I had a SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection) July 5, 2011, five days after our Aniston was born. I experienced nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. I was living in the border of Mexico in El Centro, CA so I was life-flighted to San Diego. I was, thankfully, diagnosed pretty quickly by a doctor there who had seen it before. I was medically treated (Plavix & Metoprolol for one year, baby aspirin for life, no cardiac rehab.) After I recovered and Aniston was two or three, Kelvin and I were considering having another baby. I saw three doctors in four cities, they all said no more babies. They said it would be too big of a risk and advised against it. We were devastated. I flew to see Dr. Sharonne Hayes at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She is considered to be the leading expert in SCAD in the country.
After looking at my file and running some tests, she said it was really our decision but to live my life as fully as possible. Other than Dr. Hayes, all doctors said we needed to adopt or get a surrogate. We decided that another traditional baby was really what we wanted so we took a leap of faith.
I was 35 years old and a SCAD survivor when I became pregnant with Leah. I was monitored closely by my obstetrician and perinatologist. I was great throughout the whole pregnancy but my blood pressure went up when I was 38 weeks so I was induced. Both girls were born healthy. I did not have a c-section like most people would expect after having a heart attack; all doctors have said that I am not to undergo any unnecessary surgery the rest of my life.
I was of course really nervous at the end of the pregnancy and for months after but I have settled in now. I exercise three to four times per week including walking, jogging, Zumba, kickboxing and light weights. I'm feeling good and am extremely thankful to be alive! My advice to all women would be to listen to your body. It would have been easy for me to ignore the signs since I was so healthy and had no risk factors, but I didn’t take any chances and went to the ER. If you feel like something is wrong, get checked out.
It’s been more than 30 days since over 800,000 federal workers were put on furlough or are working without pay while facing the longest partial government shutdown in American history. As the fight between the White House and Congress over border wall funding drags on, many Americans are wondering how they are going to make ends meet.
While we accomplished quite a bit in being of service to all mankind, we also celebrated another milestone in 2018. Our sorority sister Cynthia Barnett became “golden,” meaning she observed 50+ years of service to the sorority! What’s most impressive is that her years of service were uninterrupted.
We recently sat down with Barnett to learn what she’s loved the most over the past five decades, what she’s looking forward to next and words of wisdom for the next generation of sorority members coming after her.
On December 1, 2018 the Sigma Lambda Omega chapter hosted a caregiver appreciation event at the Lake Balboa Care Center, a convalescent home, under the leadership of Chapter President, Tracie Bowdoin. This service project highlighted Target 2’s emphasis on caring for the caregiver as well as nutrition and wellness. Chapter members gave heart healthy snacks to nearly 20 caregivers and provided them with a much needed break by playing games with nearly 50 residents and singing carols to uplift their spirits during this holiday season. All residents were also gifted pairs of fuzzy socks in a Christmas stocking, residents also received sugar free candy and treats as game prizes.
November is National Family Caregivers Month and it is a time to recognize and honor family members who sacrifice endlessly to care for their loved ones. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has designated November 16th, 2018 as the AKA Caregivers’ Community Impact Day.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Sigma Lambda Omega chapter would like to showcase one of its members, Marla Brandon- Stewart, to share her story in order to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to others.
If you need assistance and self-care tips, please utilize this resource:
The Health Committee is encouraging all members of SLO share the following information to your family and friends throughout the month of October to increase the awareness, education, and prevention tips to mitigate the incidence and risk of breast cancer. Each year 24,000 women under the age of 45 are diagnosed with breast cancer and 3,000 will die. African American women under 35 years of age have breast cancer rates twice as high as Caucasian women of the same age and are three time as likely to die. These risks are compounded as breast cancer is detected in late stage development and thus are more aggressive cases and harsher outcomes. The increased risk for women 45 and under is compounded if,
September is Self-Care Awareness Month, and it is a very important month. Most people could benefit greatly from taking a bit of time to care for one’s self. However, most people encounter a number of obstacles along the way, one of the biggest being its connotation. Self-care is often seen as selfish. Choosing to put one’s needs above others every once in a while can result in feelings of guilt, especially if others perceive it as self-centered. We then end up putting others’ needs before our own and neglecting what we need. This can lead to burnout or other forms of physical and emotional exhaustion.
The 19th Annual AKA Day at the Capitol was an action packed two days filled with informative workshops, exposure to State Legislatures, and of course, sisterly bonding. Each year, members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated are encouraged to visit their respective state capitols in order to foster a deeper connection with political leaders and a broader understanding of local and state issues. Members in attendance from Sigma Lambda Omega included Arianne Ousley, Karin Stanford, and Vanessa Hirsi.
Chartered on April 7, 1990, the Sigma Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc.®, is a volunteer professional service organization comprised of women who use their special skills and expertise developed in their working life to design and implement service programs within the San Fernando Valley.