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october 2011


introducing rwm’s petpalooza



helping women fight back get and RWM makeover

new 3d mammography

the women of bccr :: october 2011

w w w. r o c h e s t e rwo m a n m ag . c o m


Turn your stress around. Readers’ Choice Awards Winner –




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contents ETC


platter cHatter: horizons restaurant


fasHion forward


leading women: love leads the way


Fabulous finds: just think pink



for a Good cause: gildas club


healthy woman


RWM Makeovers


queen of arts: teaching dance



in her own words: as if it was yesterday


special feature: ewbc’s 3d mammography


entrepreneurs: it all started with a walk in the woods


Cover Story: helping women fight back



local business matters: sculpting the perfect brow


wisdom in a traffic jam


A little rwm beauty

special feature: dont wait to get your breasts checked

xx 59





gardening diva


main event


rochester women inspire

world of women sports

75 4 october 2011 ::


Say What?


RWM’s Petpalooza extra


Style. Quality. Comfort.

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Experience the Ontario Honda Difference.

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Kelly Breuer Barbara McSpadden


Barbara McSpadden

Creative DIRECTOR Kelly Breuer

Graphic Designer Jessica Bates Melissa Meritt Emma Tang

Letter from the PUBLISHERS


Last year as we were putting together our October issue of RWM, we decided to start a new column called “In Her Own Words.” This is where local woman can talk about personal life experiences, both good and bad, to our audience. We felt that it was a perfect time to launch the column, and we also knew the perfect person to write our very first one — Eve StrellaRibson.

Contributing Writers

“Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance” — Garth Brooks, The Dance

Eve was a friend of the magazine from the very start, and we had been talking to her about her new book Moments of Truth, Gifts of Love which was soon to be published. When we approached Eve about writing the piece, she was excited to tell her story...her journey. Her column was entitled “ I Want My Life Back” in which she provided a very frank and honest account of her struggles and triumphs over the disease that had become her life and how she didn’t want it to define her. We mention all of this because in July, Eve Strella-Ribson finally lost her long battle with cancer. Through it all, Eve was the embodiment of bravery, courage and a genuine love for life. No matter how often we spoke to Eve she always had a positive attitude and great sense of humor, even when she had just undergone a round of chemo or was sick for the past week from all of its side effects. Eve was not just a friend to us, but a true inspiration to everyone that crossed her path. She will be truly missed. This issue is filled with many stories like Eve’s. Filled with strength and inspiration, and of women who have either overcome their struggle with this terrible disease, or are still on their journey. In this edition, we also feature stories about new technology that helps in early detection, such as EWBC’s 3D Mammography which provides a clearer image of the breast for better diagnosis. We dedicate this issue to Eve Strella-Ribson, Nora Bredes and all of the other spectacular local women who have lost their brave battles with Cancer in the past year. Let’s all take a moment to remember them and the effect they had on our lives. In this issue, we are also featuring our brand new addition to the family, RWM’s Petpalooza Extra. This section is dedicated to our furry and feathered friends alike. We will run this special section 6x per year within the pages of Rochester Woman Magazine. This month’s issue features cat lover, WHAM’s Beth Adams on the inaugural cover. We are also excited to have an exclusive interview with Cesar Millan, National Geographic’s The Dog Whisperer. Cesar has another passion besides the story to find out what it is. Plus, you can meet Layla, the adorable Newfoundland puppy that won our Facebook photo contest. So, as the days get shorter, and the leaves begin to turn, let’s all go out and enjoy life and the the beautiful fall days ahead.

Kell y & Barb On Our Cover...

Shear Ego and The Shear Ego International School provided the hair and make-up for the magnificent women behind the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester on our cover for our October Breast Cancer awareness edition.

6 october 2011 ::

Brandon Vick Linda Hayes Lizz Comstock Michelle Macirella

Sarah Jane Clifford Alison Currie Stamatia Destounis, M.D. Frances Grossman John Hutchings Michelle Inclema Tracy Kroft Joan E. Lincoln Marilyn Ling, MD Angella Luyk Jennifer Magar Michelle Macirella Caurie Miner Putnam Jillain Salomone Nicole Shein

Advertising Sales Scott Doe Jennifer Taskan

Advertise with us...

Unlike any other publication in the Rochester area, our feature articles address major topics that interest local women. Each issue includes articles on health, fashion, fitness, finance, home matters, dining, lifestyle and personal perspectives, as well as a spotlight on local Rochester women. Ads are due on the 15th of the month prior to publication. The print magazines will be distributed locally in over 300 locations and will be in your inbox electronically by the middle of every month. The publication is available free of charge.

Contact our home office

585.924.4426 10 East Main Street Suite 301 Victor, NY 14564 Download our media kit at Rochester Woman Magazine is printed locally. The magazine is published 10 times a year by InnovateHER Media Group, llc. 10 E. Main St., Suite 301, Victor, NY 14564. Copyright © 2011 InnovateHER Media Group, llc. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or republished without the consent of the publishers. Rochester Woman Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photos or artwork. All such submissions become the property of InnovateHER Media Group, llc. and will not be returned.

Etc... october movies...


Ren MacCormack is transplanted from Boston to the small southern town of Bomont. A few years prior, the community was rocked by a tragic accident that killed five teenagers after a night out. Bomont’s local councilmen and Reverend Shaw Moore responded by implementing ordinances that prohibit loud music and dancing. Ren challenges the ban, revitalizing the town and falling in love with the minister’s troubled daughter Ariel in the process.

An American scientific expedition to Antarctica makes an incredible discovery — an alien spaceship with a mysterious and sinister frozen “thing” found nearby. They decide to drill through the ice encasement, ultimately freeing the trapped organism and triggering a series of horrific incidents and attacks.



A modernized reimagining of the classic novels written by Alexandre Dumas that follow the story of a young d’Artagnan, who longs to become a great musketeer — one of the personal guards of the French crown. He encounters and befriends the contentious Athos, Porthos, and Aramis — three musketeers of legend and folly. The bumbling British spy Johnny English flushes out a spy in his follow-up assignment. He’s embroiled in a plot by a team of assassin’s to kill the Chinese premier.


Turn Your Water into Wellness — Karma Wellness Water

Walkabout halloween fun begins at the marketplace mall

The principle of karma is based on cause and effect. If you do something positive, you’ll get something positive in return. Born from this belief is Karma Wellness Water, a delicious new line of natural, nutrient-enhanced water introduced by Pittsfordbased Karma Culture LLC. The driving force behind Karma is the fact that vitamins deteriorate in water, causing premixed vitamin drinks to lose their strength over time. The supplemental information printed on most premixed vitamin drinks is based on the ingredients at the time of bottling, not at the time of consumption. “Consumers need to know that after just 90 days on a shelf, premixed drinks can have only 30 to 50 percent of their vitamins remaining, “ said CJ Rapp, CEO and Co-Founder, Karma Culture LLC. “We are bringing freshness back to the consumer, and truly transforming water into wellness — one bottle at a time.” Karma’s proprietary KarmaCap Technology uses a hermetic (airtight) seal between the cap and base to keep vitamins and other essential ingredients protected and separate from water until it’s time to drink. Karma is available in five natural varieties, each meticulously formulated to provide tangible benefits to health and wellness: “Mind” for sharper thinking; “Body” for fitness acceleration; “Spirit” for mood elevation; “Balance” for an immunity boost; and “Vitality” for healthy hydration. In addition, all varieties contain 110 percent (or more) of the recommended daily allowances of vitamins A, B3-Niacin, B5Pantothenic Acid, B6, B12, D and E.

On Sunday, October 23rd, friends and neighbors will make tracks at the Al Sigl Community WalkAbout at The Marketplace Mall in Henrietta. Each walker and roller will raise important dollars to help make a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities and special needs served by participating Member Agencies. There will be a scarecrow village in the fountain areas of the Marketplace Mall for shoppers and Al Sigl supporters to enjoy. The life-size characters, each sponsored by various businesses, will be on display through November 1st. You can view and vote for your favorite scarecrows at This year’s WalkAbout kicks off with registration at 8:30 a.m. and will feature live entertainment, crafts, treats, freebies and amusement for all ages. After check-in, walkers can enjoy a light breakfast provided by Tim Horton’s. Throughout the morning families will be treated to musical entertainment, a visit from the Wegmans ZooMobile from Seneca Park Zoo, face painting, Halloween treats and giveaways. Continuing this year, a collaboration with The Marketplace Mall, a Halloween costume contest will take place at 11 a.m. with prizes awarded in a number of different categories. The Halloween fun day continues with trick-or-treating at The Marketplace Mall from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Al Sigl Community WalkAbout’s presenting sponsor is Wendy’s with key underwriting support also from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and Wilmorite. Easy registration for WalkAbout is available at or by calling 442-4102 ext. 8944.

The Original Ladies’ Man

Begins Oct. 11 By Steven Dietz Box Office: (585) 232-4382 Buy online: Groups: (585) 232-1366 x3057

Begins November 2 in the Nextstage

“HILARIOUS” - The New York Times


at the lodge at woodcliff

by nicole shein I photos by brandon vick Fall may well be the perfect time of year to visit Horizons Restaurant, located at the Woodcliff Hotel and Spa. Its hilltop location and picture windows provide an unparalleled view of the surrounding countryside and the autumnal palette of changing leaves. Horizons’ menu of sophisticated yet familiar dishes--think rosemarycrusted rack of lamb, lobster bisque, smoked bacon polenta--seems a perfect match to sunny October days that fade into crisp, starlit nights. “Fall and winter are all about feeling good,” says Executive Chef Steve Wilkinson. “That’s when I like to get back to comfort foods, like braised meats.”

Wilkinson and his sous chef, Dan Ambron, also like to incorporate seasonal, local fruits and vegetables into Horizons’ fall menu. Apples, grapes, beets, and vibrant leafy greens like swiss chard all make an appearance, complementing fresh seafood flown in from Boston and the finest cuts of meat. A glaze made from Concords and marsala wine provides a delicate, yet unmistakably grapey flavor to figs, which are then perched atop a salad that also includes arugula, smoked blue cheese, Ginger Gold apples and candied macadamia nuts. The combination of flavors and textures here can only be described as ‘harmonious’ --no element predominates, but all of them play nicely off one another. The apples, charred on a large, flat griddle called a ‘plancha,’ are tender, as are the figs with their luxurious glaze and melted blue cheese. The macadamias offer crunch, while the peppery arugula tempers the salad’s sweetness. The Ginger Gold apples also make an appearance, this time in crisp matchstick form, in an inventive seafood dish. Sea scallops are seared to a perfect golden brown on the plancha, then plated with housemade harissa. This North African hot sauce is traditionally made from dried chiles, but Horizons’ version of harissa starts with fresh piquillo peppers. Caraway and cumin add depth, and the resulting condiment is a brilliant orange-red color with exquisitely balanced heat and flavor. The scallops’ mild sweetness shines in contrast to the spicy harissa, and a scattering of locally grown microgreens finishes the dish.

“We definitely try to bring that ‘wow’ factor to the food,” says Wilkinson. “We’re also getting into the specialty cocktail scene more and more.” The chefs and bartenders at Horizons are encouraged to get creative and contribute their own dishes and drinks. Eventually, Wilkinson explains, each member of the kitchen will have their own signature cocktail on the menu. In the meantime, try the “Chef ’s Remedy”-no matter what ails you. A potent and restorative blend of honey vodka, lemon vodka, limoncello, and the elderflower liqueur St. Germain, the cocktail is served in a glass rimmed with honey powder and accented by a slice of starfruit. Sweet but not cloying, with an herby, floral character, the Chef ’s Remedy is almost a tonic, but a tonic you’ll be pleased to take. Horizons Restaurant is a destination for the holiday season, with two Thanksgiving dinner options, many inclusive New Year’s Eve packages, and a fall/winter menu comprised of contemporary classics. “We’re going to have lots of new things,” promises Chef Wilkinson. So although the spectacular show of autumn leaves may bring people into Horizons, there will also be plenty of reasons to return throughout the year. :: october 2011


::fashion forward SHIFT+CONTROL

The Education through the story of...

Vintage Clothing By Joan E. Lincoln

10 october 2011 ::

Facing the Mirror with Cancer, by Lori Ovitz and Joanne Kabak “Take care of yourself down to the last detail” (page 177).   Breast cancer...changes so much!  Understanding your new look can be challenging. You walk by the mirror, glance at the reflection and wonder ...who is that?  “Makeup can give you the strength to pass the mirror without fear” (page 36-37).   Having lost my brother Mark to breast cancer and my older sister being diagnosed two years ago, self-breast exams are very common practice for our family.  Since I was blessed with three daughters of my own, I have taught and encourage them, even  through random text messages, the random subtle reminder that it’s time for a self breast exam.   Having been a makeup artist for over 15 years, I have been blessed with many opportunities to work with, encourage and empower women of every age, race and personal challenge. WROC TV Channel 8 once hosted an early morning TV show that highlighted local stories.  Every month for 3 years I would do a live 5am TV makeover with a Breast Cancer Survivor. It was probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  Seeing  how the survivor’s attitude and courage  became stronger and more confident throughout the process was just incredible for me to witness.  I feel to this day extremely fortunate to have been blessed with the gift, tools and passion to make a difference in the lives of those challenged with their altered features as a result of their cancer.   Research has shown that a  positive attitude can assist many people dealing with their cancer, with a more positive outcome and higher success rate. So my mission is to spread my story, paint as many faces more beautiful and remember:  as I quote my brother “As long as you get to wake up in the morning, everything else is icing on the cake.”    “Makeup  will not  cure a cancer, but makeup makes it a whole lot easier to face the mirror.”   Joan Lincoln is the owner of Panache Vintage and Finer Consignment, 1855 Monroe Ave.  

SHIFT+CONTROL ::leading women

Love Leads the Way

by Tracy H. Kroft I photo by Brandon vick Beginning in 1980 as a single group home serving 12 adults with developmental disabilities, Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS) has grown to be a multi-disciplinary human services agency providing long-term support to persons with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, HIV/AIDS, and those with disabilities who are seeking an alternative to nursing home placement. As the agency grew, so did the four women who are the program directors, and they all happened to start their careers the same way – as direct care providers for the developmentally disabled. And they all fell in love with that work. In June 1980, Penny Coon had just graduated from Keuka College with a degree in social work. In early 1981, she saw an ad in the Penn Yan newspaper looking for residential counselors (direct care providers) for a new group home that CCCS was opening on Main Street. She applied, was hired and began training, meeting prospective residents and furnishing the house. She opened the fully-occupied residence on May 1, 1981, becoming the house manager in November, 1982. “I loved that job,” said Penny, “that was a great job!” This was not the career she had anticipated upon college graduation, but she “fell absolutely in love with the residents and staff – they became my family.” Penny has been with CCCS for 30 years in a variety of roles; currently she is Director of Quality Management. Penny considers CCCS a great agency to work for because they truly care about the people they serve, and they are supportive of, and concerned for, their employees as well. Tracy McNett was a college student en route to her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1989, when she applied and became a relief residential counselor at CCCS’ Newcastle group home. She enjoys working with people who have disabilities, “I fell in love with the residents; they became like a family.” In 1997, she took a position in service coordination for the agency’s administration of Traumatic Brain Injury Services. Tracy expanded the program to include life skills training, service coordination, community integration counseling and community support. Under her leadership as Director, the number of people served grew quickly, and she added a transportation component for clients. Tracy is committed to providing choices in where they live, whom they live with, what kind of services they receive and who delivers the services. Beginning in 2009, Tracy also began administering the Department of Health’s Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver, which covers those with any disability who are in jeopardy

12 october 2011 ::

of nursing home placement. With this waiver, they can stay in their own homes receiving case management services through CCCS. Kathleen Termine, Developmental Disabilities Services Director, is responsible for all of the developmentally disabled clients of CCCS – those in the group homes as well as those living independently in the community. Not the career she anticipated when she received her RN from Monroe Community College, Kathy loves her job because “it is something different every day, and it’s nothing that I ever thought I would be doing.” Kathy went on to say, “You get your energy from what you do and the staff you work with.” She’s been getting that energy from CCCS for over 27 years. “When you work in this business,” said Kathy, “you look at milestones in a whole different realm.” The milestones she looks for are much more person-centered. Recently, a long-time resident, diagnosed with a terminal condition, was able to have hospice care in the home in which he’d lived for 25 years, a CCCS community residence in Penn Yan. He spent his last days in the comfort of his own home surrounded by the people who had become his family. To Kathy, this was the epitome of the kind of compassionate care the clients of CCCS experience and what makes her proud to be a part of the agency. With a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Nazareth College, Tracy Boff was on her way to a Master’s degree in education in 1992 when she started as a full-time residential direct care provider at the Newcastle group home. Although this was not the direction she had been headed, Tracy “loved working with the residents,” so she ultimately stayed there, becoming an assistant manager, then house manager. Tracy’s love for CCCS and her firm belief in the agency’s mission, led her to a position as a case manager in the AIDS Services Department in 1996. She became Associate Director in 1999 and Director in 2007. During her tenure, AIDS Services started administering the Families in Transition program, which addresses the various needs of adults and children affected by or infected with HIV. She says that her “biggest challenge is to run a fiscally responsible program while keeping the clients’ needs up front.” Tracy knows she makes a difference when she is able to keep programs running so that case managers can have a positive impact on hundreds of peoples’ lives. Love sometimes leads you to places – and people – you weren’t planning on. For these four women, the love of their work has led them to long careers at Catholic Charities Community Services where they serve, with compassion and dedication, some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

What is the sign of a good decision? ®

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Breast cancer. Two words you never want to hear. But it’s good to know MassMutual

can help protect you financially, whether you’ve had it in the past or are diagnosed with it in the future. We’ve been providing insurance coverage for breast cancer survivors since 1964, frequently updating our underwriting guidelines to look more favorably on insuring cancer survivors.1 And during Breast Cancer Awareness month, as MassMutual financial professionals conducted Pearls of Wisdom® financial education seminars for women, we made donations to local chapters of the American Cancer Society or related cancer organizations. It’s just one of many ways we contribute to cancer research, prevention and treatment. We’re a strong, stable mutual life insurance company owned by our policyholders. We look out for them and the challenges they face. To learn more, visit or talk to a local MassMutual representative.

