Saturday, November 30, 2013
Meet Taylor and Danielle...a story told in pictures that are worth a thousand words...
at 6:31 AM
Friday, November 29, 2013
Kim Freshwater was overweight as a child, but the problem escalated in her teens when her father died.
She tried diets and exercise, but any success she had was soon reversed.
Freshwater, who is married with three children, continued to be overweight for four decades. In addition to experiencing a variety of weight-related health problems, the British woman found herself avoiding social situations - such as weddings and parties - because she didn't want to embarrass herself and her family.
She was too big to sit in the seats in movie theaters or on amusement park rides, and she was forced to miss her son's school awards ceremony because she was afraid of breaking the chairs there.
"I once broke a chair at my friend's house, which was mortifying, and I even slept on the floor when we went away because I was so scared the bed wouldn't be able to take my weight," she said.
She once skipped a relative's funeral because she couldn't make the long walk from the church to the graveside. That forced her to change her life.
"I was so upset about it one night that I couldn't sleep and there was a program on TV about funerals, showing how severely overweight people need special coffins and how difficult it is to cremate their bodies. It was as if someone was trying to tell me something. I didn't ever want to put my family through that," she said.
Three years ago, Freshwater joined Slimming World, a British weight loss group that now operates in the U.S. She weighed 404 pounds then, and lost 44 pounds in the first 12 weeks.
Through regular exercise and a change in her diet, Freshwater dropped a total of 243 pounds, and now weighs 161 pounds. The feat earned her the title of Slimming World's Woman of the Year.
Rather than having one large meal a day - generally lasagna with a cheesy sauce, fries and garlic bread, followed by a snack of chips or chocolate - Freshwater now eats three healthy homemade meals, plus snacks.
"I actually eat more now than I did before, but I've learned to make good choices," she said, speaking of the grilled meats, vegetables, fresh fruit, yogurt and low-calorie snacks that now comprise her diet.
She also plays tennis, goes swimming, walks for miles, indulges her photography hobby and is cycling again after hanging up her helmet 20 years ago.
"I can do so much more since losing weight, but for me the biggest achievements are the small things, probably things that most people take for granted," Freshwater said in a Slimming World news release. "I love that I don't need seat belt extensions on planes anymore. I can sit in chairs with arms. I can shop on streets with hills. The list is endless."
She has also expanded her shoe collection from four to about 40 pairs. And instead of all black, her wardrobe now includes lots of colors.
"I don't think I realized how unhappy I was until I became as happy as I am now," she said. "My daughter recently told me that I used to be a chunky caterpillar, and now I'm a beautiful butterfly, and that's exactly how I feel!"
at 6:43 AM
For most of us, Thanksgiving will be a time to chow down and experience deep calorie regret. Some of us may even do a guilt-fueled workout on Friday to work off the extra food.
Not Robert Durbin. The 64-year-old Louisville, Ky., married father of five doesn't need to talk himself into working out. He already does it seven days a week, for at least four hours a day. And he doesn't overeat. Not anymore.
Durbin wasn't always so disciplined. Seven years ago, he was so overweight that he felt his health was going downhill fast.
He was forced to wear braces, and needed a cane or a walker to get around.
With grandchildren on the way, Durbin decided to make a change. He joined a local gym and started working out on machines that didn't require him to stand. Within eight months, he had lost 60 pounds.
He's now dropped more than 70 pounds, lost 18 inches off his waist and weighs 145 pounds, but it's his increasingly ripped physique that's making him an Internet star.
About two years ago, Durbin discoveredBarStarzz, an international workout team that uses creative calisthenics to achieve lean, muscled physiques. He saw their videos on YouTube and started working out to them on his own, posting photos and video of his progress on his Instagram account using the handle rockhardpapaw.
BarStarzz noticed and interviewed him. The video of Durbin, who is flexing rock-hard, defined muscles while doing challenging one-armed push-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups and flagpole holds - in which one grasps a vertical object with both hands and pulls the body until it's horizontal and parallel to the ground - has been viewed more than 769,000 times since it was posted in October.
at 6:38 AM
Thursday, November 28, 2013
at 7:55 AM
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Jodi DiPiazza was lucky enough to get into one of the few schools available to help children with autism to reach their potential.
Loud temper tantrums often flared up during those pre-kindergarten years, but during many hours of therapy, Jodi found a talent that truly grounded her -- music.
"We were afraid she would never speak. Never dreaming she would sing, or even be able to understand," said her father in the video below. "I've taken off the idea that there is some limit on her, as she continually proves that that's not true."
