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Health & Wellness

Health and wellness tips, information and reviews of products and local professionals to help you get in great shape!

Attend the Engaging Communities Rally this Monday

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month & Child Abuse Prevention Month. April 19-25 is Crime Victim’s Rights Week. Engaging Communities rally and kick-off event will be atnoon, Monday, April 20 at Glover Park in the Marietta Square in downtown Marietta. Join members of the community, crime victims and survivors, elected officials, and community stakeholders as they rally together to celebrate and honor Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

For more info,

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12 Ways to Save the Earth: Murdock students speak out

Jennie Dang, a third grade teacher at Murdock Elementary School, submitted her students’ suggestions on how we can be better stewards of our environment. So, in honor of Earth Day, April 22, EAST COBBER selected 12 “acts of green” to save the earth.


das“We should start saving water now. If we don’t by scientific research,
we will run out of water by 2050! So start saving now.” ~ Lana Das



“If we don’t recycle, reduce and reuse the world will become a dirty, icky place. Humans would not last very long. Also we could help the environment by doing parks cleanups, school cleanups, using recycling bins, etc.” ~ Christiana C. Volpi



boxt“Barely any people recyle! Can you believe it?
Only 35% of the world recycles! People should recycle.” ~ Carlie Boxt




“When you litter you are hurting animals because, when animals think a piece of trash is food they will eat it. When anything eats something that is not food it will hurt the animal.”~ Sofia Marmolino



rocco“To see some ways to recycle or see what you can recycle go to If you  have an old pair of glasses, you can recycle those too, so don’t throw them away.” ~ Ava Rocco
“Have you ever seen homeless people, they barely have anything, but we can help. Did you know we are wasting things that could go to other people? Have you ever thrown something away that other people can use for another year? Well why not donate that thing? Did you know that is recycling too?” ~ TK McCook


“Litter won’t clean up itself. People, we only have ONE planet earth and when it’s gone it’s gone. What I’m trying to say is take care of our earth by simply recycling and/or putting your trash in the trash can. STOP LITTERING!” ~ Maezy Tingirls


carey“My reason why we should recycle more is because it helps our earth’s resources! 
It helps our earth’s  resources, because it keeps less trash from floating around the ocean.” ~ Ava Carey



“I think you should save water. Some people do not know this, but by 2050 we could run out of drinking water! But, you can stop that by saving water. To save water you have to stop taking long showers. You can also water your plants at night so the sun doesn’t absorb the water and you have to water again.” ~ Ryan Bond


chapin“When you grow out of shoes, you can reuse them and help people that don’t have shoes.
One girl has raised more than 30,000 shoes for her country because a lot of people from her country don’t have shoes.” ~ Bryce Chapin



“Try carpooling. That’s when two or more people ride in the same car! That way, not only are you saving fuel, you’re saving the air!” ~ Julia Miroshnichenko


sharma“Don’t use the hose that much because you are wasting water. For example, when you are watering plants, water the plants with a bucket or a watering can so you don’t waste water.” ~ Neal Sharma


Do you recycle? Visit our Facebook page and share your Go Green tips with your neighbors. 


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Wrist Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Dr. Dale Callaway

Do you suffer from wrists that ache, are numb, tingle, or are cramping? Do you wake up at night with your wrist aching? When you are working or typing, do you have to stop and shake your hands to relieve the tension in your wrists? If so, then you probably suffer from misaligned bones in the wrists, elbow, shoulder and upper back, commonly referred to as “carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Are you looking for relief and a solution that does not involve surgery? You have found it!

Dr. Callaway at Lakeside Chiropractic is a board certified chiropractic specialist in disorders of the nervous system, including extremities (hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees and feet). Consultations are complimentary in our office so you do not feel pressured or obligated. Our goal is to find a solution that will give you relief. Suffer no more, call and make an appointment today and you will feel better soon!

Now accepting new patients. Lakeside Chiropractic is located at 3750 Palladian Village Drive Suite 330 in Marietta. Call 678-401-8207 for an appointment.


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Suffer from Spring allergies? WellStar has answers.


The icky green stuff is back – it’s pollen season East Cobbers. To help you through this sniffly season, WellStar’s Grace Chiang, M.D, answers common questions about allergies.


1. What are the most common allergies and what causes them?
Many people have allergies triggered by substances inhaled from the air, such as pet dander, mold, dust mites, and pollen (trees, grasses, weeds).

Food allergies have also become more common over the years, with >90% of food allergies caused by 7 foods: milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nuts.