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MassMutual Financial Group refers to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), its affiliated companies and sales representatives. Insurance products issued by MassMutual and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. 1For more details on life insurance eligibility for breast cancer survivors, see the MassMutual’s Commitment to Breast Cancer Survivors Brochure at bcawareness. Learn more about our mutual structure at CRN201308-151038

just think

::fabulous finds

pink 1

MB Book-tique - Miche Hope Bag When you first see them, you will notice the designs for the various Hope Shells focus on actual quotes collected from many individuals who have been through the fight against cancer. When you purchase one, you will see a tag attached to your Hope Shell containing a picture and personalized quote by very special person who has fought and won their own personal battle against this disease. A Miche Bag is not just a chic handbag—it’s a unique accessories concept. Because you can give the same bag dozens of different fashionable looks just by changing its exterior—no need to move all your belongings from one purse to another when you want a different look. You can find these and many other great items there! 585.377.4710 I


Monroe Oxygen’s Women’s Boutique

Offering products that understand women. Monroe Oxygen and Medical Equipment offers a vast selection of post surgical breast care garments including breast forms, bras and camisoles.” 585.271.1140 I WWW.MONROEOXYGEN.COM




::fabulous finds

Enchanted Rose Garden

Now offering a wonderful selection of hand stamped jewelry. You choose the style that fits your personality! Each item is hand crafted, shaped and stamped into sterling silver, brass or gold filled pendants. Something for everyone in their ever changing inventory. 585.264.1130 I

New-U New U offers custom wig and hair additions designed to fit your special needs. At New-U, they believe in restoring more than just your hair. They will restore your self-confidence with a completely custom hair solution designed especially for you. For the very ultimate in comfort and style there is nothing like a high quality human hair wig. New-U understands the emotional stress of losing your hair and the impact it can have on your mental, physical, and social life. That’s why they offer the finest synthetic and 100% human hair wigs and hair additions in a professional atmosphere of caring, confidential privacy. 585.272.7320 I WWW.BALDNESS.COM


Thelma’s Mastectomy Boutique They pride themselves in providing emotional support, expertise in fitting mastectomy products, and sensitivity to each woman’s special needs. Thelma’s carries the Amoena’s new PurFit adjustable enhancer designed specifically with these needs in mind -- easy to adjust for a perfect match with existing breast tissue; lightweight for comfort; and features a unique washable cover for everyday freshness. Thelmas also offers a wide variety of scarves, wigs, bras and more..... 585.256.2460 I :: october 2011 15

Lori Griffin

Nurse at Strong Memorial Hospital, out on 3 months maternity leave Penfield, NY - Has 3 children - 6, 2, 3 weeks (born on Aug. 18th) Lori was diagnosed at 31, when her 6-year-old son was only 4 months old. She thought it was a clogged milk duct, but went to the doctor to have it checked anyway. They looked at it, and found out it was cancer. She went through 5 months of chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction and 6 weeks of radiation. Everyone was so supportive during chemo, it was a two man operation; someone had to watch the baby, and someone had to take her to chemo. Friends cooked meals, and people came from out of town to visit her. “You learn how kind people really are,” she said. Lori was feeling good and healthy for a few years, started trying for another baby, and got pregnant with her daughter (after she was told she may not be able to conceive after the chemo and radiation). Then, she got even luckier and was pregnant again with her third child. Lori says life is good and it has been 5 years. They had her 5th ‘celebration of life’ in February, the anniversary of her diagnosis. She stays as active as possible on the advocacy committee at the BCCR, working with politicians and lawmakers on policy changes she hopes will benefit her children, and future cancer survivors and their families. She is also keeping busy with her kids, until her maternity leave is over in November, and she returns back to work at Strong Memorial Hospital. Lori says there probably isn’t a day that goes by where she doesn’t think about her cancer coming back. But it is a good reminder to enjoy her kids, love every day, and have no regrets. Lori’s wardrobe was provided by Clothes Mentor in Southtown Plaza and starts with a pair of killer, Franco Sarto leopard print shoes, flattering slim fitting jeans, with a Kenmar cream top and is finished off with a striking bronze leather jacket.

Inset photo: An Express sweater with golden sparkles with a plain tank underneath is completed with some subtle gold jewelry.. :: october 2011

photos by brandon vick & lizz comstock



Monique (Niki) MacIntyre

She has been with the breast cancer coalition for 4 years, where she is the outreach coordinator. Brighton, NY - Three children- Adam, 28, twins Emma and Molly, 25

Niki was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, 2010. She started as a volunteer at the BCCR, before being hired as their outreach coordinator. She was shocked to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and even more shocked to learn how extensive the cancer was. “The whole situation was very overwhelming, but the BCCR helped her work through it,” Niki said. Niki went through chemo, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and Herceptin, which is a targeted therapy like chemo. She went to support groups and information seminars which were very helpful. “There I was talking the talk, and suddenly I was living it,” said Niki. Friends and family were very supportive, sending notes, flowers, prayers, and chocolate. Some of our friends set up a ‘meal train’ where they organized friends and family to bring meals. Niki said is was so nice to be able to look forward to a home cooked meal when they were so busy and exhausted after doctor visits, treatments, and her husband Steve was still working. The children were also very supportive and helpful. For the BCCR’s Pink Ribbon Walk on Mother’s Day, the twins put together a group of friends and the entire family ended up being the largest group of donations gathered. Niki is still in treatment, and she and her family are looking forward to a full recovery. Niki’s wardrobe was provided by Clothes Mentor in Southtown Plaza and features a beautiful black blazer by Ann Taylor and black Armani Exchange pants. The ensemble is finished off with a pearl and gemstone Reckless Necklace. Inset photo: Niki is wearing a festive brown BCBG top with sequins, and plain brown tank.

18 october 2011 ::

Stephen MacIntyre (Mac) Loan Management Consultant with Haley& Aldrich Brighton, NY - Monique’s Husband Steve was there for every step of Niki’s diagnosis and treatment. He went to every appointment, and took notes on his computer, which turned out to be very useful. “During appointments you’re just kind of shocked and stunned, and forget a lot of information afterwards,” said Nicki. Steve was the one who shaved her head, gave her shots every day for her treatment, and he was in charge of her ‘caring bridge’. He was Nicki’s own personal ‘network administrator’. Stephen’s wardrobe provided by Blue / a Goodwill Boutique / and features a charcoal grey tweed jacket partnered with a light grey patterned tie, pale yellow shirt and black dress pants. Inset Photo: He also sported a white dress shirt, black and white striped tie, black dress pants and a relaxed business blazer all also from Blue”s menswear section. Shear Ego’s Mens Club was the setting for our first male makeover! Steve enjoyed a nice shave with a straight razor to shapen up his beard, mustache and edges, while relaxing in a back massage chair. He was also able to give his wife some pointers on playing pool after getting a shampoo and cut. :: august 2011


Nancy De Witt

Former Program Coordinator at the Breast Cancer Coalition Rochester, NY - Husband, Tom, 14 yr old daughter, Josie Nancy lost her mother to breast cancer. Annual mammograms have been a routine for her since she was 32. She had a job interview on the morning that she was diagnosed. She had gone in for her regular mammogram and, thinking it was negative like her previous ones, she left without waiting for the results. Her diagnosis was lobial, not ductal breast cancer. Nancy underwent a bilateral mastectomy with reconstructive surgery followed by 4 rounds of chemo. The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) has been an incredible place for her, especially coming from the other side of things. Her husband and daughter were so supportive throughout her entire course of treatment. Today Nancy is glad that is it behind her and is moving on. She is looking forward to her upcoming trip to the Outerbanks and just enjoying life. Nancy’s wardrobe was provided by Clothes Mentor in Southtown Plaza and features a beautiful Will Smith floral top, plain light blue tank, and jeans. The outfit is complimented by a stunning floral necklace by Reckless Necklace. Miche purse provided by MB Book-tique. Inset photo: Nancy looks “pretty in pink” with this Pamela McCoy pink leather jacket and Dress Barn grey and pink striped pants.

A special thanks to Shear Ego and the Shear Ego’s Mens Club for providing their incredible facilities for this inspiring makeover photoshoot. Models were provided with hairstyling, coloring, highlighting and makeup services courtesy of the following Shear Ego staff: Peter Webb, Mandy Zaccaglino, Kayliegh Ross, Karen Fitzmaurice, Emily Hubbe, Charlotte Miller, Anita Muelendyk- and Kelley Mahoney.

20 october 2011 ::

Suzie Bates

School Bus Driver for First Student, 8 yrs Rochester, NY - A single mother of 2 children, Jessica (23), and Matthew (15) Suzie was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in April, 2011. Surgery in May, radiation in June, and just finished her last round of radiation in August. She had always been adamant about keeping up her annual mammograms because her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 53, and Suzie has already had a cist removed. After her annual mammogram in 2010, her doctor wanted her to come in for a follow up mammogram in 6 months, but her health insurance wouldn’t cover it. So she waited another 6 months, until her annual came around. “The doctor was so compassionate; he put his hand on my knee, and told me I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I said to him, ‘do what you need to do; I have yard work I have to get done’.” Then I went home, had compost hauled to the house, and did some gardening.” She had to briefly stop radiation because she received some second degree burns from the treatment. Suzie didn’t let cancer disrupt her life however, she spent the summer doing what she loves; gardening and spending time on her yard. She received radiation treatments from the Lipson Cancer Center at Rochester General Hospital. She loves the people who work in radiology; they are so supportive and involved in patient’s lives. Going to the daily radiation treatments was actually fun. Her last radiation treatment was bittersweet; although she no longer needed radiation, she had to say goodbye to the wonderful staff who became her friends and supported her like a second family. “Cancer made me appreciate every day; you just want to love harder because the next day may not be there.” Suzie’s wardrobe was provided by Clothes Mentor and features Bandolino short black boots, dark jeans, Charlotte Russe grey sequin tank, topped off with a black Tracy M fringed sweater. Miche HOPE purse provided by MB Book-tique. Inset photo: A sexy black beaded Cache dress perfect for that special night out is accented with a fabulous black, pink and yellow floral Reckless Necklace. :: august 2011


for success

::for a good cause

by Nicole Shein Being diagnosed with cancer can be devastating — and isolating. Suddenly, you’re experiencing something that friends and family, despite their support and love, simply cannot understand. That’s why organizations like Gilda’s Club are so important. “We really get people connected with each other to provide support,” says Mary Casselman, Program Director at Gilda’s Club, and herself a cancer survivor. “Our mission is to let people know that support is out there, there are people who have gone through what you’ve gone through if you have been diagnosed with cancer.” Casselman’s background makes her an ideal spokesperson for Gilda’s Club, which provides activities, programs, classes, lectures and more for cancer patients and their families. A social worker by profession, Casselman was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. After taking advantage of the services offered by the Rochester branch of Gilda’s Club, she went on to become the Children’s Coordinator in 2003. Two years later, she took the position of Program Director.

One of the most important benefits the organization provides is a safe, friendly space where cancer patients can just be themselves. “We have a library with over a 1000 books, free Internet access, couches, comfortable chairs, a kitchen area, an art room, a teen room and a kids’ area,” explains Casselman. “Our goal is to make an environment that is welcoming and comfortable. People can drop in at any point. When you walk into our clubhouse, it’s like walking into your own home.” Since all of the services and support offered at Gilda’s Club are entirely free of charge, the clubhouse relies on fundraisers, which include a fashion show, a golf tournament, a half-marathon, and the annual Heroes Ball, where healthcare providers and community leaders are honored for their contributions to the fight against cancer. Although it is a fundraiser, Casselman says, “it also acknowledges our survivors and what they have gone through. Cancer survivors and their family? They are the real heroes.”

The best part of her job? “Meeting with the new members, and making sure that when they come away from that meeting, they know that they’re not alone. It’s very rewarding to introduce that new member with other people, and later to hear them joking, hear them connecting.” There are approximately 100 different activities offered at the Alexander Street clubhouse each month, says Casselman. “We have weekly support groups for general cancer; specific groups that provide support to those with, say, breast cancer or leukemia; and a family group. Cancer touches the whole family, not just the individual who has cancer, so we try to address the needs of both kids with cancer and those whose parents have been diagnosed with it.” Additionally, she says, Gilda’s Club recently brought a Youth Program Manager on board, and will be increasing the number of activities and support groups aimed at teenagers. Yet Gilda’s Club provides many more services than just support groups. There are yoga and tai chi classes, cooking classes that help cancer patients understand the importance of nutrition in their treatment plan, art classes, and many different kinds of social events, including breakfasts, retreats, and movie nights.

“We really get people connected with each other to provide support,” :: october 2011


by Marilyn Ling, MD

In the United States, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2011. Breast cancer will account for about 17% of cancer deaths in women. Fortunately, it is one of the most curable types of cancer when detected at an early stage.

