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  • Animal Magnetism

    Edition: Sarasota, Published: Spring 2021

    From four teeth to beautiful smile through Dentures in a Day.

    Lela Seiders has a way with animals. Even as a child, she found it easier to communicate with horses and dogs than with humans. Lela cultivated her affinity for animals into a career as a racehorse trainer and animal behaviorist that spanned nearly 50 years. “I was born in the Chinese Year of the Horse, and I started training horses when I was 9 years old,” Lela details. “I specialized in horses that were abused by other trainers. I rehabbed them into productive racehorses. There are no classes you can take to learn to train horses. Either you can do it or you can’t. “My other specialty was dogs with behavioral problems. I received great satisfaction in letting t...

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  • Staying A Step Ahead

    Edition: Sarasota, Published: Spring 2021

    Toenail fungus caught early, treated with painless, in-office laser.

    On the February day that Super Bowl LV was played in balmy Tampa, the high temperature in Chicago was 7. That’s why Ted Harris, a developer and home builder, moved from the Windy City to Sarasota a couple of years ago. That, and the fact there isn’t a lot of land to develop in Chicago. Ted Harris Ted loves that he can comfortably walk the beach most any day of the year in a T-shirt and shorts. “I started coming to Sarasota about five years ago, and now it’s become my new home,” Ted, 57, explains. “I love the weather here. You can’t beat it. Plus, I’m getting the chance to build some pretty cool homes, so I’m really enjoying it here.” Ted’s experiences in Flo...

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  • Combating the Opioid Epidemic

    Edition: St. Augustine, Published: Spring 2021

    Clinical trials available to research alternatives to deadly painkillers.

    Long before COVID-19 became the world’s greatest health concern, a crisis that health experts have blamed for nearly a million deaths this century was already raging: The opioid epidemic. In 2019, when the US reported an all-time high of nearly 72,000 deaths due to drug overdoses, more than two-thirds of those deaths involved opioids, a class of drug that includes legally prescribed pain relievers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. The advent of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 exacerbated the problem. With access to counseling and support limited, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that opioid overdoses are claiming more than 90 American l...

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  • Shots Save Her Sight

    Edition: Palm Coast, Published: Spring 2021

    Eye injections halt vision loss from macular degeneration.

    Judy Berling is passionate about art. She began her college career at the University of Maryland as an art major. But struggles with one required course in the curriculum derailed her plan to graduate with an art degree. Judy’s improved vision allows her to paint intricatedesigns on small rocks and canvases. “To earn an art degree from the University of Maryland, you had to learn a language,” details Judy, 74. “I couldn’t hear the language well enough to learn it, come hell or high water. My counselor wasn’t too great, and they switched my major to education, though not art education. I graduated with a degree in elementary education.” Judy began her teaching career i...

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  • The Once-A-Week Workout

    Edition: Manatee County, Published: Spring 2021

    Downtowner discovers the strong points of slow-cadence training.

    When the NFL invaded Tampa for Super Bowl LV this past February, Shelly Woods and her husband were right in the middle of the fun and festivities. That’s just how they like it. Shelly, shown here with her coach, Preston, loves the results she gets from her brief once-a-week workouts. Shelly, 59, and her husband moved from Odessa to downtown Tampa a little more than a year ago, in large part to take advantage of all the activities there. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they have not been disappointed. “For us, living here on the Riverwalk is like living in our own little Disneyland,” Shelly exudes. “We love to bike and walk and partake in all the activities th...

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  • Cutting-Edge Solution

    Edition: Manatee County, Published: Spring 2021

    No knife needed to relieve back and neck pain.

    Kechia Hignight loved her job as a hospital corpsman in the Navy. She remained in the service for 10 years, which included a year and a half in the Persian Gulf ministering to injured sailors. Following her military discharge, Kechia chose a slightly different career path. Kechia Hignight “After being separated from my children for 18 months, I wanted to be more present in their lives,” shares Kechia, 56. “When I returned from the Gulf War, I didn’t want to do hands-on patient care. I learned transcription skills while working as a legal secretary and was familiar with medical terminology. I basically fell into medical transcription.” Kechia found her work as a medical trans...

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  • Your Forever Diamond

    Edition: North Tampa, Published: Spring 2021

    Community licensed to provide care at virtually every stage of life.

    The small stretch of 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Manhattan is one of New York City’s most iconic areas. It’s a bustling block of commerce where merchants and shopkeepers buy, sell and trade diamonds the way brokers buy, sell and trade stocks. Flanked at Fifth and 47th by diamond-shaped streetlamps, the area known as the Diamond District is where Anna Simon worked for her father and eventually met her husband. “My father had a jewelry store there, and I used to run errands for him,” Anna remembers. “I actually met my husband on a blind date. He was in the diamond business, too. He was a diamond setter, and he wound up working for my father....

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  • Robotic Revolution

    Edition: Hernando County, Published: Spring 2021

    Da Vinci surgical system can help reduce patient trauma, recovery time.

    Jenny Rodriguez When she moved from Puerto Rico to Florida 17 years ago, Jenny Rodriguez didn’t speak a word of English. Now, she speaks the language so well that she’s part of a team that helps non-English speakers learn English and adjust to life in the states. “I work for the School District of Manatee County; I’m a secretary for the director of the ESOL program,” Jenny explains. “ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. We help students and people from other countries succeed.” Jenny, 41, began her journey to success 14 years ago, while pregnant with the second of three children. She was also carrying dozens of unwanted pounds, a b...

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  • Raise Your Glasses To Cataracts…

    Edition: North Tampa, Published: Spring 2021

    … and leave them forever after lens replacement surgery.

    As a licensed steamfitter, William Dargan fabricated, installed, maintained and repaired mechanical piping systems for various industries. He mostly serviced refineries, chemical plants and cogeneration units during his career, which spanned more than four decades. William learned the trade after his uncle, also a steamfitter, sponsored him for a five-year apprentice program. After completing the apprenticeship and graduating from the program, William began his career in earnest. It was a career he loved and appreciated. “God made me very good at my work, gifting me in my trade,” the 74-year-old grants. “I became a mechanical supervisor and worked in the field for 43 y...

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  • Walk This Way

    Edition: Hernando County, Published: Spring 2021

    Comprehensive evaluation reveals root cause of chronic heel pain.

    During his 26 years in the Air Force — the last two serving as a chief advisor to a general — Edward Slavin followed a regimented daily routine that included plenty of exercise. Years ago, he carried that routine with him into civilian life. After two or three treatments, Edward’s heel pain began to disappear Now 85, Edward still makes a point of exercising regularly. Some of that exercise comes from working in his yard, where Edward still cuts the lawn and trims the hedges. Most of the rest comes from jogging. “I say jogging but what I do is more like speed-walking,” Edward confesses. “Either way, I jog or speed walk about a mile every other day. I’m usua...

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