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Health&Family Vol. 9 Issue 6 June 2013

A PUBLICATION OF THE COMMONWEALTH JOURNAL

EE FR

Southern Kentucky

Journal

‘Drawing’ Attention

Tyrone Vetter

Man’s Best Friend Child’s Play

Men and Their Health

The Steve Crabtree Story


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Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


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&

Health Family Journal Southern Kentucky

INDEX Former Journalist’s Heart Attack.............5 by Joan Kate

Volume 9 Issue 6 June 2013

Investors Can Learn From Swimmers’ Diets......................................8 Edward Jones

PUBLISHER Rob McCullough

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ken Shmidheiser

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Michael Childers Joan Kite Bill Mardis

Tricia Neal Janie Slaven Don White

9 Man’s Best Friend by

Bill Mardis

‘Drawing’ Attention: Tyrone Vetter.........22 by Don White

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Bill Fahey: A Story of Life, Live and Lou-Gehrig......................27 by Kate Smith

Mike Hornback/Advertising Director Mary Ann Flynn Kathy M. Lee Amanda McIntosh Janie Gumm-Wright Craig Wesley

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal is a publication of and is distributed by Newspaper Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored for retrieval by any means without written permission from the publisher. Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal is not responsible for unsolicited materials and the publisher accepts no responsibility for the contents or accuracy of claims in any advertisement in any issue. Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal is not responsible or liable for any errors, omissions, or changes in information. The opinions of contributing writers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the magazine and its publisher. © 2013 Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal P.O. Box 859 Somerset, KY 42502 Email:

Regaining Strength Through Determination........................................13 Total Rehab Center Child’s Play............................................18 by Don White

LAYOUT & DESIGN

Mike McCollom

Battling Sleep Changes As We Age.....12 Comfort Keepers

15

‘At Home’ Firefighting by

Don White

25 DeafBlind

See Stars at Annual Retreat by Joan

Kite

Taking it One Day at a Time...Together...............................28 by Tricia Neal Moved by Love Motivated by Health..............................32 by Don White Local Legends (Darren Burton)............34 by Steve Cornelius Local Legends (George Bryant)...........36 by Doug Eads Senior Calendar....................................38

30

Something to Smile About by Tricia

Neal

mhornback@somerset-kentucky.com 4

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


Former Journalist’s

k c a t A t Heart

Proves Cautionary Tale For Men And Their Health By Joan Kite

Former journalist and Somerset resident Steve Crabtree gives two thumbs up after suffering from a widow maker heart attack in May.

June 2013

If you don’t die an untimely violent death, the grim reaper may arrive in your later years as heart disease, cancer, stroke or Alzheimer’s disease. These ailments are the top four killers in this country – in that order, said Somerset family Dr. Robert Drake. Men, who shy away from doctors, tend to learn this lesson painfully. Ask Steve Crabtree. 5


The Kentucky journalist and Somerset resident suffered a nearfatal heart attack on May 7, the day before his son’s college graduation. Overnight, Crabtree, husband, father and grandfather, became a changed man - quitting cigarettes, watching his diet, exercising and heeding his doctor’s advice. “I turn 58 (in June),” Crabtree said. “The lessons learned from this were multiple-fold.” Inside Crabtree’s body, thick cholesterol plaque had silently and slowly clogged 98 percent of a left descending artery. With every drag of a cigarette, blood platelets thickened. Blood vessels constricted repeatedly. Sticky blood traveled like sludge through Crabtree’s veins and arteries, pumping until one day last month it had no place to go. Crabtree was in his home when he felt a burst of pain that drove him to one knee. Agony radiated throughout his chest and down both arms. As soon as it came, the pain went. Still, Crabtree called his oldest son, Troy, an emergency medical technician. “Bring the blood pressure cuff,” Crabtree said. Troy checked his father’s vital signs.

He insisted his father go to the hospital. Crabtree brushed off the admonition. “I told him, ‘I’m feeling better.’ I had always heard the old adage that if pain persisted for more than 10 minutes, then you went,” Crabtree said. For the next three weeks, Crabtree

Men should visit their doctors regularly for healthcare screenings to identify problems early.

did what so many do. He diagnosed himself. He researched symptoms on the Internet. He self-medicated with warm coke, Tums and baby aspirin. Despite discomfort off and on for three weeks, Crabtree justified not going to the doctor. It’s stress-related.

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Severe stomach acid. It’s not my heart, Crabtree told himself. That’s what he told Dr. Stanton Cole on May 6, one day before he ended up in the emergency room at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. Dr. Cole insisted Crabtree fill the prescription for nitroglycerin and see a cardiologist the next day. Later that afternoon leaving work, Crabtree felt the same discomfort. Instead of driving to the emergency room 500 feet away, he drove to a nearby Shell station and bought more soda. That night, he and his wife filled the prescription. Crabtree may have staved off his own death by downing Tums, baby aspirin, nitroglycerin and warm soda. Several hours later, Crabtree found himself in the E.R. Dr. Ibraiz Iqbal removed the blockage and saved his life. “I was my own worst enemy,” Crabtree said. “I fooled myself. I didn’t want to take time to do cardio. I didn’t want to take time away from my family and career. … I didn’t want to tell myself, ‘You are a smoker. You are slowly committing suicide.’” It is not unusual for men to put off doctor appointments or suffer through early signs and symptoms of a greater problem, said Dr. T. Shawn Caudill,

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Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


who works in Lexington and teaches at University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. “Women engage with the healthcare environment early because contraception, pregnancy and children,” Dr. Caudill said. “Men don’t engage in healthcare until there’s an accident.” Cultural stoicism plays a role as well. Even Crabtree, who did have regular physical exams, admits he perceived himself as invulnerable, an attitude also common in younger men. Dr. Caudill advises men to see their doctor early for health screenings for high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes and other common diseases. Though some may grouse at the cost, especially in dire economic times, preventive care is ultimately cheaper. Colonoscopies and prostate cancer screening should be done in later years. Throughout Kentucky, obesity, smoking and sedentary lifestyle are the triumvirate risk factors for poor health. With discipline and commitment, all risk factors are highly fixable. The Lake Cumberland District Health Department currently offers the Cooper Clayton Smoking Cessation program, a 12-week program offering one-hour classes for 12 weeks. Nicotine patches are $35

June 2013

to $45 for a two-week supply. Classes begin in July. Pounds Off Pulaski County is a local weight-loss support group. Senior Friends at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital offers some medical benefits, health education and support for those 50 and over. Ultimately, men must take responsibility for their health. Eating better, exercising more and quitting smoking can be difficult. “I tell my patients, colon cancer is uncomfortable. Lung cancer is uncomfortable,” Dr. Drake said. Crabtree admits he still has an intense desire to smoke and misses ice cream badly. “I am a recovering ice cream addict,” Crabtree said. He’s fortunate. His heart was not permanently damaged. He’s looking forward to a full recovery – watching grandbabies grow up. Today, he even listens to his doctors. Joan Kite Contributing Writer

Community Health Programs Pulaski County Health Department Currently offering free colonoscopies to those with no insurance and limited income. (606) 679-4416

Cooper Clayton Smoking Cessation Program

Classes to stop smoking begin in July. (606) 679-4416, ext. 2280

Senior Friends at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital A non-profit program for people 50 and over offering some benefits, health education and support. E-mail arlene.mofield@lpnt.net