::healthy woman

1.  Early detection is key. Women ages 20-39 should have a clinical breast exam performed by a health expert at least every 3 years. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s; women should be told about the benefits and limitations of BSE. Breast awareness is important: see a doctor right away if you notice any unusual changes. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health expert and a mammogram every year. Your physician may request a mammogram at an earlier age if you display other risk factors. 2. Get active. Regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes on most days, has been shown to be protective against breast cancer. This may be because it results in weight loss and decrease in body fat; therefore, it lowers circulating estrogen levels. I wear a pedometer to help remind me to get enough steps on a regular basis, as this is the physical activity I can do anytime, anywhere! 3.  Pay close attention to your diet. Choose fats wisely. Studies have shown that women with a higher intake of olive oil have less breast cancer. Omega-3 fats have also been associated with inhibiting the growth of breast tumors. Eat generous amounts of vegetables and fruits. These are loaded with cancerprotective phytochemicals. Use freshly ground flaxseed or other sources of fiber every day. Diets that are high in fiber seem to increase the excretion of estrogen or modify the metabolism of estrogen and reduce the risk of breast cancer. Make wise beverage choices. Water is a basic necessity - needed to maintain a healthy body, a clear mind, and a good balance within your tissues. In my practice, I have found that many patients do not drink enough water on a regular basis. Consider green tea as your next beverage of choice. Green tea consumption is linked with lower incidence of many kinds of cancer. Drink very little, if any, alcohol. Alcohol consumption, even in modest amounts, is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Take a multivitamin with folic acid, vitamin D, and antioxidants. All these nutrients have been shown to be related to a reduced risk of breast cancer. Although the diet should be the primary source of most of these, a good daily supplement can ensure that your intake is adequate. 4.  Reduce exposure to xenoestrogens. We are exposed to a large number of synthetic chemical compounds that have estrogen-like activity. These include common pesticides, industrial pollutants, and hormone residues in meat, poultry, and dairy products. While the research on their link is conflicting, limiting exposure is recommended. Choosing hormone-free dairy and animal products and organic produce as best you can is a good start. 5. Stress Management. Stress has been linked to all leading causes of death, including cancer. We experience potential stressors throughout our lives. Situations that can create stress are unavoidable. What we can control is how we react to them. There are many steps one can take to help manage stress more effectively, and you should talk to your health care provider to determine which strategies might work best for you. One of my favorite exercises is practicing regular, mindful breath work which is free and easy. Marilyn Ling, MD is a board certified radiation oncologist with URMC Wilmot Cancer Center References: The American Cancer Society, Dr. Andrew Weil

5 things You Can Do to Decrease Your Risk and Recurrence of Breast Cancer








In the Pink An evening

5:30 pm

October 12

f inspiration & celebration

Hyatt Regency Rochester

Join an informative and entertaining event that’s all about breast cancer awareness and women’s health! FEATURING

The New York Times health columnist Jane Brody.

A wine tasting, compliments of some of our region’s best vintners.

A lively cocktail hour (with pink drinks, of course).

Tasty hors d’oeuvres and treats created by the Hyatt’s executive chef.

Smooth jazz by the “Adrian DiMatteo Trio.”

Register early to receive complimentary pink wrap at the event.

Tickets $50.

Enter our raffle to win a pink LX150 Vespa sponsored by Advantage Credit Union through Country Rode Motowerks. To learn more, please visit or call Tammy Chmiel, Highland Hospital Events Coordinator, at 585.341.0530 or email

26 october 2011 ::

Proceeds will benefit the Highland Breast Imaging Center’s education and outreach efforts, which support access to life-saving breast screenings for women and men in our community.

. ip h y m d e t a it il b a h e r y The

. s r e th o f o s s e n d in k e th in And my belief Having a great hospital is important. But so is having a great transitional care facility. That’s why it’s critical for you to choose one of the very best: St. Ann’s Community. At St. Ann’s, we provide the most comprehensive and advanced rehabilitation services in the area. And 99% of our patients rated our rehab therapists “Excellent/Good” in 2010. So whether you are recovering from a stroke, heart surgery or joint replacement, you can rest assured that you will get the support and encouragement you need. But here’s the most important thing to know: you can plan ahead for your rehab. Just call St. Ann’s at 585-697-6311 for your free Transitional Care Planning Kit. The choice of a transitional care facility is totally up to you. So why leave that choice up to someone else? Because a great transitional care facility does more than make you feel healthy again. It makes you feel good about life again.


Yo u r F i r s t C h o i c e F o r C a re

Caring for the most important people on earth.

::queen of arts

dance touch

Teaching with a Family

By Caurie Miner Putnam I Photo by Linda Hayes

The Dancentré of East Rochester’s roots can be traced back to the basement of Barbara Grosser’s childhood home in Fairport, New York. “I taught dance to kids in the basement when I was in high school,” Grosser said. “I loved it.” After Grosser graduated from Fairport High School she went on to pursue her own dance career. She trained with such notable instructors as Olive McQue and Enid Botsford and danced with the Mercury Ballet Company.

Grosser founded The Dancentré, currently located at 445 West Commercial Street in East Rochester, in 1981 with Linda Goebeo (Goebeo was a partner for seven years). Just like its roots in a home, Grosser finds great importance in running her school with a family feel. “We are a noncompetitive studio” Grosser said. “I strive for a family atmosphere. A place where our dancers will leave for college and still come back to visit or teach.” Of Grosser’s staff of five instructors, several were students at the school and four are mothers – a trait Grosser finds to be a positive. “We are very nurturing and patient here,” Grosser said. “We want our students to learn the proper fundamentals but to have fun too.” Students range from age two and a half to their late sixties and can take classes in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, modern, lyrical, hip hop, Broadway, acro jazz, conditioning, and leaps/turns. The theme of family is also seen in an annual event Grosser runs at The Dancentré called Shop for Hope. Grosser began Shop for Hope in 2003 when her daughter-in-law Kristin, then 28, was diagnosed with breast cancer. “It was shocking,” Grosser said. “Before Kristin’s diagnosis I never had anyone close to me with breast cancer. I wanted to do something to help.” At Shop for Hope vendors pay a fee to set up tables in the studio and sell everything from jewelry to Tupperware to handbags. Grosser asked Kristin to choose what organization to donate the funds raised to and she chose the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester so they would stay local. This year’s Shop for Hope will be held on Sunday, November 13th from noon to 5 p.m. at the studio. The community is welcome to attend. “I wish we didn’t have to have it,” Grosser said. “I wish we had a cure, but in the meantime we can help support women and that’s what’s important.” Kristin Grosser is doing well and is now the mother to Elle, eighteen months, with Grosser’s son Cory. Grosser also has a son Shane who is married to Karen and they have a son Henry. Grosser has been married thirty-nine years to Bill Grosser, whom she credits as being a driving force behind The Dancentré. “I couldn’t do it without him,” Grosser said. “He has been a huge source of support over the years and a big part of The Dancentré too.”

28 october 2011 ::

For more information:

dance center



Linda Dow Hayes 585-738-6685

Call 585-738-6685 today to schedule your complimentary consultation or find me on Facebook!

Located in Webster, NY



families children & seniors

::in her own words


september 2011 ::

as if it



by Alison Currie I photo by Linda hayes

An excerpt from my contribution to Moments of Truth, Gifts of Love, Eve Strella-Ribson March 24, 2006

The call from the governor came through, I’m free!

Today’s offering from the “You Might Be a Redneck If…” Calendar: “Your hospital uses jumper cables as a defibrillator.” Fortunately, that’s one service I didn’t need…

After the removal of my infected medi-port, oral antibiotics failed to kill the infection. By Monday, I was still feverish and the red area surrounding the infection site was growing. After my oncologist deemed the port unfit to use and likely to become a medical emergency, I called the vascular surgeon’s office and said, “I’m coming in now, find a time for me.” The heinous medi-port incident won me a 5 day all- inclusive vacation in the vascular surgery ward so I could receive IV antibiotic treatment. If you’re sick, it’s the place to be, with excellent nurses, technicians, physician’s assistants, surgeons, oncologists, infectious disease specialists (wearing Prada shoes no less), residents, blood cultures, tissue cultures, and probably a partridge in a pear tree! Thursday was the worst, thanks to the evil vascular surgery intern, but finally things began to improve. Why the original antibiotics couldn’t stop the infection, I don’t know. I blew out four IV’s during my stay and one before emergency surgery (“You’re not awake.” “Yes I am.” “No you’re not.” “Yes I am.” “We need a second IV here!” “Zzzzzz…”), so I’m convinced having the medi-port put in was indeed a good idea. I was just one of the unlucky failures. My new hospital friends include the all-star “IV” and “PICC” team, so now I’m the proud owner of a peripherally inserted central catheter for future chemo treatments. Because it’s threaded into a vein in my arm, no running, weight lifting, vacuuming, or repetitive arm motions are allowed. Even though I ran a qualifying time, there will be no Boston Marathon for me this year. Walking is OK. This two- week hospital detour was not “part of the plan” as Dan Fogelberg would say. My hair started falling out in earnest Thursday. My kind hospital technician told me where I could purchase great-looking head scarves like hers (the local Halal market). We agreed the ones featured in the ubiquitous “You and Your Cancer” catalogues were hideous. Yesterday, the “You Might Be a Redneck If…” offering was: “Your birthday cake is a pan of cornbread with a candle stuck in it.” Today was my husband John’s birthday and with my hospital breakfast came, you guessed it, the world’s largest corn muffin. At least I was able to provide a birthday cake (alas no candle) for my long-suffering husband.

:: in her own words

It’s hard to believe that was me five years ago, midway through chronicling my wild, wacky, and not so wonderful “Breast Cancer Year 2006.” Most often the infections, mastectomies, chemotherapy, and radiation seem far away, the memories fuzzy like the dust cloud surrounding Pigpen in Charlie Brown. Yet cancer dogs my every step and the death of a friend such as Eve Strella-Ribson, ironically featured in Rochester Woman 2010, or news of yet another breast cancer recurrence or metastasis brings all my thoughts and fears roaring back as if it was yesterday… When I hear, and this happens often, “You’re so healthy and in such good shape you shouldn’t have cancer,” or “What did you do that made you get it?” it’s not helpful. We breast cancer victims should not be accused of being responsible for contracting the disease. Alice, Eve, Janet, Kat, Kelly, and Norma took good care of themselves, fought hard, and they died anyway. Ann, Diane, and Kathy eat right and lead active lives yet they’ve been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. No one is immune: breast cancer is a horrible disease that strikes when and where it chooses; even men are not spared. The only way I can cope is by refusing to let breast cancer completely define me. I work part time as an engineer to earn my keep; my husband and I joke that I’m in it for the health insurance benefits. I’ve built myself back up post-cancer and remain an active marathon runner, triathlete, hiker, and amateur orchestral horn player. I enjoy woodcarving and my life here in Rochester with my family. I’ve added a couple of new continents to my hiking repertoire by joining Journeys of Inspiration (JOI), a joint venture between the American Cancer Society and Rick French of Pack Paddle Ski, designed to combine a love of the outdoors with efforts to increase cancer awareness and raise money for ACS. In the company of cancer survivors, I’ve traveled with JOI to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2008 and hike the Everest region in Nepal in 2010. A couple of times each month, I attend the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) Brown Bag lunches; that’s the only place where I dare to open my breast cancer Pandora’s Box. AT BCCR I have a chance to share thoughts and concerns with like-minded people who “get it.” We share our experiences, usually laugh and sometimes cry, but we all go home strengthened to face another day. Will I remain cancer-free? Unfortunately there’s no guarantee, but I do try to eat right, remain active, and live a good and lower stress life. As I have been known to tell friends and colleagues, “Hope is not a strategy,” but, when it’s all said and done, that’s really all I can do—hope for the best.

I’m hoping for a better weekend. :: october 2011



Many Minds Are Better Than One

A Team Approach to Treating Breast Cancer Just like the women it affects, breast cancer is unique and complex. Modern research has shown that not only are there distinct subtypes of breast cancer but within are variations that make each behave in different ways. Every woman brings with her not only an individual breast cancer type but also a set of family, career, and personal concerns to be considered to achieve the best possible outcome. Breast cancer treatment is complex and so takes a tightly-integrated team of experts specializing in each aspect of the treatment and recovery process to establish the best approach to each individual situation.

A Collaborative Approach to Treatment Although the members of the treatment team are in constant communication with one another during a patient’s treatment, a more formalized approach to complex cases is known as the breast cancer tumor board. The use of these multidisciplinary weekly meetings brings together specialists from radiology, surgery, pathology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, genetics and research. It also allows for Dr. Lori Medeiros “defensive” strategies such as deciding on genetic counseling, appropriate types and strategies of radiologic follow up such as MRI and use of drugs to lower cancer risk. Although it seems that all of these elements would take months to implement, in reality for most women the roadmap is laid out within weeks of the diagnosis and treatment is usually underway. Even so the complexity of it is sometimes overwhelming in the midst of the worry and sadness that accompany the diagnosis. Our breast navigator is an instrumental partner on the journey. She is a nurse and a survivor who can help with the multitude of things that pop up along the way, be it arranging transportation and housing for our patients who travel from remote areas, or access to support networks or just being there to listen - woman-to-woman. By Lori Medeiros, MD, CM, FRCSC, FACS Medical Director, Rochester General Breast Center

32 october 2011 ::

New Approaches Bring Hope Thankfully, breast cancer survival rates continue to rise, with modern day estimates of 5-year survival in early breast cancer above 80%. This is largely thanks to breast cancer research that has rapidly changed treatment approaches. For example, recent findings have enabled us to target patients who benefit from certain surgical interventions and avoid possible complications in those who will not. There is also better awareness of the importance of body image in long term survival and the development of techniques that combine cancer and plastic surgery to optimize the outcomes, both clinically and aesthetically, for women who otherwise might have had a disfiguring experience. Our radiation oncology experts access cutting-edge research which allows them to optimize delivery of care to women with breast cancer. Rather than a ‘cookie cutter’ approach, physicians knowledgeable in a variety of techniques customize treatment, allowing some patients to have shorter treatment courses while targeting the cancer with more precision than ever. Targeted therapies are rapidly becoming the gold standard of treatment for our medical oncologists. Through close communication with pathologists who are experienced in diagnosing and identifying biologic markers, our chemotherapy doctors are able to select treatments with higher likelihood of success. This may even include genetically profiling a tumor so that the woman may better make a choice based on her particular disease whether chemotherapy is right for her. The Rochester General Breast Center has been recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence, with breast cancer experts who are deeply invested in the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our patients and their families. Our commitment to a team approach and the close partnership and communication in our center between members of the breast cancer care team and the patients and their families allows us to bring our very best to women in the Rochester area each and every day.

We do more than treat breast cancer. We outsmart it.

BREAST CANCER IS THOUGHTLESS. Conquering it takes a higher level of intelligence and expertise. We bring every essential discipline together to evaluate each case, giving patients a comprehensive and personalized course of treatment and support. It’s a new way to think about breast cancer care. And we’re the only breast center in New York recognized as a Center of Excellence by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers.

Breast Center

See how our multidisciplinary approach is changing the way women overcome breast cancer at or call us at 585.922.4715 :: october 2011


mammogra ::special feature

EWBC’s 3d

by Stamatia Destounis, M.D.

Breast Tomosynthesis...An additional screening tool in the fight against breast cancer

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics show that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. If found in its earliest stages, the chances of surviving breast cancer are very good. Until now, the best way to do that has been with screening mammography. Digital mammography uses a specially designed digital camera and a computer to produce an image that is displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor. While digital mammography is one of the most advanced technologies available today, it is only a two-dimensional picture of the breast. 2D mammography captures the breast in one exposure, resulting in a flat picture in which features can be hidden, leading to unnecessary additional imaging. For decades doctors have been searching for a technology to help them find very small cancers or rule out “false positives” and reduce the number of women who are called back for a diagnostic mammogram. Scientists have developed a new technology called breast tomosynthesis, which has been shown in clinical studies to be superior to digital mammography. Breast tomosynthesis, is based on the acquisition of three-dimensional digital image data, helps solve issues in the interpretation of mammographic features produced by tissue overlap. Breast tomosynthesis allows doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time and is now available for use. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February 2011, breast tomosynthesis has the potential to help reduce recall rates, improve the selection of patients for biopsy, and increase cancer detection rates, especially in patients with dense breasts.

Breast tomosynthesis may be used in conjunction with traditional digital mammography as part of your annual screening mammogram to capture more breast images or may be used by itself for a diagnostic mammogram. Very low X-ray energy is used during the screening examination so radiation exposure is safely below the American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines. It gives radiologists the ability to identify and characterize individual breast structures without the distortion and difficulty that overlapping breast tissue can cause. When 3D breast tomosynthesis is used in conjunction with a screening mammogram, it acts as an additional screening tool to assist our radiologists in interpreting the mammogram.

34 october 2011 ::

The technology improves images by digitally combining multiple X-rays to reduce distortion created by tissue overlap or density. As a result, the radiologist is able to target the size, shape, and precise location of a lump or tumor; the image is not flattened like a conventional mammogram. Tomosynthesis also screens the complete breast, not only the region of interest. This is important because 15% of women with a tumor in their breast also have another cancer in the same or other breast. A tomosynthesis exam is very similar to a traditional mammogram. Just as with a digital mammogram, the technologist positions the patient and compresses her breasts in the same routine way patients are accustomed to. During the tomosynthesis exam, the x-ray arm of the mammography unit makes a quick arc over the breast, taking a series of breast images at a number of angles. This will only take a few seconds while multiple low dose images of the breast are taken at different angles. The images are displayed in stacks of thin slices, creating a three-dimensional mammogram for the technologist at their computer workstation to ensure they have captured adequate images to be sent electronically and reviewed by a radiologist. This allows us to view the breast tissue millimeters at a time and makes tissue more visible, which helps reduce the need for additional mammogram views.

