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The Importance of

SLEEP WELLNESS Dr. Steven Lanham discusses the correlation between sleep and physical wellness

KNOW the


The Porters share the experience of their children’s battle with Retinoblastoma Eye Cancer

Hima Dalal on

Living Life to the FULLEST

Custom Portrait Photographer Call or check out my new website for all of your custom photography needs!

In this Issue



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lori Samples Duncan

MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES Theresa Adams Cathy Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alaina Drawdy Lori Samples Duncan Ashby Jones Steven Lanham, DDS Renee Kennedy-McCord Beth McCrary Melissa Pelkey-Hass Amy Pittsenbarger Suzy Shay


Robert Patrick Image Design

DESIGN Melissa W. Morris

From the Editor 2 Summer’s End

10 About Munchies and Men! 13 Summer Spinach Salad


Health & Wellness

3 What’s Happening?

Let’s Talk

4 6 8 9

Old-Fashioned Summer Games to Share with Your Children A Physical and Emotional Makeover The Ashby Chronicle: The Greatest Prayer is Patience Modern Southern Style Meets Classic Racing

Live Life to the Fullest – Meet Your Highest Potential The Importance of Sleep Wellness Retirement Luxuries — Life Never Looked This Good Meet Dr. Thomas Edmunds, the Kidney Stone Specialist

Celebrating the Survivor in You! 22 Know the Glow

PHOTOGRAPHY Clark Berry Photography Robert Patrick Image Design

14 16 19 20


Business & Web Directory 27 Contact our Advertisers

Personal Note

28 Who Will You Smile at Today?

Find us on facebook!

Midlands 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

Savor the last days of



t is once again my pleasure to bring you the new issue of Midlands Woman Magazine. This issue is packed with great information about local businesses and local people. We always want to celebrate, motivate, educate, and inspire you. On the cover is a lady who is known in more than one country and has helped hundreds of people from infants to the elderly with her passion for occupational therapy; Mrs. Hima Dalal. Our survivor article in this issue is about a family with two little boys who faced a life altering illness and how they found the strength to go through it and a desire to help others avoid it. If you know someone with children please share this issue and this article with them. It could save their life. It is our goal in every single issue of Midlands Woman to bring you the best of the best businesses. Each of these companies has made a commitment to you “The Midlands Woman” to provide you with quality services, products, and a quality experience with their establishment. If you have a business you would like to see featured please feel free to email us. We always love to have your feedback. It’s back to school and welcome fall and we are glad you have chosen to spend a few minutes of your busy life with us.


Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Lori Samples Duncan Editor-in-Chief

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women


What’s HAPPENING? 27th Annual Greek Festival September 19 - 21, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. September 22, noon – 8 p.m. Corner of Sumter and Calhoun Streets, Columbia

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church welcomes you and offers our hospitality for the annual Greek festival. Come and enjoy the music, atmosphere, food and drink, and learn a little about Greece. This is your chance to be Greek for a week! Call (803) 4610248 or visit the website below for schedules and to find more information.

Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art September 19 – October 13 The Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island, Pawleys Island

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., originally of the Fifth Dimension, will headline the performance events slated for October 1-13 at the Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island. The Festival kicks off with the Wearable Art Luncheon on September 19th at Tommy Bahama Restaurant in The Market Common. On Saturday, September 28-29, Chalk Under the Oaks will be held at Huntington State Park across from the Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival. Beginning October 4, the 14th Annual Pawleys Island Wine Gala fundraiser starts the 2 week performances. Followed on Saturday, October 5th- the Plein Air Art Exhibiton held at various locations in Pawleys Island from 10am-4pm. Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. are the Festival headliners entertaining with sounds of the 70’s and 80’s on Saturday, October 5th. Sunday, October 6th brings CCU Graduate and local vocalist, Elise Testone, to the lowcountry for a collaborative fundraiser with “Teach My People”. The second week provides talent from such entertainers as Emile Pandolfi, Vivace, Mac Arnold and The Movin’Out Band. The Festival ends on Sunday, October 13th with a Gospel Brunch helping raise funds and awareness for Miss Ruby’s Kids and the Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art. For more information, ticket prices, times and dates, visit the website below or call Festival offices at (843) 626-8911.


(803) 356-8080

Whispers Butterfly Release (To Honor and Remember Friends and Loved Ones) September 27, 5:30 p.m. SC State House Grounds (Gervais Street Side)

To promote awareness of the whispering symptoms of ovarian cancer, the Ovarian Cancer Coalition

of Central South Carolina will release hundreds of butterflies as part of September’s National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Butterflies are available for purchase (pre-ordered only, not for sale at the event) for $25 each in memory or honor of loved ones with ovarian and other female cancers. Deadline for butterfly orders is Sept. 23. Come enjoy butterflies, music, and inspirational speakers. (Bring a lawn chair.) Please note: in case of inclement weather, event will be cancelled.

Columbia Freedom Festival September 28, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Columbia Freedom Festival is a Christian Music Festival featuring the “I Need You Now” Tour with Plumb and special guests, Mikeschair, & Josh Wilson. Also performing …The Advice, Lightswitch, 3 Shades of Blue, and Last Flight Out. This is an event for the whole family, with activities for all such as Carnival Rides, petting zoo, Facepainting, miniclinics hosted by the Wild life and Hunting Reserves and even rocket building. Don’t forget all of your favorite festival foods as well! To purchase tickets and for more information, visit the website below.

21st Annual Dottie Dunbar All Woman Fishing Tournament October 5, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Palmetto Bay Marina, Hilton Head Island

Only women may fish in the tournament. Targeted species are: spotted sea trout, and spot tail bass (red fish). Anglers must have a current South Carolina saltwater fishing license and a boat. Rental boats are available at marinas. Women anglers must strike and land all fish. The angler entry fee is $40, if received by Sept. 17, and $50 at registration. The fee includes dinner, T-shirt, prizes and awards. Please mail a check to DDAWFT c/o Dottie Dunbar,114 Candar Court, Chapin, SC 29036. To register in advance, please include your phone number and email address. On Friday, Oct. 4, register in front of Palmetto Bay Marina Charter Office, where the Angler meeting will be held during registration from 6-7:30 a.m. The fee includes a T-shirt and dinner for the angler. Weigh Station opens at 3 p.m. at Palmetto Bay Charter Office. The awards dinner starts at 5 p.m. and is $10 for non-anglers. Tournament T-shirts are available for $10. The public is invited to attend. For information and registration, contact Dottie Dunbar at (803) 932-7685 or (803) 206-0598 or via email at Or, contact Cindy Sullivan at (843) 384-2466 or at cshhi@aol. com.