Pounds Off Pulaski County

www.PoundsOffPulaski.blogspot.com

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Financial Focus

Investors Can Learn from Swimmers’ Diets

BOBBIE HAHN, CFP®, AAMS®

FINANCIAL ADVISOR

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY 71 IMAGING DRIVE SOMERSET, KY 42503 BUS. 606-678-0326 TF. 800-585-2659

www.edwardjones.com

Summer isn’t here yet, but it’s getting close. And for many people, the arrival of summer means it’s time for swimming at the local pool or lake. If you’re just a casual swimmer, you probably don’t have to adjust your diet before jumping in. But that’s not the case with competitive swimmers, who must constantly watch what they eat and drink, particularly in the days and hours preceding their races. While you may not ever have to concern yourself with your 400-meter individual medley “splits,” you can learn a lot from swimmers’ consumption patterns — particularly if you’re an investor. For starters, to sustain energy and stamina for a relatively long period of time, competitive swimmers need to eat easy-to-digest carbohydrates such as whole wheat, whole grains, apples and bananas. When you invest, you want to build a portfolio that is capable of “going the distance.” Consequently, you need investments that provide carbohydrate-type benefits — in other words, investments with the potential to fuel a long-term investment strategy. Such a strategy usually involves owning a mix of high-quality stocks, bonds, government securities and certificates of deposit (CDs). By owning these vehicles, in proportions appropriate for your risk tolerance and time horizon, you can help yourself make progress toward your financial goals — and lessen the risk of running out of energy “mid-stream.” Of course, competitive swimmers have to be diligent not just in what they do eat but also in what they don’t. That’s why they avoid sweets, such as sodas and desserts, when it’s close to race time. These items do not provide lasting energy — in fact, they actually sap energy

once the sugar wears off. As an investor, you, too, need to avoid the temptation of “sweets” in the form of high-yield or “hot” investment vehicles. You may find some of these investments to be alluring, but you will need to carefully weigh the extra risks involved. For many people, these types of investments may not provide the long-term stability needed to help maintain a healthy, productive investment portfolio. While what swimmers eat, or don’t eat, is important to them, their drinking habits are also crucial. The competitive environment — warm pool water, warm air temperatures and high humidity — can quickly lead to dehydration, so swimmers need to drink sizable amounts of water and sports drinks before and during practice. And you, as an investor, need your own type of liquidity, for at least two reasons. First, you need enough cash or cash equivalents to take advantage of new investment opportunities as they arise; without the ability to add new investments, your portfolio could start to “dehydrate.” Second, you need enough liquid investments — specifically, low-risk vehicles that offer preservation of principal — to create an emergency fund, ideally containing six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses. Without such a fund, you may be forced to dip into long-term investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as a major car repair, a new furnace or a large bill from the dentist. So the next time you see competitive swimmers churning through their lanes, give a thought as to the type of diet that is helping propel them along — and think of the similarities to the type of “fueling” you’ll need to keep your investment strategy moving forward.

Edward Jones Member SIPC This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

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Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


Man’s Best Friend By Bill Mardis Editor Emeritus

Rusty has taught me so much. It’s a shame it took me so many years, until so late in my life before I learned what a blessing a canine companion can be. I was married to Linda for more than 50 years before we got a house dog. Up to then I would not tolerate a dog in the house. I simply would not live with a dog, I insisted. It happened by accident. Our son who lives in Florida asked his mother if she could find a dachshund for him to give his wife for Christmas. Linda knew a man who raised dachshunds. He just happened to have a new litter of puppies. She picked what she thought was the cutest one and bought it. He was seven weeks old. Problem was: It was the first of October. Christmas was nearly three months away. Question was: Would we keep the puppy until our son could get home at Christmas? The spotlight shifted to me, the always firm “no dog in the house” man. I didn’t have a lot of time to think. The puppy was ours; it June 2013

had to go somewhere. Dachshunds don’t stay outdoors very well. I could be Scrooge and say, no, and ruin Christmas. Or, as I reasoned, I should be able to put up with anything for three months, so I reluctantly agreed to let the puppy come to our house. The little dog’s shiny rust color mandated that he be called ‘Rusty,’ and so it was. Linda did most of the work, but I tried to help. Rusty had to be taken outside to pee and poop, often in the middle of the night. He was about as much trouble as raising a baby. If he had an accident, and he did several times, he looked at us with those big, brown eyes and wagged his tail, as if to say, “I’m sorry.” He always got forgiveness, immediately. Well, to make a long story short, everybody became aware of the bond that developed between me and Rusty. Our son decided not to take the dog to Florida, apparently because he knew I couldn’t part with it. Before Rusty, I always thought dachshunds were ugly. 9


Somehow, Rusty became an exception. The longer he stayed with us, the prettier he got. I was accused of saying when the puppy arrived at our house that “ ... it’s the ugliest dog I ever saw.” The next day, I was quoted as commenting: “Well, he isn’t really all that ugly.” The third day, they said I said: “That’s the prettiest dog I ever saw.” Dachshunds are notoriously stubborn, and Rusty is true to his breed. To this day, Rusty, unless he is going somewhere, won’t walk. I mean, just to take a walk, not Rusty. Most dogs get all excited when you get the leash. Rusty thinks walking is a pure waste of time. He simply sets his short but strong front legs and you can’t drag him. Rusty is a little chubby and our veterinarian chides us to make him walk; get exercise, “even if you have to get a switch.” First off, I can’t imagine hitting Rusty with a switch. I just don’t have the heart

to do it. I did pull off a dandelion bloom and whack him across the backside, and I wish I hadn’t. Rusty looked at me as if to say, “How could you hit me?” So we didn’t walk. So we don’t walk. The fastest Rusty ever goes is when he chases a squirrel, but he has never caught one; not even close. Rusty has some likes and dislikes. He hates squirrels, cats, motorcycles and yellow school buses. He loves treats between meals and most any kind of food at mealtime. They took his favorite treat off the market because the ‘food police’ said some dogs got sick on it. Well, it didn’t make Rusty sick. He is sick because we can’t buy the stuff for him anymore. Oh, as aforementioned, I’ve learned a lot from Rusty. Mainly, I have found out most dogs are friendly. I used to be afraid of dogs. Time and time again, when I was going to somebody’s house to do a news story, I would ask them to put up their dogs.

Now, after Rusty, all dogs seem to like me. I get licked by the biggest and baddest of ‘em. Rusty likes old people. That’s me. He loves naps and so do I. We don’t argue too much about walking, because we just as soon doze off. Almost four years old now, Rusty is my constant companion. He follows me everywhere I go. He sleeps on his own little bed beside my bed. It’s obvious he thinks I’m something special and the feeling is mutual. Truth be told, Rusty doesn’t think he is a dog. I find myself thinking the same thing. Rusty is a member of our family. I can’t imagine what we would do without him.

Bill Mardis is Editor Emeritus of the Commonwealth Journal

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Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


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As we age, we often experience normal changes in our sleeping patterns. But disturbed sleep, waking up tired every day, and other symptoms of insomnia are not a normal part of aging. Why does sleep change as we age and what is normal? It’s important for caregivers to understand that even the healthiest seniors find that their sleep habits change. At any age, insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, but for adults over the age of 65 even more so. In fact, one out of every four senior adults reports symptoms of poor sleep. And while a good many seniors may feel like insomniacs, some of the symptoms that they experience are because in reality, as we age we don’t ‘sleep like we used to.’ What are some of the normal sleep changes that seniors experienceĂš For one, aging adults feel sleepy earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. Changes in our circadian rhythm, the internal body clock that regulates sleep and waking, are responsible for this change in sleep pattern called advanced sleep phase syndrome. Also quite normally, the older we get the more likely we are to become ‘light sleepers.’ Physiologically, our aging bodies produce lower levels of the growth hormone melatonin which is the cause for a decrease in deep sleep. Not only do we spend less time in deeper sleep cycles, but we spend less time sleeping on the whole - about half an hour less on average. Healthy older people tend

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Sleep Changes

to awake during the night, too, so that on any given night, an older person sleeps 15 percent less than someone younger. And it generally takes longer for seniors to fall asleep. Regardless, sleeping well is especially important for the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of your

senior loved one. Caregivers of seniors should know that while changes such as these take some getting used to, they don’t mean that your senior should spend the night tossing and turning and not getting a good night’s sleep. So how do increase his or her chances of getting a good night’s sleep when these normal changes are impacting the senior in your careÚ Most cases of so called insomnia in elderly people can be remedied with some common sense solutions. If your senior’s sleep issues are not the result of more serious health conditions such as sleep apnea,

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C ď?Ż ď?­ ď?Ś ď?Ż ď?˛ ď?´

As We Age

RLS (restless leg syndrome), depression, heartburn, arthritis or the side effects of various medications that he or she may take -- all which require intervention of a medical professional for treatment -- here are a few helpful sleep tips to follow. * Make sure your senior follows a regular sleeping schedule, going to bed and rising at the same time each day. * Avoid letting him or her take long or frequent naps during the day. * Make sure your loved one gets regular exercise. * Take your senior outside or sit in natural light; it regulates the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sleep-wake cycle. * Minimize caffeine and alcohol. * Make sure that the bed is for sleeping only. If the senior is unable to fall asleep in 15 minutes, encourage him or her to get up, move to a chair and try another activity. As always, if your seniorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health situation changes and he or she has frequent, chronic sleep problems, talk to their doctor. But these simple-to-follow steps may do the trick to help your senior loved one sleep soundly through the night. References. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How do my sleep habits change as I ageĂšâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by Molly Edmonds, Discovery Health, <http://health. howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/aging-process/sleep/aging.ht m> http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/aging/

aging-process/sleep/aging.htm â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Insomnia in Older Adults. Tips for Sleeping Better as You Ageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, HELPGUIDE.org, <http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_aging.htm> http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_aging.htm â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aging and Sleepâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, National Sleep Foundation, <mailto:nsf@sleepfoundation.org> nsf@sleepfoundation.org About Comfort Keepers Sarah Short is the owner of the local Comfort Keepers franchise. Short holds a Master of Social Work degree, with a specialization in geriatrics. For more information on interactive caregiving and the services that will ensure your loved ones remain living independently at home, visit us at www.cksomerset.com <http://www.cksomerset.com/> or call us directly at 606.676.9888.