Women with dense breast tissue may benefit from 3D breast tomosynthesis as dense breast tissue limits mammographic sensitivity and accuracy. Women who are at a higher risk for breast cancer (for example, those with personal or family history of breast cancer), or women with a previous abnormal biopsy result may also find 3D breast tomosynthesis beneficial. Since tomosynthesis is a new technology, patients should check with their health insurance provider to determine if it is covered. Currently, there are more than 8,000 breast cancer screening sites in the United States. Approximately 5,000 sites have at least one digital mammography system and fewer than 100 breast centers are able to offer the new 3D breast tomosynthesis technology. EWBC is committed to the fight against breast cancer. By providing the latest in imaging quality such as 3D breast tomosynthesis digital mammography, EWBC hopes the number of women who are routinely screened will increase. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s overall chance of survival. If detected early, the fiveyear survival rate is greater than 95%.


::special feature :: october 2011


Specialists in the Field of Breast Imaging and Breast Disease Detection & Diagnosis. Digital Mammography, 3D Digital Mammography (available on request), Ultrasonography, Breast MRI, Multimodality Imaging Biopsy, Bone Densitometry and Newly Expanded Cancer Risk Assessment & Genetic Counseling Program

Designated an ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence New Geneseo and Greece locations for those who have limited time, your appointment will be less than 30 minutes (screening mammography and bone densitometry only).

Main Office: 170 Sawgrass Dr.

| Rochester, NY 14620 GeneseO: 126 Court St. | Geneseo, NY 14454 Greece: 103 Canal Landing Blvd., Suite 5 | Rochester, NY 14626

PHOne: (585) 442-2190 |


the woods

It All Started With a Walk in by Tracy H. Kroft I photo by Linda Hayes

Do you ever want to just take a walk in the woods? Sometimes, for women, that can be a slightly scary proposition. We’ve all heard stories of incidents in secluded areas of the woods. These things can keep us away from healthy, fun activities that we should be engaging in. Seven years ago, Julie Doyle came up with a way to enable women to take that walk in the woods. “I was always in the woods,” commented Doyle, an accomplished marathoner and trail racer. With her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and her desire to stay in shape and spend time outdoors, Doyle founded Adventure Out!

Adventure Out! began with guided hikes in the woods all over Monroe County. There are eight parks in in the county, all with different terrain, and the group hikes in all of them. There are guides in the front and the back of the group, so whether you are experienced or a beginner, no one is alone; everybody can go at their own pace. Adventure Out! is a pay-as-you-go style of “class.” Participants can choose to do one adventure or attend on a regular basis. Doyle’s company has grown into more than just hikes, however. “Most of my adventures are in the woods and on the waterways,” explained Doyle. These adventures have expanded to include snowshoeing, crosscountry skiing, kayaking, rowing (indoors and out), and Nordic Walks. (Nordic Walking uses two specially designed poles to work the upper body while walking. Like cross-country skiing, the poles are used by the arms to match each step the person takes.) You can also adventure with Doyle at Roc Boxing on Atlantic Avenue in Rochester and learn “oldschool,” real boxing. She has also led some bigger one-week adventures in Colorado, Utah, the Grand Canyon, and Norway which included multi-adventure sports like backpacking and mountain climbing with bouldering and top-roping. Besides adventuring, Doyle started a different kind of venture when both her sister and a close friend were diagnosed with breast cancer. Doyle’s friend, Megan McKenzie, was with her at a boxing clinic at Roc Boxing. And even though she wasn’t feeling well from all her treatments, Megan jumped into the ring to try it out. An idea was born. How about a charity boxing event to knock out breast cancer? In just seven weeks, and with help from Dom Arioli of Roc Boxing and a group of volunteers who were Adventure Out! clients, Doyle planned and executed the first annual “Friday Night at the Fights” Knock Out Breast Cancer event at Oak Hill Country Club. The mission of this annual event is to raise awareness and provide funds which will benefit patients with breast cancer in the Rochester community. To date, they have raised over $125,000. This year’s fourth annual “Friday Night at the Fights” Knock Out Breast Cancer event will be held at Oak Hill Country Club on Friday, November 11. Tickets for this black tie affair are $100 per person or $175 per couple. Proceeds will benefit numerous cancer centers and programs throughout the Rochester Community. For more information, visit or call Julie Doyle at (585)329-3664. Whether she’s walking in the woods or fighting the good fight in the battle against breast cancer, Julie Doyle is one adventurous woman.

38 october 2011 ::

For more information about Adventure Out! Visit

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::did you know?

My life in perspective

Krista Hannacker, RA, NCARB Senior Project Manager, Ashley McGraw

While dressing on a typical workday morning in March, my hand brushed past an unusual lump on my left breast. The size of a golf ball, it was too large to ignore. With a million things to do at work, projects due, and meetings with clients to prepare for, proposals to write, my mind struggled to find some rational explanation other than my greatest fear. After all, there is no history of cancer in my family, my age is well below the norm for such a tumor, and my lifestyle is generally healthy. As days passed, my concern grew, as the mass was not shrinking. My doctor quickly scheduled a mammogram and within 24 hours a specialized breast surgeon took a biopsy. Either way, my decision to have the tumor removed was already made, even with the very concerning question of malignancy still to be determined. While in a meeting with a principal at my architecture firm, the telephone call came. Cancer was confirmed.

rs of a e y 22 RING O T S RE CE! N E D I CONF

Since that moment nothing in my life has been “normal.� My attention turned from preparing my projects for others to take over, contacting clients to let them know of my impending diminished role, and tying up loose ends at work. I had to focus on how best to proceed with my treatment. Overall, I focused on my life. Issues of life and death have a way of putting other issues in perspective. Thanks to the above and beyond support from my family at Ashley McGraw, my church family, my family and friends, and a great medical team, my treatment is progressing well. Two surgeries, a year of chemotherapy, with six weeks of radiation treatment to come are certainly taxing and extending my physical limitations. Experts say early detection and treatment are two keys to a successful path to a cure with for breast cancer. My story is an evolving testimony to this. Be aware of your body, and work in concert with your doctor for self examinations and mammograms. They may save your life.

1425 Jefferson Rd. Saginaw Plaza, Rochester, NY | | (585) 272-7320


40 october 2011 ::


dream it, If you can

we can make it happen.



:: cover story


helping wom

october 2011 ::

men fight back The Women of BCCR

by caurie miner putnam I photos by michelle macirella Fact: One in eight women will face a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime.

Fact: Over 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year in the United States. Fact: Monroe County has one of the highest rates of new breast cancer cases in New York. The address 840 University Ave. in Rochester is an oasis for women* with breast cancer and those that love them. The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) is a grassroots, independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to eradicating breast cancer through education, advocacy, and research. Until a cure is found, though, it also embraces those diagnosed with the disease and offers them numerous free options for support including a resource center, yoga, jewelry making, writing workshops, traditional support groups, classes about breast cancer treatment and much more. To learn all that the BCCR stands for and offers, let’s meet three of the women that give this powerful organization a pulse: Patricia Cataldi, Joyce Wichie, and Holly Anderson. Patricia Cataldi – Chairwoman, BCCR Board of Directors “My only regret is that I didn’t get involved with BCCR sooner.”~ Patty Cataldi Patricia Cataldi’s first impression of the BCCR was a big one. It was May 2007 and Cataldi, then 52, had just finished treatment for breast cancer in March when she walked in the BCCR’s annual Pink Ribbon Walk and Run on Mother’s Day. Cataldi expected a couple hundred other walkers at the event but was shocked when she arrived to quite a different scene.

could find comfort in. Four and a half years later, she has found a calling as well as chairwoman of the BCCR Board.

“I have seen firsthand what a tremendous network of support this organization can give someone diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Cataldi, who became chairwoman this summer. “My only regret is that I didn’t get involved with BCCR sooner.” Cataldi is also the chairwoman of the organization’s 10th Annual Artrageous Affair – a fundraising gala that is held every year at the beginning of October. Fundraising like the Pink Ribbon Run & Family Fitness Walk, Teed-off at Breast Cancer Golf Tournament and Artrageous Affair allows all programs and services BCCR offers to be free. Funds raised from BCCR events - as well the many events held by friends and supporters- support BCCR (see the Queen of Arts Column on Barb Grosser page28)- stay in the Rochester area. This is so important, according to Cataldi, because Monroe County has one of the highest breast cancer diagnosis rates in New York. As chairwoman of the board Cataldi helps spread the message about all the BCCR has to offer, like Young Survivor Soirees and Peer Advocates Lending Support (P.A.L.S) – where a recently diagnosed woman is matched with a mentor who has overcome breast cancer. In addition to her volunteer role as chairwoman of the board, Cataldi is a dental hygienist at Suter, Levitt, and Zugner Dental in Webster as well as at the Maplewood Nursing Home. She also serves on the Webster Town Board. Cataldi is married to Richard Cataldi. Their daughter Jessica, 26, is a physician and attended Northwestern Medical School.

“I couldn’t believe how many women were there,” Cataldi said. “I was astounded and touched by the thousands giving up their own Mother’s Day morning for the cause.” Cataldi knew right away the BCCR was an organization she :: october 2011


::cover story


october 2011 ::

::cover story

Joyce Wichie – Immediate Past Chair woman, BCCR Board of Directors “We’ve worked hard to make the organization welcoming for everyone and for everyone to have a place here” ~ Joyce Wichie.

that have. They are the backbone of the organization.” Throughout her time in the organization Wichie has seen some of the friends and family members that led her to join the organization recover from breast cancer. But, she has also seen some pass away.

Unlike Cataldi, Joyce Wichie has never had breast cancer. Instead, her path to BCCR came from the diagnoses of others. One in eight women will face a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime – a statistic Wichie has seen firsthand.

“Some are no longer with us,” Wichie said. “We need to keep working for a cure.”

“At the time I got involved in the organization I had a lot of friends and relatives affected by breast cancer that were very near and dear to my heart,” Wichie said. “They were all women that were always there for you.” Wichie wanted to be there for her friends, family, and others affected by the disease. She joined BCCR in 2000, serving as Treasurer, and served as Chair of the Board from 2004 to 2009. She is the immediate past chairwoman of the board. With over a decade of involvement in BCCR, Wichie has been instrumental in helping the organization mature. It was founded by a small group of Rochester area women in 1997. “I’ve seen a lot of growth,” Wichie said. “Growth in number of offerings of support to the women who need it, the number of people we reach and the response from the community.”

Indeed, 40,000 women still die of breast cancer each year in the United States and those age 20 to 54 die more frequently from breast cancer than any other cancer. Wichie points out that while the BCCR strives for a cure by supporting research, prevention, better screening and treatments, it is also a place where women at any stage of breast cancer can find support. The organization was a pioneer in offering groups that focus on young survivors, as well as groups for those whose breast cancer has spread or metastasized. “We’ve worked hard to make the organization welcoming for everyone and for everyone to have a place here,” Wichie said. Wichie, a native of Pine City, New York, lives in Webster with her husband Steve Berke. She is a purchasing manager for Carestream – a medical imaging company.

Wichie has also seen a huge growth in the number of volunteers within the organization. “We couldn’t be the success we are without the volunteers,” said Wichie of the approximately 500 volunteers the BCCR has. “Many have not experienced breast cancer personally, but have friends and family :: october 2011


::cover story

46 october 2011 ::

SHIFT+CONTROL Holly Anderson—Executive Director, BCCR “One focus of BCCR is supporting those with the disease, but other focuses are advocacy, education and research.” ~ Holly Anderson When Holly Anderson became the executive director of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester in October 2001 the organization had an annual operating budget of $75,000, offered just two programs a month, and was not well known outside Rochester. Exactly ten years later, the BCCR has an operating budget of $500,000, offers dozens of innovative classes, support groups, and Healing Arts Initiatives per month, and provides services to survivors from nine counties, including Buffalo. How did Anderson lead this phenomenal growth? Passion. Anderson is a breast cancer survivor. She was just 40 and the mother of four when she was diagnosed in 1999. “I was blindsided by the diagnosis,” Anderson said. “I climbed mountains, I lived an aware life, and I was not in a high risk category. It felt like I was shot out of the sky.” Anderson quickly looked for a group that could offer her support and education to make informed medical choices. She was shocked to find that much of the information about breast cancer focused on screening and early detection and little existed for those in the aftermath of an actual diagnosis. “Women have historically sought out other women during the important transitions of their lives,” said Anderson, who prior to diagnosis was a women’s health nurse and childbirth educator. She found the fledgling BCCR toward the end of her treatment and immediately got involved. When the opportunity to become executive director of the community-based, grassroots organization came about in 2001 she was ready. One of Anderson’s first initiatives was the introduction of Brown Bag Lunches in 2002. The concept is simple: if you have or had breast cancer you are welcome to bring a lunch and just drop-in to share it with others during an informal Friday afternoon gathering at the BCCR offices. “If you’re newly diagnosed just show up with your lunch,” Andersen said. “You will always find someone you can relate to; someone who understands.” A simple concept, but extremely meaningful. The Brown Bag Lunch is a conduit to bring women together,” Anderson said. “When women come together relationships are made and information is shared.” Sharing information is a critical part of Anderson’s role. She is vigilant about educating members and the general public about the facts of breast cancer. “There are a lot of myths about breast cancer,” Anderson said. “One myth is women that die of breast cancer weren’t getting mammograms or weren’t living a healthy lifestyle. That’s not true.”

Anderson points out that mammograms are merely screenings that detect breast cancer, not prevent it or protect women from it. Preventing breast cancer is something the BCCR is committed to by serving as community watchdogs against practices and products that are known endocrine disruptors such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and by advocating for legislation that protects women’s health. “It’s not enough to detect breast cancer early,” Anderson said. “At the end of the day there are still a lot of women dying from this disease and we need to prevent it.” Anderson was instrumental in beginning a research initiative at the BCCR in 2002 that awards grants to regional scientists whose focus is cause or cure. Since 2002 a quarter of a million dollars in seed grants have been awarded to researchers in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Ithaca to collect preliminary data to apply for larger grants. “One arm of BCCR is supporting those with the disease,” Anderson said. “But the other arm is advocacy and research.” Anderson also led the BCCR in the victory to have breast cancer survivors serve on New York State’s Health Research Science Board (HRSB). This board helps determine how state money for breast cancer research is spent and has been criticized by advocates for failing to do what it was appointed to do. Advocates hoped that by allowing survivors a seat at the table, the HRSB would at least bring together a quorum so that funding decisions could be made. Unfortunately, despite the law’s implementation in early 2008, several of the survivor seats remain vacant, including the seat for Western New York. Anderson has applied several times, but due to lost applications, NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who is responsible for appointing seats from Manhattan and Western NY, has failed to make his appointment from this region. The Manhattan appointee died of complications of breast cancer in December 2010. That seat, and others, also sits empty. “We worked incredibly hard to get this law passed,” Anderson said. “We want to see the committee functioning the way it was intended to do so and find it grossly irresponsible that it is not.” In the meantime, Anderson continues to go to work every day doing what she does best: supporting those fighting the same disease she fought, and fighting to prevent other women from getting it. “I love my job,” Anderson said. “But I would love to be out of a job. My dream is to see breast cancer eradicated and to stop seeing so many families cheated by it.” Anderson, of Webster, is married to Tom. They have four children – Zach, Ian, Morgan, and Griffin – and two grandchildren. *According to the National Institutes of Health, male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cases of breast cancer. For the purposes of this article those with breast cancer are referred to as “she.” The BCCR does offer support for males with breast cancer as well.

