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Increase in Immunizations, Decrease in Smoking Rates Highlight Report

Oklahoma improved in America’s Health Rankings, a report issued by United Health Foundation, to 45th overall. The state has improved since ranking 49th in the nation in 2009. The report highlights progress on immunization rates, preventable hospitalizations and a reduction in the adult smoking rate.
The most dramatic achievement in the report was Oklahoma’s more than 10 percent increase in the number of children immunized, from 62.7 percent in 2014 to 73.3 percent this year. That rate is almost two percent higher than the national rate of 71.6 percent and will effectively prevent children from contracting dangerous diseases.
“It’s rewarding to see the progress our immunization staff and county health departments have made in providing access to life-saving vaccines for our state’s children,” said Dr. Terry Cline, Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Commissioner. “Even more rewarding is the knowledge that increasing vaccine coverage saves lives, particularly among our youngest and most vulnerable residents.”
America’s Health Rankings 2015 report also highlights Oklahoma’s lowest ever smoking rate at 21.1 percent. While still three percent above the national smoking rate, Oklahoma has continued to make dramatic improvements in the number of people who smoke.
“The success we have seen in smoking rates is due to the commitment of organizations like TSET, health policy leaders such as Governor Mary Fallin and scores of community partners who have rallied to combat this health threat.” Dr. Cline said. “While we celebrate this progress together there is still work to be done. We have 88,000 kids alive in Oklahoma today who will die prematurely from smoking. That is just not right.”
Oklahoma was recognized for accomplishments in other areas important to public health. In the past five years, preventable hospitalizations have declined by 29 percent for Medicare beneficiaries. Prevalence of physical inactivity was almost five percent lower than the previous year, with 28.3 percent of state residents reporting that they were not physically active. Oklahoma was also cited for strengths in low prevalence of excessive drinking and small disparity in health status by education level.
While rates of obesity, diabetes and drug deaths rose in the state, those categories followed a similar national trend. The report also cites challenges in the state due to limited availability of primary care physicians and the continuing high rate of cardiovascular deaths.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is encouraging Oklahomans to prepare for the winter weather season as weather forecasters warn about the possibility of freezing rain and flooding over the holiday weekend. “It’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered by your home and auto insurance,” Commissioner Doak said. “Winter storm damage can be financially devastating to a family without the proper insurance coverage. That’s why I’m urging all Oklahomans to review their policy before any storm hits.”
Liability coverage under your auto insurance policy will cover damage you cause in an auto accident where you are found liable. The optional collision coverage of an auto policy will cover damages to your vehicle from an accident where the other driver is uninsured, a single-car crash or where you were at fault. Comprehensive coverage, which is also optional, would cover damage to your car caused by falling trees or ice. Review your policy for further clarification, or contact your insurance agent for more information. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers the following: · Wind-related damage to the house, roof or contents · Tree limbs that fall on a house – this includes both the damage done by the tree and the cost of removing the tree · Damage from ice and other objects that fall on the home · Freezing conditions such as burst pipes and ice dams; however, there is generally a requirement that the homeowner has taken reasonable steps to prevent this.
You’ll want to review your policy with your agent for further clarification regarding the homeowners policy.
Damage caused by flooding is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance. Melting snow that seeps into a home from the ground up would be covered by flood insurance which is provided by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. If you have winter weather related damage, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to start the claim process. Don’t forget to document the damage with lists, receipts and pictures.
This is also a good time to assess your home inventory and make sure it’s up-to-date. For a free home inventory list, go to oid.ok.gov.