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Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


Earl enjoying a boat ride in Florida.

Regaining Strength Through Determination Imagine how it feels to be cruising on your boat, having the energy and ability to be active, play tennis, and enjoy life to the fullest and then a week later not be able to walk. It was just that sudden for Earl Archer. He had a stroke in March which left him unable to walk. On his first day at Total Rehab Center he was so unsteady that he was given a brace because he couldn’t control his foot, increasing his risk of falling. At least with the brace he was able to use a walker to get around. At that time he knew very little about the extent of his problem or what the prognosis would be. Despite that, he was determined to make the best of a bad situation. He wanted to begin rehabilitation even though he wasn’t sure what it could do for him. Even at 70 years of age he Misty Adkins PTA, helping Earl with his wasn’t going to balance training.

June 2013

be satisfied with activity restrictions. At first, even gentle exercise was exhausting. Regaining his strength and balance was critical to his hopes of being able to stop using the walker as soon as possible. The exercise was challenging due to the stroke, frustrating at times. Such a sudden loss of function is hard to deal with physically and mentally. Within a month he was able to quit using the walker and only needed a cane. Soon, he didn’t always need to use his ankle brace. His balance was improving and he didn’t feel like he was going to fall. His exercise increased and became even more challenging. The hard work was paying off. He was thankful to his son, Bob Archer, who recommended that he come to Total Rehab Center for treatment even before he was finished with other medical tests. He is an avid tennis player and can now see that he will be able to return to the sport he loves. He is not 100%, yet. With his determination and willingness to follow the prescribed treatment program he will certainly maximize his potential, which is what even an elite athlete strives for.

13


Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry Children

Infants Teens

14

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


Randy and Michele Helsley at their second “home”, the Dabney Firehouse.

Why did Randy and Michele Wesson Helsley decide to become a firefighting couple? “It might have something to do with our house,” says Randy.. “The man we bought it from and his son are firefighters at Science Hill, and the people who lived here before them were also firefighters.” The Dunn Street residence of the Helsleys is only a quarter mile from the Science Hill Fire Department, where both are members. They are also members of the fire department at Dabney on Hwy. 39. Randy, 31, and a 2002 graduate of Pulaski Central, was the first to join the all-volunteer units. “I had known some volunteers in high school, and it’s something I had wanted to do for a long time, says the son of Brenda Helsley, deli manager at WalMart. An employee of Eagle Hardware for the last seven years, Randy says he found himself with more free time June 2013

By Don White

after being transferred to a different job within the company. He began serving on May 1, 2011, while his wife came aboard Feb. 1, 2012. “I was always hopping into the truck with him and going along to take pictures. I figured since I was there, I might as well get qualified to get out and help,” says Michele, 29, and a 2002 graduate of Somerset High. Her parents are Ron and Lena Wesson, who live in Somerset where her dad is assistant manager of the bookstore at Somerset Community College. The couple have two children, Katie, 7, a first grader at Science Hill Elementary, and Mikey, 4. Michelle’s dad is a career Air Force man. She was born in Georgia, and had been to 13 different schools before graduating college with a degree in business. She is now employed at Cundiff Insurance.

Firefighting

‘At Home’

Being involved with two different fire departments keeps the pair extra busy. In addition to the calls, which can come at any minute, each department meets twice monthly for training exercise. There is also regular maintenance to the fire houses and equipment and public relations obligations. “A lot of people don’t realize how much work there is to be done around a fire department,” says Randy. “Keeping the buildings and grounds looking good, cleaning up after a fire run, that’s all just a part of the job, but something the public doesn’t always see.” Besides the obvious fighting of fires, volunteers are also called to respond to any situation that is life threatening, such as vehicle accidents and medical situations, such as aiding someone who may have suffered a stroke or be choking. “We go on more medical than fire runs,” notes Michele. In many cases, because of their close 15


proximity to the Science Hill Fire Dept., the Helsleys are the first responders to a scene. Besides a great desire to help their fellow man, the couple say the close bonding with other firefighters is the main reason they love what they do. “It’s pretty much a second family. And sometimes you fight like family, but you trust your life with these people and that makes it really special,” says Michele. Randy and Michele claim they only

Family time with daughter Katie, seven.

The Dabney Firehouse

fight with each other when they find themselves on the same hose. “Her tactics are just different than mine, so we try to not stay on the same hose too long,” he says. The couple say there is always a need for more volunteers at departments throughout the county. Signing up can be as simple as coming

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to one of the monthly meetings and introducing yourself to the chief or his assistant to get the process started. Having good common sense, a desire to aid your community and willingness to work are requirements. Living in a house previously occupied by firefighters is optional. Don White is a freelance journalist/writer and author of The Kentucky Traveler

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Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


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June 2013

17


Child’s

Play By Don White

Should you ever visit South Korea, ask to see the unique playground equipment made in Ferguson, Kentucky. You can do the same in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, or all of the 50 states. They’re also as nearby as schools and parks in Somerset and Pulaski County. The business known worldwide is easily overlooked locally. Based out of a nondescript structure on Murphy Avenue, Earthscapes Play Structures is owned and operated by Kerry Morrow and Scott W. Miller. Morrow and a former partner, Dennis Beach, owner/ operator of Play Mart, also located in Somerset, were

Scott W. Miller, left, and Kerry Morrow in front of their Ferguson business.

18

building mostly wooden and metal playground equipment some 15-20 years ago. “We decided to ‘go green,’ and we designed and built the first recycled playground for Play Mart,” says Morrow. The recycled structural plastic lumber used in constructing the playground equipment is made from reclaimed postconsumer plastic products like milk jugs and other beverage containers. These products are delivered to Bedford Technology in Minnesota, where they are cleaned and transformed into the materials used to make the plastic lumber posts and board from which Earthscape employees build the playgrounds. The man in charge of designing the structures, which can range in cost from about $6,000 to $66,000, is Morrow’s son, Tanner. One of his latest creations is currently under construction for a city park in Connecticut, and may be the largest composite playground structure east of the Rocky Mountains. “In fact, it may be the largest one in the United States,” says Kerry, noting 224,000 plastic structures will be used in building the massive system of slides, swings, monkey bars, and such. The average playground built by Earthscapes recycles approximately 17,000 plastic food and/or beverage containers. Morrow and Miller spend a lot of their time visiting schools, selling them on the idea of using their product instead of more traditional materials. They usually point to Pulaski Elementary as a prime Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


example of durability. The large structure there was installed nearly 10 years ago. It services hundreds of children daily, has had no maintenance issues, and still looks great, according to Miller. Newer structures are in place at Science Hill Elementary and Northern Elementary. Although their business requires extensive travel, the partners maintain strong ties to their home community. Morrow and his wife, the former Debbie Brummett, a fifth grade social studies teacher at Southern Elementary, have one son, Jordan, a recent addition to the Somerset Police Department. Besides Tanner, who “has been here since we cut the first board,” Morrow has one son, Josh, 39, who resides in Michigan, and two children in Somerset, Casey, 23, and Tanner Morrow at work on a new design. Whitney Morrow, 21. All are graduates of Somerset Christian Academy. Besides the two local manufacturers, there is only one other in America, and it’s based out of California, says Morrow. Employment is somewhat seasonal, with 13 on the job during peak manufacturing season. “It’s been exciting,” says Morrow. “We’ve seen the business grow from a pole barn in Woodstock to a multi-million dollar operation. “Recently, on a short trip along the coast of Florida, Tanner counted 14 of our structures, and our dealer in Bermuda reports there are now 42 on the island.”

