Central Floridians Share to a Grandchild About A Precious Asset—GOOD Health.
Share Your Power, Honor Your Body
Be Informed About Your Health, says Andrea Eliscu
Andrea Eliscu has a lifelong connection to health care, having lost her sister, Carol; husband, Edward H. Eliscu, M.D.; and mother, Natalie Roussman to cancer. The registered nurse and medical marketing expert founded Medical Marketing Inc. in 1984, and is a committed fundraiser for MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando and other health and fitness causes. Her most treasured role? A mom to two children and grandmother to seven grandchildren.
While I realize this is being written to you while you are very young, there will be an understanding of our connectivity. You see, my experience has been that all things go in cycles. So in our cycle, I am the elder and you are just starting your journey.
You come from a wonderful loving, supporting and encouraging family. We are hardworking, generous, givers and receivers. We do our best to be independent and can soften ourselves when we realize we need a little help. We do not see that as a sign of weakness, but instead of understanding the power and grace of sharing.
For many reasons developed due to experiences that happened in my youth, I became a healer—a nurse. It has served me beautifully in my adult life.
Nursing was the door to meeting my husband, your wonderful and loving grandmother. Nursing allowed me to learn, give and to be a teacher. It allowed me to wear special clothes that were honored and respected. It allowed me to be challenged, to think quickly, and to be summoned for both life and death.
My life had been blessed, and one of encouragement. I am eternally grateful for the love of my parents and husband, while also giving and accepting the love of my two wonderful children, your parents. I have learned many lessons by being open, curious and active in my own life. I have learned to love and respect myself, which often opens doors to incredible journeys, relationships, lessons, gift and opportunities to contribute.
I have learned to speak up when something is not right and others are being harmed. I have learned to love physically, mentally and emotionally and it has always been returned tenfold.
I have learned to honor my body be eating healthy, clean and in single size portions. I have learned that my body will be responsive and take care of me if I exercise, stretch and push it rather than find easy way, or ask others to do for me.
I have learned to commit, and that no consequence is insurmountable. I have learned to say no to stress that I do not want to carry on my shoulders.
You have power simply because you’re here on earth. You can do really good things with that power, choose to not use it, or make bad decisions with it. If something comes along that isn’t right, you have the ability and right to speak up. You have the right to ask questions and be informed about your health.
Life is sweet. Life is ever changing. You will be up for it, and thrill in each and every day. I welcome you to my world, and I love who you are and that we are family.
Gifts Can Come In Ugly Packages
Be at Peace With Your Life and Death, says Jay Porcher Yasuda.
A 20-year marketing and public relations guru and community leader, Jay Porcher Yasuda was used to helping clients in multiple industries make key decisions. But when her transplanted liver became cirrhotic, Jay had a difficult decision to make herself. Instead of option to embark on the grueling transplant process once more, the wife of Gene, and mother of two decided not to pursue another transplant, fully accepting what that means. This is the advice to grandchildren.
I’ve learned that when you have your health, you have everything. Know that even with the best of care, sometimes things happen that are unpredictable. Five years after receiving a liver transplant because of my Hepatitis C, I learned that I have cirrhosis in my transplanted liver. This means that I know that this liver will fail.
A lot of people asked me about being transplanted again. I know that until I’m cured of Hepatitis C, any liver that I receive will continue to be damaged by it. Two new drugs for the disease are approved and on the market, but they’re not approved for transplant patients yet. Even if I could take these medications, I don’t think I’d want to because of the terrible side effects. I really want to focus on my quality of life.
My first transplant was difficult. I had to stay in the hospital for one month after the transplant because of severe complications, and it took about four years following the operation for me to feel well again. Even though I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, I don’t want to go through another transplant.
Even more important to me is the moral aspect. So many other people are on the waiting list for their transplant, and there are people dying every day waiting for a liver transplant. I had mine. I had my extra time.
I’ve benefited from the gift of extra, and I’ve seen my kids reach young adulthood. As I write this, my son is already in college and my daughter is a senior in high school. My children are my priority, and I feel like I’ve done the really big, important pieces of work with them. I’ve decided not to have another transplant, and I’m very much at peace with my decision, because I’m not afraid of dying.