Taking time out for a picture is L-R is Tamara Crabtree (holding daughter) from Oklahoma Family Network, Sandy Green, RN, NICU (holding Ryan Dodd) and Kristie Dodd.

by Vickie Jenkins

I recently attended the INTEGRIS Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Reunion and Halloween Party. This is just one of the events sponsored by the Oklahoma Family Network and the NICU nurses for families that experience the NICU. The party was for the babies that were taken care of in the NICU over the last 15 years. Some of those tiny miracles are teenagers now! What a meaningful time for the parents, children and the wonderful nurses that cared for them at that time. The love that was present in the room was overwhelming as the Halloween party came alive as the children, parents, families, nurses and doctors reminisced. It was obvious to see that many lives had been touched through the care of the NICU.
The children were wearing their Halloween costumes; ballerinas, tigers, policemen, princesses, clowns and power rangers filled the room. There were balloons, games, a cake-walk and plenty of cookies, punch and candy for everyone. Smiles were seen all around, from the children to the nurses to the mothers and fathers.
I was introduced to Tamara Crabtree. This was the second year that Tamara had attended the Halloween party. Her daughter was born pre-mature at Integris Baptist hospital and was taken care of by the nurses in the NICU. At the time, Tamara felt a need to do something for the parents with the babies born premature. She began by taking baskets of goodies to the parents; something for the moms and something for their baby. “It has grown quite a bit since then,” Tamara says. “We try to have special events throughout the year. Our next one will be a Christmas party for the babies that are being taken care of in NICU,” she adds.
According to the Oklahoma Family Network, a Christmas party will be sponsored here at Integris Baptist Medical Center. The special event, Baby’s 1st Christmas, will be for families who are experiencing NICU during the Christmas Season. We believe that a family’s 1st Christmas is a special event especially for families who are on the NICU path, and should be given a chance to honor their baby’s 1st Christmas regardless of circumstances.
When I asked if anyone would like to share their story about their baby and their care in NICU, Kristie Dodd was happy to share her experience.
“My name is Kristie Dodd and I was pregnant with my first child. I developed Hellp Syndrome. (Hellp Syndrome is a life-threatening pregnancy complication usually considered to be a variant of preeclampsia. Both conditions usually occur during the late stages of pregnancy or sometimes after childbirth.) Pretty much the cure for me was to deliver my baby. My son, Ryan was delivered at 23 weeks. He weighed 1 lb.1 ounce, staying in NICU for 111 days,” she said. “That was the roughest thing that I have ever gone through. I was here at the hospital every day. It was such an emotional time and being here at the reunion and seeing the nurses that cared for Ryan is so special. The care that was given to him meant everything to me,” she added. “The staff, doctors and nurses always treated me with the utmost respect. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I am so thankful for everyone here. Today, Ryan will be 3 years-old in January. He is healthy and fine and he is my little miracle, thanks to the wonderful care of the nurses here at Integris Baptist Medical Center.”