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Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


‘Drawing’

Attention

By Don White

Some people may have thought 14-year-old Tyrone Vetter found Jesus and skateboarding at the same time. They would have been right about the skateboarding. “The sport took over my life,” says the now 26-year-old ex-convict. The Dixie Bend resident was introduced to the popular activity by a couple of relatives who had come down from northern Kentucky to attend his baptizing. The same family members would return a short time later and play a major role in getting him hooked on marijuana. “The drugs took control of my life, and it was clear the baptizing had just been for show. I wasn’t seriously baptized until August of last year.” Life has been filled with more ups and downs than found at a skate park for the youngest of Sarah Gregar’s 14 children. His real dad has never been a part of his life, but his stepfather has six children, giving him 19 siblings. Many have excelled in different areas, and early on it looked as if Tyrone was on his way to high achievement as well. As a fifth grade student at Burnside Elementary, his 22

drawing of Elizabeth Taylor earned him first place in an art contest. “At an age when most kids were doing stick figures, I was doing full figures.” But he never tried to improve upon his obvious abilities, not until he was 23 and in prison. As the passion for skateboarding grew, followed by the drugs, he began dressing in black most every day and running with the wrong crowd. Too extreme in his dress and mannerisms for public schools, he was enrolled in a Christian boarding school in Tennessee. “I was soon kicked out due to my mischievous personality.” Returning to Somerset, he spent a lot of time riding his bicycle along the city streets, at all hours of the evening. At age 19, he was on a high at 3 a.m. when he saw an opportunity to enter Somerset First Baptist Church through a basement window. Inside the church office, he helped himself to a laptop, $300 in cash, and a 38 Smith & Wesson handgun. “It was my first time to ever see a gun close up,” he claims. Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


Taking the gun was a giant mistake, because his crime was declared a felony. Otherwise, he would likely have faced a simple charge of breaking and entering, and likely have avoided any jail time as a first offender. Represented by only a public defender, he confessed to the theft, giving police precise details of how he carried out the theft, and how he quickly disposed of everything. He was advised to enter a guilty plea to charges that would result in a 10-year prison sentence. Earlier this month, he had completed half his sentence, and was back on the streets of Somerset--this time with his mom by his side and a large envelope containing impressive artwork under his arm. He was searching for a job, any job, but getting nowhere fast. “Even the fast food places are turning me down because of the felony.” “We’re hoping he can have a career in art, because that’s what he loves to do,” says Mrs. Gregar, while noting he has obtained his GED. Helping him toward realizing his dream

has become an undertaking of the Carnegie Community Arts Center family, according to Rhonda Wilford, owner of Sheltowee Art Shop. “One artist here has offered to give him lessons in painting, plus improve his skills with a computer. “He needs someone to step forward and give him a chance. I truly believe they won’t be sorry. He loves to work and is obviously particular and a perfectionist. He’s willing to do any odd jobs and will work hard because he has something to prove.” “I told myself at nine or 10 that I wanted to be an artist, but I sure got off track of my calling. Going to prison helped me a lot,” says the man who is totally self-taught in art. He was able to perfect his skills by purchasing art supplies with money from a tax refund check and selling portraits to fellow inmates and staff for $20-$25 each. “I made $700 total doing that and making greeting cards, and I was able to support people who had nothing,” June 2013

23


he says. “I’m just so happy the Lord came back into his life,” says his mom, a former Hospice worker. “My thing now is I want to live for the Lord and my art. And I really want to get involved in the community, speak to youth and detour them from making the same mistakes I did. “I’m extremely not a violent person, and I’m no good at being bad.”

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606•787•4029 Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


Deaf-Blind See‘stars’

at Annual Retreat;

Community Provides Support, Technology

By Joan Kite

Both had come undone. For days, teacher Anne Sullivan was spelling words in the hands of young deaf-blind Helen Keller, a prisoner of darkness and silence in 1887. When Anne spelled the word “c-u-p” into Helen’s palm, Helen answered by smashing the vessel into bits. Finally, in a fit of angry inspiration, Anne dragged Helen to a well, shoved her student’s tiny hand under the running water and furiously spelled the word “w-a-te-r.” In one historical second, contact. Helen understood. Connection was made. Helen Keller went on to become a renowned author, speaker, political activist and icon for the deaf-blind community. Her efforts inspired President Ronald Reagan to declare the last week of June as National Deaf-Blind Awareness Week. In Kentucky this spring, 22 deafblind residents gathered at an annual retreat in Nancy to hold the stars in their hands. With an iPad and the Skyview app, Marilyn Trader, a region representative for the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, told her deafblind audience, “We’re going to bring the stars to your hands tonight.” Deaf-blind participants honed an iPad on the Big Dipper. The realtime stardust appeared instantly on the screen. “Oh my goodness, it felt like I was June 2013

Teacher Anne Sullivan taught Helen Keller how to sign words and opened the door for Keller to pursue her life’s dreams.

touching Jesus tonight,” said Eubank resident Loretta Gilliand. Gilliand and her sister, Margo Cameron, of Somerset, were born deaf and blind. Both use hearings aids and canes. The two attended the annual retreat, held every April at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Recreational Center. There, counselors helped them to obtain new iPads and iPhones. “I was trying to get me something for when I go to the grocery store or here at home to tell me what the labels on grocery food say,” Cameron said. The 48-year-old woman lives alone with her 10year-old granddaughter. Cameron’s 18-year-old daughter was killed in a car crash seven years ago. New technology and the caring of skilled professionals expands the world for Kentucky’s deaf-blind community.

It’s a small one. Nationally, about 40,000 are deaf-blind. Kentucky’s Office of the Blind has 800 deaf-blind consumers, said Dorothy Brame, state coordinator for deaf-blind programs. “If someone is legally blind and has a hearing impairment that is considered as deafblindness too,” Brame said. Consumers, as they are called in the government system, can be born deaf-blind or lose sight and hearing at any age. Routinely, the elderly join the ranks of the deafblind due to age-related conditions or illnesses. National organizations like the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults and state organizations like the Office of the Blind, the Kentucky DeafBlind Project, and the Kentucky Association for the Deaf-Blind provide assistance to the deafblind who must learn how to make their way in a world with no sight or A deaf-blind consumer bonds with a horse at the annual deaf-blind retreat in Nancy, Kentucky.

25


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sound. Most services are designed to enable the deaf-blind to live in the world as productive citizens - holding jobs, earning degrees and living lives as independently as they can. Exclusion and breaking through the isolation are huge hurdles, said Pamela Glisson, executive director of Independence Place. Located in Lexington, Independence Place caters to anyone with any kind of disability. Glisson, who grew up blind in Harlan County, knows how difficult it is to get help and understanding. She struggled in grade and high schools, but went on to learn Braille, attend college and earn her bachelors and masters degrees. Today, all her office equipment talks to her. “I couldn’t do my job without assistive technology. All my devices talk to me - my computer, my IPhone and my K-NFB reader,” Glisson said. She even has a tool that takes a picture of a business card and reads the card aloud in seconds. Meeting people has never been easier. Independence Place also offers the National Federation of the Blind-Newsline service to those individuals who have devices with a refreshable Braille display. Increasingly, software developers are creating disabledfriendly apps like Humanware Communicator and Purple that plug into handheld devices. “We can see that those in need get financial assistance to acquire assistive technology,” Glisson said. Grants and loans are available. iCanConnect, the national deafblind equipment distribution program, also provides equipment to those who Eubank deaf-blind resident Loretta Gilliand uses an iPad to see the sky’s qualify for the constellations. federal program. Twyla Hammons, who serves at the Somerset Kentucky Office of the Blind, said she would like the region to finance and install handicapped-accessible devices like chirping crosswalk signals so the disabled can find their way around town. The first step is knowing where to go for help. If you are reading this story, and know someone who is deaf-blind, share this information with them. Help break through their darkness and silence. You can introduce them to a new world, a new life. Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