Old-Fashioned Summer Games to Share With Your Children

by Alaina Drawdy


o you remember those lazy, endless summer days of childhood? A whole afternoon was spent skipping rocks in the creek. You’d lie in the grass, pull a blade, and fashion a horn by pressing your thumbs tightly together. Chalk drawn hopscotch boards colored neighborhood sidewalks in green, pink, and blue. The joy of childhood games of yesteryear is that they don’t require batteries, electricity, or expensive equipment. Bring the joy of simpler times back to your child’s summer with a few tech-free, high-satisfaction and old-fashioned ideas: RED ROVER One of the most popular playground games of the 19th century was Red Rover. This 19th-century children’s game is believed to have originated in Britain and then spread to Canada, the United States, and Australia. Røver is a Norwegian word for “pirate”, so perhaps the early British were showing bravery by daring the Viking raiders to “come over”. How to play: Separate a group of children into two equal teams. Team A and Team B should stand about ten yards apart, facing each other in a straight line, and holding hands. Team A decides which person to “call over” from Team B. Once Team A has chosen, they sing, “Red Rover, Red Rover, we call (name) over!” The player from Team B who is called must run to Team A and try to break through the arms of two Team A players.

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If the player from Team B doesn’t pass through, they are now a part of Team A. However, if they successfully pass through, the player goes back to their original team and takes a player from Team A back with them. Continue playing until there are only two players remaining on one team. Once the last player is taken to the other team, the game is over and the larger team wins. DUCK DUCK SPLASH We all remember waiting to spring to our feet if chosen as the “goose” in the favorite elementary school game “Duck Duck Goose”. The object of this game is to walk in a circle, tapping on each person on the head and calling “duck” until one “goose” is finally chosen. The “goose” must chase the picker before he reaches the empty spot he left behind. If the “goose” fails to tag the picker, then he becomes the new picker. “Duck Duck Splash” is a fun sum-

Real Women

mer alternative to the traditional game. The “picker” carries a plastic bucket of water around the circle and uses it to splash the person who will be the goose. This version is also called “Drip Drip Drop”. HOMEMADE BUBBLES Few things mesmerize children and adults alike than huge, iridescent bubbles bouncing aloft in the air on a hot summer afternoon. There’s no need to use store bought bubble wands. You can get creative by using items around the house to dip in your bubble solution. Experiment with items like 6-pack rings, cookie cutters, fly swatters, Mason jar lid rings, and maybe even a slotted spoon. Give this easy recipe a try: ½ cup liquid dish soap 4 cups water ½ cup glycerine (available at most drugstores) Gently mix together water, detergent and glycerine in a container with a lid. Allow the mixture to

stand for a day or two. The longer you let the mixture set, the bigger the bubbles will be. Old-fashioned games are fun for the modern child, not only because they’re tech-free, but because they’re powered by imagination. These games also get your kids out in the sunshine and moving. Blogger, Robin Lewis, shares “Playing together helps children in their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. When children play outdoors games that involve moving their bodies by running, walking, jumping or other physical activity it also helps them develop healthy, active habits.” If you’re looking for some fun oldfashioned games, stop by Mast General Store on Main Street in Downtown Columbia or visit for jacks, marbles, jump ropes, checkers, and maybe even a book with more games you remember.

Carolina Behavior & Beyond, LLC is a home-based early intervention provider serving children with special needs ages birth to five

Your Journey is Our Passion Services available: One on one early intervention services Service coordination • Behavior planning • Potty training Parent support groups • Free developmental screenings Play groups • Infant massage Adrianna Kleckley (803) 446-8113

Suzanne English (803) 447-8449

Office Fax (803) 808-7951

Serving these counties:

Calhoun • Lexington • Newberry • Richland • Saluda

Let’s Talk



ave you ever ran into someone you haven’t seen in years and they still have the same hairdo, clothes, etc. as the last time you saw them? Their skin, body and overall appearance appeared as if they just given up on life. What feeling or emotion did it evoke in you when you saw them? Did you get the feeling they didn’t care about their appearance? Maybe you felt they were lacking confidence in themselves. Did you think to yourself that they needed a makeover? Part of a makeover is updating your look and changing the message you are projecting as you interact with people. You are alive and some people seem to forget they still have something to offer to the world. The idea is to keep that feeling of ‘being alive’ going, which is what we often forget to do. You should at any age always stay inspired and seek ways to enhance your life. You should always

be evolving; mind, body and soul. Step up to the plate and take charge to define your style. Your appearance (clothes, hair, skin, body) should reflect you now, not you 20 years ago. Seek advice on ways to makeover yourself. Read magazines and books, go online, seek advice and have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to try new things, such as a new hairstyle or fashion

There is nothing like have someone pamper you with a facial. Not only will it relax you, it will also help to uplift your spirits and can help to give you a new outlook on life.

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trend. Even small changes can make a huge difference. Your look needs to project to people that you are engaged in life. We have a saying at The Facial Aesthetic Center. “It’s not about vanity, it’s about confidence.” There is definitely some truth to the saying that beauty is only skin deep. Beauty is also about confidence. All of us at one time or

another has thought about making changes in our appearance. We have heard it all from “I am feeling drab and dowdy”, “I am coming out of a bad relationship, situation or circumstance”, “I need a change”, or “I just want to look younger or refreshed”. Makeovers can transform where you are in life right now. A makeover, subtle or dramatic can: increase your confidence, relieve stress, update

Let’s Talk your look, and help you move ahead, and motivate you try out new ideas. The degree of the type of makeover is a personal decision and shouldn’t be made only to live up to society standards. If you want to try and look your best and feel you want a makeover, do it for yourself and no one else. With beauty being a prominent factor in our lives today, many are afraid to make any drastic changes. However, drastic changes may not really be needed and small changes are not costly. Just a little push in the right direction can do wonders for your appearance and your self-esteem. In addition to improving your appearance a beauty makeover can help you to relieve any stress you are under. Everyone deserves a treat now and then. There is nothing like having someone pamper you with a facial. Not only will it relax you, it will also help to uplift your spirits and can help to give you a new outlook on life. We work with women and men from all walks of life. A lot of our clients are in the public eye and want to look refreshed and confident. We’ve helped these people boost their self-confidence with

simple makeover treatments such as a facial or microdermabrasion. These treatments are cost effective and work to soften fine lines and wrinkles, smooth coarsely textured skin, decrease the appearance of scarring, decrease pore size, and reduce superficial hyper-pigmentation, also known as age spots. Being a medical spa, however, we can take more advanced measurements to make over our clients. Hyperpigmentation, the “new wrinkle”, is sun-damaged/uneven skin tone that can age a person 5-10 years. Noticeable improvements in appearance can be achieved by several options we offer such as lasers, chemical peels, skin resurfacing and medical grade skin care products. Lasers can also correct unsightly spider veins and remove unwanted hair. Treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers as well as skin tightening can correct lifestyle damage, wrinkles, and skin laxity as well as take years from someone’s appearance. Whatever makeover choice, big or small, you consider can be a huge step towards giving you more self- confidence. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you are confident.

