. and nonperishables collected from Cante

I

f there are two themes that are central to the holidays they are food and giving. There is no other organization that embodies the two quite like the Harry Chapin Food Bank (HCFB.) The holidays are consistently one of the biggest times of the year for food related charities like HCFB; second only to summer. During the summer a large portion of the local, seasonal work force has reduced hours and less money coming in. “About one in eight people in our community will experience hunger this year, one in five of those are children,” says Harry Chapin President and CEO, Richard LeBer. Even with a strong economy you’ll find people in need. “Someone could be out of work due to an illness, or in the middle of a job transition, there are all kinds of reasons why they would be in need,” says LeBer. If a person has an hourly job and their employer closes to celebrate the holiday, they might not get paid. If they take time off to spend with family, they may also

ed Henry Peterson unloads a truck of donat turkeys and food fixings.

miss a paycheck. “Kids are also out of school and need to be fed,” says LeBer.

I hate the idea of anyone going hungry during the holidays. Food is such a central part of most peoples’ celebrations.

- Richard LaBer | C.E.O.

The Thanksgiving holiday kicks things off, crossing all religious and political boundaries. It brings families together around the dinner table, expressing gratitude for what they have, regardless of how much or how little. That appreciation and thankfulness spills over to friends, neighbors and others in the community. Harry Chapin provides food to more than 150 agencies in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry Counties, which have direct distribution links to those in need, such as food pantries, mobile pantries, senior citizens and in-school pantries. Find a list of these agencies on HCFB’s website. If one is close to you, you can always donate items directly to them says LeBer, just

To make a donation of time, money or goods call 239-334-7007, visit www.harrychapinfoodbank.org, or stop by4

NOV/DEC 2019

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Holiday Thought e This is one of the more than 300 mobil pantries the food bank holds during the fiscal year to distribute food to those in need.

Children receive food kits, or boxes, for their families through the Harry Chapin Food Bank’s new “Harr y’s Helpings” program.

call ahead for hours of operation first. While physical donations of shelf stable foods, and frozen turkeys are still welcomed, the organization has slowly been shifting how they provide for families during the holidays and monetary donations offer the most bang for the buck. “Money goes a long way and is more flexible for us to use depending on what is needed at the moment,” says LeBer. For every dollar donated, HCFB can turn that into $8 worth of food. Some of the money is used to send trucks to grocery stores or farms that are donating fresh produce. Rather than just bags of food, HCFB also gives out $25 gift cards at Thanksgiving time that are only good for food purchases. LeBer explains, “Consumers more often than not, find better deals on chickens and turkeys than we do and can take them directly home to the freezer or refrigerator.” In addition, gift cards allow families to purchase the side dishes that are unique to their celebration.

couple hold an Sandy and Henry Peterson: This Sanibel year collected annual “Turkey Drop and Roll” and last nonperishable 53 donated turkeys and 127 pounds of food for Thanksgiving.

96% of all monetary donations to Harry Chapin go directly to the food bank’s programs; the rest, only 4% goes to administrative costs. If you or your organization is planning a food drive during the holidays LeBer says, “It’s a lovely idea to have parties with a purpose. It gets friends engaged and shifts focus to the issue that not everyone has as much to give thanks for.” He suggests having a goal in your food drive to provide a meal for a family or two. Or for a greater impact, setting an empty place at the dinner table to remind guests there are hungry people in the community. No matter how small your drive may be it can serve to inspire people to get involved and do something. One person at a time can make a difference. “Harry Chapin would not exist if people weren’t so generous,” says LeBer. “I’m stunned every year by the generosity and community spirit that makes this whole thing possible.”

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livinglocal | Estero/Bonita | November - December 2019  

livinglocal | Estero/Bonita | November - December 2019