Eating is an Adventure in Santa Fe

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn  t4z@aol.com

Having been to Santa Fe a number of times, it is always fun and relaxing to again visit those dining establishments that made an impression over the years. This fall the eating adventure led me to sample several familiar popular gourmet dining venues, and none mentioned here disappointed.
The Compound, http://www.compoundrestaurant.com/ located just off of artist filled Canyon Road, is an all-time favorite for the sophisticated palate. In an upscale adobe styled dining room, you can succumb to the temptations of; a Stacked Salad of Romaine, Tomato, Ham, Blue Cheese and Hard Cooked Taos eggs with Avocado Ranch Dressing topped with Free Range Chicken. If your luncheon appetite is not quenched, for dessert you might try the Bittersweet Chocolate Marquis of Pistachio Gelato, Apricot Pistachio; or the Orange Olive Oil Cake of Fig Jam, Lemon Curd and Crème Fraiche. Your evening plans might include a return to the Compound to enjoy a night cap or light supper at their intimate bar. With seating only about ten people, reservations are recommended.
The La Fonda Hotel http://www.lafondasantafe.com/la-plazuela holds many historic adventurous tales due to its early Santa Fe incarnation, but the restaurant, La Plazuela, has been a long time favorite for its casual, attentive, and never disappointing selections. Your skeletons might include: a spinach salad with grilled hazel nuts, with gluten free prosciutto bathed in a cranberry vinaigrette. Your entre might be the Alaska Silver Salmon with lemon cilantro butter sauce, or sweet and buttery hearty pork tenderloins with pineapple glaze and papaya vinaigrette. Top the meal with a Chocolate Molten Cake of dark chocolate truffles, dark rum cream glaze which accents the desserts warmth and coolness. It is impressive when your server knows the term “Ice on the Pond” when ordering your extra cold, extra dry Martini, which is served to perfection. While the décor has been renovated over the years, the hand painted side glass panels remains as the signature to this Santa Fe tradition. Your high expectations for Santa Fe service, ambiance and dining are always met at La Fonda. Be sure and take time to visit the shops at La Fonda and the outside entrance to the top fashions of Rocky Gorman.
If you have not discovered the surprising and intimate atmosphere of Santacafe, http://santacafe.com/ you are missing a treat. Here inside white adobe, small dining areas, complete with a hint of Georgia O’Keeffe styled decor, you will find the best fresh Chimayo Red Chile onion rings available anywhere. But this seeming simple appetizer is only a prelude to an array of tasty selections including: Blue Corn Chicken Confit of enchiladas of red and green chile, or the healthy pan seared salmon roasted with fingerling potatoes over a kale and spinach lime cream. It’s known during high season to have one of the best outdoor patios for celebrity sightings.
While the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi has undergone a dining room renovation, to open up the bar for casual tequila tastings and encourage conversation, the restaurant retains its elegant atmosphere and gourmet menu. You might start off your evening with a Kettle One Citron Pomegranate Martini, or a selection from one of their fine wines. A flavorful good soup is an invitation to a gourmet meal and the Anasazi sweet potato soup was a perfect complement to the autumn weather. The Buffalo Empanada over an Avocado Mouse is personally recommended as is the fashionable crusted Salmon with baby beets, parsnips in a tamarind sauce. For dessert, you can play like a child with the Fried Ice Cream reminiscent of an outdoor campfire s’more.
You can’t leave Santa Fe without a nighttime visit to La Cantina next to La Casa Sena restaurant http://lacasasena.com/ . At the Cantina the waiters treat you, between serving food courses and beverages, with their favorite contemporary and Broadway styled songs. Many of the talented singers are bidding their time here, saving their money before jumping into the Broadway pool of performers. Feel free to order a Mexican styled dinner, or just a beverage with their chips and dip. The congenial atmosphere, the prompt and friendly service is a fitting farewell to the enchantment that is Santa Fe.
Consider your Santa Fe visit between high tourist times like the Santa Fe Opera Season or the Indian Market. In this way you can be assured of obtaining your preferred dining reservation times, and Santa Fe will have a more accessible feel and friendliness.
Editor’s Note: Terry Zinn has visited Santa Fe many times over the years and is a past President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association

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Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association
http://realtraveladventures.com/author/zinn/
http://www.examiner.com/travel-in-oklahoma-city/terry-zinn
www.new.seniornewsandliving.com – www.martinitravels.com

Which president has been your favorite over the past years and why? Fountain Brook Assisted Living

“I liked Clinton and Roosevelt because they were both good presidents.” Marvin Walker

“I liked Kennedy.  He was nice.” Helen Mayer

“I liked Lincoln and Reagan.” Rachel Pittsley

“ I would say Roosevelt has been the best president we ever had.”  Martha Long

The recent ice storms in the state have left a significant number of Oklahomans without power for hours and even days. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds those affected by a power outage to be mindful of safe practices to prevent illness and injury.
Food Safety
OSDH recommends the following guidelines for refrigerated and frozen foods to citizens or food establishments which have been without power for more than four hours: · Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. · Discard any potentially hazardous foods such as meats, eggs, dairy products and leftovers when the power has been off for more than four hours. When in doubt, throw it out. · Frozen foods in a freezer can normally be kept up to 48 hours without power. A frozen product that has thawed should not be refrozen—it should be used immediately or thrown away.
Water Safety: Residents in rural areas may also be without water during a power outage. If the safety of the water is not known, it is recommended to vigorously boil the water for at least one minute to prevent potential waterborne illnesses. Safe water would include store-bought bottled water, or uninterrupted city water. Untreated water should not be used to prepare foods, wash hands or brush teeth.
Heat Safety: It’s important to use caution when heating a home with a fireplace, space heater or wood stove, using them only when they are properly vented. Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside the house, in basements, in garages or near windows. Don’t use gas appliances such as an oven, range or clothes dryer to heat your home. Improper use of such devices can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Supplements May Help Keep Sniffling, Sneezing Symptoms at Bay