Before At The Facial Aesthetic Center, we are unique in that we believe in working on the inside as well as the outside of the body. We are taking our medspa to a new level. We have moved to 3020 Devine Street and are kicking off WELLNESS CORNER on August 3, 2013. We have formed an alliance with other wellness-based businesses that also believe in overall wellness AND superior customer service. WELLNESS CORNER is located in the block between Sims and Capital Place along Devine Street. WELLNESS CORNER, the cornerstone of health and wellness, is a “one stop shop” to pick and choose services

After for a total makeover, and experience a healthy balance in your life. WELLNESS CORNER includes Divine Massage Therapy, specializing in integrative massage therapy, hot stones and signature services and well as yoga classes. Fit Columbia specializes in personal training, group exercise, and sports performance. Elite Nutrition & Performance specializes in sports nutrition, eating disorders, weight loss and wellness. Simply Oxygen, is Columbia’s premier mild hyperbaric therapy studio. Combined with The Facial Aesthetic Center’s services, you can look good and feel good.

Facials • Botox and Juvederm • Microdermabrasion Thermage Skin Tightening • Laser Hair Removal • IPL Acne Treatment Portrait Skin Regeneration • Spider Vein Removal • Permanent Makeup Chemical Peels • Medical Grade Skincare Products

(803) 254-5484 • Mention this ad and receive 10% off of any service!

3020 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205 •

Let’s Talk


The Greatest Prayer is Patience by Ashby Jones

photo by Clark Berry Photography


Ashby Jones

And I don’t need yoga to remind me of that. I got there too early, so I took that opportunity to respond to 18 emails and text messages from my cell phone, which is like yoga “cocktail hour.” I took my shoes off and socks off like the lady said, and she showed me this room with rolled up mats and flowery cushions, foam block things, and belts. She told me to pick my favorite colors. I had not really thought about my favorite colors in a long time. The problem was I couldn’t collect all my yoga accessories because I was still hanging on to my cell phone. (Maybe this is why my friends want me to try yoga, because I will be forced to put the phone away). A few women entered the yoga place. We met and they seemed nice. But, then they warned me that because this was my first time trying yoga ever, it would be tough. My brain automatically

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

finally tried yoga. It’s not that I have not known about yoga, or that I object to yoga in any way. My reluctance has been the number of times yoga has been suggested. Mostly my sister, many times it has been Becky, and once . . . a Judge encouraged me to consider yoga. Instead of realizing these folks want me to experience something calming and beautiful, I concluded they all think I am a nervous ball of atrophied-muscle psychoses. went to my lawyer stand-by response to “warnings” about “tough situations”, and I thought Bless her heart, she thinks she can scare me. It was GAME ON. Or, I should say it was yoga GAME ON. Or, I guess I should say it was yoga GAME OM. Whatever. It started deceptively simply. And then a few minutes later I got stuck. Seriously, this lady had me twist until my leg was folded up under me at a weird angle. She told me the weird angle was not quite weird enough, as my goal was to bend my leg so my shin would be parallel with the top edge of my mat. I was not at all certain I would be able to unfold myself and get back right, or stand up straight, or be able to sit at a desk, or even stand in court and argue. Ever again. Somehow, I was able to unfold my parallel leg and move on to the next yoga phase. This phase is called People May Say Bad Words

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Now. The lady beside me said a few bad words, sort of loudly, and I was embarrassed for her. I pitied her and her lack of yoga manners. But just as I had mentally banned her to second rate yoga-placement (thus elevating myself) I heard the teacher tell her “it’s ok if you need to say that bad word.” Then the yoga lady said some other surprising things: Be yourself. Just do the best you can. You are safe here. She also said: The Greatest Prayer is Patience. This reminded me of my mother, who used to have a sign over the sink that said “Lord, give me patience. But hurry.” I don’t think yoga lady was talking about patience with our children, patience with our co-workers, patience with the cloyingly nice checkout people at the grocery store, or patience with our electronics. She might be talking about being patient with ourselves. This yoga place might be somewhere to go and stop the ticker tape of conversations run-

ning through our heads, one place where the To-Do list is left in the car (maybe even the cell phone too). This might be one place where we finally forgive ourselves for sometimes getting stuck and saying our favorite bad words. When it was almost over, the yoga lady passed out chilled damp cloths that smelled like lavender. We placed them over our closed eyes. We rested on our mats, cloths over our eyes, and knees bent over pretty pillows. And just as the ticker-tape-to-do-list started up again in my head, I felt yoga lady at my toes. Yoga lady unclenched the balls of my feet with her hands, pulled my legs down to a more restful spot, and reminded me to relax. I had not even realized the To-Do list had begun running again. I did not know my toes were clinched. Now I know why she calls it your yoga practice. Patience with ourselves must take practice.

Let’s Talk

Modern Southern Style Meets Classic Racing by Amy Pittsenbarger


he Carolina Cup Racing Association, in Camden, SC, perfectly blends entertainment and service to community. It is the nonprofit organization that coordinates the Carolina and Colonial Cup Races. The Association also maintains 600 acres of land that are used as a year-round training facility. A board of directors runs the Association and their main objective is to “give net profits to local health providers, namely KershawHealth, which just celebrated its 100 anniversary,” says Teri Leigh Teed, Assistant Director of the Carolina Cup Racing Association. South Carolina is home to worldclass racing. The reason behind this lies a century back, explains Teed. “Camden and the surrounding areas were infiltrated by wealthy north-easterners…who liked the beautiful natural surroundings.” The winter colonies in Camden, established by these northerners, soon “became a circuit of race meets”. Today the horses that run the annual races come from up and down the east coast. “Horse racing,” Teed explains, “is divided into flat and steeplechase racing. Flat racing is only for thoroughbreds, a breed of horses descended from Arab countries.” The events held by the Association are divided into one flat race and five steeplechase races. Steeplechase racing stem from the early 18th century racing

traditions of England and Ireland. At that time, riders raced between church steeples and jumped over a variety of hurdles. The Carolina Cup is the largest of the Association’s events. Every year, the race has 65,000-70,000 attendees and is “known for its festive atmosphere.” The race is typically held on a Saturday, usually the last weekend in March, and was established in 1930 with the help of Ernest Woodward (owner of the Jell-O Corporation). His goal was to “bring [locals] out into the good spring weather,” says Teed. Next year’s race will mark the 82nd running of the Cup. The Colonial Cup, scheduled for November 23, 2013, is the second of the Association’s annual events.