Learn more about the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester online at :: october 2011


PINK RESPONSIBLY Pink ribbon products are big business—but many do more for the manufacturer than for breast cancer research and support. To really make your dollars count in our community, give to the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. Your contributions go directly to support advocacy, education, support, and research. Learn more at

8 4 0 U N I V E R S I T Y AV E N U E • R O C H E S T E R , N Y • 1 4 6 0 7 • ( 5 8 5 ) 4 7 3 - 8 1 7 7

Got Scissors? by Jillain Salomone

October is breast cancer awareness month. I am sure you’ve heard the phrases, “Save the tatas” and “Fight like a girl.” Well, I’ve got a new one for you. GOT SCISSORS? All across the United States, women are battling breast cancer and are losing their hair as a side effect of the treatment. I don’t know about you but, I love my hair. I don’t know what I would do without it. This must be such a struggle for women that have to go without. There are several programs out there that will help build back the confidence of a woman less fortunate. One of those is Beautiful Lengths a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, the largest nonprofit health organization committed to saving lives from every cancer, in every community, and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease. The role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong, beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 18,000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country. Most sad, and beautiful, are those who donate their hair to the program in memory of a loved one who lost their battle with cancer – sad in that the person is not here to share in this moment of giving and celebration, and beautiful in that their memory is kept alive by love and positive action. The requirements are simple: * Your hair must measure 8 inches in length * Free of permanent color, bleach or other chemical treatments such as Japanese straightening * Vegetable dyes, semi-permanent dyes and rinses are acceptable, but “virgin” hair is preferred * No more than 5% gray Since the program debuted in July 2006, the campaign has collected over 262,828 ponytails. That is a lot of hair! It takes about 6 ponytails to make one wig so one haircut can really make a big difference. To see if you are eligible to receive a free wig or if there are wigs available in your area, please call the American Cancer Society’s Wig Bank Line at 1-877-227-1596 or check out their website at On a more fun note, dress up your tresses with some pink! Right now, feather hair extensions are all the rave. You have seen them on TV, in magazines and probably just walking around the mall. This month, get your pink on. Whether it be with feathers, hair tinsel or individual hair extensions, show your support. I personally will be doing them and donating a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer research. Check out your local salon and see what they are doing to support this worthy cause. You or someone you know has been affected by this disease. We as women should take a stand and fight for the right to live a longer, healthy life by doing what we can to help find a cure. I am woman, hear me roar cancer! Jillain Salomone- Hairstylist and Makeup artist :: october 2011


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::local business matters


the Perfect Brow

by Jennifer Magar I photo by lizz comstock

If you live in Rochester, you’ve probably heard of the Brow Diva. But who is the brow diva and what exactly does a brow diva do?

Buffalo and Skaneateles. “Women in Rochester are like women all over the world, we want to feel good about the way we look.”

Her name is Deanna Netti Cahill and she is an eyebrow sculptor. The Brow Diva studio on Monroe Ave in Pittsford is the only place in Rochester that specializes in women’s and men’s eyebrow sculpting and grooming. Cahill and her staff work exclusively to sculpt and shape eyebrows, making them the brow experts.

Brow Diva studio has four fully trained brow sculptors and three support staff. In order to become brow sculptors, they had to first get their waxing licenses, and then observe Cahill for a full month before taking on their own clients. They remained under Cahill’s guidance for three months and only once they had a week of perfect brows, was their training complete.

Cahill got her start as a brow sculptor over twenty years ago working as a freelance makeup and fragrance artist with beauty industry giants like Jacqueline Cochran, Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden and La Prairie. She later spent ten years creating and running the Jumelle Makeup Company with her twin sister, Deborah. Cahill always began by cleaning up the brow before applying makeup to her clients, even when it wasn’t a service offered on the menu. Eventually, she decided to start her own business after being inspired by an article about a brow sculpting studio that opened in Beverly Hills. Cahill calls this her “Oprah, Aha moment.” She was determined to not only become an expert in the field, but to someday open the first brow sculpting studio in Rochester. For the next two years, Cahill worked exclusively on brows, building her clientele. Cahill was told by a close friend, “Deanna, you’re the brow diva!” The name stuck and in 2005, Cahill opened the Brow Diva Studio. “It amazes me that we have a business fully supported doing eyebrows only,” Cahill said. “I’m able to do the volume that I do because of my location, the size of Rochester and the surrounding suburbs,” Cahill said. Brow Diva clients come from as far as Mt. Morris and Dansville,

In 2008, Cahill launched her own line of eyebrow products consisting of all the necessities for making eyebrows look their best. Cahill developed this product line with a selection of colors that complement different skin tones and shades of hair. “You should be the only one who knows your brow has been filled in,” Cahill said. The Brow Diva line is available for purchase in store and online. Cahill explains that the brows are an important part of the face and the overall look. They can enhance or distract from your beauty. Cahill recommends eyebrow maintenance every three to six weeks depending on the rate of growth. She says to only pluck once a week as over tweezing is a common problem. Cahill says the sculptors at Brow Diva approach brows from an artistic standpoint. “A well sculpted brow brings attention to a person’s eyes which are like an opening to their inner beauty.” The goal is to create a brow that enhances a person’s natural beauty. :: october 2011


::wisdom in a traffic jam

with a spouse

starting a business...

by Angella Luyk

I am thinking about starting a company with my spouse. Do you have any recommendations for us? Gena

Gena, Working with a business partner, or spouse will be difficult. There will be times when you both want to be “in charge”. Disagreements will occur when you have different opinions. However, it can be done! I have been working with my husband, Harry, for 15 years now and we have successfully grown our company. Even though I own the company, and he reports to me, we have found a way to make it work. It is not always easy, but here are a few suggestions that worked for us and can help you prepare for your new adventure. • Clearly define each person’s roles. What will each of you be doing for the company? Both of you cannot be paying the bills. To determine this, you can each list what you are good at, and determine job duties from there. I am terrible at balancing my check book, we decided it would be best if Harry assumed the role as CFO so he pays the bills, creates invoices and so on. I am good with people; I assumed the role of CEO and handle all employee and HR issues, as well as marketing, networking and so on. Write out each of your roles on paper. By writing them down you are committing to them. You can always go back and readjust them as your company grows. Having something to refer to will make it easier. You will each know what is expected of you. This is a good thing to do for all employees and contractors as well.

• Create a system of checks and balances. You want to know what is going on in your company. For example set up a schedule to go over the checking account once a month. I don’t handle my company’s checking account, but I do know what gets paid and when. If need be I can step in for a short time and do the CFO’s job. • You each need to find someone you can confide in or bounce ideas off. When you are wearing the spouse hat and business owner hat, it can get a bit complicated. You each need someone you can go to who will be on neutral ground. It would be very difficult to address issues calmly when you are mad at each other. Instead go to your friend and vent. Perhaps you have an idea but are not ready to announce it to the world; you want to tweak it a little more. Your friend becomes your sounding board. When you have it to near completion, you can take it to your partner for more discussion. Remember, ultimately you both want what is best for each other and for your new company. It will be tough but not impossible to work together. At the end of the day respect each other’s decisions and choices and it will be ok. Are you going to agree all the time? No, and there will be rough times. Just listen with an open mind to what the other is saying and it will work out. Angella Luyk is CEO of Midnight Janitorial Inc. and published author of Wisdom in a Traffic Jam. Want to learn more about her or have a question, check out her website or :: october 2011


::special feature

“That could have been it if I had waited until I turned 50 to get a mammogram,” said Kim Cromartie, 49, of Rochester. Cromartie was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 44. She had been going to the Highland Breast Imaging Center (HBIC) for an annual mammogram since age 40 and had been looking forward to that first screening. “After all, this is my quality of life,” Cromartie said. “And I only get one (life).” Unfortunately, many women find reasons not to get their annual mammograms. In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) gave women an excuse to delay screening when it revised its mammogram guidelines. It recommended routine mammograms start at age 50 – not the previously suggested age of 40. In issuing the new guidelines, the USPSTF said false-positive results from mammograms caused unnecessary anxiety. After much controversy, the Affordable Care Act (signed into law in March 2010) reaffirmed that women should start screenings at 40. Still, many have not gotten the message. Women continue to find reasons to procrastinate: They are too busy. There isn’t a history of breast cancer in the family. They don’t know if their insurance will cover the cost. Some fear the test will be painful. Avice O’Connell, MD, FACR, Director of the Highland Breast Imaging Center, constantly fights the common excuses. Dr. O’Connell, a radiologist, has been dedicated to breast imaging for nearly 30 years. She has one request of women – don’t wait. If you are 40, start getting an annual mammogram; if you are younger, do regular breast selfexams; and if you find a lump, see your doctor. “Waiting to get your breasts screened is dangerous,” Dr. O’Connell said. “Early detection offers the best chance at survival and can prevent the need for more invasive, aggressive treatment.” The importance of breast awareness is hard to deny when looking at the numbers. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. When a woman is in her 20s, her chance is 1 in 2,000 women; but by the time she reaches her 50s, her risk is 1 in 40. While studies have shown U.S. breast cancer mortality rates have decreased more than 30 percent due to mammography and improved therapies, mammography rates are below 60 percent. “Luckily, there is no shortage of screening, treatment and education services in Rochester,” Dr. O’Connell said. “Women should make their bodies a priority and take advantage of the resources.”



to Get Your Breasts Checked, it could be a death sentence

by 56megan october backus 2011 ::

The HBIC, part of URMC’s University Breast Imaging, is one of those resources. It offers comprehensive breast imaging services in one place, including screening and diagnostic imaging, diagnostic breast ultrasound, biopsy, cyst aspiration and pre-operative needle localization. The Center has also provided free screenings for women and men who are uninsured and underinsured since 2003. (The upcoming annual Highland Breast Cancer Education Event helps support this outreach.) And at the HBIC, women do not wait. The Center keeps timeslots open daily, so if a woman finds a lump or needs a follow-up appointment she can get in within 24 hours. Women who come in for an annual breast screening can also have results in less than two hours. “We understand mammograms cause anxiety, so we make the process as fast and seamless as possible for everyone,” Dr. O’Connell said. Thanks to her mammogram, Cromartie has been cancer-free for almost four years. She encourages all women to get a mammogram. “Women make excuses, and that’s the wrong thing to do because we short-change ourselves,” Cromartie said. “Those are years of our lives we are losing. Are you willing to give that up because you’re afraid?”


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Inspire rochester women


Laura Robertaccio Surviving With Breast Cancer

article & photos by Michelle Macirella

I met with Laura Robertaccio recently, who greeted me at the door with a beaming smile while welcoming me into her home. She gave me a tour of the family photos on the wall and showed me her photo album with pictures of the family vacationing at the beach, a place she loves to go. Laura is a very interesting woman. She is married and the mother of two children: a 12-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl. She has a degree in Music Therapy from SUNY Fredonia and plays the piano, the clarinet and a little bit of guitar. She’s very active singing in her church choir and loves to ride bikes with her husband. And Laura also has breast cancer. She is not a breast cancer survivor, but rather she is surviving with breast cancer.

First diagnosed in 2004 Laura and her family were living in Batavia where there weren’t too many breast cancer support groups. The next year they moved to Rochester where she found the Breast Cancer Coalition and has been an active participant in their programs ever since. That’s also where she met Eve Strella-Ribson, who gave Laura the opportunity to contribute her story to her book, Moments of Truth, Gifts of Love.

Having dizzy spells and not feeling well for a long time Laura persisted in getting many tests done, but doctors could never find anything wrong with her. Then a lump appeared in her breast. When she went to have it checked out she was falsely diagnosed and told once again that nothing was wrong with her. “And then I went to get a second opinion, which my gynecologist said to do,” Laura told me. “I went from having nothing to Stage 3C, which beyond that is Stage 4. So it was kind of reassuring that there was a reason for all these ailments I had been feeling for a couple of years and to know I wasn’t crazy. The doctor told me I had Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. They didn’t say you have breast cancer. So I was just like oh…okay. Then later when the chemo hit me really hard to the point that I couldn’t do much that’s when it sunk in…this is bad. My kids were three and five at the time and it was hard.” Laura said if she can give any advice to anybody she would say, “if you don’t feel like yourself, keep pushing forward. Be your own personal advocate.” Laura went through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but in 2006 she became metastatic when her cancer spread to her bones and then to her liver in 2008. Since then she’s been continually treated with different types of chemo which help delay the cancer. “The disease will pretty much take my life probably. I’ve outlived my time,” she said. “Usually if you’re metastatic most women don’t live 5 years and it’s been 5 years.” Laura told me there are days where she’s definitely more tired, but she’s not the type to lie in bed all day. She believes in the benefits of integrated medicine and thinks that has really helped her. She works out and eats mostly organic. In addition she practices acupuncture, massage and prayer. She draws a lot of strength from her faith, her family and her husband, who stepped down from his management position so he’d have more time to spend with her and not have to work so many hours. She says they are a great balance for each other. During my time with her I’m so impressed with the strength, humor and grace Laura has about her disease and asked her how she deals with it so well. “I’ve had a long time to think about it because I was diagnosed in 2004 and not that I’ve accepted what has been dealt to me, but I live with it. I try to make the best of it. You know I just continuously push forward.” :: october 2011


“Unlike athletes, there is no single source of injury for performing artists.”

Susanne Callan-Harris, PT, MS Owner, Callan-Harris Physical Therapy

BY Michelle Inclema i PHOTO BY LINDA HAYES As the owner of Callan-Harris Physical Therapy, Sue has spent years developing her programs for performing artists, women with lymphedema, and scoliosis treatment. “Before I opened my own practice in 2000, I worked in sports medicine,” she says. “I was seeing many dancers and musicians, as well as women who had gone through mastectomies and treatment for breast cancer.” She began to question the resources available to these groups, particularly the limitations for women battling cancer. “These women were advised by their doctors not to exercise post treatment, but they needed specialized therapeutic exercise care.” Although Sue was recently diagnosed with breast cancer herself, she pushed forward and opened her own practice. “To tell the truth, I was very discouraged and could not imagine how I would be able to get through it and work. My family, especially my husband David reminded me that my work was my way through. By going to work, focusing on others and connecting daily, I would be able to face the many challenges that come with cancer diagnosis.” As a former dancer with close ties to the Rochester City Ballet including founder Timothy Draper and the Eastman School of Music, Sue was soon working a heavy caseload. “Unlike athletes, there is no single source of injury for performing artists,” she says. Sue and her team focused on developing treatment for performing artists that would change their alignment and technique. She has also partnered with Eastman School of Music, working with students at the school and teaching an injury prevention class called “Keys to Healthy Music.” In August, Sue moved the practice to a larger location adjacent to the Rochester City Ballet on University Avenue. The new clinic includes eight private treatment rooms, an open gym, and a separate classroom area for the innovative Fluid Motion program taught by Sue and staff therapist, Tracy Boccia. “Tracy and I both have a background in dance,” explains Sue. “We are more likely to use movement as a vehicle for therapeutic exercise.” The fluid motion classes are designed to increase range of motion for participants and to ease the transition back to a regular exercise program. “The classes are geared towards becoming independent- knowing yourself and your limits.” Fluid Motion Classes are offered Wednesdays/Thursdays at the clinic, and Saturdays at the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) “My experiences are similar to many of the people we work with because I have gone through the surgeries, and taken the same medications.” As an advocate for affordable breast cancer treatments, CHPT offers the Saturday class free of charge to participants. “It is common to feel like you don’t have endurance or energy,” she says. “We talk about our experiences and it gives us an opportunity to share. No one battling breast cancer should feel alone.” She serves on the medical board for BCCR and was honored with their Advocate Spirit Award in 2009. Sue finds inspiration in the continued love and support from her family and staff. “I am surrounded by people who share the vision for CHPT and expand on it; my staff is continually coming up with ideas to improve our contribution to the community.”


october 2011 ::

Callan-Harris Physical Therapy is open Monday-Friday and is accepting new patients. Call 482-5060 for an appointment, or visit their website:

“I was very thankful that I was able to keep working.”