by Naum Burman

Cold and flu season has arrived, which means the potential could be high for lots of sniffling co-workers and children who need to stay home from school.
Vaccinations help many people stave off the flu, but a number of Americans also try an alternative approach, using nutritional supplements in their efforts to stay healthy.
“Certain herbs, mushroom extracts and other natural compounds contain powerful antiviral properties,” says Naum Burman, the founder and researcher for BioLab Rx (www.biolabrx.com), a dietary supplement company.
“Combine them together and you can get a natural boost to your immune system.”
Such over-the-counter products as BioLab Rx’s Immune Super Plus do that by increasing the body’s natural defense cells, which are crucial to the body’s defense against bacterial and viral infection.
“The body’s own immune system is probably our best defense,” Burman says. “But illness, stress, medical therapies, diet and lack of sleep can all compromise our immune system. That’s why it can help to give the immune system a boost.”
He notes that it’s always important to check the ingredients, instructions and warnings for any over-the-counter supplement. Immune Super Plus, for example, is only for adults 18 and older and shouldn’t be taken by pregnant or nursing women.
The flu season routinely takes a toll on Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
• The timing of flu is unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.
• It’s estimated that each year an average of 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications.
• Estimating the number of flu-related deaths can be difficult because death certificates don’t always specify flu as the cause. But there’s little doubt that flu seasons can be severe. The CDC, for example, reported that over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
In addition to vaccines, the CDC suggests several preventive measures, such as washing your hands frequently, keeping a distance from those who are ill and staying home yourself if possible when you are sick.
Burman says that supplements also provide an extra measure of prevention, and plenty of people apparently agree. The Nutrition Business Journal has reported that Americans spend well over $1 billion a year on supplements to help boost immunity and ward off cold and flu.
Burman, originally from Europe, essentially was born into his interest in maintaining health through nature. He grew up in a family where herbs and natural cures were common and knowledge of herbs and their use was the norm.
As an adult, Burman continued his research, traveling through Asian, European and Middle Eastern countries so he could gather herbal knowledge from cultures around the world.
Armed with that knowledge, he founded BioLab Rx, which also produces natural products for hair loss, joint pain, migraine headaches and other conditions or ailments.
“I thought this would be a good way to combine the wisdom of the ages with today’s newest technology,” he says.

Naum Burman is founder of and researcher for BioLab Rx (www.biolabrx.com), a dietary supplement company. Burman, originally from Europe, grew up in a family where herbs and natural cures were usual and knowledge of herbs and their use was the norm. He also spent years traveling through Asian, European and Middle Eastern countries, gathering herbal knowledge.

Sunbeam Family Services and Catholic Charities Oklahoma City are partnering to bring A Very Giving Christmas, a Christmas store, for local families in need, December 16-20, 2015.
The store, St. Nick’s Shoppe, will be located at Catholic Charities, 1501 N. Classen Boulevard, directly across the street from Sunbeam Family Services. Individuals selected through Sunbeam Family Services and Catholic Charities will have the opportunity to shop for new items for their families at no cost. Donors and volunteers will create a warm shopping experience and extend the season’s joy and excitement to more than 500 families, families who otherwise would not be able buy presents for their children.
“We are thrilled to be partnering alongside Catholic Charities to provide hundreds of Oklahoma City families a holiday season filled with joy, lightening the financial burden often placed on them during the gift-giving season,” said Jim Priest, CEO of Sunbeam Family Services. “We can accomplish so much more when we work together as a community, and we’re thankful for the support of our volunteers and donors who will make St. Nick’s Shoppe come to life.”
Patrick J. Raglow, Catholic Charities Executive Director said, “Our partnership with Sunbeam Family Services reflects the partnership we foster among our donors, volunteers and clients. A Very Giving Christmas is about relationship and participating fully in the spirit of the season. Working with Sunbeam Family Services expands the impact and reach of this program across the board. It’s a great partnership for a great cause.”
The community can help by stocking the store by making a donation or by purchasing new gift items for children of all ages and their parents and delivering them unwrapped and with tags attached to Catholic Charities December 6-8. Visit the wish list at www.AVeryGivingChristmas.org or call 405.609.8994.
Volunteer opportunities for individuals, families and groups are also available and will include decorating St. Nick’s Shoppe, greeting families, helping families select their gifts or wrapping gifts. Visit www.AVeryGivingChristimas.org to sign up to volunteer, or call 405.609.1755.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn  t4z@aol.com