The average number of attendees is 15,000 and there are “typically a lot of locals,” says Teed. “The main demographic of people come from about an hour away.” For the past four years, the Association has been inviting military members and their families as a way to “give back”—3,000 complimentary general tickets and 500 reserved in field tickets were all given away. “It’s a real pleasure…it brings in families that have never been here,” says Teed. The in-field of the track is also a children-centered area, complete with pony rides, a carousel, and starting this year, live music. Organizations such as the American Legion, Blue Star Moms and the National Guard come out each year to raise awareness and funds.

Likewise every year, around 30 parking spaces are available for charitable organizations to hold silent auctions, the profits of which go back into the community. The Ronald McDonald house also holds an annual banner-signing event on the in-field. In past years, the banner has been sent to local military units based overseas. If you are interested in learning more about the Association and supporting an organization that gives back to the community, call them at (803) 432-6513 or visit online at This one is really good but you should add more of your own flare to it like you have in the other ones!

Let’s Talk


confess. I have an obsession. My name is Melissa Pelkey-Hass, and I am a foodie. I am super excited to have been asked to write this column for y’all about my passion, cooking and FOOD! We’re going to have a great time together discussing everything from planning and preparation of 30 minute weeknight meals to elaborate, five and seven course weekend dinner parties. We’re going to make romantic meals for two and meals that can feed a family of five. We will discuss football season and sports parties in GREAT detail as that is one of my personal favorite subjects, and then to baby and bridal showers and beyond! We’re going to learn what items are budget friendly, where you can skimp and where you should…ahem…not. We will talk about health friendly foods and their benefits to decadent desserts and how you can grow a pallet garden in a very limited space. We’ll even discuss how to can foods from your garden with recipes like Mama’s Chow Chow to Bread and Butter pickles. After all that, we’ll all sit a spell and have a picnic! I’ll tell you all about my Mr. Hass Sweet and his take on my kitchen shenanigans, to virtually inviting you to our dinner parties, celebrations and dinners out on the town. We’re going to explore ideas for fresh and funky breakfasts, amazing appetizers to wow your most special guests, innovative entrees, homemade breads and butters, herbs and spices, spunky sides, and easy crock pot meals! PIES! CAKES! COOKIES, COBBLERS, and ICE CREAM OH MY! Some days we’ll be New York Classy and other days, downhome, Southern and sassy! You name it; I love it all! No topics are off limits here! Since this column is a two way street and ALL about US, I would LOVE to hear from you! What would like to see featured? What is of interest to you when it comes to meals, planning and preparation? How about 30 minute meals, health conscious recipes, how to repurpose leftovers into brand new meals your family won’t recognize from the night before? Is there something that no one seems to address, and are there things you are just really tired of reading? I want to hear it all! I also want to hear when you’ve tried a recipe, all trials, tribulations and triumphs as TRUST ME, I’ve experienced them ALL from fallen cakes (that make great trifles!) to pots spot welded to the stove! Your stories are safe with me. You can email me at any time with questions or “how tos” and I’ll respond throughout the day. You can even email me a list of what’s in your fridge and pantry and I’ll help you figure out dinner! So are you ready to come along with me? Let’s get our mixing bowls, whisks and Kitchen Aid mixers ready….this is going to be a fun ride and there’s always a place at the table for YOU! Let’s start…NOW!


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About MUNCHIES and MEN! by Melissa Pelkey-Hass

Since I am all about order and beginning at the beginning, let’s do just that! After a long day at the office, my husband Keith, affectionately known as my Hass Sweet, really enjoys sitting on the back deck and watching the sun set with a nice glass of wine, a cold beer or aperitif, and gorgeous tray of antipasto (mostly Mediterranean style marinated veggies and cheeses), charcuterie (smoked meats tray), canapés (small slices of breads with toppings), finger foods, hors d’ouevres or just plain munchies! No matter what you choose, or what you call it, it’s a great way to unwind, relax and discuss the day. Not to mention they are super fun to prepare! They can be as fancy or as simple as you like. I love small bites and the following items fit the bill. They also serve as the beginnings of a great picnic! All of these items can be found in your local deli or specialty foods stores. I encourage you to add one or two things to your tray you’ve never tried. You may find a new favorite! Always serve a small side of really good balsamic vinegar, seasoned olive oil, honey and a dab of jam or fruit preserves. And always include at least one dip. I usually spend time over the weekend cutting extra veggies, fruits and cheese, and making extra dips, so in the evening, I can just grab them from the fridge, and arrange on the plate. Voila! Hass used to think I was a magician pulling these beautiful trays off so quickly. Now we live together. So much for kitchen magic! Although…I can still pull off a few surprises. ;) TIP: Make the investment in a really good, high quality balsamic. You will NOT be sorry. It is great drizzled on hard cheeses, vegetables, tomatoes and meats.


• Olives, black and green (My personal favorites are blue cheese stuffed green olives and Mediterranean Olive Blends) • Anchovies • Sliced sausage • Peppers  • Artichoke hearts • Caper Berries • Prosciutto wrapped mozzarella • Various mix of hard and soft cheeses • Smoked Meats, Salami, Turkey, Prosciutto, Capicola, Sopressata • Okra Pickles • Jerkins or Cornichons • Small breads • Variety of Crackers • Hummus • Spinach Artichoke Dip • Smoked Salmon or Smoked Salmon Dip • Fresh Crudite • Fresh Fruit

DIP: Baked Brie with Sun Dried Tomatoes on Rosemary Olive Oil Bread Ingredients:  

• 8 oz package Brie cheese • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced • 1 tsp fresh rosemary • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper • Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (You can make your own or this can be found in Publix bakeries. If you cannot locate the bread, baguettes will work just fine.)


Remove the rind from the Brie and cut into chunks. Stir together garlic, rosemary, tomatoes and black pepper. Layer cheese, then topping in an oven proof casserole or black iron skillet. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes. Stir once after ten minutes and place back in oven. When the brie is melted and you have a toasted top, remove from oven and serve with bread.


Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

Our goal is to achieve mental and physical wellness through our combination of Alternative therapies with traditional Occupational Therapy.