The underlying cause of allergies is likely due to a complex interaction between genetics and environmental factors. Many studies are underway to further elucidate the causes of allergies and why the incidence is rising in the U.S. and many other industrialized countries. In general, allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a substance that is usually not pathogenic or harmful. Risk factors for developing allergies include a positive family history or personal history of allergic conditions including asthma or eczema.

2. Many people think they have a cold when it is actually allergies and vice versa-How do you differentiate between these two conditions?
Symptoms that may occur in both conditions include runny nose, congestion, sneezing and cough. With a cold, these symptoms may be associated with fever and body aches, lasting for approximately 7-10 days. With allergies, itching of the eyes and/or nose is often present. Symptoms usually last for weeks to months at a time, as long as the allergic trigger is present.

3. People tend to think of allergies as causing itchy eyes, runny noses, but can they cause more serious health risks?
Allergies can result in more serious health consequences in individuals with asthma. At least 80% of people with asthma have allergies that trigger their asthma, which can lead to coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. This may lead to asthma attacks that can result in ER visits or hospitalizations. It is thus important for asthmatics to see an allergist and identify potential allergic triggers. Treating a patient’s allergies is an important part of optimizing asthma care.

4. If you do have allergies, how can you manage them?
A 3 pronged approach is most effective in managing allergies:

  • 1. Environmental control measures: strategies to minimize exposure to known allergic triggers, such as keeping a pet out of the bedroom, use of air filters, and dust mite proof encasings
  • 2. Medications: help to control symptoms but often need to be taken regularly in order to be effective
  • 3. Immunotherapy (“allergy shots”): the only treatment available that alters your body’s immune response to allergens and provides long lasting relief, reducing symptoms and the need for medications

5. How are allergies diagnosed?
Skin testing may be safely performed in children and adults to accurately diagnose allergies, under the supervision of a board certified allergist. Contrary to common belief, there is no age requirement for skin testing. For example, many infants are able to be skin tested for allergy to milk and/or soy, if there is a concern for allergy to their formula. We are able to test for environmental and food allergies as well as stinging insects (bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jacket, fire ant) and penicillin. If skin testing is positive, we expect to see a small, red, itchy bump develop within 15 minutes. I thus have the opportunity to interpret the skin test findings with the patient at the same visit and develop an individualized treatment plan.

6. How are allergies related to other medical conditions, such as asthma and eczema?
Asthma and eczema are other forms of allergic disease. It is thus common for allergies, asthma and eczema to all occur in the same patient or family. Having one of these conditions increases your risk for having the other two, something referred to as the “atopic march,” in which young children may initially have eczema and food allergies, later also developing allergies (hayfever) and asthma.

7. There is a lot of concern about giving children medicine-what is safe and what do you need to avoid?
It can be difficult navigating the many allergy treatments that are now available OTC. It is worthwhile to see an allergist to establish the diagnosis of allergies first. Your allergist can then recommend specific treatments at doses that are safe for children.

8. Is there any truth to the practice of exposing young children to more allergens and germs in order to build up their immune systems?
Some studies have shown that the risk of allergies is reduced for children who are around more bacteria or “germs,” as a result of growing up on a farm or with multiple pets or siblings in the home. The exposure needs to occur very early in life, however, so making these changes later in childhood will not have a protective effect. This is likely an overly simplistic viewpoint however, as the underlying cause of allergies is likely a complex interaction between many variables, both genetic and environmental.

9. What about pet allergies? A lot of people out there really want pets, but their allergies won’t allow them. Are there treatments people can take to help with this?
Allergy shots are the most effective treatment to allow people to live or interact with pets they are allergic to. The allergy shots gradually introduce cat or dog dander to the body’s immune system, helping that individual to develop greater tolerance, or “immunity.” It thus takes time for the allergy shots to result in improvement, but they are the most effective treatment available in providing long term relief.

10. What is an allergist and why should I see one?
An allergist is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of allergic conditions in children and adults, including allergic rhinitis (hayfever), sinus disease, asthma, food allergies, eczema, stinging insect allergy, drug allergy, hives, anaphylaxis, and immune deficiencies. An allergist receives an additional 2-3 years of specialized training after completing their residency. They must also complete a rigorous examination to become board certified in Allergy. All individuals with symptoms or concern for an allergic condition can certainly benefit from seeing an allergist.
Grace Chiang, M.D., has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and allergic conditions in both children and adults and is in practice with WellStar Medical Group, Allergy and Asthma. She is board certified in allergy/immunology and pediatrics.