Bill Fahey:

By Kate Smith Inspiration comes in many forms and according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, inspiration is the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions. To Michelangelo, it was the blank canvas of the alter wall at the Sistine Chapel that moved him to paint “The Last Supper;“ one of the most recognized and wellknown works in the world. To Michael Jordan, it was perhaps the action of being cut from his basketball team in 10th grade that drove him to be, to some, the best basketball player in history. And to the staff of Helping Hands Personal Care, it was a man who just wanted to go to church. A man that unbeknownst to them, would change their lives forever. Most have never heard of Bill Fahey. He is not a renowned painter or a famous basketball player. He is a man that is a veteran of the armed forces and had made his living working on horse farms until he retired, yet his love of horses and horse parks has never changed. He has never married and his children are 2 beloved Labradors. Bill’s very normal, fulfilling, day-to-day life, changed March 10, 2010, when normal took a backseat and Lou Gehrig’s Disease(ALS) called shotgun. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,“ affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed and eventually pass away. Bill was shocked and devastated. He became depressed and angry. There was a flood of ‘Why me’s’ and ‘Not fair’s.‘ However, Bill’s fun-loving nature would not allow him to stay sad for long. Neither would his faith in God and the love of his dear friends Bob and Cathy. Having no family near to him, without this pair, June 2013

A Story of Life, Love and Lou-Gehrig Bill would not have anyone outside of medical professionals to rely on. And even though they are not blood relatives, they are most definitely family. Bill says, “I put God first. Then all the people that are looking after me and caring for me…[They] make all the difference in the world and I owe them everything!“ As the disease progressed, Bill became unable to effectively care for himself and rather than placing the soul burden on his dearest friends, he made the humbling decision to check into a nursing facility. Bob and Cathy visited regularly and would take him to see his dogs and to dinner and the movies. Although grateful to them for taking him out of the facility on numerous occasions, his one wish was to go to church on Sundays. Unfortunately, the two were members of a different church and were unable to take Bill to his. The nursing facility could not take him either as they were not equipped to provide services outside the facility. Soon, both of Bill’s arms became paralyzed and the outings slowed down drastically. It became increasingly difficult for Bob and Cathy to move Bill from the wheelchair, to the car and from the car to the wheelchair. It was a painstaking process for all involved. Then an outside care provider was called in to assist , and for whatever reason, either liability issues or from lack of clinical ability, they couldn‘t get Bill to church either.

For months, Bill was very limited in the amount of outings he was able to take and was unable to visit his dogs, whom he missed terribly. Yet still, all he really wanted more than anything was just to go to church on Sunday. Bill was becoming a prisoner of his own body. Enter, Diana Williamson, A.R.N.P and Clinical Director and Daniell Fulk, the Client Service Coordinator of Helping Hands Personal Care. Two women who received a plea for help from Bill and Bob and Cathy and who answered with compassion, care and love and helped release Bill from the prison he was in. On one very special Sunday, Diana and Daniell met Bill at his nursing facility. Miraculously, due to their clinical knowledge and determination to

give this man his wish, within 20 minutes, Bill was in the vehicle and on his way to church. This one event, this one man with a terrible disease, would become the catalyst that would change the way Diana and Daniell viewed and lived their lives, both personally and professionally.

For over a year now, Bill has been inspiring everyone at Helping Hands Personal Care and everyone he meets for that matter. Diana and Daniell say, “His spirit of having fun and being the center of attention is most apparent when you are with him. But most of all, you cannot stop laughing and just smiling. And when you leave, you always feel good.” Bill’s spirit is infectious. He has every reason to hate the world and instead, he embraces his fate. He has a positive attitude and a smile on his face no matter what. Bill definitely embraces his disease. And in the process of doing so, has inspired so many lives. He is a force of positivity, love and determination. He was supposed to be gone two years ago. However, there is a reason he is still here. A reason that this story is being written and a reason that you are reading it. Perhaps, Bill’s story has been perfectly designed and that “chance” phone calls and “chance” meetings aren’t chance at all. When it comes right down to it, even though Bill is paralyzed and needs the help of many to get around, Bill is actually the one helping and inspiring faith and hope and love in the hearts of all who meet him. THAT is his legacy. Not the disease. What Bill would like everyone to know is this: “No matter what obstacles you have to face in life, you have a choice. Either face it head on and embrace what happens to you, or let it overcome you.” Bill has a disease that he didn’t choose. But the disease doesn’t have him. 27


Taking it

One Day

at a Time... By Tricia Neal

Joseph G. “Joe” Hammond of Russell County has been fighting lung cancer for nearly five years. His wife, Mayrene, has been fighting just as hard by his side. It’s just what couples who have been together for most of their lives do. From the time Joe’s cancer was discovered in 2008, Mayrene has read literature, asked questions, kept notes, and nursed her husband through numerous trips to and from Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. She admits it’s been a difficult job, but you won’t catch an ounce of regret in her tone. “We just take it day by day,” she says. “The good Lord is not going to put anything on me that I can’t handle. ... Joe says I’m bossy, but I tell him I’m doing it for his benefit.” Following a bout with pneumonia in mid-2008, Dr. Stan Cole discovered a “mass” in Joe’s lung. In September of that year, a biopsy showed he was suffering from lung cancer. Experts deemed it inoperable, and Joe started chemotherapy and radiation treatments immediately. Joe was experiencing no symptoms, 28

Together and his first week of chemo was a breeze. Joe was in good spirits, and the family enjoyed a nice meal as soon as they left the Cancer Treatment Center. By week two, Joe was “sick enough to die” after his chemo. His radiation treatments also landed him in the hospital in late 2008. By 2009, an X-ray showed the cancer was still “all over his right lung and in his bronchial tubes,” Mayrene said. After a dramatic weight loss, inability to eat, and extreme weakness, Joe’s health finally began to improve. He graduated from milkshakes to chicken noodle soup - and from a wheelchair to a cane.

Over time, Joe’s appetite has returned to almost normal, and he’s now able to walk without assistance. He continues to take a chemo pill once a day. “There are a lot of side effects, but we’re dealing with them,” Mayrene said. The worse side effect was a rash which spread from the top of Joe’s head to his knees. Joe said he couldn’t lie on the side of his head for six weeks. But doctors told him the rash was actually a good sign. “That’s how we know the pill is working,” Mayrene explained. Over the past five years, Joe has been

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


“in and out of the hospital so many times, I couldn’t begin to tell you,” according to Mayrene. He’s also dealt with blood clots and a near-heart attack. He was already diabetic, and has been blind in one eye since 1961. “God didn’t promise us a healthy body, but he promised he would be with us until the end,” Joe said. Cancer and other health issues have attempted to keep him down, but, at 80, he has no plans of stopping. “I know people out there have a lot worse things than we have,” Mayrene said. “You just have to learn to deal with them.” While Mayrene has taken on the largest part of caring for Joe as he fights for his life, she hasn’t been alone. The couple’s son, David, and his wife have helped as often as possible - with David using family leave time to help drive Joe to and from appointments. And Mayrene credits the many doctors, nurses, and other medical staff members who have worked together to help the Hammonds through their ordeal. “We have a second home and a second family now,” she said. “Somerset is our second home, and the

doctors and nurses have become our second family.” She has intentionally kept herself involved in her husband’s dealings with medical staff. The two even watched a video of surgery that was performed on Joe’s leg to remove a blood clot. “People think we’re crazy, but I’ve been with him most of my life. I want to know what my husband is going through,” Mayrene said. Married for 61 years, the Hammonds had grown accustomed to working side by side around the house. Now, because he bruises easily and needs to protect himself from being cut because he’s on blood thinners, Joe doesn’t participate in as many home repair projects as he’d like to. “It really has had an effect on him, not being able to do things,” Mayrene said. “But he does a few things around.” When Joe’s cancer diagnosis was new, Mayrene found herself upset most of the time. “There was a time when I couldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t sleep,” she said. “But you can’t cry all the time about things.” At last check, the mass in Joe’s chest had been reduced to the size of a coin.