Pediatric Therapy

Aquatic Therapy

Underwater Treadmill

Reiki Treatment


• Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy • Sports Physical Therapy • Reiki Therapy/Meditation • Pediatric Therapy • Aqua Therapy • Myofascial Release Treatment and Craniosacral Therapy • Work Reconditioning • TMJ Therapy

Hima N. Dalal

Occupational Therapist • Reiki and Myofascial Release Consultant • Fibromyalgia Consultant

Main Location:

163 Charter Oak Road Lexington, SC 29072

FM/CFS Support Group Meets Monthly

• Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome • Chronic/Acute Pain • Migraine Headache Treatment • Yoga/Personal Fitness • Neuro/Ortho Injury Rehab • Scoliosis Rehab • Rheumatoid/Osteoarthritis Therapy • Hand Therapy • Cancer Rehab

NEW Location: 450 Killian Road Columbia, SC 29203

Satellite Location:

Inside Gold’s Gym - Forest Acres 4114 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29206

VOL 2, NO 4





NO 3








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Don’t miss our Fall issue – coming soon!

9 months and 34 minutes

of a Purpose

Filled Life Meet the Poston Family

Caregivers, we can help. When you can’t do it alone, let BeWell Home Services’ caregivers help you continue care at home. Faith Based, Non Profit, Non-Medical Home Care • Companionship & supervision • Assistance with personal care • EEOICPA benefits provider


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Aiken 803.643.4220 Lowcountry 843.377.4663 Midlands 803.251.4663 Spartanburg 864.804.5910 Upstate 864.334.4663

• Transportation • Medication reminders


Spinach Salad

{Makes 8 servings}


• 6 oz salmon filet • 8 cups chopped spinach • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes • 1 large avocado, sliced • 1/3 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


• 3 tbsp white wine vinegar • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste On both sides of salmon filet, drizzle olive oil and cover with your preferred seasoning. Pan sear to blacken. Once cooked, cut salmon in one inch strips. In a large bowl, mix spinach, salmon strips, tomatoes, sliced avocado, cheese and nuts. Mix the dressing in a separate bowl, and drizzle over salad. Toss to coat salad evenly.

HEALTH FACTS Per serving: 165 calories 13g fat 5.3g carbohydrates 2.75g fiber 8.5g protein 125mg sodium


Live Life to the FULLEST –

Meet Your Highest Potential by Suzy Shay

photo by Robert Patrick Image Design


Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

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hen your life is thrown off track due to chronic pain, no energy, trauma, medical illness, or injury, slowly impairing your ability to function with daily life (ADLs, homemaking, work, play), and impairs your thinking ability; your entire world can be affected (i.e., career, family, finances, self-worth). With Vital Energy Occupational Therapy and Wellness Center’s comprehensive approach, will aid in working with your strengths and learning new skills to optimize your functioning to the fullest with Vital Energy’s CAM Therapy.

Mind, Body, Spirit – Total Health and Well-Being At Vital Energy we are all about mind, body and spirit. Our building is eco-friendly and welcoming. The first thing you see as you drive into Vital Energy is our waterfall fountain, providing a sense of serenity and calm. As you enter our facility, you are greeted with colors that were specially selected for their soothing and warm feel. At Vital Energy we work on healing you from the inside out, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

FOR YOUR BODY: We treat your physical body through our services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and aquatic therapy. We also treat fibromyalgia/ chronic/acute pain, migraine headaches, cervical/shoulder/back pain, arthritis/osteoarthritis/ rheumatoid arthritis, orthopedic injuries, sports injuries, work injuries, scoliosis rehab, cancer rehab, and neurological/neuromuscular impairments. Pediatric patients we treat can have diagnoses such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy, autism, physical dysfunction, ADHD, writing disorders, and torticolis. Our alternative / complementary therapy services consist of myofascial release treatment, craniosacral therapy, muscle energy treatment, lymphedema therapy, massage therapy, and meditation/relaxation (mindfulness) techniques.

We will make you feel right at home so you can relax and concentrate on healing.

The harmony which exists between the environment and staff of Vital Energy aids in reducing stress and anxiety levels. We have strived to create a family atmosphere which we share with our patients. We will make you feel right at home so you can relax and concentrate on healing.

FOR YOUR MIND: The staff at Vital Energy will help motivate you to have a positive approach toward your symptoms and an inner desire to be healed. Your emotions play an integral part in your physical healing. Any diagnosis begins within your emotional body (state of mind), surfacing as negative emotions, thoughts or impressions. These negative emotions create and imprint in our conscious mind as pain or discomfort. We will help strengthen your intrinsic desire for healing. As your physical body becomes stronger, more flexible, and simply healthier, your mind cannot help but follow.


When our emotions are negative in nature or our mind is bombarded with worrying thoughts, our health can become compromised. At Vital Energy, as you begin to heal your physical body, your stress and anxiety levels will decrease and your mind becomes at peace. This peace of mind results in your spirit being cleansed of the negative energy within you due to your physical ailment. Here we teach you to focus on healing and not focus on what is hurting in your body. This change in focus allows the “good feelings” to surface as your body heals. What we have created here at Vital Energy is focused on the whole well-being of the individual. Your environment can help keep you calm. Rooms take on positive energy when cooling, yet warming colors are used in conjunction with soft meditative music and ambient lighting. These things combined with professional therapists work together to provide the most tranquil atmosphere for healing and rejuvenation.


Health & Wellness


SLEEP WELLNESS by Steven Lanham, DDS


he importance of sleep to physical health has been a fundamental tenet of common medical knowledge for centuries. Sleep allows our bodies to relax, rejuvenate, and dream, permitting the mind to work on a subconscious level, solving problems and preparing for the coming day. While we sleep our bodies burn calories, create vital nutrients and hormones, and perform complex chemical processes that keep our bodies internally balanced, or in homeostasis.


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Health & Wellness However, as a result of what has become the norm in American society – a much busier life – the healthy sleep of many adults and children is often compromised. This lack of sleep in large percentages of the population is causing widespread concern with the medical and dental communities all over the United States – and it’s about time! More awareness to sleep concerns is coming to the forefront because of articles on sleep in popular magazines and news telecasts. A recent special report on sleep was presented on the cable news station CNN, narrated by medical expert Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Also, sleep articles have appeared in Newsweek, US News and Time, and many more. We know sleep is important. The physical and mental manifestations of lack of sleep, such as weight gain, hormonal imbalances, headaches, inability to concentrate and even depression are becoming more and more commonplace.

Sleep Total Wellness Nutrition

spouses report their bed-partner snores loudly, yet only 5% of their counterparts even admit that they do. This is alarming, because whether it stems from denial or ignorance, the end result is anything but bliss. Research shows, some sleep deprivation can be psychological (mental stresses at work, in relationships, or in family life). However, there is a serious physiological cause of lack of sleep that exists as well, it’s called an airway obstruction. An airway obstruction at night results in what health care practitioners call sleep disordered breathing. Everyone is at risk, and snoring is an alert call which can signal a much greater problem.

