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Haims column: Managing cancer therapy side effects

There are many types of cancer treatments. Some are quite taxing on the mind and body and others, perhaps less. Cancer poses many known and unknown challenges — the disease alone can be daunting to wrap your head around, and treatments may drain both physical and emotional levels.

Over the years, we have assisted many people through their cancer treatment recovery. We are one in a handbag of tools used to help people through this challenging time. While much of the supportive care we provide helps people manage the practical parts of their day to day lives, we also advocate, share education, and acknowledge our clients’ feelings — it’s all about improving quality of life.

It’s in advocating for others that we have learned much from the doctors, nurses and nutritionists who provide care for our clients. Here are some tidbits of information I hope may be helpful for people managing their cancer recovery.

Cancer patients who are treated with chemotherapy often find that the treatments can affect eating habits, tastes, weight management, and sometimes cause mouth and nose sores.

As weight fluctuations can affect one’s recovery prognosis, we have learned to be mindful and proactive. When we hear clients state that “everything tastes like cardboard” or that “nothing seems fulfilling,” we collaborate with their medical providers and nutritionists to develop a meal plan. Good nutrition is integral in promoting a better recovery.

For breakfast, we have found that oatmeal, yogurt smoothies with fresh fruit, cottage cheese, pancakes (particularly banana pancakes) and cereal seem to sit well. Foods that seem to not sit so well are bacon, sausage and sugary items like donuts and cinnamon muffins.

For lunch, many people seem to enjoy vegetable, bean and chicken soups. Whole wheat pasta with a marinara or alfredo sauce also have proven to be popular midday meals. One of the most widely well-received midday snacks people enjoy is an ice cream shake made with a high calorie ice cream, fresh peaches, banana and half an avocado.

A number of months back, one of our patients shared with me that her medical provider at the Mayo Clinic suggested she consider using rose geranium nasal spray to help with the soreness and dryness that had developed in and around her nose — a symptom called nasal vestibulitis.

Lo and behold, for her, this worked out quite well. I am aware of other clients (and family members) that have also had similar symptoms after cancer treatments, so I tucked this knowledge in my bag of tricks to share with others. A few months later, a different client who had visited Johns Hopkins had mentioned rose geranium nasal spray as well.

Recently, I was informed of an article posted in the both the British Medical Journal and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) about rose geranium oil nasal spray. It seems that researchers at the Mayo Clinic have researched the efficacy of rose geranium oil nasal spray. They found informal evidence indicating that “Rose geranium in sesame oil nasal spray appears to be quite useful for patients who experience nasal vestibulitis from cancer-directed therapy.”

Another treatment option used by cancer patients is CBDs derived from cannabis. While research in the United States is limited, CBDs have been found to be an effective and safe option to help patients cope with nausea, vomiting, sleep disorders, pain, anxiety and depression. Israel, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, and a couple other countries have been exploring the risks and benefits of marijuana for about 40 years.

In Israel (considered the global leader in marijuana research), researchers at the Israeli Ministry of Health have conducted extensive research with over 3,000 cancer patients between 2015 and 2017. After six months of investigation, they found that of the 1,211 patients that had not dropped out or passed away, almost 96 percent reported that sleep problems (78.4 percent), pain (77.7 percent), weakness (72.7 percent), nausea (64.6 percent) and lack of appetite (48.9 percent) had improved.

The recently passed Farm Bill signed into law by President Donald Trump legalized hemp production. This will assist the sales, research and hopefully help us understand more about efficacy of CBDs and how they may assist in fighting the side effects many age-related ailments.

If any of these suggestions intrigue you, you should speak to your medical provider(s) to see if they may be a viable option for you and your specific treatment. While everyone’s recovery and treatment is specific and personal, by sharing what has worked or not worked for you, you may be able to help others with their recovery options.

When used wisely and properly researched, information shared of successful and unsuccessful treatment options may promote better recovery options/knowledge. However, when used carelessly and without the collaboration of your medical provider(s), dangers to your health and that of others could be formidable.

Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Aspen and the surrounding areas. He is an advocate for our elderly and is available to answer questions. His contact information is, www.visitingangels.com/comtns, 970-328-5526.

Haims column: Living with Parkinson’s and turning challenges into success

Life has a way of presenting us with many challenges. Those that face the challenges, those that have the fortitude and perseverance, experience success.

