Transplants Gave Him his ‘Greatest Blessings’

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Testimonial, Transplant | Posted on 09-01-2015

Greg and Joleen

Greg and Joleen

You don’t have to persuade Joleen Hoff about the importance of kidney transplants. Without her first husband’s two transplants, he would never have seen his daughter and then his three granddaughters.

“Transplantation allowed Greg the greatest blessings in his life— to be a father and a grandfather,” Joleen said. “He got his whole life back.”

Joleen will lead a team at the annual Transplant 5K Run/Walk on Sept. 19 in Springfield in memory of Greg Oest, who died May 15, 2012, while on the transplant list for a third kidney. The couple were high-school sweethearts who had been married for 33 years.

Recovering from Stroke – Close to Home

Posted by | Posted in Emergency, Emergency Department, Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience, Stroke Center, Taylorville, Testimonial | Posted on 08-27-2015

Mike Dulakis

Mike Dulakis

Mike Dulakis was progressing through his normal workout Feb. 3 at Taylorville’s Lock Up Gym, lifting weights from a seated position, when everything changed. The 39-year-old guard for the Taylorville Correctional Facility was “training to failure,” a common weight-lifting strategy. Without warning, he slid out of the chair onto the floor in what felt like slow motion.

He doesn’t remember much after that.

“I was trying to get up, and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get up,” Mike said.

A paramedic working out at the gym recognized the signs of stroke, and gym personnel called 911 immediately.

Breast Cancer is Second Most Difficult Thing This Super Survivor Faced

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors, Women | Posted on 08-26-2015

Super Survivor Christina Nation

Super Survivor Christina Nation

Christina Nation knew she could face her battle with breast cancer. She had already endured the most difficult thing a mother or father could face—the death of a child.

Certain moments in our lives are so earth-shattering, whether the news is good or bad, that we never forget the date. For Christina, her world shattered on May 22, 2013, when her 14-year-old son, Wyatt, took his life.

“He was such a happy kid. He loved to be funny and joke with people,” Christina said. He enjoyed video games but was equally at home outside, including fishing or taking boat rides on the river. He was eager to help others, whether giving money to a guy holding a sign on a street or dropping some change in the Salvation Army kettle at Christmas. He looked, acted and talked like his dad and loved to hear his dad’s hunting stories. “And he loved it every time someone told him that he was just like his dad. He was just an all-around great kid.”

The First Step to Treating Female Sexual Dysfunction is Starting the Conversation

Posted by | Posted in News | Posted on 08-24-2015

Couple-Holding-HandsFor years, male sexual dysfunction has been top-of-mind, illustrated through marketing campaigns for pharmaceuticals like Viagra and Cialis. These well-recognized ads show men of all types taking action to improve intimacy with their partners. There’s dancing and romancing following the introduction of the advertised drug, all from the male perspective.

But wait—what about the women?

Volunteering Keeps Longtime Memorial Employee Young at Heart

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 08-14-2015

Wilma Fricke

Wilma Fricke

Wilma Fricke loves Memorial Medical Center and always has—from the time she started at Memorial as a nurse in 1947, to her retirement in 1990, to her “second career” as a volunteer beginning in 2000.

During her work as head of nursing for surgical units, Wilma made many great hires, but one stands out. Fresh out of college, a young man interviewed with Wilma for a position as a nurse on the dialysis unit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t an open vacancy on that floor so Wilma put him to work on 5B in urology and nephrology.

“He did a good job,” Wilma said. “He’s been a good friend over the years.”

Since 2008 Wilma’s hire for 5B, Ed Curtis, has worked as president and CEO of Memorial Health System.

Knowledge and Support Key for Breastfeeding Success

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Maternity, Memorial Medical Center, Pediatrics | Posted on 08-12-2015

Woman-BreastfeedingNew breastfeeding moms typically have two big questions during those first days after a baby’s birth, according to Marlene Rahe, RNC-NIC, IBCLC, who works in the Family Maternity Suites at Memorial Medical Center.

  • How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
  • When can I start pumping?

“There’s a fear of the unknown,” said Rahe. “You can’t see what’s going into the baby each time so there’s some self-doubt. I encourage new moms to concentrate on nursing frequently and monitoring baby’s output.”

Finding Balance: 5 Tips to Help You Achieve Work-Life Balance

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 08-07-2015

work life balance

We hear it every day—work-life balance. But what is it? It’s defined as a state of equilibrium between an employee’s primary priorities of their job and their private life. In today’s busy world where most people are juggling a career and raising a family, finding this equilibrium can seem impossible.

Amber Olson, LCSW, Memorial Counseling Associates, suggests these five tips to help you balance the see-saw of life.

Freshman Year of College 101: Talking Points for Parents

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Parents | Posted on 08-04-2015

Young woman moving in to dormIt’s a moment 18 years in the making—sending your child off to college with all the emotions at full throttle. Joy! Sadness! Excitement! Fear! So much to do—so little time!

Cynthia Mester, PhD, LCPC with Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, offers one big piece of advice to parents: be prepared.

“For the student and parent, it’s a new environment, new expectations, new freedoms and new ways of thinking about life,” Mester said. “The best way to minimize the stress and maximize the potential for positive adjustment is to be prepared.”

She recommends that parents think through the following topics and then make time for brief constructive conversations with their kids before college departure.

Radiation Treatment – How it Works and What to Expect

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Memorial Medical Center, Videos | Posted on 07-30-2015

Asian woman receiving radiation treatment

You’ve heard those three dreaded words: YOU HAVE CANCER.

In one sentence, your life is permanently altered. Before you have time to absorb the shock, your doctor is talking about next steps and the best course of treatment. For 40-60 percent of cancer patients, treatment involves radiation.

While we all know the term, unless you’ve walked the steps of a patient fighting cancer, you likely don’t know much about radiation therapy. Simply put, it’s high-energy X-rays that directly target and shrink tumors while killing cancer cells.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer we see,” said Daniel Ferraro, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist at the Memorial Regional Cancer Center. “Lung cancer is second, followed by bone metastases (when cancerous cells enter the bones), head and neck cancers and prostate. Patients come every day for treatment, anywhere from two to seven weeks.”

Super Survivor’s Dad Reassures: Cancer Isn’t Death Sentence

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors, Cancer Care | Posted on 07-27-2015

Becca with her first grandchild, Nora

Becca with her first grandchild, Nora

No matter how old you grow, no matter how bad the news, Mom and Dad always know just what to say.

When Becca Moots heard her doctor tell her in 2007 that she had breast cancer, all she could think was that she had been handed a death sentence. She felt hopeless.

She dreaded breaking the news to her father, a physician, but he reassured her that cancer is not a death sentence. “That helped me a lot to be able to get through this,” Becca recalled.

Becca is one of three women who were randomly chosen as Super Survivors to be honored at this year’s Memorial’s Be Aware Women’s Fair. The sixth annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.