Pat Bernhard

Director, Henrietta Public Library

by Nicole Shein I photo by lizz comstock In Greek mythology, the Naiades are spirits of the water, nymphs who reign over streams, brooks, fountains and springs. In Rochester, New York, the Naiades are strong women, survivors of cancer who row on the canal and the Genesee. One of them is Pat Bernhard, Director of the Henrietta Public Library. “I always looked at those shells and though how sleek and fast they looked, and I wanted to try that,” says Bernhard, who fought the effects of cancer and its treatments through physical exercise--first walking, then running, skiing and finally rowing. “The women I row with, I am just in awe of. They are so strong and determined, and it’s just a good group to have as a touchstone.” Bernhard first learned that she had breast cancer in 1992, right around Christmastime. “It was a shock--I had never expected it,” she says of the diagnosis. “It was scary, but the care available in Rochester is absolutely fantastic. I was able to meet with and choose my surgeon and the doctor who would be giving me chemo, so I was comfortable with them. I did not have a lot of trouble during chemo, and part of that was my mindset. I decided that chemo was going to be my best friend, and I looked forward to it.” Bernhard’s courageous mindset served her well as she underwent six months’ worth of chemotherapy, and then radiation, all while working full-time. “The focus on my work helped tremendously,” she says. “I was very thankful that I was able to keep working, to remain busy and have other people around me.” Now Director of the Henrietta Public Library, Bernhard--who decided to pursue a career in library science after moving to Rochester with her husband in 1970--also worked as a branch manager at Greece’s Paddy Hill Library. “I really enjoyed taking my kids to the library,” she says. “The library system is so fantastic; I started working as a desk assistant at one of the libraries even before I got a degree. “It’s like family here. This is the greatest bunch of women that I get to work with, and I’m so privileged.” Bernhard also feels lucky to have found her rowing group, the Naiades--female cancer survivors who row both recreationally and competitively, even participating in regattas like the celebrated Head of the Charles. Yet there’s more to it than just the athletic aspect. “We do other things besides rowing; we have a book club during the fall, winter and spring, and a support group that meets once a month. We all really support each other. For us, the camaraderie is what it’s all about.” In 2008, Bernhard was diagnosed with breast cancer once again-and once again, met that challenge head on. Although the doctors wanted to monitor the cancer for six months, she went ahead and met with a surgeon to schedule a second mastectomy. “When the other shoe dropped, so to speak, it wasn’t anything like what I had thought, while living with that fear for so many years and wondering what it would be like if it happened another time. So I guess the lesson to learn from that is you take it each day as it comes, and you will cope.” :: october 2011


Exercise and Healthy Eating Habits Can Help Reduce Cancer Risk



October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Without specific data, I think we can all agree and have probably read elsewhere that regular exercise and healthy diet not only reduce your risk in many cases, but also aid in the treatment and recovery of breast cancer. So if we know working out and eating right are good for us, why is it so hard to do and why aren’t all of us doing it? It’s time to roll out two of my favorite maxims to help you with some simple strategies to be successful with exercise, and put the right priority on it going forward. 1. People don’t plan to fail, people fail to plan.  Has you doctor ever said, “why don’t you come see me whenever you get a free moment, I know you’re busy.”?  Your accountant?  Your attorney?  Of course not, that’s ridiculous.  But exercise and nutrition are MORE important than any of those appointments, yet that is how many of us prioritize them, simply ‘planning’ to fit them in where we can. People who are the most successful with fitness make an appointment with themselves to workout and then plan the rest of their activities around it. The same is true of proper diet.  How many times do you leave the house in the morning without a thought of what you’ll eat today?  A good ‘food game plan’ starts with creating a plan for your meals, building a shopping list, and preparing as many meals in advance as possible, along with have healthy substitutes, such as nuts & fruit, jerky or protein bars available when your plans fall through.  That is another of my maxims, “be prepared” borrowed from my Boy Scout days. 2. Control what you can control.  Too many times I have seen people get frustrated and lose motivation because of unrealistic expectations. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times...set fitness/ physical goals which are achievable.  No one knows exactly how exercise and eating healthy will affect their bodies specifically.  Now I’m not saying to not set a goal to lose 10 pounds, but what I’d recommend as a better alternative is to do the research into what it would take to lose those 10 pounds and make your goal something like the following: “For the next 8 weeks, I will be at the gym every Monday through Friday at 6am where I will do cardiovascular exercise for no less than 30 minutes followed by a weight lifting routine (specific to the day of the week I’m there) and an abdominal exercise program and stretching.  Additionally, during those same 8 weeks, I will eat 5 small meals per day consisting of a lean protein source and complex carbs from whole grains and/or fruits & vegetables with no more than 20 percent of the calories coming from fat.  Lastly I will only allow myself two instances each week where I treat myself to a food item that has way too much fat, sugar, salt or all of the above.” THAT is controlling what you can control. The feeling of well-being that comes from being ‘in shape’ can not be imitated.  Whether you are trying to prevent breast cancer, facing down a recovery from a recent diagnosis or are in recovery, having beat the disease...exercise and healthy eating habits are the cornerstone of your plan. Additionally, be sure to do self-examinations, keep your regular appointments with your doctor and get a mammogram on schedule to catch any abnormalities early in the process. Whatever your situation in life is, be sure to prioritize your workouts and plan your meals for optimal QUALITY of life. You’ll never regret it. And, one last maxim, as we say at the place I exercise... “Life’s Tough. Get Fit.”

62 october 2011 ::

John H is the owner of the Downtown Fitness Club, you can reach him through

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63 5/17/11 2:20 PM

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64 october 2011 ::

350 Parrish Street, Canandaigua, NY

::gardening diva

What every woman wants: fun, beauty and easier days ahead… things up as the snow melts. I’m looking for flowers that will add color to my garden as perennials start to bloom and I then look forward to late season bulbs that will mask my early perennials when there are done blooming. This little list brings me to my main message. We should certainly think about prepping our gardens before the snow flies, however, our bigger focus should be on the future – planning ahead to make our lives easier next spring. We have a short spring in Rochester and, sometimes no spring at all. It’s very important to capitalize on the beautiful, long fall to accomplish what we try to ‘cram into spring.’ Projects accomplished now will allow for more time and enjoyment to revel in planting our colorful flowers next spring. I’ve made some decisions about our gardens. I’m taking action now and bringing Larry right along with me.


As I sit down to talk with you this month, I feel positively ‘full of it!’ The temperatures are comfortable, the colors are spectacular and there is crispness to the air that rejuvenates. I’m feeling energized to renew my outdoor spaces and button things up as winter approaches. Hang on! (My mind hears a screeching halt), I did say the word “winter”, but I am not rushing into anything – don’t worry! I’m only planning ahead and being smart about getting down to business. Here’s my thought process… If we all focus on being efficient and productive now, we will be so much happier about our gardens with reduced stress in the spring. At a glance, in no particular order: 1. Decorate with mums, fall flowers, pumpkins and cornstalks for a fun yet sophisticated taste of autumn. 2. Clean up the summer garden remnants. Cut down the once beautiful blooms Rake out debris, fertilize the evergreens for the winter, and give the garden a good once over. 3. Plan ahead for a spectacular spring in the garden next year. Plant tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and crocus. I usually take a little time to think this through. I want early blooming flowers that start to perk

First, our lawn has suffered from this summer as so many lawns appear to be in the same condition. It’s beat from summer heat and I’m not crazy about the look of it. So, we have some lawn renovation to do. Taking care of fertilizing and revitalizing the lawn in the fall gives several months of solid root growth before winter, before things come alive in the spring and a far stronger, healthier lawn before next summer’s heat. Preparing the lawn now will ease my anxiety and afford me the enjoyment of sitting on our patio with a glass of wine rather than focusing on how much there will be to accomplish next year. Second, Larry and I were reading the Sunday paper on a beautiful early September morning. The garden was truly at its peak for fall and so beautiful. Remember… that was several weeks ago. Now, although the same view is nice, it’s not where we’re choosing to read the paper! We’ve decided to take an afternoon and revamp that view by transplanting overgrown plants and redesigning a couple areas of the garden needing to be revitalized. Fall is the perfect time to do this transplanting as there is less stress on the plants and they still have time to establish their root system before winter. The project could wait until next year, but why? Again, I’m looking to make life easier, my ‘to do’ list shorter and the spring days more beautiful. Here’s to some planning ahead and looking at the big picture… enjoy your autumn season and do something to reduce your anxiety for next spring. Frances Grossman





Home. :: october 2011



::did you know?

The US Has the Advantage in Cancer Survival Rates There has long been debate about the quality of the healthcare system in the United States versus other countries, including Canada and European nations. Some say the American system is better, while others think better care is received through a universal or governmentsponsored system. In terms of cancer diagnosis and survival, the U.S. may have the advantage. According to data published by the National Center for Policy Analysis, Americans have better survival rates for common cancers. Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany and 88 percent higher in the U.K. than in the U.S. Breast cancer mortality is also 9 percent higher in Canada than in the U.S. This could be because American women have better access to preventive screening methods than Canadians and others.

Eighty-nine percent of middle-aged American women have had a mammogram, compared to 72 percent of Canadians. :: october 2011




Rochester woma

::the main event

Woodcliff ’s Spa Elan

Events Events Ev vents Events Roch Annual River Walk ladies night

The Spa Elan at Woodcliff celebrated the opening of their new Relaxation Room with a special evening hosted by Rochester Woman Magazine. Over 75 guests were in line early to be pampered with special mini treatments, wine tasting, and fabulous food and desserts provided by the Woodcliff’s Horizons Restaurant.

er woman magazine

Rochester woman magazine

r woman magazine

for CURE childhood cancer

Rochester woman magazi

On September 10th, the Genesee River was the setting for the 2nd Annual CURE River Walk. Teams, families and individuals gathered on this sunny morning to walk to Turning Point Park and back to raise money for CURE childhood cancer. The walk was supported by vendors such as PetSaver Superstore, Tops, Van Bortel Ford, Amiels Subs, Christa Contstruction, Spatola Party Rental, Rochester Woman Magazine and Salon Amissa. The walk raised over $10,000 this year for CURE.

Events Events Events Events Events

n magazine

er woman mag-


68 august 2011 :: 68 october 2011 ::

Rochester woman magazine

an magazine

35th Annual hang around victor days

ts Events


s s


A beautiful early fall day was the setting for the 35th Annual Hang Around Victor Days in the heart of the Victor village. Sponsored by the Victor Chamber of Commerce, up and down Main Street in the Village, Mead Square and The Village Hall parking lot were filled with local merchants showcasing their products and services. The large crowd in attendance also enjoyed great food and beverages, live music and many games and events for the kids. The town mayor even got a little wet!

Rochester wom

Rochester woman mag

Upcoming Events october


YWCA Empowering Women Luncheon

ORGANIZATION: YWCA TIME: 12:00pm-1:30pm WHERE: Rochester Riverside Convention Center WEBSITE:


RWM’s Petpalooza Extra Launch

ORGANIZATION: Wild Wings TIME: 3:00pm – 6:00pm WHERE: Wild Wings in Mendon Ponds



2011 Rochester Fashion Week

ORGANIZATION: The Center for Youth WHERE: Various locations WEBSITE:


2nd Annual Wine for CURE

ORGANIZATION: CURE Childhood Cancer TIME: 6pm-10pm WHERE: Penfield Fitness & Racquet



Al Sigl Center Community Walk About

ORGANIZATION: Al Sigl Center TIME: 8:30am – 2pm WHERE: Marketplace Mall WEBSITE:

11/ 5

9th Greater Rochester Women’s Expo

ORGANIZATION: Foodlink TIME: 10am – 4pm WHERE: Dome Center & Minnett Hall WEBSITE:

Do you have an event coming up? Submit your information to :: october 2011


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::world of women sports BY SARAH JANE CLIFFORD

One of several initiatives supported by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) to eliminate breast cancer is The Life Event created by LPGA veteran Val Skinner. The LIFE Event (LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate Breast Cancer) mission is to fund research dedicated to the eradication of breast cancer as a life-threatening disease while reaching out to a younger generation of women with educational programs and information about the importance of early detection and healthy breast care practices. 2011 LIFE Event The 2011 LIFE Event was held on Monday, June 27 at the prestigious Sebonack Golf Club, host of the 2013 Women’s Open, in Southampton on Long Island. The twelfth annual pro-am featured some of the most elite women golfers in the world from the LPGA. This annual event, still noted as one of the biggest singleday golf event fundraisers for breast cancer initiatives, has raised over $7 million for breast cancer research, awareness and prevention programs since its inception in 2000. Beneficiaries The LIFE Event benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the LPGA’s official national charity and largest private backer of breast cancer research and education, the New Brunswick-based Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and the Young Survival Coalition. Key Programs Funded by LIFE This event is the founding sponsor of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s nationwide initiative, “Komen On the Go”, an interactive, educational, mobile tour that travels to community events and universities across the U.S., conveying life-saving information about breast cancer. LIFE also supports the LIFE Center at CINJ where researchers and medical professionals are dedicated to improving young women’s understanding of the breast cancer risk and their knowledge of appropriate prevention and screening strategies. The LIFE center has established six satellite centers for genetic counseling. Through the LIFE centers young women at risk are provided counseling specific to their needs. Also funded by LIFE is CINJ’s BioCONECT program, a post-doctoral LIFE Fellowship that focuses on the implementation of a high school biology curriculum that teaches genetics using breast cancer as its focus. In 2008 the BioCONECT pilot program was launched in 23 New Jersey area schools and was implemented in South Carolina schools in 2009. Last year the program was launched in New York schools as it moves toward a national program. LIFE Event Partners 2011 LIFE Event partners include The Joe Plumeri Family, EmblemHealth, QualCare, Guy Carpenter, MMC and Genentech. Other notable supporters are Amy Perella, Assured Guaranty, C.R. Bard, ACE Group, The Cox Classic/Steven A. Cox Foundation, and Lincoln Mercury. If you have information, ideas, comments or suggestions for “World Of Women Sports,” please contact Sarah Jane Clifford at (585)3888686. Her e-mail is Clifford owns and operates The Gymnastics Training Center of Rochester, Inc., 2051 Fairport Nine Mile Point Rd., Penfield, NY 14526 :: october 2011


How Cancer Cells are Graded?


When receiving a pathology report after being diagnosed with breast cancer, women might notice the cancer will be graded on a scale from 1 to 3. These grades indicate how different the cancer cells’ appearance and growth patterns are from those of normal cells. Grade 1 cells don’t look much different from normal cells and grow slowly in well-organized patterns. Also, not many Grade 1 cells divide to form new cancer cells. Grade 2 cancer cells grow and divide faster than normal cells and do not look like normal cells. Grade 3, or high grade, appear significantly different than normal cells. These cells grow quickly in disorganized patterns, and many form new cancer cells. While a low-grade cancer diagnosis is generally an encouraging sign, it’s important to note that treatments like chemotherapy and radiation target fast-dividing cells, making higher-grade cancers more vulnerable to treatment.

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Table Toppers Event Designs Boutique,Wedding and Event Design Specialty Linens 585-271-2470

::Say wHat?



Hmmmm. What were they thinking?

We come across a lot of things in the course of our day that just make us stop and say ‘Huh?’ That’s what this section is for. It may be a silly road sign, maybe your pets or your kids did something funny, or yes, maybe you see someone who should have checked the mirror before leaving the house.

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Exclusive Cesar Millan interview


to wild wings sanctuary

A Cat’s Rescue... with beth adams w w w. r o c h e s t e r a n i m a l m ag . c o m


82 34


contents purrrfect picks: fabulous pet finds


for an animals cause: wild wings


cover story: beth adams-pitoniak


an rwm exclusive: the dog whisperer - cesar millan


rwm’s featured pet: our facebook winner


a extra special feature: allie larkin


behavior and training: the rochester women’s giving circle


RWM’s green pets


a day in the life: pet assisted therapy


healthy pets


spike’s corner

16 86


Bet you’re wondering how I got to be the editor of Rochester Woman Magazine’s new Petpalooza Extra huh? Well, let me just say, it pays to know people. You see, my owner publishes Rochester Woman Magazine so I talked her into expanding her furry vocabulary (besides it’s a cool way to pick up chicks) a few times a year to include all of us two and four-legged friends. I mean really where would you all be without the pets in your life huh? Don’t we deserve a little respect? So, in this first issue we sit down with WHAM’s Beth Adams and find out why she is a cat lover (personally I don’t get it, but hey cats have to have fans too I guess). We also were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Cesar Millan, National Geographic’s The Dog Whisperer. I love that guy; I watch his show all the time, well that is, when ever I can get the remote away from that darn Shar-pei I live with. Always watching her soaps when no one’s looking…women, go figure! We also have some great pet products for you to try, well actually for you to buy for us. I’ve personally checked them all out, and I highly recommend the Cozy Puff dog bed (which my mom took a picture of me squeezing all of my 120lbs. into. I gotta tell ya, it almost makes me want to stay off my owner’s bed….well, ok, let’s not get carried away! Hope you enjoy our first edition! If you have any comments or suggestions, send me an email and I’ll pass it on to the publishers, well my owner. Until next time, be good to your pets and hey, let ‘em have a table scrap now and then will ya.


our petpalooza extra team Publishers Kelly Breuer Barb McSpadden Editor-in-Chief Spike Creative Director Kelly Breuer Graphic Design Melissa Meritt Jessica Bates

Writers Kate Antoniades Joanne Brokaw Kristin V. Elliott Zachary Grove Dr. Simon Kirk Mark Patrick Nicole Shein Sales Scott Doe


Tuxedo’s K9 Training Camp Training you to train your dog!