I’ve learned that sometimes gifts come in really ugly packages. With these frustrating times can come the greatest outpourings of love that you could never imagine. My friends are like family—the family that you get to choose. During my transplant, my friends fed us, ran errands for us, and literally made Christmas happen that year for my children. Accepting offers of help is one of the greatest gifts you can give your friends.
I’ve also learned to say no, to appreciate the little things, and to appreciate what I have. I’ve learned that God is in control, I’m not. I can’t change, the outcome of my condition. The only thing I really have control over is my attitude and my response to things.
Know that you’re an active partner in your health care along with your physicians. Be informed about your health by researching information from credible sources such as medical journals, and the websites of the Mayo Clinic and National Institutes of Health. If your doctor isn’t answering your questions well enough, keep asking. If it’s just not working, then look for another doctor.
Cherish your body, it’s a temple. Take good care of it. Realize that you have more control of your health than you might realize.
Your Choices Create The Life You’ll Lead
The Are No Easy for Healthy Loss, says Linda Landman-Gonzalez.
Like many people with demanding lifestyles, Linda Landman-Gonzalez struggle with her weight for many years, trying multiple diets along the way. But when it became painful to walk, she decided to make a drastic change in the way she lives. Seventy pounds later, she hasn’t looked back. Linda is wife to Roberto, mother of two daughters, and grandmother to two granddaughters. She works as Vice President of Community Relations and Government Affairs for the Orlando Magic.
You come from a family blessed with great health. As I write this, I’m looking forward to your great-grandmother’s 99th birthday. My mother is a great believer in living a balanced life and doesn’t believe in doing anything to the extreme. Good health is everything. Health determines how you live your life.
When you were little, I battle weight problems despite being a very energetic person. When you’re in your 30s and 40s, you can move a lot faster with extra weight, but as you age it gets better. When you’re overweight, everything is exaggerated. For example, when I had to walk around in heels during Orlando Magic basketball games up and down the Amway Center, every step became more laborious.
I realized that if I don’t make a change, life would continue to get harder with time. I didn’t let extra weight stop me from participating in the things I wanted to do, like play with you girls. I had perfect health. I didn’t have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. But I knew that personally for me, I didn’t make a change at that point, I would have never changed. It was inevitable that my good health would suffer.
In the past, I tried every diet known to man. With some of these programs, you can lose weight, but many times you gain it all back. There are no quick fixes; you have to make drastic changes in your life. I made a decision to completely change the way I eat and live. I began to eat very well. I didn’t eat any processed foods. I cooked everything from scratch with the freshest ingredients. I ate sensible portions and lost 70.
Through my experience, I learned about how much weight means in our society. Of course I loved to get into smaller clothes, but that wasn’t the purpose for my decision. I made changes because I wanted to keep my good health and prevent future problems. Now that I have lost weight, I feel so much lighter. I can sit on the floor easily. I no longer have a lot of weight to carry around. Though I wasn’t sick to begin with, I feel better.
If you want to do something, you can make it happen—anything. The choices that you make, what food you choose to eat, and how you eat means life. To our family, food is a part of our tradition to getting together. We just don’t eat for the sake of eating, there’s more to it than that.
You can’t accomplish much if your health and your family is not well. Managing your health should be a priority. Eating well takes planning and preparation. Eat moderately and decisively and stay active mentally and physically.
Listen to your body. Listen to your physician. Pay attention to what you eat, and how you eat. Honor your health and your physical being.
Finding Real Beauty
What We See on the Outside Doesn’t Always Reflect What We Feel on the Inside, says Dr. Kendrick Spence
When patients come to Dr. Kendrick A. Spence, it’s their confidence and self-image that often needs healing. His hands have literally shaped the faces and bodies of patients from all over the world to help them feel like themselves again, a gift that’s difficult to value.
You come from a very interconnected and diverse background. I believe that we are a reflection of the beauty that we see and appreciate in the people around us.