The cancer is still there, but he has survived the “inoperable” for nearly five years now. “I feel very lucky, really,” Joe said. Medical professionals call him a walking miracle. They say many people don’t live long enough to experience the side effects caused by the chemo pill. Many others can’t afford the pill, but the Hammonds have been able to pay for it with help from Medicare. Now that Joe’s cancer mass has shrunk, doctors tell him he could take a break from the chemo pill. “He said, ‘Why should I quit?’” Mayrene said. The medicine could cause his fingernails and toenails to fall off. “I can live without them,” Joe responded. “I’m going to keep on kicking as long as I can.” “He says he’s gonna whoop it,” Mayrene added. And with his wife by his side, he just might. Tricia Neal is a freelance writer

Mr. Hammond goes for treatment at the Lake Cumberland Cancer Treatment Center in Somerset.

June 2013

29


Saindon & Saindon

Something to

Smile

About

from Somerset - a daughter of former Mayor Smith Vanhook. The couple bonded over cavities When you see James and Gina and implants, and eventually Saindon at school events, you married in 1990 while James might forget that they’re was doing a general both dentists. practice residency and But when you have Gina was finishing her a conversation degree. with either of the After graduation, Saindons, you’re the newlyweds not likely to be were faced with able to forget deciding on a that they’re place to call parents. home. Since As Dr. Gina’s family James had plenty of Saindon is connections interviewed in Somerset for an thanks to article her locallyaimed to famous focus on father, the his dental Saindons practice, opted he spends to return more time to Gina’s talking about hometown in his children the hopes that - Sydney, 16, her familiar face Evan, 15, and might help attract Hope, 12 - than new patients. he does boasting By all indications, about his 22-year the choice was a good career. When your one. More than two entire career has been decades later, Saindon spent working side by and Saindon Family side with your spouse, Dentistry is still going strong family stays at the forefront. at its 501 College Street location. James and Gina met at the The full service general practice University of Kentucky during dental office offers dental school. everything from He was raised in James and Gina Vanhook Saindon began practicing dentistry together in Somerset as newlyweds in 1991. Three kids and more than two decades later, the children’s dentistry Lexington, Ky., and to dentures and in Indiana. She was couple balances their patient load with their children’s extracurricular activities. By Tricia Neal

30

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


implants. “We have a state-of-theart office,” James says. “Our goals are to have the latest technology and to put our patients first. We try to treat our patients the way we would want one of our family members treated. ... A lot of people are fearful of dental work. We try to make them feel as comfortable as possible.” Gina tends to work more with children. James has discovered his own niche serving special needs patients. “I’ll take them to an outpatient operating room because many times, they can’t be worked on in a normal setting,” James explains. James got his first experience with special needs patients during his residency. “I developed a heart for that,” he says. “I really enjoy helping those people out. There’s not a whole lot of dentists who enjoy doing that.” These days, new patients are being drawn to Saindon and Saindon Family Dentistry because of a few different family members. Friends of Sydney, Evan, and Hope flock to the office, especially to Gina, thanks to their firsthand recommendations. Best candidate to carry on the Saindon dentistry tradition: Evan, currently a teen-aged baseball player headed to Somerset High School. James says Evan has expressed interest in going into the field. “Worst” patient in the Saindon family: Cheerleader daughter Sydney, who is now headed into her junior year at SHS. Several years ago, a trampoline accident nearly knocked out her two front teeth. Emergency root canals were

required. James is an assistant coach for Meece Middle School baseball. Both parents are involved in booster club activities for their daughters’ cheerleading squads. “Running with the kids is a full time job,” James said, adding a nod to Gina, who he says does an excellent job “balancing being a mom and working.” Even though life is hectic, the Saindons have learned to keep it in perspective. “It will be over before we know it,” James said of the season of life when the children are young. “It’s gone by quick.” And that’s why, if you see James and Gina at a school event, it’s more likely that you’ll hear them bragging about their kids than promoting their dental practice. Saindon and Saindon Family Dentistry can be reached by calling (606) 679-9289.

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June 2013

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Moved by Love

Motivated Health By Don White

How unlikely is it that Daniel and Kristina McFeeters can get people in an area noted for obesity to commit to healthy eating habits? Some might say as unlikely as the circumstances leading to their commitment to each other. The 29-year-olds have lived in a modest home near Cumberland Falls for three years now, practicing what they preach. How they came to be here is a love story with more twists than an organic fruit rope. “When we first met at age 10, I had no idea we’d ever get together, and Kentucky was nothing more than as name to memorize in home school geography class,” says Kristina. Daniel, naturally shy, wasn’t sure what to make of the opinionated and outspoken cute little girl in the wirerimmed glasses. “We had a few arguments, but we must have made up, because I gave her one of the potted Creeping Charlie plants I was selling as a home business.” Though they were childhood acquaintances in Washington State, their paths soon parted ways, and eventually Daniel’s family moved to Somerset when his father found a teaching position at Somerset Community College in 1997. Upon arrival in Pulaski County, their first two weeks were spent living in a tent on Burnside Island while searching for a more permanent home. Both Daniel and Kristina were home schooled through high school and started out early as entrepreneurs, with Daniel opening a computer consulting business at the age of 16. The fall he enrolled in Somerset Community College, Kristina drove from Washington State to attend her second year at a Bible college in Arkansas. She 32

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took a side trip to help with a Christian home school seminar in Virginia and needed a place to stay in Kentucky

on her way to school. She contacted Daniel’s family through a mutual friend, and that meeting set the stage for a renewed friendship. Kristina worked in 18 different states selling Christian books door-to-door to earn her way through school, and trained high school and college students how to do the trade. After graduating from college, she and Daniel worked together to start a Christian ministry to teach others how to use nature to illustrate the Bible. Working together convinced them to make a lifetime commitment. Soon after marrying in March of 2009, they moved into their home in McCreary County. “People ask us, ‘Why on earth did you move to McCreary County?’ The answer is simple: for one, we love the beauty of the area, with lots of opportunities for hiking, canoeing, camping, and photography close by,”

says Kristina. “But just as much, we realized that our neighbors in this community have many needs in the area of health. If you look at the national statistics, McCreary has some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and other conditions that relate directly to lifestyle. We wanted to be able to help our community, so it seemed the best place to start. “Our faith is really what motivates us to do what we do. We want to help people-to see them live better lives. As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we believe in a holistic approach to healing and to spirituality in general. If you’re not feeling well, your mind can have a harder time comprehending spiritual things. Jesus spent as much time healing people as he did teaching, so we believe in investing in health and sharing with others how to live better lives.” Kristina has always loved cooking healthy meals from scratch, canning, preserving food, and gardening. Both of her parents come from a medical background, her mother being a nurse and her father being a nurse and optometrist. Kristina and Daniel both grew up assisting their parents with cooking classes and community health events. “Coming from Northeast Washington, where almost everyone is a health nut, I was shocked to find how much our friends here don’t know about basic things like fruits and vegetables,” she says. The slim and energetic young couple follow a strict vegetarian diet. “We do it for health reasons,” says Kristina. “We don’t condemn people who don’t follow the same diet, but we’ve been this way since we were teenagers, and I know we’re a lot healthier for it.” Kristina has also had health