Mark Forrest Patrick Certified Dog Trainer 585-429-0320

Rush Inter Pet, Inc. Pet Cemetery Crematory Funeral Home

Rochester’s Only Canine, Feline and Equine Rehabilitative Veterinary Care Center Providing Veterinary Rehab, Acupuncture, Sports Medicine, and Chiropractic Services By Referral Only Also offering Home-Away-From-Home Boarding

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For 32 years, we at Rush Inter Pet have offered body transportation, cremation services and urns, keepsakes, memorial headstones, caskets and interments in our beautiful cemetery for any size pet. Rush Inter Pet Since 1979

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FABULOUS 1 ::purrrfect picks

Doodie Pack


Doodie Pack is a light weight, highly functional utility dog backpack and durable pet waste management system designed to improve your quality of life and relationship between you and your dog. 585.749.5824 I WWW.DOODIEPACK.COM



PET FINDS Located in Massachusetts, Cozy Puff Dog Beds are made of Polar Fleece from Polartec® and hypoallergenic polyfill. Cozy Puff comes in four different sizes and portions of every sale are donated to “Operation Baghdad Pups.” 413.754.4333 I WWW.COZYPUFF.COM

3 fabulous

Hip Green Pet

Hip Green Pet offers a wide range of USA made, earth friendly products for your pets. Here you can find durable, non-toxic hemp toys, 100% organic bamboo collars, leashes and harnesses, and also Eco Nap Dog & Cat Beds made from recycled plastic bottles. 585.479.7132 I WWW.HIPGREENPET.COM

FABULOUS 4 The Gray Cottage Pet Spa & Boutique The Gray Cottage Pet Spa & Boutique grooms both dogs and cats of all breeds and sizes and will leave your pet feeling clean and fresh. They offer various treatments such as their doggie facials and no water cat baths in a stress-free, spa environment. 585.329.2162 I WWW.THEGRAYCOTTAGE.COM



Sit Jump Fetch Sit Jump Fetch provides homemade dog treats and snacks that are healthy, and baked fresh for each order. Treats come in many different flavors and are a great gift idea for fellow dog lovers. 585.334.7060 I WWW.SITJUMPFETCH.COM :: october 2011


SHIFT+CONTROL ::wild wings

wild wings Home for Non-Releasable Raptors Takes Flight BY Zachary Grove

The Wild Wings house sits nestled behind flowery posts and bird displays, off to the side of the Nature Center at Mendon Ponds Park in Mendon, NY. You might think it was an administrative building for the park if you didn’t know better, or if you happened to miss Athena, the facility’s female bald eagle with a nearly seven-foot wingspan, screech in the joy of her morning mist bath.

Athena, a native eagle of Alaska, was rescued and brought to Wild Wings after being shot and suffering nerve damage to her wing. Unable to fly or hunt for herself, she is now non-releasable and will spend the rest of her days in Mendon. thena is one of 24 raptors housed at the Wild Wings facility, which also takes care of a bobcat, Tara, the mascot of the bunch. These animals have been brought here from as far away as Oregon, Wyoming, Alaska, and New Mexico to educate the community about wildlife preservation. While some of the birds were hit and injured by cars, others were deemed non-releasable due to human ignorance. For example, Barf the turkey vulture (named after turkey vultures’ vomiting defense mechanism), was brought to Wild Wings due to human imprinting. Wild Wings’ mission is to dispel this type of ignorance and promote proper treatment of the animals through education. “These birds serve as ambassadors for the rest of their species out in the wild,” says Terry Kozakiewicz, director, Wild Wings. “Hopefully seeing Athena or Tara up close will help the people on our tours realize that it’s not okay to trap or shoot or keep these animals as pets. The birds we have here, at this proximity, speak volumes for those in the wild.” Wild Wings itself receives no funding from Monroe County, and with the exception of one staff person, operates on a volunteer basis. In fact, it is a testament to the generosity of Monroe County that the local non-profit has grown. Wild Wings first operated out of a barn in Hilton, NY in 1995. The old facility did not allow for inhouse programming or expansion to house more animals. In 2006, the organization engineered a move to Mendon Ponds which included building its current facility through the help of volunteers (with pro bono supervision from local architects), adopting many more eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls. Wild Wings also instituted a travel program with the raptors for educational purposes—all funded by volunteers, donors and grants. 80 october 2011 ::

Today, Thirty-five full-time volunteers run the show, in addition to a home schooled student and college interns, including one Cornell University veterinary medicine student who spends her summers learning how to care for, handle and feed the animals. Wild Wings also enjoys the help of local Boy Scouts, whose Eagle Projects have contributed signs, railing posts, and park benches in the Mendon facility. Despite the commitment of volunteers, the non-profit relies heavily on visitor contributions and funds generated from traveling and inhouse educational programs. Wild Wings offers live bird of prey demonstrations on-site and in our community at festivals, fairs, and even corporate meetings, and programs such as the Owl Pellet Dissection Workshop, a popular one for schools. Other in-house programs in the newly-renovated classroom at the Mendon Ponds facility are available for all ages, like the birdhouse workshop in which participants learn scientific facts, then build and take home their own nest box to attract wild songbirds. As a low-cost birthday party option ($60 for two hours at the facility, including bird demonstrations and the classroom facility), Wild Wings also offers the opportunity to learn more about our natural world while providing a place for kids to have fun. Educational programs help cover the facility’s expenses, the largest of which is purchasing food and medicine for injured raptors. Taxdeductible monetary donations are graciously accepted as well as items from the sanctuary’s “Wish List” like paper towels, sponges, postage stamps, garbage bags, sunflower seed, computer paper, rubber gloves, venison and even ravioli for Korbin, an American Crow who was kept as an illegal pet and loves Italian food. While sustaining and caring for non-releasable birds of prey like Athena, the grassroots facility hopes to continue its mission of fostering awareness of wild animals and promoting personal responsibility for the natural world around us.

Wild Wings is a non-profit educational organization and sanctuary dedicated to the care of permanently injured birds of prey. For more information on Wild Wings, call 585-334-7790 or visit

::cover story

82 october 2011 ::


ms talks

::cover story

about cats, cats, and … well, cats! BY Joanne Brokaw i PHOTOS BY MICHELLE MACIRELLA

Chances are that you know Beth Adams as the co-host of radio’s WHAM Morning Show. But she’s also a lifelong animal lover who uses her platform in the media to help call attention to animal issues in the Rochester area. That fact made her a perfect choice for the cover of the first issue of Rochester Animal Magazine. Or should we say “purr-fect” choice, because as you’ll soon find out, Beth Adams is a cat lover. Adams, the youngest of five children, describes her childhood in Lancaster, N.Y. as filled with a steady stream of pets that included a cocker spaniel named Taffy, a canary named Mickey, gerbils and hamsters, mice, turtles, two rabbits named Uno and Blackie, and another dog named Freckles — but no cats. That was most likely because her mother didn’t like cats. So despite growing up surrounded by animals, it wasn’t until she was 29-years-old that Beth Adams realized she was a cat person. She had moved around while establishing her career, not exactly a lifestyle suited to having a pet. While living in Florida, she often borrowed her friend’s dog to get a fur fix. This particular friend also had three cats. One day, Adams was stretched out on her friend’s couch; the two were enjoying a postwork cocktail and chatting. Suddenly one of the cats snuck out from under a bed, climbed up onto Adams’ lap, and promptly curled up for a nap. Her friend was shocked because that particular cat was normally afraid of people. But on this day, the finicky feline was completely content to snuggle with its new friend. “You’re a cat person,” the friend declared. This was a revelation to Adams, who really had no experience with cats. But when she moved back to Western New York, she decided to change that. Her older brother’s cat had just kittens, and she took one home. The kitten was Amico and he was born with feline leukemia. Amico only lived about 20 months but he taught Adams a valuable lesson: She really is a cat person. “I love all animals,” she says. “I specialize in cats. I think I may be on the same emotional frequency as them or something.” In June 1994, three weeks after Amico died, Adams visited Lollypop Farm. This was back when the cat cages were accessible to the public, and one little six-week-old kitty was screaming and reaching out of his cage to get her attention. It was love at first sight. She brought the kitten home, named him Oscar, and the two began a kitty-human love affair that lasted more than 14 years. Oscar, she says, was her soul mate and the love of her life. So in 2006, when a whirlwind romance brought local sportswriter Scott Pitoniak into her life, Adams included Oscar right from the start. At the time, she was living in a condo, and when Pitoniak came to pick Adams up for their first date she could have just met him in the lobby. Instead, she invited him upstairs to meet her cat.

“Oscar was sitting on the back of a wing chair like a king,” Adams laughs. “Scott was friendly and tried to talk to him; Oscar just had a deadpan look.” But Pitoniak was determined to win the cat over and plied him with food. It worked. One day Adams walked into the living room and found Oscar sitting on Pitoniak’s lap, an honor that until then he’d reserved for his mom only. “It was kind of his stamp of approval,” she says. Adams and Pitoniak (and Oscar) were married in 2007. Oscar passed away from renal carcinoma on December 13, 2008. One night not long before Oscar died, Adams witnessed a touching conversation between her husband and her cat. “I was standing behind them and Oscar was sprawled out on the bed and Scott was saying, ‘It’s OK, buddy, I’ll take care of her forever. You don’t have to worry.’ And Oscar just kind of sighed and put his head down…I really believe Oscar was waiting for me to meet Scott before he left the planet. I really do.” “They say you marry someone who is really like one of your parents,” Adams muses. “I realize that I married my cat. Scott has all of the qualities that Oscar had. The sweetness, the loyalty, the sense of humor, the intelligence, the playfulness. He has so much in common with Oscar.” Adams and Pitoniak now share their home with a four-year-old cat named Sassy. After Oscar died, Adams missed having a cat but wasn’t ready to make a commitment to another feline. Someone suggested she foster a cat. She thought it was a great compromise and soon took in Sassy, who had bounced around before ending up with a rescue group. Not surprisingly, Adams says, “Two days later I was signing the adoption papers.” Adams admits that she a different relationship with Sassy than she did with Oscar. Sassy is sweet, loving and easy-going, but she “went through so much before I met her…She’s pretty independent.” Oscar, however, is never far from her thoughts. She thinks he may return to her in a new body, she says. “I kind of think Oscar might come back as a dog.” That would be OK with Adams. When she was seven-years-old, her brother adopted a Springer Spaniel mix from the Erie County ASPCA, and Adams quickly commandeered the dog, named Freckles, for herself. Adams explains that around that same time, her father left the family. While she hasn’t seen him in many years, he impacted her relationship with animals in a disturbingly profound way. “He was abusive, and actually he was abusive to my animals,” she says candidly. She and Freckles helped each other through a very difficult time. Those experiences motivated her to become an advocate for animals, although she’s never been able to actually volunteer in a shelter. “I don’t know if I could handle some of what goes on there,” she admits. “I probably sound cowardly but it would traumatize me.” :: october 2011


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::an rwm exclusive

86 october 2011 ::

an int

terview with

::an rwm exclusive

the one and only dog whisperer Cesar Millan

BY Nicole Shein

Dogs are our pets, our companions, our proverbial best friends. They assist the blind, accessorize starlets, and add a necessary dose of unconditional love to our everyday lives. Yet Cesar Millan, a.k.a the Dog Whisperer, prefers to think of dogs as teachers.

“We can transform ourselves a lot if we are willing to learn from the dogs,” says Millan, the internationally known trainer whose work is just as much about the people who love their canine companions as it is about the dogs themselves. “I encourage people to see their dog as a teacher, not as a student, and to be more humble and open-minded.” Millan knows a bit about humility. Born in Mexico, he entered the U.S. illegally in 1990, with little money and even less English. Now, he reigns over a media empire that includes a magazine called Cesar’s Way, numerous best-selling books and instructional DVDs, and even an iPhone app--as well as his wildly popular National Geographic Channel reality program, “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.” Now in its seventh season, the Emmy award-winning show and its star are not without controversy. Detractors say that Millan, whose primary approach to dog behavior relies on establishing and asserting dominance over the animals, relies too heavily on physical techniques to rein in aggressive, out-of-control dogs. Despite the fact that “The Dog Whisperer” issues numerous disclaimers that caution against the at-home use of Millan’s methods, many critics-including the American Humane Association--have denounced both the show and the trainer. Millan’s methods have been called inhumane, cruel, outdated and ineffectual, yet he takes the criticism in stride, maintaining that dog owners need to find their own path. “I never say that my way is the only way, it’s just a way,” states Millan. “I send people to professionals; I tell them, ‘Follow what your dog needs. You want to use positive reinforcement? Absolutely. Whatever works for you.’” The AHA made headlines last year when it reached out to the celebrity trainer, asking him to attend a symposium on humane training methods. For his part, Millan also invited representatives of the animal-rights organization to attend a taping of his show in order to watch him in action. “I believe in sitting down and communicating,” Millan says.“I want my kids [Calvin, 10, and Andre, 7] to see that even if you don’t agree with someone, you can still invite him to your house and you can change the world together. My energy can change

your perception of things, but you have to feel me, experience me. A dog would never judge someone without meeting them.” Millan also thinks that dogs can teach us a lot about what really matters in life. “So often we get distracted from what should give us enjoyment: family, nature, unconditional love, acceptance of yourself, hope,” he muses. “Acceptance is a big deal here in America, but it has to start with yourself. When a dog has three legs, he accepts himself right away. He doesn’t say, ‘I’m not pretty, I have a belly, I need the Botox.’ Acceptance is one thing that the dog can bring into our lives.” Not surprisingly, Cesar Millan also enjoys working with the earth. “I would like to have a big plantation of orange trees and apple trees,” he says. “I’d like to be a farmer. Working with the earth, to me, is super fun -- to see everything grow, it’s so relaxing. And I love to ride a John Deere!” Like dogs, Millan says, plants offer copious rewards for our efforts in helping them flourish. “They’re not asking anything in return,” he says. “They just want attention and time with you. I love nature because it keeps you grounded. After all, only people give value to money. The dog doesn’t know anything about money. You give $100 to a dog? He’ll pee on it.” Instead of throwing money at problem dogs, Millan suggests we would do better to give them our time and attention. “Everyone focuses on buying the most expensive leash in the world,” he says, “but the best leash is made of honesty, integrity and responsibility.”

“ The best leash is made of honesty, integrity and responsibility.” :: october 2011


::RWM’s featured pet

For the inaugural issue of Rochester Woman Magazine’s Petpalooza Extra, we held a photo contest on Facebook to find out which of our fans had the cutest pet. We soon discovered that you all have very cute animals and the voting was fast and furious, but in the end Layla was the clear winner. How can anyone resist that beautiful face! We sat down with Layla’s owner, Amanda Lang to find out more about our adorable winner. Q. Tell me about choosing Layla. How did you know she was the right dog for you? A. We were drawn to the Newfoundland breed because of their calm and sweet disposition. We had been looking to adopt a Newf puppy for a while, when I saw that Southshore Newfoundlands (a highly regarded Newfoundland Breeder) had puppies available. When we saw Layla, we were more than impressed! Q. What are Layla’s best qualities? A. She is really good at making people smile, especially strangers who pass us on the road when we take her for car rides and walks. She has a lot of personality in her face and always has her tongue sticking out. It is a quite a funny sight and people in other cars always take notice. More often than not, when stopped at a light, I look and see a car full of passengers

giggling and pointing at the big funny dog with her tongue sticking out. I like to think she makes their day a little bit happier. Layla also visits a local retirement home, where she lights up staff and residents alike. Q. What is the best advice you have for other dog owners/people thinking about getting a dog? A. Do your research. Every breed is unique in personality, size, temperament and commitment from their owners. Newfoundlands, for example, grow fast - and therefore, only stay small for a short time. It is important that those interested in getting a dog understand puppies will only stay puppies for a short time - owners must be prepared to raise and care for a full grown adult dog. Q. What is the best moment you have had with Layla? A. Her first night home was a lot of fun. At the time, I was commuting once a week to Washington D.C. Originally, we had decided to pick Layla up on Saturday evening so we could go together. But we couldn’t wait and Henry picked her up on Friday evening. I remember sitting in the airport impatiently waiting to get home so I could meet our puppy. It was the longest one hour flight ever. Arriving home at midnight to a Newfoundland puppy sleeping on the floor was the best welcome home!