According to a poll in USA Today, 45% of spouses report their bed-partner snores loudly, yet only 5% of their counterparts even admit that they do.

Snoring, sleep disordered breathing, and obstructive sleep apnea are all major health concerns and possibly the number one health risk in America today. A common sign or symptoms of sleep disordered breathing is snoringwhich some people ignore or are embarrassed to talk about. Loud snoring takes an intolerable toll on a persons health, and not only on the individual, but on the bed-partner as well. According to a poll in USA Today, 45% of

A severe airway condition, called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a commonly undiagnosed disorder, and in many cases fatal when not treated. It is estimated that 70% of loud snoring is indicative of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Proven treatments for sleep apnea include a pressurized breathing mask (CPAP), the “gold standard” since 1981 of treating this condition, and Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) which is an oral device fabricated by trained dentists to advance the mandible (the lower jaw) to prevent the tongue from falling back and blocking the airway during sleep. Orthognathic surgery


to advance the mandible is 95% effective in treating this condition in appropriate patients. Some airway surgeries that remove excessive tissue blocking the airway can also be effective. Weight control is always a concern and 50% of OSA can be related to obesity - but that is only half, the others could be petite women and children as well. Untreated sleep apnea carries significant medical risks and is documented to reduce life expectancy between eight to ten years. Some of these medical conditions include hypertension, diabetes, depression, erectile dysfunction, and decreased oxygen desaturations which often accompany OSA, have been related to the increase in Alzheimer’s and some forms of cancer. Many times, medical history and dental exams will reveal signs and symptoms of this condition such as; high blood pressure, morning headaches, tooth abstractions, a coated tongue (can be indicative of acid reflux) or a scalloped border to the lateral border of tongue. Also enlarged tonsils and an elongated uvula also can cause narrowing of the airway. The real “heart” of the matter is if you, or one of your loved ones are one of the many Americans who desperately need better sleep wellness, or believe you may have a sleep disordered breathing issue, please seek treatment before sleep apnea can cause its damage, and make you a part of this ever increasing statistic.


We Care. You Relax.

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Health & Wellness

RETIREMENT LUXURIES — Life Never Looked This Good

by Amy Pittsenbarger


estled along the Congaree River, just across from downtown Columbia, South Carolina is Laurel Crest, a retirement community that offers a whole host of lovely amenities and services. Laurel Crest is currently home to approximately 120 residents, aged 62 and older, and has something to offer for everyone. “Laurel Crest is what we like to call resort style living,” says Amanda Mahan, Director of Sales & Marketing. It certainly is resort style, down to the freshly prepared multi-course meals (where can we sign up?) Everything at Laurel Crest is housed under one roof, with the exception of eight residential cottages set slightly apart from the main building. Each resident has a designated parking place, so you never have to worry about fighting for that perfect spot again. Transportation is also available through the community, which goes into the Columbia metropolitan area on a posted schedule, as well as to special events such as South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra concerts. There are plenty of events and activities offered within Laurel Crest’s community too. Every month, the Community Life Services team organizes events ranging from author book signings and crafting workshops to musical performances and speakers on local history.

Laurel Crest offers both apartment and cottage homes, depending on the needs of the resident. Both the apartments and the cottages are equipped with full kitchens, washers and dryers. The residences have been designed with modern finishes and include updated features, such as stainless steel appliances, brushed nickel fixtures and wood floors. If residents choose not to prepare their own meals, dining services prepare three meals a day, one of which is included in the cost and can be of the resident’s choosing. These meals are served in courses, tableside, from a daily menu of over 60 items! Laurel Crest aims to feel as much like a home as possible, allow-

ing residents to bring small fourlegged friends with them when they move in. There is also a beauty salon, barbershop and postal center on-site. “We want to make sure that residents are not worried

Laurel Crest aims to feel as much like a home as possible... about the responsibilities of running a house, but instead are free to do what they love,” says Mahan. Laurel Crest also wants to ensure that payment is akin to a “onestop shop”. This means that weekly housekeeping, lawn maintenance

of the cottages, and all utilities, in addition to telephone, cable, and Internet, are included in the cost. Laurel Crest is what is known as a “continuing care” retirement community, meaning that it provides for the medical needs of the residents as needs may arise. They offer assisted living as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Laurel Crest gives residents the chance to seek social interaction with their peers, to live in a vibrant and modern community, and to experience life free of the daily stresses of running a house. If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about Laurel Crest, call (803) 7960370 or visit online at


Health & Wellness

Meet DR. THOMAS EDMUNDS, the Kidney Stone Specialist


hen Townes Denemark, midlands woman, woke in the middle of the night with a gripping pain that could only be described as labor, she knew something was wrong. For starters, she wasn’t pregnant. She had unrelenting back and stomach pain, a cold sweat and was throwing up. “All I wanted to do was lie on the cold tile floor,” Denemark said. Her husband rushed her to the Emergency Department where she was X-rayed and diagnosed with kidney stones. “The ER doctor had a history of kidney stones himself and immediately recognized the pain I was in. He gave me pain meds and sent me home to wait for the stones to pass.” Kidney stones are as common as sweet tea during summer months. Area urologist, Thomas B. Edmunds of Capitol Urology and Columbia native, says Columbia is in the “stone belt.” With our famously hot summers people get dehydrated and reach for sweet tea and soft drinks over drinking water. A low fluid intake and a diet of refined sugars and caffeine can


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stones, Edmunds said. “Risk factors are dehydration, high animal protein intake, high oxalate intake, some kidney diseases and hyperparathyroidism.” There may also a genetic component.

With our famously hot summers people get dehydrated and reach for sweet tea and soft drinks over drinking water.

Denemark admittedly says she used to drink a lot of Coke. “I was the worst about drinking water and staying hydrated. The doctor told me sugar and caffeine put me at risk, so I drink more water and less caffeine now.” Still, Denemark endured a second bout of stones about ten years after the first. The symptoms were similar. “I thought I had a stomach bug,” she said. “I was white as a sheet, doubled over in pain, throwing up. My back hurt so bad and I couldn’t get comfortable.”

contribute to the onset of kidney stones. High salt intake, obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome are all associated with kidney

Midlands woman, Kelly Cannon, can relate. She had her first kidney stones in 2003 and has had them six or seven times since. “I’m a hairdresser and on my feet all day, so initially I thought the

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Meet Dr. Thomas Edmunds PRACTICE: Capitol Urology, PA 1333 Taylor Street Suite 2-B Columbia, SC 29201 803-251-6602 Virginia Shealy, PA SCHOOL: Hammond, Davidson College, MUSC, State University of New York SPECIALIZING: in kidney stones, no-scalpel vasectomies, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, and treatment of prostate enlargement (BPH), kidney masses, and testicular masses FAMILY: wife Meg and 3 children, 2 dogs and 3 cats

Thomas B. Edmunds, M.D.