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


complications that began in childhood. “Sometimes the pain is so bad it wears down my energy and I end up in a wheelchair. People always ask, ‘What happened to you?’ when they see me that way!” After moving to McCreary, Kristina wanted to start a cooking class, but she hardly knew anyone in the community. A local Baptist pastor put them in touch with the McCreary Christian Center, a non-denominational community center, who offered to let them use the facility free of charge, as long as the classes were free. Thus, the monthly “Healthy Living Seminars” were born. “We just wanted to help our community,” Kristina says. The classes focus on one fruit or vegetable each month. “We keep it very simple, but we do serve a full meal at each class.” Everything served at the class is plant-based. “We don’t advertise it as a vegetarian class and don’t talk about meat or animal products,” explains Daniel. “We’re just teaching people how to use fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds and add them to their diet. Once people taste how good these can be, I think they will start eating more of these in place of high-fat meats or fast food.” Kristina works with local farmers to coordinate the topic of each class with the fruits or vegetables that are

available at that time. The first class, in October 2009, was focused on apples. Before the class, Kristina met a man selling apples beside the highway. She invited him to the class, and he came and sold some of his apples. “It’s a win-win situation,” she says. “We’re connecting growers with local customers who buy their produce.” After the first few classes, the Nutrition Center in Somerset asked Kristina to hold the same class in their store, offering to cover part of the cost, so they began holding the class in two locations each month. Over the last three years the attendance at each class has remained steady, with an average of six to 12 attendees in McCreary and 10-20 in Somerset each month. Since the classes started, many more

opportunities have opened up for the McFeeters to get involved in the community, including teaching a Kids Cooking College at SCC-McCreary County Campus in 2010. Kristina has volunteered in teaching and cooking for health department weight-loss and diabetes classes. In 2011, she was elected president of the newly-formed homemakers club, McCreary County Fun-Makers. She also started working part-time at the Nutrition Center in Somerset, where the cooking classes are

held. “It’s fun to get paid to promote my own classes to customers,” she laughs. Each year for the past four years, the health department has provided a booth space for the McFeeters to promote the Healthy Living Seminars at the district-wide Diabetes Fair. “It’s a great opportunity,” says Kristina. “We meet lots of people in the community, and invite our friends to get involved.” They have nurses take blood pressure readings and provide mini health consultations. There are activities such as a computerized “Discover Your Health Age” to promote healthy living habits, and a “Calorie Quiz” to see how well people are able to judge the caloric content of common foods. The McFeeters always bring food samples and recipes and invite people to come to the “Healthy Living Seminars.” Their church provides high-quality health literature that is passed out at their booth. Every year, the McFeeters look forward to more opportunities to help out in the community. Last year, Daniel took some time off from his computer business to sell Christian books and health literature door-to- door around Southeast Kentucky, before accepting a full-time position as IT Manager at the Lake Cumberland District Health Department. “It’s funny-it seems like every time the Lord leads us to start something small, it grows bigger than we’d ever dreamed,” says Daniel. “Just like that Creeping Charlie plant I gave Kristina when we were 10.” It sits in their living room window, healthy and still growing, just like their love for each other and the people of their adopted community.

The Healthy Living Seminars are held the second Tuesday of each month at the Nutrition Center in Somerset (located in Tradewinds Shopping Center) and in Whitley City on the third Tuesday at McCreary Christian Center. They get underway at 6 p.m. at both locations. June 2013

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#8

Pulaski County High School 1990 - Baseball

Darren Burton

By Steve Cornelius There have been a handful of great local baseball players who have reached the major league level, but none have been more heralded at the prep level or displayed as much naturally-gifted talent as Pulaski County School standout baseball legend Darren Burton. Burton, 6’1”, 185 lb., had a rifle for an arm, blazing speed and quick wrists that generated cobra-like quick bat speed. In short, Darren Burton was a natural baseball player. Burton’s baseball career was highlighted by being named Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball during his senior year at Pulaski in 1990, and in that same year Burton was drafted in the fifth round – right out of high school – by the Kansas City Royals major league baseball organization. As a youngster, Burton spent most of his summer days hitting rocks with a an old baseball bat in his backyard. Burton didn’t even start playing in an organized baseball program until he was 10 years old. But it didn’t take long for his youth league coaches to see Burton had a special, natural talent at the game of baseball. By the time Burton had ended his youth league career, he led the local Babe Ruth program all-star teams to back-to-back state championships. During his three years at the Babe Ruth level, Burton hit well over .500, had nearly 100 RBI and – most amazing – had never been thrown out attempting to steal bases – and Burton stole a lot of bases. “(Darren) was one of those rare players who could steal bases with 34

ease,” his former Pulaski County High School coach Gilbert Wilson said. “When he got on first base – by way of a hit or a walk – he would end up on third base after just a few pitches. And he would score on any kind of hit. He was by far, the fastest high school player I have ever seen.” And Burton’s speed wasn’t just legendary at the local level either. During the nationally-renowned Doyle Baseball Camp in Florida, Burton turned in a 6.67 at 60 yards – setting camp record, which was previously held by 6-time MLB All-Star Tim Raines, who was regarded as one of the best base runners in baseball history. Under the tutorage of Coach Gerald Hines, Burton continued his baseball prowess at the American Legion level. Burton helped guide the Post 38 Twins American Legion baseball team to a pair of state championships. After the young age of 15 years old, Burton was already being looked at by Major League Baseball scouts. “At that time, Darren was rated by big league scouts with an A-plus arm and was considered in the top 3 percent in base running speed,” Hines stated. “Even at that young age, Darren was an unreal talent and major league scouts were more than interested in his progress.” By the time he set foot on the Pulaski County High School baseball field, Burton was a high school phenom. Durning his sophomore year, Burton was batting.467 had 33 RBI, 11 homers and was widely considered the best player in the powerful 12th Region.

“It wasn’t long before scouts started showing up to watch Darren play, and I am talking about major league scouts,” Wilson said. “It wasn’t uncommon seeing anywhere from 5 to 10 big league scouts at any one game. Everyday, major league scouts were calling my office asking me when and where our next baseball game was being played. It didn’t matter where we played, the scouts always showed up.” And with an abundance of scouts in attendance, Burton did not disappoint. Burton led the Maroons to a 12th Region title in 1988 and earned first team All-State honors in 1989 and 1990 – along with being named the best baseball player in the state his senior year.. But more than his sterling stats and a multitude of accolades, Burton’s amazing natural skills reached local legendary status. His speed was unmatched. “Darren was a super aggressive base runner,” Wilson said.” He stole second and third base almost every time he got on base, and I can only remember one time that he was ever thrown out during his entire high school career.”

Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


“When Darren Burton got on first base, we were pretty much guaranteed a run scored,” Wilson stated. His arm strength was unsurpassed. “Although, he was scouted at the major league level as a outfielder, Darren was a great high school pitcher,” Hines commented. “He had an overpowering fast ball and a good curveball. He was considered one of the best high school pitchers in the state of Kentucky after his senior year.” “His arm, as an outfielder, was ranked as the third best in all of the major league prospects at that time,” Hines stated. “He could throw from the centerfield wall to home plate like a bullet. And we didn’t really know how special his arm was until we got him on some even bigger fields.” His batting power was without equal. “When Darren hit the ball it made a unique sound like I have never heard before,” Wilson said. “You could actually hear the ball whistle as it whizzed into the outfield. He was one player that I moved back a little back in the coaching box when he came up to bat; he hit the ball that hard.” “He swung that bat like it was a wiffle ball bat,” Wilson added. “Darren could hit home runs and he hit a lot of them during his career, but he was a hard-hitting line drive gap hitter,” Hines said. “He hit to get on base, and then his speed would eventually get him home.” After a stellar high school career, Burton signed a letterof-intent to play collegiate baseball for Keith Madison’s

University of Kentucky Wildcats. However a few weeks later, Burton was drafted high in the major league draft. Burton decided to forgo college ball to play in the big leagues. Burton played 12 seasons in the Minor Leagues. Burton ended his professional baseball career Steve Cornelius with 98 homers, is the Sports 240 doubles, 1241 Editor for the hits, 545 RBI, 150 Commonwealth stolen bases and Journal 661 runs scored.