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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

On Tuesday, April 21st from 7-9pm youth and parents are invited to join MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and the Cobb Community Alliance to Prevent Substances, Inc. (formerly Cobb Alcohol Taskforce) to engage in the conversation about underage drinking during the PowerTalk 21 event.

Where: First Presbyterian Church, 189 Church Street, Marietta 30060
When: April 21 @ 7pm
Who: Middle and high school youth and parents/guardians

The evening will open with a teen’s inspirational story on the impact alcohol had on his life. Youth will gather in one room to participate in the POWER of YOU(TH)/SMART presentation while parents, in another room, learn how to be empowered with the POWER of PARENTS

The evening will conclude with a panel of speakers motivating those in attendance to take action relating to underage drinking in our community. Parents will be charged to Start the Conversation and youth will be given an opportunity to sign up for a Sticker Shock event happening on April 26.

This event is a part of the 21 Days in Support of 21 campaign leading up to PowerTalk 21 day, a national day encouraging parents to speak with their teens about underage drinking and why it’s important to wait until 21 to drink.

Register Here:


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Shepherd’s Men to Run 911 Miles to Save Veterans’ Lives


From April 19 – April 26, a team of 13 marines, veterans and civilians who support soldiers returning from battle with invisible injuries, will run from the Freedom Tower in New York City to Shepherd Center in Atlanta—a journey of 911 miles.

The group, known as Shepherd’s Men, will raise money and awareness for the growing number of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the most common injuries affecting returning troops since 2001. One hundred percent of the funds raised goes directly to the Shepherd Center SHARE military initiative, the only private program of its kind in the country.

Of the more than 294,000 returning Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers, one in five need treatment for these devastating conditions. Though undetectable visually, TBI and PTSD devastate service members and the families who suffer with them, often leading to broken homes and suicide. Statistics show that 22 veterans a day commit suicide in the U.S.

The SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center was founded to save the lives of service members with neurotrama through innovative research and treatment. Often these neurotrauma injuries go undetected. With a soldier’s stoicism and commitment to putting the mission and team first without complaint, many returning men and women are reluctant to admit that something is wrong and that they need help.

Shepherd’s Men was started by Travis Ellis, Vice President of Mobilized Fuels, and Gunnery Sergeant Troy Campbell to help fund the SHARE initiative.

“We have a responsibility to engage in the fight; this is how I have chosen to do it,” Ellis said. “The important thing to realize is that we have been at war for 14 years and we have asked 1% of our population to fight that war. During WW II, the entire country came together as a nation to support the troops: loved ones enlisted, we rationed, we bought bonds. Now we are all insulated, so far removed from what is going on in a different land. Sending sons and daughters to fight and die, we owe it to them to see that they are cared for when they return. Their lives are worth it. And going untreated, PTSD can have an affect on families for generations.”

At its inception last year, the race went from D.C. to Atlanta and raised $130,000, which helped five soldiers go through the program. The program costs $40,000 per veteran with only one-third being covered by insurance. Though the program works with 40 clients each year, there is a diagnosed population of of 294,000 who need its help. Each patient is admitted by severity of injuries; no one is denied care based on cost. Donations are much needed in order to increase the organization’s ability to care for more service members.

This year, race organizers say, the goal is $250,000 and they are on track. Along the route, the team receives support from VFW, American Legion and Rotary groups, police and fire departments, businesses and citizens who are aware of their cause and who come out to cheer them on, provide meals and hotel rooms. The Shepherd’s Men refuse to spend any of the donations on themselves and gladly sleep in local firehouses or other community facilities to give as much as possible back to the SHARE initiative.

The Shepherd’s Men route begins each day in the following cities:

  • Day 1, April 19: Begin at Ground Zero, Freedom Tower, NY, NY
  • Day 2, April 20: Princeton, NJ
  • Day 3, April 21: Philadelphia, PA
  • Day 4, April 22: Baltimore, MD to Washington DC
  • Day 5, April 23: Quantico, VA
  • Day 6, April 24: Lynchburg, VA
  • Day 7, April 25: Gastonia, NC to Athens, GA
  • Day 8, April 26: Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA

Active duty Purple Heart recipient Marine First Sergeant Justin Ezell, who ran the event last year and will run again this year, feels strongly about the SHARE Military Initiative. He experienced the program through one of his own former Marines, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head. He was suicidal and couldn’t get his life back on track. Thanks to SHARE, the former Marine is now healthy and whole, with a girlfriend and a life he loves.