I think that what’s most important about life is balance, and balance should incorporate beauty, peace, family and community, as opposed to isolated perfectionism is one aspect of life.
Through my years performing reconstructive and cosmetic facial surgery, I have found that if we can not only deliver a product that can make the outside look better, but makes the inside feel beautiful, then we’ve achieved success.
What we see on the outside doesn’t always reflect what we feel on the inside. My job is to be able to bring to two together. The resolution of that conflict should be guiltless process.
I once met a patient who had a cleft lip repaired while still a child. As she got older, her lip bothered her from a cosmetic standpoint, but she felt that she was being vain in terms of asking for the next step. As I got to know the patient, I understand that she actually wore he condition as a mark. The removal of that mask allowed her to reveal her inner beauty.
Now because we’re taking care of ourselves, we’re living so much longer. Another patient told me that she felt so much better on the outside. Se had a condition that caused one side of her face to lose its nerve function. While one side of her face aged, the other side didn’t age at all. She wanted to match her aging side with her other side. The surgery allowed a complete transformation for her.
Often we think of beauty in terms of what we see on the outside, but really the building blocks for beauty are found inside. Even the patient who has suffered the most traumatic injury, or has aged dramatically, can be brought back to a beautiful place and something that reflects what they feel on the inside.
We all like to receive gifts, and give them too, but most often the challenge is identifying your unique gift and sharing it abundantly. I encourage you to find your gifts early and share them with the community.
A true gift is not about receiving, it’s about being able to give. Though giving can include strong financial support, there’s also the gift of a kind word, compliment, and time—all go far in benefiting people.
Though we are all born with a predetermined genetic make-up, we have more control over our health than we may realize says Deborah German, M.D., founding dean of the University of Central Florida College of Medicine and UCF’s vice president for medical affairs. The mother of two daughters would advise grandchildren others to make wise and deliberate choices and set annual goals for improving your health.
As you go through life, make decisions and choices wisely and deliberately. That is especially important for good health. While we are all born with individual bodies and genes, our wellness ultimately depends much more on the choices we make and how we develop our body, mind and spirit.
I have always believed that before you can lead others, you have to be able to lead yourself. That’s true in all aspects of life, including health. We all have freedom of choice. We all decide whether to live a lifestyle based on wellness or self-destruction.
We can’t be physically healthy unless we have a healthy mind and spirit, too. A lack of emotional and spiritual health eventually takes a toll on the physical body, often in the form of chronic disease. Because the body, mind and spirit are so integrated, I have found that settings goals—one for each area—each year helps keep me on track. The goals change based on the current stage and circumstances of my life and on the area I think needs the most attention at the time. Let me give you an example.
In 2005, I spent a year at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C. as a Petersdorf Scholar in Residence. My “mind” goal that year was to complete my studies, specifically on the leadership of academic health centers. For my “body” goal, I realized I had always wanted to learn yoga and there was a yoga class offered each morning on my way to work. I signed up.
For my “spirit” goal, I knew that the nation’s’ capital offered a tremendous opportunity to visit sacred centers for all the world’s religions. So I made my spiritual goal to visit at least one worship site for each religion that year.
When I make these goals, I know I won’t be able to give each one equal time or attention. But that’s OK; I don’t beat myself up about that. I do the best I can to achieve all three. In Washington, I knew that my studies would be my primary goal.
But I knew I could also accomplish the other goals by finding ways to prioritize them and fit them into my schedule. At the end of the year, I’d not only completed my work at the Association, I had learned yoga and I had gained a new appreciation of how the world’s people worshipped.
So as this New Year begins, take time to sit down and think about the next year, to set three goals that will help you achieve body, mind and spiritual wellness. Find activities and goals that delight you. Celebrate your independence to live in a healthy way for your body, mind and spirit.
No, we can’t control the bodies we receive at birth. But we can control how we treat and handle our unique physical, mental and spiritual beings. We can leave our wellness to chance and fate, or we can lead ourselves to a healthier lifestyle. My message to your grandchildren is that the choice of ours.
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.