EMPOWERMENT

Joan Cosway-Hayes: Forty Years of Empowerment 

Empowerment is the word reflexologist Joan Cosway-Hayes uses to describe the benefits of the natural healing arts.

Think outside of the box –  Joan Cosway-Hayes on October 15, 2018 in Cochrane, Alberta.

In her book, Reflexology For Every Body, she describes reflexology as applying pressure to points on the hands, feet or ears, which sends messages to the corresponding body parts.  The parts then begin to let go of excess tension, blood flows in, wastes are removed and circulation is normalized.  “The body begins to heal itself.”

“Your feet are like opening a book, they tell about your life and everything that has happened to you,” explains 64-year-old Cosway-Hayes, who resides in Cochrane, Alberta.

As the story is told connections are made and normalizing takes place.  From emotions to physical injuries “it all comes out.”  As clients observe their own body during a session, some describe a sensation on their foot, while others tell of sensations directly in the corresponding part of the body. Continue reading “EMPOWERMENT”

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ROXSTR

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  Even as Makrina Morozowski says she is not much of a “barbequer,” she proves – as she does – that she is.  Photo by Janaia Hutzal April 15, 2018.

By the end of our two-hour dinner at the all-you-can-eat Sushi restaurant, Makrina Morozowski, 26, surpassed all expectations of “athlete.”  But, “rock star,” or as her licence plate says, ROXSTR, would also be an accurate description.  From repelling, twice, down the side of a Calgary high rise as an ambassador for Easter Seals, to her notable sense of humour, to her commitment to eating three more pieces of sushi on a full stomach, just to save her new friend from having to pay an extra four dollars, Morozowski has every trait of a true champion.

“If there’s a piece of inspiration, I hope you use it,” says Morozowski.

The first official activity Morozowski tried was skiing when she was three.  Her father, Doug, taught her – even before she received the diagnosis.  After many visits to doctors searching for answers as to why her physical development was delayed and why she ran with a gait, a neurologist held up her four-year-old body and told her parents their daughter has cerebral palsy. Continue reading “ROXSTR”

Improvement

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Second-year SAIT Business student, J. C. Fernandez, says that volunteering offers the obvious benefit of giving to others, but through this he also receives.

Fernandez, 19, hopes his degree will help him learn to market himself in his own future business endeavours. Getting involved helps build confidence as well as a network.

“Before I was nervous talking to people, I’m an introvert. If I want to learn to market myself I have to be open to people,” explains Fernandez. Continue reading “Improvement”

FEARLESS

From Elected to Member

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Ready to create a clear path for students.  Lisa Davis at the Calgary Board of Education 1221 8 St. S.W. on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. Davis is being sworn in as Calgary Public School Trustee of Wards 6 and 7 by Associate Chief Justice Honourable J.D. Rooke.  (Photo by Janaia Hutzal)

The swearing in of Calgary’s newly elected school board trustees was held at the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) Centre on Oct. 27, with one of the new members being Lisa Davis.

Davis was elected trustee of Wards 6 and 7 on Oct. 16, and one month later she is ready to begin “creating a clear path for students to move forward.”

“I am ready to address some of the issues and concerns we have heard very clearly from parents,” says Davis. “For me, that’s going to be the focus moving forward.” Continue reading “FEARLESS”

SURVIVOR: Part Two

Reid Skogen’s Journey of Heart and Soul Continues 

After the ventricular assist device (VAD) was inserted into Reid Skogen’s heart, and then he suffered a stroke, his gruelling rehabilitation began at the Edmonton Stollery Children’s Hospital.

The breathing tube came out – ever so slowly because they did not know if he could breathe on his own.  As everyone in the room held their own breath, Reid Skogen took his first one.

“He was basically starting over. It was like watching an infant,” says his mother, Cindy Skogen.

Every time there was a positive break-through, it seemed there was a sadness to go along with it.

Cindy Skogen was able to go behind her son and held him for the first time in over a week.  When she had to let go, Reid Skogen cried.  They knew there was emotion.

When they were finally able to leave the unit for the first time, Reid Skogen smiled. According to Cindy Skogen it was joyful, but also “eye opening” because he realized how damaged he was.

His parents lived every moment in fear knowing if the heart device failed, they only had 30 seconds to change it before he died. Continue reading “SURVIVOR: Part Two”

SURVIVOR: Part One

BW-Cindy,-Chad,-Reid-and-Skyler-JH-0007-copyReid Skogen’s Journey of Heart and Soul

The last time I saw this little gentleman, I told him I couldn’t believe that THIS story was only HALF of his story.  Reid Skogen said to me, “This, this is just the beginning…”

You, amazingly, are just like every other 10-year-old boy I know, and yet so very special.  I am so proud to know you Mr. Reid Skogen.  Thank you for coming into my life and allowing be to part of the celebration of yours.  -Your friend, Janaia 

At ten years old, Calgary resident Reid Skogen, has been through more than many endure in an entire lifetime – so much so that his mother, Cindy Skogen, says it is hard to ever let her guard down.

“I never get too comfortable with comfortable,” relates Cindy Skogen.

Skye Skogen, Reid Skogen’s older sister, says her mother even has a heightened sense of smell. Cindy Skogen says she believes it’s her survival instinct, and that after all they have been through she can even smell a fever.

“It smells like ink,” says Cindy Skogen.

Reid Skogen’s health demise began with a fever at age seven, at the end of grade one.

“But he had no other symptoms.”

Reid’s parents, Cindy and Chad Skogen, took Reid Skogen into the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) where some tests were done, and were sent home.

“He stopped eating. He was throwing up for no reason and he could not get warm.

By August we had had enough.”

So they went back to the emergency room, and endured what Cindy Skogen described as “a very unfortunate incident.” Continue reading “SURVIVOR: Part One”

INSPIRATION

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I am not a victim.  I am not a survivor.  I am me. -Courtney Lovgren

When Courtney Lovgren and I began her interview, she started with saying, “I’m glad you are sitting down.”

I had already heard the shocking story about a incident that shook her family and nearly took the life of one of her siblings almost a year ago. So, I thought, no problem I can handle this.

Later that afternoon, when the interview was complete, Courtney and I both went to our homes and napped.

I hope you too are sitting down… Continue reading “INSPIRATION”

BALANCE

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Colleen Van Spankeren at the Calgary Circus Studio

In the photo above she may look like a bad ass, but that’s the ultimate beauty of my friend forever, Colleen Van Spankeren; one day she looks as soft and as elegant as she truly is, at the next she is doing a physical feat that would make many grown men cry.

As a writer and a lover of people, one of the most challenging pieces to write are about someone you love more than words.

How does one write a story about an amazing human being whom you know her heart well enough to know how extremely humble–and even more private she is?

Maybe then, instead I will share with you the moment I knew this woman was going to be my friend forever. Continue reading “BALANCE”