 

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Austin Adventures is a tour company offering a plethora of travel destinations and options. New to the 2016 line up is a trifecta of upscale accommodations and natural wonders with a partnership with Xanterra Parks & Resorts and the Broadmoor collection in Colorado Springs. Adventures mean many things to many people but this Colorado exploration offers soft to rugged outdoor activities, including horseback riding, zip lining, rope courses, and mild to extreme mountain hiking.
Home base is the Colorado Springs iconic Broadmoor hotel where you will check in and register with your experienced Austin Adventures guides for a night at the nine thousand feet Cloud Camp, two nights at the Emerald Valley Ranch and nights at the elegant and historic Broadmoor hotel. Austin Adventures welcomes adult and family groups for a prefixed itinerary, as well as the challenge of custom tours if requested.
My group numbered six diverse and congenial travelers who spanned a wide range of ages, interests and varying degrees of fitness. When living and exercising at these high elevations it should be noted that the effects of high altitude can sneak up on you. Preparations of drinking plenty of water, maybe an aspirin or two, is advised but may not quench that feeling of slight exhaustion. Seniors may be affected more than younger participants, and your Austin Adventure guides will take this into consideration for the enjoyment of all guests. This should not keep you from enjoying the log cabin elegance and gourmet food offered at every turn of your tour.
The adventure starts out with a quick exposure to the Garden of the Gods geological formation at the new visitor center, along with a mild hike through the rugged red stone formations. Then it is off to Cave of the Winds, where again your adjustment to altitude may be tested with trekking up and down through the sometimes narrow and claustrophobic tunnels. Then it’s off to your mountain cabin hideaway which is literally a “high” light of your Colorado adventure.
Broadmoor’s Cloud Camp is perched at an elevation of 9,000 feet of timbered adventure. As you are driven up on the Broadmoor shuttle, the many switchbacks let you know you are going somewhere special as you pass through a zoo and many private gates. Atop the mountain you view down upon many sections of Colorado Springs and at night it is like you are suspended over a scattering of shimmering diamonds. The upscale cabins most with a two bed room configuration, warmly welcomes you after a gourmet meal in the expansive and outdoor interior designed lodge which is in the shadow of a distant Pikes Peak.
With a lengthy hike up and down the mountain you arrive at Emerald Valley Ranch, or you may be shuttled in comfort, averting altitude stress. Emerald Valley Ranch, is a compound of super upscale log cabins around a tranquil lake and offers activities such as; horseback riding, zip lining, archery, fly fishing or just relaxing in an outdoor hot tub. Once again the congenial and ever present western attired staff is there to fill your requests, and serve another gourmet meal, sometimes providing exotic buffalo ribs, rocky mountain red trout accompanied by delicious comfort Baked Beans and sweet potato au gratin with pecans. After a long day of enjoyment the night and a roaring fire in your cabin will hypnotize you into dreamland. If your phone is off the hook service personal will gently knock on your cabin door to invite you to a hearty breakfast.
Austin Adventures likes to say the hardest thing about this trip is leaving. But when you are leaving the tranquilly of the private Emerald Valley Ranch you have the expansive and elegant European styled Broadmoor Hotel to embrace your reluctance. The Broadmoor is indeed the epitome of luxury accommodations. A meal and beverage at the many onsite venues is a sure winner as is their elegant Primrose Room, complete at times with live dance music and crystal chandeliers. The Primrose Room is Colorado’s only five star and five diamond award winner. For breakfast a casual awakening can be taken in at the Lake Terrace, where eggs benedict is a staple.
This new Colorado Adventure tour for 2016 is only one of the many destinations offered by Austin Adventures which may peak your adventure wanderlust. Explore Austin Adventures where, “Your toughest part is going home.” http://www.austinadventures.com/