During the October fundraising gala for autism, Night Of Too Many Stars hosted by Jon Stewart, Jodi got the chance to play and sing with her favorite singer, Katy Perry.
Stewart introduced the pair saying, "People with Autism shouldn't be written off. They deserve, like everyone, the chance to reach their potential."
WATCH what happens when a child is given the chance to light up like a "Firework" in the video below.
The annual star-studded night of comedy and entertainment raises money for New York Collaborates for Autism(NYCA) to support and create autism programs, schools, and services all over the country. Programs covering everything from the intensive education kids with autism need at a young age to social training for adults who want to contribute in the workplace. They've even created a "Teach the Teachers" program that helps train more teachers to work in the public school systems, for the many kids with autism who can't get into the few quality schools that can help them.
at 8:16 AM
NEW LEBANON, N.Y.---Malina Woodbury was diagnosed at four months old with a hereditary, genetic disorder.
Now in fourth grade, Malina has taken it upon herself to take one of her talents and use it to raise money for research.
"I just wanted to find a cure so other kids don't have to suffer with it," she says. "Wwhen I get older, if they find a cure, hopefully my kids won't have to suffer with it either."
At just nine years old, Malina is looking way into the future and doing something right now.
She lives with Neurofibromatosis Type One. The disorder means different things for different people.
Malina was born with a bent leg and has to wear a brace every day.
"The hardest part is some of the sports I do," she says. "I do dance and I can't get some of the moves perfectly, but running is fine."
Trying to raise money and awareness for "NF" has been apart of Malina's life for years, but her latest venture began in July; making earrings.
In just a few months, she raised $1,500, donating the proceeds to the Children's Tumor Foundation.
Malina keeps only a small profit for herself to buy more supplies to make earrings.
"It amazes me that she could just be sitting down and crying about having NF, but it doesn't do that to her," says Alicia Woodbury, Malina's mother. "It makes her want to give and do even more to find a cure so that other kids someday don't have to suffer with the same disorder. We are just so proud of her and we want to continue to support her. We can't even envision what her future might bring if she's nine and already starting with these big and great ideas to help other people."
"I'm going to keep doing it until I want to end it, which will probably never happen," adds Malina.
In addition to donating money to the Children's Tumor Foundation, Malina has also donated some of her profits to the Down Syndrome Family Group and a close friend who is battling cancer.
at 7:56 AM
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Never giving up hope - George Raynes and Carol Harris wed 75 years after meeting in the first grade...
A man and woman from Saint John married on the weekend, 75 years after their first kiss.
George Raynes and Carol Harris, both 83, have known each other since they were in Grade 1, in 1936.
In Grade 3, they played the lead roles in their class production of Sleeping Beauty.
"I was sleeping beauty and he was my prince," Harris told CBC News.
Raynes says he wasn't supposed to actually kiss Harris during the play. "But the rascal that I was, I laid a big wet one on her. And she jumped up like a startled deer, you know," he said, chuckling at the memory.
"And actually, so she's the first girl I ever kissed."
Raynes moved to Ontario after he graduated from high school, and later married and raised a family.
But he kept in touch with Harris, who never married.
In June, months after his wife of 61 years died, Raynes drove to Saint John for what he called "a last look around."
"Thank goodness," said Harris, because the long-time friends soon fell in love and Raynes proposed on the deck of a romantic restaurant in Ontario.
'I can't help but think … that my prince from Grade 3 has finally come home to stay. And I think it's just marvellous.'- Carol Harris
"He will tell it differently than I. He will say he had sunstroke when he asked me," she said. "But he made an offer that he says I couldn't refuse, which was true actually.
"He suggested that we had had a great time and we had always been good friends and why don't we spend the rest of our lives together."
Harris didn't hesitate in saying, 'Yes.'
"I can't help but think … that my prince from Grade 3 has finally come home to stay. And I think it's just marvellous," she said.
Harris says Raynes came back into her life just as she had given up on the idea of ever tying the knot.
"There was a time when I thought I was going to be single forever," she said.
"When you get into your 80s and you're still alone, it begins to sink in that perhaps this is the way it's going to be until you pass away."
But the happy couple married on Saturday at the Lancaster Baptist Church in Saint John.
at 7:34 AM
Meals on Wheels can deliver a hot meal. A doctor can prescribe pills. A personal support worker can help with dressing, or a bath. They’re all important, but what many old people need most is a whole lot harder to come by.
