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A Wake-up Call for Women

Two Cy-Fairians with heart disease remind females of the risks and symptoms

Written by Gail G. Collins | Select photography by Sara Isola

Cypress, TX News – Veronica Sanchez didn’t know she had a problem until she was admitted to the hospital with a heart attack. The 51-year-old had recently passed her annual check-up, when she woke in the night with chest pressure and nausea. She crawled to the bathroom, and then, watched some television, hoping to feel better. When Sanchez’s left arm went numb, she alerted her husband, who took her to the emergency room. There, she learned that most women don’t wake up during such an episode, and this saved her life.

Sanchez and Sowa encourage other women to make their annual heart check-ups a priority

Heart History
In 2010, Pam Sowa had an accident that required rotator cuff surgery. This revived some unresolved heart history. Nearly 60 years old by then, she’d received conflicting information for decades from doctors about how to handle a congenital heart problem – bicuspid aortic valve. She had only two, instead of the usual three valves. That diagnosis came during her fourth pregnancy, after she had been treated for a viral infection.

Over the years, Sowa was on and off medication, suffering episodes of plummeting blood pressure and struggling to catch her breath. Eventually, tests concluded she had developed valvular heart disease and congestive heart failure. Her health failed so rapidly, Sowa was added to the heart transplant list.

As a bridge in 2011, she had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted, which assured a regular heartbeat with resuscitation, if required. Sowa surprised everyone however. She improved quickly, and now often spends time playing with her grandchild. She is thankful for every day. (more…)

Choosing to Live

Devin Duncan, a Langham Creek High School alumna, shares the life lessons she learned while battling cancer…twice

Written by Devin Duncan | Select Photography courtesy of Devin Duncan

CFM_W_14_My Story_Devin Duncan_Photo by Impressions by Leslie (4)


Cy-Fair ISD Schedule for Athletic Physicals for 2015-16 Season

Cypress, TX News (April 10, 2015) –  CFISD has scheduled its annual athletic physical examinations for the 2015-2016 school year at every district high school for incoming high school students as well as sixth- and seventh-grade middle school students.


Food Service Department Unveils 2015 Summer Feeding Schedule

The Cypress-Fairbanks ISD food service department has announced its 2015 schedule for the Seamless Summer Option Program.

The program provides nutritious meals at no charge to all children age 18 and younger at participating feeding sites. Those who wish to participate are invited to simply show up and enjoy a meal. Children do not need to register or get meal tickets, and neither proof of income or age is required.

Food service employee Eliza Bagui serves a guest at the Annual Food Tasting at the Berry Center on Jan. 15. The food service department will offer the Seamless Summer Option program at 26 CFISD schools this summer.

Food service employee Eliza Bagui serves a guest at the Annual Food Tasting at the Berry Center on Jan. 15. The food service department will offer the Seamless Summer Option program at 26 CFISD schools this summer.


Gift of Life

Recipients of organ transplants share the heart and importance of choosing to donate

Written by Lorrie Crow Kimble | Photography by Candace Cook

Across the country, there are more than 120,000 men, women, and children waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Eighteen of these people die every day while waiting for an organ. Thousands more are waiting for life-saving tissue transplants. In Texas alone, there are more than 11,000 people waiting for an organ transplant, according to Laura Frnka-Davis the director of communications for Life Gift. The following are the experiences of two Cy-Fair organ recipients.


Healthy Posture at Work

Several factors contribute to poor posture-most commonly, improper spinal alignment, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes. In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor body positioning.

How to sit properly:

• Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor.

• Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.

• Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.

• Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.

• Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.

• Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.

• Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time. (more…)

Joshua’s Amazing Transformation

Cypress Ranch High School graduate, Joshua Weissman, lost over 100 pounds after he discovered the Paleo diet and documented his dramatic transformation

Written by Lorrie Crow Kimble | Photography by Candace Cook

Cypress, TX News  - Joshua Weissman was picked on verbally and physically because of his weight. But it got more intense when classmates, who he thought were his friends, began pinching, pushing, grabbing, and laughing at him during class. The teacher did nothing about it. “Eventually, I lost my cool and yelled at one of them, and then that kid said he wanted to fight me,” remembers Joshua. His classmates started berating him for yelling and called him lame. Joshua put his head down on his desk. He started tearing up, and he didn’t want anyone to see. “This wasn’t the first time I was humiliated, but it was one of the worst,” says Joshua.

After being repeatedly bullied about his weight, Joshua Weissman changed his lifestyle, lost over 100 pounds, and became the author of his own Paleo-inspired cookbook

After being repeatedly bullied
about his weight, Joshua Weissman
changed his lifestyle, lost over 100
pounds, and became the author of
his own Paleo-inspired cookbook


Making a Big Impact on Little Lives

Local non-profit assists families caring for kids with disabilities

Written by Clare Jensen | Photography courtesy of Big Little JC Association

Cypress, TX News - Not many phone calls have as much impact as the one Franz and Yvette Carstens received following a routine ultrasound appointment. Their doctor informed them that their baby boy was unlikely to live through the pregnancy, and that if he did, he would be born with severe disabilities. Today, that phone call echoes a blessing in the lives of many due to the Carstens’ initiative in founding the Big Little JC Association.

Big Little JC Association is a local non-profit organization that assists families with
special needs children

A Birth and a Beginning
Following the doctor’s prognosis, the Carstens family prepared themselves for the challenges ahead. When Jesus Carstens was born on September 1, 2010, he was diagnosed with acampomelic campomelic dysplasia syndrome, severe scoliosis, tracheobronchomalacia, and a gene mutation never before reported. Most people require a medical dictionary for understanding of these terms, but for Jesus and his family, they became part of everyday life.

With these conditions came financial challenges in addition to the emotional ones. Family, friends, and even strangers helped the Carstens through these difficult times, but Yvette began to reflect that other families were not necessarily as blessed by these “angels.” These experiences inspired her to found a non-profit organization to help other families caring for children with severe disabilities. The result was the Big Little JC Association. (more…)

The Digitized Family

A look at the dangers of too much screen time and how Cy-Fair families can find the right balance for connecting and socializing with family

Written by Cy-Fair Magazine’s Editors

Go to any restaurant and you’ll see it: an entire family, silent, all looking down at their devices instead of talking with each other. Some “hip” new restaurants are even offering media-inspired entertainment at the table to keep everyone occupied throughout the meal. As we spend more and more time checking Facebook, Instagram, and playing Candy Crush Saga, we are spending less and less time connecting as a family.

With the ease of access to the Internet and the constant feeling of being in-touch with friends through social media, many Cy-Fairians, from kids to adults, admit to being tempted to be “on” digitally all hours of the day. Teens aren’t the only ones glued to their smartphones. Parents are also facing attention-span issues between their tablets with games, movies, work emails, app notifications, and the cries of young children that are pacified by handing over the device. But experts say this attempt to socially multitask is actually leaving negative imprints on families as they struggle to find ways to connect.


Your Family Psychiatrist

After years of working together in other medical settings, Dr. Wilfrido Dominguez, Dr. Jared Heathman, and Dr. Matthew Hinthorn are moving to Cypress to open a psychiatry clinic dedicated to providing treatment to children, adolescents, and adults of all ages.  Your Family Psychiatrist opens full-time on July 1, 2015, but they have already begun scheduling appointments to help local residents obtain quality mental health care.  Appointments will be longer than typical doctor appointments.  New appointments can last up to 90 minutes, and follow-up appointments are scheduled for 30 minutes.


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