Over the years, I have had to take more than a couple of “profile” tests. Perhaps my first was with a college advisor who explained to me that such a test would help him, and me, better understand my personality traits and therefore be helpful in directing me to a college best suited to me and my goals. I took another when applying to the Air Force and another when purchasing Visiting Angels.

I have found a reoccurring question often found in these test — “tell me about your heroes.” Steadfastly, I have always responded that I do not have heroes. Rather, I have people I respect and admire. Consistently, all such people are those who have experienced adversity and turned challenges into success.

Life is a challenge

Challenges are a part of life. Without them, life would be meaningless, as we’d have little understanding of achievement and failure. Life would be complacent and boring.

Facing and living through life’s challenges and adversities provides us with experience that define our lives. The secret to our successes is rooted in our challenges, failures and adversities.

As with any ailment, people have the choice of letting the disease take over or fighting back. Fighting back against Parkinson’s is taking many people to places they may have never thought of. Some are attending yoga, Tai Chi, pool exercise programs, and even the boxing ring.

Recently, I assisted a few locals to a Parkinson’s therapy session at a somewhat unlikely place — a martial arts and boxing studio. If the paradox is not clear, let me illuminate. PD inhibits movement, and boxing is all about movement.

Research is showing that non-contact boxing is therapeutically beneficial for Parkinson’s patients — physically and mentally. Physically, boxing is proving to help balance, agility and hand-eye coordination. Mentally, boxing provides a stress release and is empowering. The sport teaches people to be mentally strong and overcome adversity. If nothing else, a right hook to a punching bag or strike mitt can curb anger and can be quite cathartic.

One gentleman in the group is just shy of his 90th birthday. I was informed that prior to his joining the boxing program, his family was distraught that they could not motivate him to get out of the chair. As I sat and watched him work out, I was quite impressed every time I heard the loud crack from his hands as he hit the hand pads of the instructor. Should I make it to be close to 90 years of age, I hope I move as deftly as he. He is inspirational and has turned formidable adversity into success.

Others in the group were in their 70s and 80s. Each had donned their red boxing gloves except for one who danced around the floor mats in bright pink gloves. Yes, women too participate.

Watching the camaraderie of this group and their united front to work through the difficulties this movement disorder presents them with is encouraging to me and should be encouraging to anyone who may be fighting a health ailment.

I admire each and every one of these people. They have not given up, nor do they whine and ask “why me.” While I am sure each has had their down moments, they have not thrown in the towel and given up. They have chosen to fight adversity.

My mother has Parkinson’s Disease (PD), as did my grandmother. It sucks. But does Parkinson’s suck more or less than cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), cardiovascular diseases, ALS, vision or hearing loss?

While many people living in our valley are pretty fit and try to be healthy, it won’t last forever. If we want to remain in the valley we love when life’s challenges present themselves, we must take action now to promote and develop resources that can help us stay here.

Within the past three months, I know of four long-time locals that have had to leave the valley they love because we do not have the resources needed to assist them. (I’m sure there are many more.)

There are organizations that are being proactive. Howard Head has developed a program called Brain & Balance. The program helps treat stroke patients, Parkinson’s patients, and those with impaired balance and proprioception concerns. Additionally, the Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies has brought Power Punch to both our community and Colorado.

We are all going to get old and experience challenges with our health. Get involved, donate, better utilize resources we already have, and think out of the box. These are things we can do to help build a community that will assist us in ensuring we can remain in the valley we love.

Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Aspen and the surrounding areas. He is an advocate for our elderly and is available to answer questions. His contact information is, www.visitingangels.com/comtns, 970-328-5526.

Vail Veterans Program unites caregivers of injured combat vets

VAIL — Imagine walking into a room with two dozen best friends whom you’ve just met.

That’s life this week for a Vail Veterans Program Caregivers Reunion — all caregivers for combat veterans who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. Just as heroic as those soldiers are the people who take care of them.

Their stories are as different as they are, yet they have so much in common, beginning with noble and towering sacrifice.

Love won’t wait

Pamela Frustaglio, for example, was engaged to a Marine deployed to the Middle East. An improvised explosive device injured him and seven others with one blast. He lost both legs above the knee. He also suffered a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

But they were engaged to be married and had plans that wouldn’t wait. He’s a Marine to his very marrow, she’s a force of nature and they steadfastly refused to move their wedding date … nine months after he was hit. They didn’t have to. Frustaglio was a resplendent bride. After they said “I do,” he walked her back up the aisle, as he had promised.