Researchers say the impact on health of being lonely is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Lonely elders are more likely to die of a heart attack and are at a higher risk for dementia, depression and anxiety.
And it all happens far from public view, behind closed doors. In Quebec, an organization called "Les Petits Frères: La grande famille des personnes âgées seules" is trying to break through that isolation. More than 1,000 Quebec seniors are matched with younger volunteers, with the idea of creating a real and ongoing friendship.
Everything Les Petits Frères does is rooted in the idea that human connection is essential to life. Their motto is “Lesfleurs avant le pain," which translates as Flowers Before Bread.
Les Petits Frères was founded in France by Armand Marquiset, a wealthy, debonair Catholic intellectual. In 1939, while praying at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Marquisetdecided to dedicate the rest of his days to helping out “les petits frères,” little brothers who were less fortunate than he was.
At the end the Second World War Marquiset signed up volunteers. They began feeding impoverished elderly people who had lost all their close family members in the war.
Marquiset believed that loneliness was as great a problem as hunger. He began inviting isolated seniors to vacation at his elegant family estate. He renamed it LeChâteau de Bonheur - The Chateau of Happiness - where he threw lavish parties, making sure there were lots of flowers and laughter.
Today, Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly as it is known in English - flourishes in eight countries, including the United States. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the growing demand for what it has to offer.
But while it has been in Canada now for 50 years, it hasn't spread beyond Quebec.
At noon on a weekday afternoon, there is a traffic jam of walkers and wheelchairs in the front hallway of the downtown Montreal headquarters of LesPetits Frères. The air smells of perfume, roast beef and home-made apple pie.
Every few minutes the front door swings open. Another guest is gently led in, welcomed with smoked salmon horsd'oeuvres, and then led to the dining room where there are bouquets of fresh cut roses and lilies on every table.
Benny Valente is a volunteer driver. “I have nothing to do, they have nothing to do, so we get together and we have something to do.”
For others, Les Petits Frères is about much more than that. In between forkfuls of mashed potatoes, 78-year-old Henri Gauthier tells a table-mate about life in his two room apartment in a rent-subsidized residence. “I feel lonely, you know, and I don’t want to talk about it. Sometimes I hate that, la vie c’est la vie, life is life. Sometimes I say, ‘I do not care,’ I hate myself, you know.”
at 7:23 AM
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -
A 4-year-old boy is being hailed as a hero and credited with saving his mother's life. Family members say Aiden Mitchell of Detroit did all the right things when his mom slipped into a diabetic coma.
It all happened around 9:30am Saturday on Plainview near Evergreen in Detroit. The boy's great uncle knew something was wrong because the child picked up the phone every time he called. The boy told relatives his mother, Angela, was "asleep" which was unusual. They got worried and came to check on her. 4-year-old Aiden was able to unlock the front door and let them into the house.
Angela was rushed to Sinai Grace Hospital. Doctors say another half hour and this story would have had a much different ending. Aiden knows he did something good. He grabbed our microphone and said, "I'm a hero!"
at 7:18 AM
Monday, November 25, 2013
The city of Boston will always be a special place for Lisa Brunet and her now cancer free daughter Kayleigh...
It was, she said, “the darkest time of our lives,” and yet it would result in memories so precious that she and her daughter would return to Boston again and again.
On their last visit they brought two of their New York friends with them.
“I have such a spot in my heart for this place,” Lisa Brunet explained. “We were scared, cold people from New York, having to stay here for three months while my daughter received her daily radiation treatments. Boston just took us in, and I wanted our friends to see why I regard this as our second home.”
The story began when her daughter, Kayleigh, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 9. She would undergo two extensive surgeries at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, but when the tumor appeared a third time Mom was told no more could be done.
Kayleigh was only 11.
“I was told, ‘If we operate again, there’s a good chance she won’t make it, or if she does, she won’t be the same person you know right now.’ So we began searching for alternatives.”
Their search led to Massachusetts General Hospital, where a radiation oncologist named Dr. Nancy Tarbell determined Kayleigh was a viable candidate for one more trip to an operating room.
Kayleigh’s now 22 and cancer free.
“We spent those months at the Constitution Inn in Charlestown,” Lisa recalled. “And we met a man who lived on a boat. When he heard why we were there, he got us tickets to everything in town. When Kayleigh’s brothers came to be with us on Christmas they ended up with front-row seats at a Celtics game. Boston just wrapped us in its arms.”
at 6:50 AM