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Allie Larkin’s debut novel

SHIFT+CONTROL :: allie larkin

honors rochester dogs

In Allie Larkin’s debut novel, Stay, set partly in Rochester, Savannah Leone deals with heartbreak, loss, and the dog that got her through it all – one chewed shoe at a time.

The story grew out of a writing assignment Larkin was given while attending St. John Fisher College. Over several years, the story went through numerous revisions and plot changes as she tried to get it just right. Growing up in Somers, N.Y., Larkin didn’t have a dog – unless you count her imaginary dog, Starr. Then Larkin and her husband got a German Shepherd named Argo. Since getting a dog changed her life, she figured her character Savannah needed a dog, too. And that’s when the story came together.

“We got Argo when he was five months old and he was already fifty pounds,” Larkin says. “I thought, ‘How weird would it be to go to the airport and pick up a fully trained German Shepherd that doesn’t understand English?’” So in the book, Savannah gets drunk and orders a dog off the internet. Rather than picking up a cute little puppy at the airport, she’s presented with a hundred-pound beast who only understands Slovakian. While Argo inspired the doggie plot twist (and he graced the cover of the book’s hard cover edition), he’s not like Savannah’s dog, Joe. Argo (who, for the record, was not purchased on the internet) is a calm, sweet dog. “The worst thing he did was chew the shoes my husband was going to wear for the wedding,” Larkin says. Joe, on the other hand, completely takes over Savannah’s life. Which is a little bit like Larkin’s other dog, Stella. Larkin and her husband thought Argo needed a playmate, and since life with him had been so easy they assumed it would be the same the second

time around. So when they were asked to take in a 13-month-old dog whose owner didn’t have time for her, Larkin and her husband jumped at the offer. When they went to meet Stella, also a German Shepherd, she seemed really shy and sweet, and was immediately “starry-eyed in love” with Argo. “And then she got to our house and was like a wild animal,” Larkin says. “She chewed everything, talked back, barked at us whenever we tried to get her to do something. It seriously was like having a wild animal in the house.” Argo was miserable. Their cat was miserable. And Larkin, who writes from home, was having second thoughts about whether this was going to work. “But I thought, ‘What was going to happen to this dog if we don’t keep her? How long is somebody else going to try?’” So they got help, read everything they could, and stuck it out. It took Argo almost a full year to go from being annoyed with Stella to wildly in love with her. Now the two are inseparable. It’s safe to say that Argo and Stella provide Larkin with lots of material for future projects, which at press time are still under wraps. And it’s also possible Rochester will make another appearance. It’s Larkin’s way of saying thank you to the city she’s called home for her entire adult life, because living here allowed her to write a book. Rochester is affordable, she says, which meant she and her husband could live on one income while she wrote full-time. And, she adds with a laugh, “We have really long, depressing winters where you want to be somewhere else in your head. Rochester’s actually a pretty good place to be a writer.” For more information on Allie’s book” Stay”, visit

BY Joanne Brokaw

‘What was going to happen to this dog if we don’t keep her? :: october 2011


Make the New Puppy Experience a True Pleasure ::Behavior & training SHIFT+CONTROL


Bringing a puppy home can be an exciting time for you and your family member. Unfortunately, it can also be a stressful time for all concerned. Some pre-planning for the big event can reduce the stress and make the new puppy experience a true pleasure.

First, you should put some thought into your puppy’s day-to-day routine, and for that we will start with feeding. You will want to look for a high-quality food with healthy ingredients. You should discuss any special nutritional needs for your breed or breed mix with your veterinarian. When feeding your puppy, you will want to establish feeding times and try to adhere as closely as possible to them; dogs are creatures of habit and will know when it is time to be fed. You may be tempted to leave food out for your canine friend so that he/ she has access to it when you are not there. Avoid this temptation; some breeds have a habit of overeating if the food is available and run the risk of obesity and the health risks associated with it. Just as important, you want your puppy to understand that you are the provider of his/her food and therefore the “alpha dog”. He/she will respect you as such and be more likely to obey. Play time will be an important part of your puppy’s day and will give you the opportunity to establish yourself as the leader of the pack in your household. Understand that the leader (you) will start and stop all games. If your puppy brings you a toy as an invitation to play, take the toy and set it aside for a few minutes. Then, initiate the play time. Make sure you have possession of the toy when you are ready to end playtime. You never want to chase your puppy to regain possession of the toy. Possession of the toy establishes dominance in your puppy’s mind. Start early and train your puppy to drop the toy and bring the toy to you before ending playtime. Avoid roughhousing and tug-ofwar games with your puppy. Roughhousing can establish rough and even aggressive behavior such as jumping on and mouthing you or other people in your home. Exercise is also an important part of your puppy’s daily routine. Initially, playtime may be enough, but as your puppy gets older, you will want to initiate daily walks. A comfortable fitting harness, 6 foot leash, and poop bags are all important to have when walking your puppy. A harness is recommended instead of a collar; collars can slip

90 october 2011 ::

off easily. A solid leash as opposed to a retractable leash is preferred. Retractable leashes tend to get tangled and don’t allow you as much control of your puppy. Both playtime and walk time are opportunities to establish yourself as the alpha dog. You are going to want to use positive reinforcement training with your puppy will respect you, not fear you. Good quality treats are an important part of positive reinforcement training. Always reward your puppy when he/she obeys, either with a treat or positive words, touching and tone. Sleep time for you and your new puppy is just as important as the rest of the day. Your new puppy’s sleep quarters should be a small crate. Big enough for him/her to stand up and turn around. Keep the crate in a draft-free area. For the first three weeks, be prepared to take your puppy out on a leash to a predetermined relieving area when he/she cries during the night; it is his/her way of letting you know he/she “has to go.” When he/she is done, put him/her right back into his/ her crate, no treats or playtime allowed. He/she should go back to sleep fairly quickly if you follow these rules. A comfortable blanket and an unstuffed toy to snuggle with may help she/he transition from sleeping with his littermates to sleeping alone. If he/she whines during the night, resist the temptation to put she/he into your bed. Once established, this is difficult habit to break. A puppy in your bed may be cute, but think about sharing your bed with a full grown dog for ten-to-fifteen years. A lot of people do it. Just be aware of the long term consequences of bringing little Elmo or Lola to bed with you. Your puppy will quickly become a part of your family and you will want to give him/her all the love and good quality of life that the human members of your family enjoy. May you have many happy years with the newest member of your family.

Happy Endings A Destination Pets Helping People Protecting Animals

Fresh Air, Fill, or Flush?

:: rwm’s green pets

BY Kristin V. Elliott

People love their pets but the waste they produce is a big problem, not only in America, but worldwide. With over 71 million dogs in the United States alone, over 29,000 tons of waste is produced each day. If left “unscooped”, fecal matter breaks down and runs directly in the watersheds and is responsible for up to 90% of bacterial E.coli and salmonella (parasite) pollution, as studies have shown. Ordinances are in place to govern the proper management of pet waste, and there are programs in place to educate consumers about products on the market that ease the burden and embarrassment of picking up. Now that you have followed doodie pick up protocol, what do you do with it? One solution is to compost the waste, but according to experts and environmentalists, unless you have an accurate “How To” understanding, this is not commonly advised. You could be doing more harm than good and putting yourself at risk. The proper steps to safety decompose the neutralize contaminants and microbes is timely and requires a sturdy containment system, septic starter, and commitment. More information can be found on-line about proper composting technique. Another option is to throw the litter bag into the garbage, which ultimately moves it into the municipal landfill. With over 10 million tons of pet waste being added to landfills each year, most contained in “biodegradable” plastic, the volume of pet waste nearly exceeds that of disposable diapers. Outside of the fact that overcrowding of waste is an issue, what is misunderstood and misused is the idea of biodegradability. Often we are led to believe “If you use a biodegradable bag, you are reducing your overall contribution.” Not so true. Many products that would, quite naturally, biodegrade in soil, such as tree and leaf matter, food, and paper, will not breakdown when placed in landfills. The landfill environment lacks the necessary light, water and bacterial activity required for the decay process to begin. A case study in point: “The Garbage Project, an anthropological study of our waste conducted by a group at the University of Arizona, has unearthed hot dogs, corn cobs and grapes that were twenty-five years old and still recognizable, as well as newspapers dating back to 1952 that were still easily readable.” Newly designed landfills promote biodegradation through the injection of water, oxygen, and microbes. But these kinds of facilities are costly have not caught on. So what other options are there? Though not as immediate as your neighbor’s curb-side trash barrel, the option to flush is seeing ever-increasing popularity. Consumers are finding available doodie bags that are designed specifically to be processed through municipal waste treatment centers following a flush. There is a caution, however. “Typical” plastic market bags are not designed for this process and can create bigger issues if misused. Innovators are getting creative…more and more flushable bags, pooch potties and direct lines to waste systems in the yard are showing up on the market. One thing is clear; you need to make an educated decision about to how to properly manage your pet’s waste. Leaving it for someone else, or nature, to “deal with” sends the wrong message. Think through the options: compost, toss, or flush. It makes for happy neighbors, and a healthier environment. Kristin Elliott is the owner of Doodie Pack, LLC

92 october 2011 ::

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::a day in the life

Pet Assisted Therapy Brings Joy to Clients and Volunteers Alike

BY Kate Antoniades The handmade greeting card from the young girl says it all: “It makes us very sad that you have to leave. We will miss you so, so, so, so, so much. We love you.” The card is decorated with a shining sun, a green hill topped with three flowers, and a pink-and-red heart with a banner reading, “Love.” The card’s artist is a past participant in R.E.A.D.® (Reading Education Assistance Dogs), one of the Pet Assisted Therapy services provided by Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester. Through R.E.A.D., which launched in 2008, children read to therapy dogs to improve skills, gain a love of books, and boost self-esteem. This year, volunteer/dog teams are visiting the afterschool program at James P.B. Duffy School #12. Pet Assisted Therapy Coordinator Joette Hartman says she hopes to add other sites, such as local libraries, in the future. Lollypop Farm’s Pet Assisted Therapy program reaches far beyond one school and one age group. Five days a week, about 60 volunteers and their animals visit more than 90 locations around the community, including Rochester General Hospital, CP Rochester, Ontario ARC, and many area nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. They also make appearances at local events, like the annual CURE Childhood Cancer Association picnic. These visits make a big difference in the lives of patients and residents, who get to hold, pet, brush, walk, or just spend time with an animal. “We hear lots of reports from staff members like, ‘Ethel hasn’t talked in two weeks, but as soon as the animals show up, she starts talking,’” says Hartman. “Or people who have uncontrollable shaking—the minute they come into contact with the animal, the shaking stops.” Hartman relates an anecdote that happened before she came on board as the program’s coordinator. One patient, who had been in a coma when a Pet Assisted Therapy volunteer had gently placed a rabbit on her chest, was able to recall the animal’s visit when she later returned to consciousness. The volunteers themselves find the visits rewarding, says Hartman. “They get so much out of it, because it’s the perfect way to spend quality time with their animals while giving back to the community.”

“We hear lots of reports from staff members like, ‘Ethel hasn’t talked in two weeks, but as soon as the animals show up, she starts talking,’” 94 october 2011 ::

Most of the therapy animals in the program are dogs, but four cats, one rabbit, and two guinea pigs also make the rounds. Hartman would like to find additional therapy cats, but it can be tough to find an easygoing feline who is comfortable with travel, able to adjust to unfamiliar places, and friendly with new people. “It takes a very special type of kitty to do this work,” she says. “Everywhere we go, people ask for cats, especially elderly women. So I wish we had more.” Hartman also hopes to find more human volunteers. The current teams of animals and handlers are able to visit certain facilities just a few times a year, and Hartman feels that is not enough. “We’re always looking for new volunteers,” she says. “I’d like to triple or quadruple the number.” Kate Antoniades is the Communications and Social Media Coordinator for Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester For more information on Pet Assisted Therapy at Lollypop Farm, visit

Rochester Animal Services

Adopt a new best friend B

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WE ARE :: october 2011


SHIFT+CONTROL ::healthy pets

Seemingly harmless household items that could poison your pet BY Dr. Simon Kirk

Most pet owners know that chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs. However, many other common household items can harm your pet’s health, too. It’s important that pet owners know what these are so they can avoid an emergency situation, or something even worse. Xylitol, a commonly used sugar substitute, can be found in sugarless gum, sugar-free baked goods, candy and toothpaste, among other items. It’s harmless for humans but can cause dogs to suffer severe side effects, such as low blood sugar and liver failure. Outwardly, dogs who ingest xylitol may demonstrate weakness, staggering and seizures within 30-60 minutes of ingestion. As early as nine hours after ingestion, liver failure evidence appears. Symptoms of liver failure include vomiting, lack of appetite and jaundice. Dogs treated before liver failure begins have a good prognosis for recovery, while those who develop liver failure have a more guarded prognosis. This is why it’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you suspect your pet ingested something toxic. Bread dough can harm dogs because of the ethanol amounts the yeast produces. The warm temperature of the dog’s stomach makes the dough rise rapidly, releasing ethanol that causes physical bloating and discomfort, respiratory depression, central nervous system, depression, coma or death. If treated early, the prognosis for full recovery of bread dough ingestion is good, but many owners are unaware that bread dough ingestion is problematic and, therefore, do not seek veterinary assistance until poisoning has developed. Finally, the holiday season is right around the corner, so take note that some popular holiday plants, such as holly, poinsettias and mistletoe, can be deadly to pets. Poinsettias and holly contain saponin, which can irritate the digestive system, causing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Exposure to saponin is certainly uncomfortable and not something you want to deal with, but it is rarely fatal. However, large ingestions of holly can cause a bowel obstruction. Finally, pets who eat mistletoe could suffer from self-limiting vomiting, mild neurological depression, low blood pressure and cardiovascular collapse. It is very important to seek veterinary advice or attention as soon as possible following a known ingestion of something that is toxic or that you think could be toxic. It is important to keep handy poison control numbers, such as the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 and the National Animal Poison Control Center at 800-213-6680. Also, keep Veterinary Specialists and Animal Emergency Service’s number — (585) 424-1277 — where you can easily access it. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to advise you with emergency situations you may encounter with your pet. Our pets don’t understand the dangers that can be present in certain items; therefore, it is our responsibility as pet owners to ensure our best friends do not ingest toxic items. If they do happen to ingest something they shouldn’t, we must take prompt action to ensure their safety. Keeping them safe from toxic materials is the least we can do for all the love they show us! Dr. Simon Kirk is the co-director of Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service in Rochester. He received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College in 2002 and joined the Emergency Service as an intern after graduating. His primary professional interest is in veterinary emergency medicine.

96 october 2011 ::

Drs. Kim Dodge, Tom Linnenbrink and Kristen Woosley of Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service contributed to this article. For more information on VSES, visit

It’s going to be a


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Shorty Rossi & Hercules hit show,

“Pit Boss”


98 october 2011 ::

From Mini-Makeovers to Total Transformations.

Š 2011 Vicki Ruff Interiors.

Call 585.278.8320 for an in-home consultation or visit today.

Homearama Showhouse designed by Vicki Ruff Interiors :: october 2011


Rochester Woman Magazine October 2011  
Rochester Woman Magazine October 2011  

Our breast cancer awareness issue features the women of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester NY