Finding an inner strength
Kathleen Russell of Greenfield and Phyllis Pittet of Peterborough came up against what may be the challenge of their lives — cancer — and each of them has survived, with support from friends and family, as well as their caregivers. But they also found an inner strength perhaps they never knew they had.
In an interview with Reporter Ashley Saari, Russell noted finding through her experiences with cancer a deeper connection to self, an awareness of her body that some might call extrasensory. As she put it, “Every cell in your body has to be on board to beat this disease. That’s how focused you have to be to get well. That’s how it has to be. No hesitation. No giving up. Especially, no giving up.”
Both she and Pittet seemingly found new energy for their lives, a desire to fulfill long-held dreams. Russell was sharply focused on her desire to be well. Her reward, she told herself, was a trip to China. Pittet treated herself to a trip to Europe after finishing chemotherapy treatments.
Their stories remind us just how resilient the human spirit is, and the power of setting goals and using one’s attention to bring about a desired outcome.
In this issue, Reporter Dave Anderson focuses on some county and school district initiatives to combat obesity. The Cheshire County HEAL coalition has begun the Turn a New Leaf program, working with restaurants and other food providers to make healthy options more available to the public. And in the ConVal School District, they’re doing something similar in the cafeterias for students.
Reporter Lindsey Arceci has a passion for learning about healthy ways of eating. In this issue, she talks with cooks, as well as a dietitian, all of whom had something to say about special diets, including organic, gluten-free and vegan.
And Reporter Elodie Reed puts the spotlight on the home, talking with folks who have some suggestions about how to keep it happy and healthy. Some advise bringing in greenery, while others focus on regular routines that get everyone in the household working together in harmony.
Midwife Sarah Bay tells us about the latest in screenings for infants, and Dr. Dmitry Tarasevich answers some critical questions about blood pressure.
HealthFirst wouldn’t be complete without a note or two about our furry friends. Sy Montgomery of Hancock shares why having pets is good for her spirit.
We hope the stories we’ve gathered here will inspire and educate you, helping you reach your own desired outcomes. Here’s to your health!
— Priscilla Morrill