Health & Wellness pain was from work. It started as normal and achy and progressed to ‘something’s wrong;’ I started throwing up from the pain.” Each time Cannon has experienced kidney stones, the onset has been the same. “All of a sudden you get this pain in your back, a really deep throbbing pain, right where your kidneys are.” Unlike Denemark, Cannon does drink a lot of water and she doesn’t drink a lot of soft drinks or sweet tea. “No one in my family has ever had stones. Dr Edmunds’ office gave me information on diet and drinking fluids, so I try to avoid foods with high oxalate levels, like peanuts.” Other foods high in oxalate include leafy green vegetables, berries, tea, dark soda, coffee and chocolate. According to Edmunds, “if a patient has a stone, there is a 50% chance they’ll have another in five years; 65% chance they’ll have another in ten years. Ninety percent of the time, I can figure out the etiology of a patient’s stone formation.” Denemark and Cannon’s symptoms were very common – horrible flank pain, nausea and vomiting with acute onset. Edmunds also noted there could be

blood in the urine about 90% of the time. “Symptoms are similar in women and men, though women as a rule tolerate pain better.” Diagnosing kidney stones can be based on clinical suspicion and confirmed with a non-contrasted CT. “CT is the gold standard. I order a low-radiation dose protocol that is 99% sensitive. Palmetto Imaging is the fastest group that I work with. They usually have immediate work-ins and have phenomenal radiologists,” Edmunds said. Palmetto Imaging has three locations in the midlands - Downtown, West Columbia and Irmo. CT scheduling can be same-day and prices are 40-60% less than area hospitals, even for patients with insurance. “Palmetto Imaging provides expert care at their facilities and the radiologist calls my cell phone to give me the report. They are faster than the hospital and less expensive,” Edmunds said. Dr. Edmunds referred Cannon to Palmetto Imaging last summer where a CT of the abdomen and pelvis diagnosed a 6mm stone. “They sent me straight over (to Palmetto Imaging) from Dr. Ed-

If a patient has a stone, there is a 50% chance they’ll have another in five years; 65% chance they’ll have another in ten years. mund’s office. There wasn’t a long wait and I felt like it was more personal than the hospital. The front staff was friendly and the techs answered all my questions. I would definitely go back.” Cannon was scheduled for surgery, but ended up passing the stone on her own. Treatment for kidney stones can be a waiting game or may involve surgery. Denemark, mother of two, has experienced both. “The only way to compare the pain is being 7cm dilated without pain medicine. The difference is, with pregnancy you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. With kidney stones you have to wait to pass them, which can take days or even weeks.”

“If a stone is small, I utilize expulsive therapy via medication and try and let the patient pass them,” Edmunds said. “I’ll give them two to three weeks unless the kidney is severely blocked or if there is infection associated with it.” For stones greater than 5mm, minimally invasive surgery with tiny scopes and lasers can access the whole urinary system. Edmunds also utilizes ESWL, which is focused sound waves that break up the stone in the kidney. Virtually all these procedures are done as outpatient and same day surgery is usually available. Ask anyone who has experienced them and they’ll agree kidney stones can be as painful as child birth. Denemark concluded, “I would rather have ten more babies than have another kidney stone. I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.” If you doctor suspects that you have kidney stones and orders a CT, know that you, the patient, have the choice for imaging. Palmetto Imaging is a local outpatient diagnostic imaging facility that offers quality imaging at an affordable price.


Know the GLOW by Beth McCrary

photos by Clark Berry Photography


Real Women Midlands 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

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Survivor in You!


ooking back at photographs of their boys, Jayme and Jeff Porter of Lexington wish they had known. They wish they had known that the white glow reflected by a camera flash in their son’s eye was a sign of a serious eye disease. Not until both of their young sons were diagnosed with retinoblastoma eye cancer were they able to look back and see the glow.

At first Jayme and Jeff thought their youngest son had a lazy eye. They mentioned to Jamison’s pediatrician at his 9 month well check-up that his left eyed drifted out. They were told to bring it up again at his 12 month well check-up if they still noticed it. Three months later his left eye was considerably worse and Jamison was referred to a local pediatric ophthalmologist. Dr. Cheeseman of University Specialty Clinics immediately ordered a CT scan and ultrasound for the next morning. In order to be scheduled for an early morning scan, Jamison had to be inpatient and was admitted for his first of many hospital stays. On November 11, 2010, the Porters received the devastating diagnosis of bilateral retinoblastoma for their 14 month old son. Retinoblastoma is the most common type of eye cancer in kids and can be life-threatening to the retina within the back of the eye. It is generally diagnosed in babies age 4-24 months, although it can be found at earlier or later ages. Three days later the Porters were on a plane to Philadelphia for a new patient appointment with Dr. Carol Shields, the ocular oncologist of Shields and Shields at Wills Eye Hospital. Dr. Shields confirmed the diagnosis of retinoblastoma and sent Jamison to his first appointment with Dr. Ann-Marie Leahey, an oncologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Jamie recalls discussing chemotherapy options with Dr. Leahey just 5 days after learning her son had cancer. The stage of advancement of the cancer would determine how aggressive the chemo would be. “The first goal is to save the life, then the eyes, then the vision.” Jamison had his first of 13 examinations under anesthesia (EUA) and received his first round of chemo on November 17th. He also received cryotherapy and laser therapy, freezing and heating during the EUA. His regimen of chemotherapy drugs

They wish they had known that the white glow reflected by a camera flash in their son’s eye was a sign of a serious eye disease. included Vincristine, Carboplatin, and Etoposide which he received once a month for six months on the Wednesdays and Thursdays after his EUA’s. That first week after learning their child had cancer remains a blur to Jayme and Jeff. It was filled with various appointments every day, Monday through Friday, that included blood draws and collecting saliva samples from both Jayme and Jeff to complete genetic testing. Several months later, April 13, 2011 proved to be a bittersweet day for the Porters. They were given the news that Jamison was now stable after 5 months of treatment, but they were also told that his cancer was hereditary and that Jeff was a silent carrier of the mutation with no fam-

ily history. Due to the knowledge of the genetic mutation, there was a 50% chance of their older son Cole having the mutation. Previous local eye exams for Cole had been clear, but Jayme and Jeff had to know if Cole, like his younger brother, had retinoblastoma. Genetic testing revealed that Cole did have the mutation and he was scheduled to have a EUA along with Jamison on September 12, 2011. Cole’s new patient appointment with Dr. Shields was difficult and emotional as he was 3 ½ and knew words. Examination of his right eye was clear, but Dr. Shields saw a small lesion on the left eye. At first the Porters were told Cole would not require chemo and were heartbroken to later be told it would be the best treatment option since he had the genetic mutation.