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At 51, Christy Hadley, is stronger and has more confidence than she did in her 20s.

by Bobby Anderson
Staff Writer

In a world where seniors often decide it’s time to sit back and relax on a bench, 51-year-old Christy Hadley is working on improving how much she can bench.
During the day, Hadley works as an assistant secretary to the principal at Briarwood Elementary in Moore. But at night, a few mornings and nearly every weekend she’s running, lifting and having the time of her life.
“Age does not have to make you feel helpless,” Hadley said. “At 51 I think I feel fierce.”
The fierceness comes from Hadley’s five-year-love affair with Crossfit, a strength and conditioning program used by many police academies, tactical operations teams and even military special operations units.
Her husband, Rodney, doesn’t mind though. He does it right along with her as does son, Cody, and daughter, Cassidy.
Hadley became interested in Crossfit when her husband and son started at Crossfit Exile in Moore.
“The enthusiasm when you get there and the young people rallying around (is amazing),” Christy Hadley said. “I never felt like I was an outsider. I felt like they were pulling for me to reach the goals I set myself.”
Hadley admits it can be intimidating but the beauty of Crossfit training is that it meets each individual athlete where they are and builds from there.
Owner Andrew Nicholas meets with each new athlete and works out a progression plan. For many who walk into the gym it’s been quite some time since they last worked out.
But it’s the camaraderie of going through difficult things with others that hooked Hadley for life.
“It was the atmosphere and the support and cheering and rallying you get behind you,” Hadley said. “It was also coming to the realization that I’m getting ready to be in the prime of my life. This is what God has given me, now it’s up to me to see what I can do. It was pushing myself farther and seeing how much I could change myself.”
Last summer, Hadley let her husband post a picture of her in a bikini on Facebook for the first time. She’s also been known to rock the occasional miniskirt.
“I have more confidence at 51 than I ever had in my 20s or 30s,” Hadley said.
It’s that kind of confidence that Marcie Billen focuses on specifically with seniors at Exile’s sister gym, Norman Strength and Conditioning.
Her Silver Strength program is designed for ages 55 and up to improve energy levels, balance, flexibility, core strength, and quality of life. She has a passion for inspiring others to achieve their goals and extend their active years well into their 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond.
Growing up an only child, Billen said she formed a close bond with her grandparents. In college she volunteered at Full Circle Adult Day Care.
She became a personal trainer to focus on seniors.
Her first client was 69.
“In strength training they have more balance and it comes with the fact that lifting weights you have to be able to balance the weight and stand up straight,” Billen said.
And with weight training comes increased bone density, something she’s sure to point out to clients.
The statistics back up the case for weightlifting, particularly in females
Women ages 65–69 who break a hip are five times more likely to die within a year than women of the same age who don’t break a hip, according to a Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
This paper breaks down death risk by age group. In addition to the finding for women ages 65–69, it finds that for women ages 70–79, a hip fracture doubles the risk of dying within a year. Most women 80 and older have the same risk of dying within a year whether they fracture their hip or not, but for women 80 and older who are in excellent health, a hip fracture nearly triples the risk of dying within a year.
Billen says clients most often remark about increased energy levels after working out.
“Some of the stuff I heard them say is ‘I can garden for five hours now without getting tired,’ or they’re doing races with their grandchildren,” Billen says. “They’re excited about these every day tasks.
“It’s just exciting for me to see people take back control of their lives when, before, they thought they were on a path to the grave,” she said.

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