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#7

Burnside High School 1968 - Basketball

George Bryant

By Doug Eads He has been referred to by most of his peers as the greatest basketball player that ever came out of the 12th Region, playing for tiny Burnside High School. He left Burnside and went on to become a star on the hardwood at Eastern Kentucky University, and he enjoyed a professional basketball career that covered a span of many years. Yet, despite everything George Bryant has accomplished on the hardwood, or in life for that matter, one of the first things that ‘Burnside’s Favorite Son’ will tell you is — first and foremost, he’s proud of his roots and glad to tell everyone that he is proud to be from the tiny town of Burnside, Kentucky. Take last spring for example. Bryant returned home and spoke to the Burnside Little Leaguers during their Opening Day Ceremonies in 2010, as the league celebrated its 50th year of existence. At that event, George Bryant was asked how he wanted to be remembered one day. In typical fashion, Bryant stated the following: “When I’m gone, I want people to remember me by saying that I told every child that I could, that it’s not where you’re from, it’s not who you are, but instead, it’s about where you want to go and how bad you want to get there.” Where Bryant went after a prolific high school career at Burnside is a great story indeed. Bryant was a star for his Burnside Generals head coach and mentor Oscar Fitzgerald, averaging right at 30 points per game as a senior during the 1967-’68 season. After leaving Burnside, Bryant went to Eastern Kentucky University where he played until graduating as a Colonel in 1972. When Bryant signed with EKU, freshman weren’t allowed to play NCAA Basketball at the varsity level, but when he finally saw his first varsity action in Richmond, he certainly made the most of his opportunity. George Bryant was a two-time All-OVC selection while playing at Eastern, and finished second in scoring (24.7 ppg) and MVP voting in the OVC as a junior. He averaged 21.2 ppg as a senior, helping lead the 36

Colonels to the OVC championship and a berth in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Just last year, he was one of 15 players to be inducted into Eastern Kentucky’s All-Century Basketball Team, as the Colonels celebrated 100 years of basketball last season. Bryant left EKU as the Colonels 13th all-time leading scorer with 1,385 points, and he was drafted by the NBA’s Buffalo Braves and the ABA’s Utah Stars after graduating. Despite all of the hard work that he put in throughout his athletic career on his own, Bryant says that looking back, he has plenty of folks to thank for what he was able to accomplish as an outstanding basketball player. “First and foremost, I have to give thanks to God for blessing me with what ability I might have had as an athlete,” Bryant said. “Also, I am very grateful for my parents, Dudley and Nida, and for all the support they gave me throughout my life,” Bryant added. “Then, I have to thank my high school coach at Burnside, Oscar Fitzgerald. Oscar was more than my coach, but he was and has always been my mentor. Oscar was my best man at my wedding, and he’s a big reason for a lot of the success that I enjoyed, not only on the basketball court but in life as well.” Bryant is a very humble man, and remains very proud of the fact that he considers himself just a ‘country boy’ that grew up in Burnside, Kentucky. With that being said, George Bryant will also be quick to tell you that aside from his parents and coach Fitzgerald, the guys he both played with and against back in the glory days of the old Burnside High School share a large deal of credit for him enjoying the kind of basketball career that he was able to accomplish. “I want to thank all of my teammates and the guys that I played with, but I also want to thank all the guys I played against,” said Bryant. “People don’t realize this, but when I played at Burnside, Southern Kentucky Health & Family Journal


there were all kinds of great players throughout Pulaski County,” pointed out the ex-EKU standout. “All of the little schools — teams like Eubank, Shopville, and Nancy — they all had great players that I had to go out and play against, and they pushed me to be a better player.” Bryant played professional basketball for many years, but he never played in the NBA. Instead, Bryant played International Basketball as well as playing as a member for the Marathon Oil Basketball Team for many years. He did play for the Buffalo Braves just out of college in the NBA’s Rookie League, and he says it’s an experience that he will always remember. “I did play with the Buffalo Braves at Rookie Camp, and I played alongside one of the nicest men I’ve ever met, and that was Bob McAdoo,” Bryant stated. “Bob was such a nice man, and he was also one of the most gifted big men offensively that I ever saw play.” “Dr. Jack Ramsey was the head coach at the time of the Braves, and hewanted me to go out to California and play in the West Coast League and work on my game, but I elected not to go out there,” he added. “Still, I did play in the Rookie League that one year, and it was a great thrill.” For George Bryant, he’s experienced many ‘thrills’ as an athlete. He was an All-OVC Conference selection two times as a member of Eastern Kentucky’s Basketball team, he was inducted into Eastern’s All-Century Basketball Team, and a few years ago he was inducted into the 12th Regional

Basketball Hall of Fame. There’s no denying that even today — some 43 years after his graduation from high school — that George Bryant is still considered to be one of the best basketball players that ever came out of this part of Kentucky. However, to yours truly, the thing that really makes George Bryant great, is the kind of person he is today, and has always been for that matter. Because of the kind of person George has Doug Eads is a always been, his greatness remains in Commonwealth tact today. Journal He truly is a sports Correspondent legend.

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June 2013 Calendar Should there be a change in location, date or time for any Senior Friends event for which you have pre-registered, we will notify you prior to the event.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6 SIMPLY SILVER by Alycea, LLC Thurs: 7:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m. LCRH Basement Foyer The semi-annual sterling silver sale will be located in the basement foyer across from Chatters Café & Grill in the basement at LCRH. Sponsored by LCRH Auxiliary/ The Gift Shop. Unique and latest designs at affordable prices! Handbags, too! Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted. All proceeds benefit the LCRH Volunteer Auxiliary/The Gift Shop which sponsors Allied Health Scholarships at the Somerset Community College. TUESDAY, JUNE 11 DINE WITH THE DOCS LCRH Conference Center, Ste A 5:30 pm – Complimentary Dinner provided by LCRH 6:30 pm - Speaker: Dr. Daniel R. Yanicko, Jr. - orthopaedic surgeon Topic: To be announced. Join us on the 2nd Tuesday of each month for a complimentary dinner and an informative program presented by leading medical specialists. Dinner begins at 5:30 pm in the Chatters Café & Grill. Program begins at 6:30 pm. Call (606) 678-3274 for your required reservations. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12 GET ACQUAINTED BRUNCH LCRH Conference Center, Ste. A 9:15 am - Breakfast – Chatters Café & Grill 10 am - Presentation Have you ever been a Senior Friend? Our free breakfast is designed to offer you a free one-year membership if you have never been a member before. Come to this “Get Acquainted Brunch” and enjoy some delicious food while hearing about all the benefits about your free NEW one-year membership – a $15 value! Call (606) 678-3274 for your required reservation by Friday, June 7th. FRIDAY, JUNE 14 B-I-N-G-O LCRH Conference Center, Ste A • 2 pm – 4 pm Senior Friends Members 38

come and bring a $3.00 donation for The American Cancer Society Relay for Life and spend the afternoon with “Friends.” A perfect time for fun, fellowship, and refreshments. Senior Friends will provide the coverall prize. Reservations are required and must be received by Friday, June 7th. Please call (606) 678-3274 to reserve your spot. FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 6:00 P.M. SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 6:00 A.M. RELAY FOR LIFE OF PULASKI COUNTY to support The American Cancer Society LOCATION: Pulaski Co. High School Stop and visit us at the LCRH/Senior Friends tent. All of us have been touched in some way by cancer whether it has directly affected you, a family member, or a friend. Sign up to be a participant and collect donations from friends and family to support the American Cancer Society. Donations for the Relay for Life/American Cancer Society will be accepted in the Senior Friends office through June 14th.

Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her...a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards...and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

FRIDAY, JUNE 21 PARKINSON SUPPORT GROUP 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Location: LCRH Conference Center, TUESDAY, JUNE 18 Suites B & C MONTHLY MEETING A support group designed for persons SENIOR FRIENDS 24rd ANNIVERSARY diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and LCRH Conference Center, 6:00 pm their family and friends. For additional Senior Friends members please make plans information call (606) 678-3274. to join your 24th Anniversary Celebration. This will be our traditional Pot-Luck FRIDAY, JUNE 21 “WHERE IS YOUR MEDICINE GOING?” Dinner. Senior Friends will provide the 10:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist meat, bread and drinks. We’ll have a huge Church, Somerset anniversary cake and will need all of you Pulaski County Elder Abuse Council to help make this a real party! We’d like presents this FREE event, sponsored in part for everyone who has been a member by Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. Lunch will be provided, along with a silent since this chapter started to participate in auction, guest speakers and door prizes! blowing out the candles on the anniversary Reservations are appreciated, but not cake. Call (606) 678-3274 by Tuesday, required; call (606) 676-9888. June 11th for your required reservation. FRIDAY, JUNE 21 BIRTHDAY PARTY THURSDAY, JUNE 20 LCRH Conference Center, Ste A MOVIE-N-MUNCH 2 pm –4 pm LCRH Conference Center, It’s time for those June “Senior Ste. A, • 1:30 p.m. Friend” babies to come and party. “Safe Haven”- Rated PG-13 When a mysterious young woman Bring a friend and share an afternoon of named Katie appears in the small North fun, games, delicious cake and ice cream. Carolina town of Southport, her sudden Call (606) 678-3274 by Thursday, June arrival raises questions about her past. 20th for your required reservations. SUNDAY, JUNE 16 HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

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Southern Kentucky Health and Family, June 2013