Celebrating the

Survivor in You! Having seen the effects of chemo on Jamison, the Porters were relieved that Cole’s treatment would be less aggressive due to the staging of the cancer. Cole received chemo once a month for six months and handled it much better than Jamison, although he now has a few longterm side effects. The Porters received wonderful news that Cole’s tumor was stable in November of 2011. He completed his chemo on February 2, 2012. Since their journey with retinoblastoma cancer began, the Porter boys have traveled to Children’s

For most of their young lives, battling cancer is all that Cole, age 5 and Jamison, age 3 have known. Hospital in Philadelphia a combined total of 13 times to receive examinations under anesthesia and their chemotherapy regimens. With retinoblastoma, they will not be considered to be cured or in remission for many years out. The chance for reoccurrence is high, so for now they are stable. Also, due to the mutation they have, they are at a higher risk for secondary cancers. They are both currently on a every 5th month follow up schedule for MRI’s and EUA’s. For most of their young lives, battling cancer is all that Cole, age 5 and Jamison, age 3 have known. Jayme and Jeff openly discuss their cancer with them in order to prepare them for their futures. “They need to know to always protect themselves from the sun and to let us know if they are feeling bad or if something is bothering them.” Despite all they have been through,


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they are typical little boys. They love trains, animals and playing outside. Cole just completed 4 year old kindergarten at Rocky Creek Elementary School and Jamison is enrolled to attend there in the fall. Both boys have Individualized Education Plans in place due to their cancer. Cole’s is related to the side effects of chemo and Jamison’s is because of his low vision. “Their battle is still on-going, but they appear to be healthy, so their battle is only known if we share what they have been through.” Family members fighting cancer has been a part of Jayme and Jeff ’s life since the day they were married in the cancer unit of St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, SC. They moved up their original wedding date from May of 2006 to December 23, 2005 so that Jeff ’s mother could see them get married. Jayme also knows firsthand what it’s like to live with a chronic disease. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 14 and is continuing to learn how to balance her own care with that of her two young sons. Jayme Porter‘s personal goal is for everyone to “Know the Glow”. Parents need to know to take pictures of their young children in low light with a flash, with a real camera and with the red eye turned off. Childhood cancer is scary, so it is important to be proactive and be aware of changes in our children. As parents, we must trust our instincts and remember the earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis. The Porters help raise awareness of retinoblastoma through volunteering for TKE – Through Kyle’s Eyes Foundation. Visit for more information.

Beth McCrary is a freelance writer living in Lexington, SC. She shares the Porters passion for advocacy for their children’s health and well-being.

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A Personal Note


think I will change the title of this article to “Update on the Duncan Children.” Thank you for giving me a voice to emote about my everyday life. I hope this page in Midlands Woman Magazine assures you my life is just as busy and sometimes stressful as yours, but there is always time to take a few moments and be grateful for all that we have been entrusted with — especially our children. Trey finished his Junior year at WKHS. He is looking at colleges and has spent a week of his summer at Palmetto Boys State. He came home with a desire to make a difference in the state of South Carolina. I am so proud of all his accomplishments in the past three years. I would list them here, but you would think I was bragging — and I would be. It is hard to not be proud as a parent when your children make the right choices. Recently he led the music for our praise and worship team at church. It is a blessing to see him growing in his faith as he becomes a man. He is loved. Proud, yes, but I am also humbled every time I start to think on the goodness of God and how He has brought us so many blessings in the form of each of our children. Abby and I have grown closer as she gets older. Sometimes her wisdom for a young woman astounds me. I look back at pictures of myself when I was younger and I think, “Why didn’t I appreciate the woman I was at twenty? She wasn’t so bad. She certainly didn’t have some of my current flaws… Her eyes were bright, she was always positive, and though she wasn’t perfect, she was pretty ok.” I want to give that to Abby. I want to teach her not to be too hard on herself now. Just enjoy who you are in this moment. Life will take you places you don’t want to or even mean to go, and those things will change you, some of those roads will make you wiser… some more appreciative… some a little distrustful… but all of them will make you the woman God intended for you to become someday if you allow Him. I hope she knows how I love the young woman she has become and is becoming. Colton the encourager is strong and independent. I have said this to you before. He was my easiest pregnancy and the easiest delivery. He has a mind of his own and there is no changing it. He has a deep rooted love of his father. I watch the way he looks at my husband and I think, I hope he always looks at his dad that way. A wise man once said to me, “Children always have their mothers and mothers have their children, but children belong to their fathers.” Blessed are the children who have good fathers. Colton has a strong constant faith and the world is simple to him. You don’t buy things you already have. You don’t change routines and plans unless you are vacationing or having company. He has rules that he lives by. He is learning to make choices. I am so pleased those choices are governed by his sense of right and wrong. He is kind to everyone and very accepting of new friends. He is bothered by injustice in any form. I remember when he learned about slavery at school. He came home outraged. He

said, “Mom, did you know people used to be treated differently based on the color of their skin?” What a wonderful gift to have been ignorant to the prejudices of the world until a history lesson. Every fiber of my being tells me my son Colton will be a family man. “Colton, do you know how much I love you?” Ryan is my cuddle bunny. He is my long legged six year old who Dr. Reynolds says will probably be the tallest Duncan boy. He still wants “cuddle time” every day. I thank God for giving me a little one who still loves to be held. Ryan isn’t afraid to make friends from complete strangers at a park or wear something other kids might not be wearing yet. His name means “little King” and I may have made the mistake of telling him this a few years ago. Trust me when I tell you he believes in his birthright. There is a kindness in Ryan. From the time he was only four he has talked about having a family one day and being a dad. He loves to laugh and his big brother Colton is his best friend. He has helped me see the world in a different light. He was never supposed to live past a few hours. They scheduled me for genetic counseling and a level two ultrasound, but God had other plans for the Duncan household. I am so thankful that even tests are wrong sometimes. He graduated kindergarten this year and is ready for first grade. I am not sure I am. I asked him recently, “Ryan, do you know that I love you?” “Yes.” He answered very matter of factly. “How do you know?” I asked. I am always intrigued by the way his mind thinks. “Because you smile every time you look at me.” Oh joy! My prayer today is that I smile every time I look at each of them. That no matter what life is throwing at me with both barrels I can see the face of my children, and affirm that they are loved. After all, according to Ryan, it only takes a smile. Who will you smile at today?

God Bless,

Lori Samples Duncan

We love because he first loved us. —1 John 4:19


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