“SHARE provides a path to wellness for people who are suffering and don’t know where to turn. Whether you have physical scars or the problems are emotional or mental, no one really knows that help exists. We want to make people aware of the program so that they can get help they need to get on with a good life,” Ezell said.

A soldier’s experience

When Jarrad Turner returned from Iraq, having deployed with the Army as a combat medic in 2003 and 2006, he had injuries to his head, shoulders and neck from an RPG attack. He couldn’t remember anything, from where he’d put his car keys to what day it was. He couldn’t sleep and was suffering from chronic vertigo.

“I would look at this guy in the mirror with no visible injuries and be mad at myself. ‘Suck it up’; that’s what we’re taught in the Army. ‘If you’re weak, you won’t be able to make it. Push. Life will suck, but it’s not about you; it’s about the team.’ When you carry this mentality around with you, even when you’re out of the military, you still carry the pain.”

After unsuccessful, medication-heavy treatment from the VA, a friend recommended SHARE, and Turner found hope and healing.

“I wanted and didn’t want to go to SHARE. I didn’t want to talk about my feelings and do the ‘Kumbaya’ thing. That’s not me. But that wasn’t SHARE. There is dignity there. They treat you like a human being, with kindness and respect. I am thankful for SHARE. It may sound cliché, but it saved my life.”

At SHARE, staff members explained the symptoms and treatments of Turner’s injuries to him and his family, providing care to all of them together. Now Turner is largely recovered and ready to do what he can to promote awareness of injuries like his and how SHARE can help.

“People still don’t know SHARE exists. It’s more than sad that people say they love us and are thankful for us, but if you really care, listen to us. If you open your eyes, there are a lot of men and women that are suffering in silence,” Turner said.

“I can’t give back enough to SHARE. When they told me they were doing the race again this year, I asked if they would let me join them, and they said sure. I will be the slowest person out there, but I will walk if I have to, if it inspires one person to raise their hand, pick up the phone and say, ‘I need help,’” said Turner.

To support the Shepherd’s Men and the SHARE Military Initiative, please donate here today or consider becoming a sponsor. You are also invited to cheer on the runners along the route and when they arrive at Shepherd Center, their final destination, on April 26 at 1PM. They will be joined by current and former SHARE program participants during the last leg of the route.

To find out more about Shepherd’s Men, visit

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Awareness and prevention of child abuse and sexual assault


April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There will be many informative events held throughout the month to commemorate these, as well as Crime Victims Rights Week, April 19-25.

  • National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Ceremony and Open House
    10 a.m., ceremony; noon-4 p.m., open house, Tuesday, April 14
    Department of Corrections, Roberts Chapel, State Offices South, 300 Patrol Road, Forsyth
  • Neighborhood Safety Commission’s panel discussion on “Protecting Our Children”
    7 p.m., Wednesday, April 15
    BOC Room, second floor, 100 Cherokee St., Marietta (also broadcast live on TV23)
  • Crime Victims Advocacy Council’s Annual Memorial Service
    5 p.m., Saturday, April 18
    Sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur
  • “Engaging Communities” Rally/Kick-off Event
    Noon-12:30 p.m., Monday, April 20
    Glover Park, Marietta Square

For more information on any of these community events, contact the Victim Witness Unit of the Cobb District Attorney’s Office at 770-528-3047 or visit


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East Cobb Family Copes with Crohn’s Disease


The Spandorfer Family: Parents Ellen and Dr. “Pip” with their children, Jack and Carly.


Jack Spandorfer, 14, To Be Honored Hero In May 2015 “Take Steps Atlanta” CCFA Annual Walk

East Cobbers Ellen and Pip Spandorfer will never forget the day they were told their oldest child, Jack
Spandorfer, had Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease that is chronic and incurable.

Dr. Pip (as he is called), a pediatrician who also specializes in pediatric emergency medicine, explained, “For years Jack endured this illness as well as two surgeries. But then it got worse; we found out that Jack’s younger sister, Carly, also had this vicious disease.” Ellen, a psychologist, continued, “When Carly  started to present similar symptoms, we got very concerned and took her to be evaluated right away.”

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation, or swelling, across the lining of the digestive tract and can affect other parts of the body as well. Approximately 1.6 million Americans suffer from IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis).

Pediatric Crohn’s/IBD affects 80,000 children in the US. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease at this time.

