hopeFINDING A BETTER ‘NORMAL’ FOR CANCER SURVIVORS

On the night of the H.O.P.E. Life and Rehabilitation Center’s open house in November, the place glowed from within. A group of people had gathered to celebrate this new, specialized addition to Hilton Head Island’s health care options.

H.O.P.E. Life stands for “helping oncology patients enjoy life,” and the facility provides physical, nutritional, social and wellness services to any individual and family touched by cancer. Dennis Ittenbach, the physical therapist who opened the practice, said he’d been thinking about and planning the facility for the past 15 years.

HHI PAINTER LOSES WEIGHT, GAINS MUCH

The phoenix: With all its plumes and promise, this mythological motivator reminds us that, however latent, we each possess the potential for renewal and rebirth. Last year, Hilton Head Island painter and Realtor Louanne LaRoche channeled her own inner phoenix and lost more than 160 pounds—without weight loss surgery. Her story serves as an inspiration for people struggling with their weight and their relationship with food.

LaRoche

LOCAL TRAINER OFFERS TIPS FOR FIGHTING HOLIDAY SPREAD

Have you ever wondered where the expression “Slow as Christmas” comes from? Everyone knows there’s nothing slow about Christmas. From the start of the holiday season it’s a 24-7, frenetic hodgepodge of festivities that often derails our wellness routines.

But not this year. Give yourself an early gift: Stacey Saritelli’s holiday high-intensity interval training workout. Saritelli — a personal trainer, the fitness director at Breakthrough Fitness Center and the five-time winner of The Island Packet’s "best of" Readers Choice Awards — is a graduate of Penn State University and has a bachelor’s degree in commercial recreation and health education. She also is an ACE/AFPA personal trainer and fitness instructor and an ACE-certified weight management consultant. Yep, she kicks butt — for a living.

THE MIRACLE OF MAGGIE MAINE, THIS YEAR’S HEART BALL HONOREE.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — and, for many families, the busiest. Holiday parties. Shopping for gifts. Spreading peace and good cheer.

It’s easy to get swept up in the tinsel and twinkling lights, but the Maine family always makes sure their daughter, Maggie, is right in the middle of the action.

MATURE STUDENTS SATISFY THEIR CURIOSITY AT OLLI

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s fall term course catalog offers more than 50 pages of opportunities. For those who like learning for learning’s sake, opening it and reading through its full-color pages feels like shopping spree.

OLLI, at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, is part of the Bernard Osher Foundation’s nationwide network of adult learning programs. At USCB, it offers educational programs for people in the Lowcountry ages 50 and older — a fast-growing population in Beaufort County. The institute’s membership is 1,400 and counting; over three semesters last year, more than 410 courses focused on topics ranging from science, history, art, computers, literature and health. Lois McCue, the chairwoman of the Hilton Head Island curriculum committee, said OLLI offers classes in about 20 categories, all taught by volunteers.

AN ALZHEIMER’S DIAGNOSIS CAN BE DEVASTATING FOR BOTH PATIENTS AND FAMILIES ALIKE.

When Cathy Gustafson returns home after painting or coloring at Memory Matters’ day program, she is eager to show off her creations to husband, Ron. Ron, who’s been with Cathy since they were 14, always admires the artwork, happy to see her smile and enjoy herself.

Inwardly, though, his heart breaks anew for both of them.

runningCOMBAT HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN BY TRAINING TOGETHER FOR A RACE

Every Thanksgiving, the average person consumes 3,000 calories and, as a nation, we collectively consume 736 million pounds of turkey, 50 million pumpkin pies and 40 million green bean casseroles. Thankfully, Thanksgiving is more than just an all-you-can-eat bingefest. It is a special time to celebrate friends and family — and a great way to do that is to train together and complete the annual Turkey Trot 5K (that’s 3.2 miles), sponsored by the Island Rec Center. In just three short weeks, you and your loved ones can be race ready. Here’s how:

HURRICANE MATTHEW AND TROPICAL STORM IRMA CHANGED THE LOCAL LANDSCAPE. THEY ALSO CHANGED LOCAL PEOPLE.

While there were no fatalities and only a few injuries on Hilton Head Island directly caused by Matthew and Irma, there were other lasting effects.

A year after Matthew, Dr. Patrick Snowman, who works in the emergency room at Hilton Head Hospital, is still on the frontline of the hurricane fallout. The problem? Trees. Hurricane cleanup is dangerous business.

NEW THERAPIES HELP PATIENTS TARGET THEIR TREATMENTS.

Breast cancer treatment has come a long way over the years. New procedures and therapies have helped extend patients’ lives while also improving their quality of life.

Dr. Howard Zaren — a surgical oncologist with St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, the medical director of the hospital’s Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion, and the principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute’s Georgia Community Oncology Research Program — has been treating breast cancer patients for the past 43 years and says he has seen tremendous developments in the fight against the disease.

Mothers often proudly proclaim that they would do anything for their children. For some parents, that declaration of love is a matter of life and death. For both Lois Richardson and Kelly Ruhlin, that demonstration of love went above and beyond baking their kids’ favorite snacks or picking out the best birthday gifts. Richardson and Ruhlin each donated a kidney to their sons in a procedure known as a “living transplant.”