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Champion Stories May 2013

Elm City Bagels

Organizational Champions, Elm City Bagels and Deli

Interested in sharing your story with us? We want to hear the many ways that you are living, sharing, modeling, and inspiring Vision 2020 in your own life! You could be featured in our next newsletter! Meet this month’s featured Champions, Sally Wood, Amelie Gooding, Kim Stack, & Phil Wyzik and hear how they are taking their next healthiest step in helping our community become the healthiest in the nation!

“I smoked cigarettes for over 35 years, starting as a teenager, trying to fit in with my peers. I smoked only a few a day to start, but in only a few short months, I was lighting up a full pack each day, which I bought with my lunch money. If you are old enough to recall, in the 1960s, selling cigarettes to a minor was legal, plus Marlboro Reds went for a mere 38 cents a pack, which made it quite affordable for kids.

By age 30, I was smoking close to 2 packs daily. After being diagnosed with severe COPD and feeling quite overwhelmed, I climbed up to nearly 3 packs a day; as if testing the odds against me. I couldn’t stop and I had talked myself into believing that I didn’t want to. Family, friends, and medical staff had recommended ways to quit, but the more they talked, the more I puffed. I tried cutting back, the patch, the gym, smoking only certain places or certain times…nothing worked. In 2006, after a good scare of being ill and hospitalized, I decided I had enough of the emergency room as they had of seeing me come in by ambulance constantly those past 5 years with complications due to continuing to smoke with COPD.

I quit cold turkey..just threw my cigarettes away. Now smelling other people’s cigarette smoke makes me nauseous and I feel ill. I have no doubt that if I had continued to smoke, I would not be alive to write this. God somehow got through to me and I cherish each day. If I had only known years ago that I’d be on oxygen now, maybe that peer pressure wouldn’t have seemed so important; but I’m here and that’s what important!” – Champion, Sally Wood

“Thanks for the tips (Organizational Champion tips of the month e-newsletter)! I definitely like the idea of incentives for employees. We had all staff using pedometers to log their steps and increase how much they walked. Only a third of my staff participated. I need to come up with something simpler and better that all my staff have input on. I am gathering my Health and Safety committee together to brainstorm and then bring ideas to an all staff meeting in early May!” - Champion, Amelie Gooding, Organizational Champion, Phoenix House

“It is an honor to serve our community by offering healthy menu choices.” – Champion, Kim Stack from Organizational Champion, Elm City Bagels & Deli

“Our employees are very dedicated to their clients and our community. Sometimes that means not leaving their desk all day. We want to create a worksite climate that reduces stress for our employees in a way that is meaningful for their work day and their personal time.” Champion, Phil Wyzik, from Organizational Champion, Monadnock Family Services