Jack, who is now 14 years old, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in November 2011. Jack has a moderate to severe case and has still not yet achieved full remission. A year ago, Jack switched to the medicine, Humira, and he receives weekly injections, providing him with some relief from the disease. Carly, who is now 12, was diagnosed in November 2014. Ellen and Pip waited for the lab results, praying that she didn’t have Crohn’s.

However, the colonoscopy confirmed what they had feared. Just a few months into Carly’s treatment, they still don’t know how her disease will progress.

Ellen said, “We are hoping that by catching it and treating it early, that we will keep her as a mild case,
not moderate to severe like Jack.” Carly, too, receives weekly injections of Humira. According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), approximately 20-30% of Crohn’s patients have another family member affected by the disease, and families frequently share a similar pattern of illness.

Statistics also show that 75% of individuals with Crohn’s disease are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.

Living with Crohn’s left the Spandorfer family feeling very isolated, with few people to talk to about what they were going through day to day with Jack and Carly, both Epstein School students. They contacted CCFA and asked if they could initiate a pediatric, adolescent, and family support group, with both Pip and Ellen being trained to be group facilitators. This would be a place where families could go and discuss symptoms, medications, side effects, research updates, cutting edge studies, pain management, nutrition, and much more.

“We couldn’t sit on the sidelines; we decided that something more needed to be done for the families that deal with IBD,” Pip explained. “And they love it, particularly the kids as they get to be with other kids that have IBD. I hope this support group will be a model for other communities across the country for kids, siblings and parents. We are so proud of this accomplishment, and will continue to help to ensure it is successful,” said Ellen. “In its first year, the group has more than 40 families regularly participating.”

In 2012, Ellen and Pip became very involved with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, GA
Chapter and participated in the first CCFA Walk. Each year, CCFA has a Walk in Georgia, “Take Steps for
Crohn’s and Colitis,” raising money and awareness for the disease.

On May 2, 2015, CCFA presents its 7th annual walk in Georgia, “Take Steps Atlanta,” and Jack  Spandorfer is this year’s Honored Hero.

“The money CCFA is raising funds programs like the support group, summer camp for kids with IBD, patient and professional education, as well as critical research to find new treatments and hopefully one day a cure,” explained Pip. The Spandorfers have been the top fundraising family for CCFA, having raised more than $35,000 in the past two years. They are aiming to raise another $50,000 this year.

“3 ½ years into his diagnosis and Jack has still not gone into complete remission,” said Shannon Primm,
CCFA Assistant National Walk Manager. “There are so many personal questions that remain for Jack, Carly and their parents: Will Jack have to have more surgery? Will he grow? How will this illness affect him when he goes off to college and beyond? Will Carly’s Crohn’s disease become more severe?”

“Jack and his family know that the most obvious, and important, way to get answers to these questions
and make life better for future patients is to support CCFA wholly in all of its endeavors,” said Shannon.

“Whether it be research in the lab, support groups, or Camp Oasis – CCFA is the main outlet that is trying to find the cure for IBD.”

“The Annual Crohn’s and Colitis Walk means so much for Jack,” said Ellen. “Last year, he had surgery on a Wednesday and on Saturday he wanted so badly to be a part of the Walk that we got him a wheelchair and “broke” him out of the hospital for a few hours.”

“With everything I went through and everything I’ve learned, I’m hoping to make it a little easier for my sister and other kids with this disease,” said Jack. “Through Take Steps and the support group, my family feels so lucky to have the encouragement of other families going through the same things we are, and we love that we can give back. As my dad says, ‘we pay it forward for the next family’.”

For more information on the Annual Crohn’s and Colitis Walk visit:

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Ah-choo!!! Spring allergies are in full swing.


Bike Ride to Support Patients Receiving Cancer Treatment


This April a group of cyclists will pass through Cobb County while embarking on a 1,300 mile ride to raise money for the Deep South Cancer Foundation. In conjunction with this Cycliad, the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is hosting a 10-mile community bike ride on the Silver Comet Trail through Cobb County, which will end with a community celebration at the Homer Leggett Pavillion in Hiram, GA. The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is seeking cycling enthusiasts, casual bike riders, and people who are passionate about fighting cancer to participate in either of these events.

To register visit or

The Deep South Cancer Foundation funds programs for cancer research, clinical support services to patients undergoing cancer treatment, and promotes cancer prevention and awareness. The funds raised through these rides benefit Northside and the twelve other community hospital members of the UAB Health System Cancer Community Network. The primary benefit being to patient navigator programs, which help guide patients through the challenges and barriers cancer treatment can present.