I have a new hero. Her name is Kate Madigan. I’ve never met her—though, this being Delaware, I’ve probably walked right by her at the mall. But we have something in common—something we probably wish we didn’t. We both had breast cancer.
Kate, a middle-school teacher and a mom who lives in Wilmington, approached me several months ago about writing an essay for our fall 302Health magazine. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and she had a few things she wanted to share with people who might not know how to approach someone who has been diagnosed with the disease. I was struck by her practical, common-sense advice.
Even well-meaning friends are sometimes clueless. Kate reminds readers that someone else’s diagnosis is “not about you” and urges people to “say something.”
As I read her essay, I was reminded that, even after six years of being cancer free, I can still be at a loss of what to say to someone who has just heard the earth-shattering words, “You have cancer.” Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s helplessness. Her brave words will guide us all. Read about her personal journey on page 20.
Breast cancer isn’t the only life-threatening disease that women face. Heart disease is a sneaky killer that manifests itself in different ways in women. But it’s lethal, just the same, and is the No. 1 cause of death among women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Writer Theresa Gawlas Medoff shares valuable information about women and heart disease (page 30) in this issue.
You may have noticed a pattern. All of our stories in this magazine revolve around the theme of women’s health. And that also means well-being and fitness. Theresa also writes about the benefits of dance (page 26). You might call this activity a one-stop exercise tune-up. It’s good for your mind, body and spirit—and it’s fun—whether you’re do-si-doing, fox-trotting or belly dancing.
What you put into your body is important, too. We’ve all heard the catch phrase, “Meatless Mondays,” where people cut out meat for a day. Now, some are extending the meat-free dishes to more days during the week. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this type of diet. “Reducing your intake of meat has clear health benefits,” writer Pam George tells us in her story (page 8). “But you don’t need to be all in or all out.” Check out her tips and recipes. You won’t even miss the beef and sausage in this vegetable lasagna. Really!
As I put together this issue, I also met another impressive mom—Kelley Crawford of Middletown. After her first baby was born, she began to think about the impact of today’s environmental issues on her family. She became more eco-conscious, but realized she lacked a support system. In April, Kelley and a friend came up with a solution: They founded the Delaware chapter of the Holistic Moms Network. Read about it on page 44.
It really is easy to be green.
Coming up in the spring issue of 302Health: Alternative Medicine.