Let’s backtrack to the day he was hit, a call every caregiver has received.

Frustaglio was in Portland, Oregon, living her life and waiting for him to come home. She was in a gym working out with a friend when, at about 9 p.m., her cell phone rang. She was never without it after he deployed. It was his parents calling at around midnight their time.

“I knew. As soon as I saw them pop up on the caller ID, I knew,” she said.

She took her friend’s hand and they sat together on a weight bench. Frustaglio thought to ask how her husband’s head was. As people often do when receiving news like this, his parents forgot to ask.

Humor is an excellent coping mechanism and his head, it turns out, is still attached. Her friends at this week’s Caregivers Reunion joke that their husbands are guys, so while their husbands’ heads are attached, whether they’re using them is a different question.

Life’s challenges and so much more

Everyone has challenges as we make our way through day-to-day life. These Caregivers’ lives are complicated further by caring for their families, plus a spouse who consumes attention and is injured at so many levels, plus the stress all of that causes.

“It can be isolating,” Frustaglio said.

Like all of us, they need their people around them.

First and foremost, the Vail Veterans Program’s caregivers retreats show them they’re not alone. Others are going through the same things.

A few years back, there was a group of eight caregivers whose husbands were hit by the same IED. They didn’t know each other all that well. Now they do.

“You feel like you’ve refound yourself,” Frustaglio said. “It’s such a gift.”

Their friends come with them

The caregivers share all kinds of coping ideas, ranging from meditation and a quiet walk in the woods to a Nerf gunfight.

While they’re in town they spend their mornings working through personal training that teaches them that they cannot change their external demands. We all have them. They have more of them.

They can change the way they react to them and how they handle the stress the demands create.

In between they have enough fun all the time and too much fun in spots: Spa treatments, snowmobiling, bowling, skiing. Frustaglio is from the upper Midwest and it didn’t take much muscle memory to remember how to crack open a snowmobile’s throttle.

“That was so much fun,” she said.

This is Frustaglio’s second caregivers retreat. When they were gathered for the final time during that first one, they were asked to describe their experience in one word.

“Serenity,” she said.

Like all families, life cycles happen to families of injured veterans.

“Sometimes things are going along wonderfully, and sometimes something happens and the bottom falls out,” Frustaglio said. “That’s life.”

That’s when she and the other caregivers hark back to the retreat’s lessons in resilience, serenity and lifetime friends and support.

“When we leave we take our friends with us,” she said.

Sports clinic brings disabled vets to Hot Springs Pool

As part of the annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village recently, participants were able to enjoy soaking time at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort after fun-packed days on the slopes.

After a long week of action on the slopes, these vets — from all branches of service — were able to relax, recover and reconnect with their peers at the Hot Springs.

“I look forward to this trip all year,” retired Marine Corpsman John Papi said. “It’s a reunion with my best friends in hot water. What could be better?”

The Department of Veterans Affairs puts on this clinic each spring, hosted in Snowmass Village. From March 31 to April 5, participants took part in skiing, sled hockey, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, fly fishing, curling, scuba diving, archery and soaking in the world’s largest hot springs pool.

For many veterans, the clinic is an opportunity to travel and get out of their comfort zones.

Maria Garcia and Alice Pursley, for example, met each other 30 years ago in the Army on their first and third tours. They’ve remained best friends and have decided to add this trip as another adventure together.

“As first-timers that live on the beach, it’s been so neat to try new things and play in the snow,” Garcia said. “The best part, though, is connecting with other veterans from around the country who have seen the world.”

The mission of the clinic, according to its website, is to “give disabled veterans an opportunity to develop winter sports skills and participate in challenging, adaptive workshops; in doing so, participants can see past physical or visual disabilities as obstacles to living active and rewarding lives.”

After pushing themselves and trying new things, the hope is that these veterans push toward improvements in physical wellbeing, mental health, self-esteem and community readjustment and re-entry.

This rings true for many clinic-goers. After becoming an amputee, Papi wanted to give back to his community and help others that are going through similar experiences.

“When I lost my leg,” Papi said, “I had a pretty easy time and transition. It’s not like that for everyone. I come here and use my knowledge and experience to help others who might be struggling.”

After pausing to splash his Airforce buddy, Papi continued, “I signed up for the military for a higher purpose, and programs like this one help to give back.”

Kevin Flohr, director of operations at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, said the resort is proud to be a part of the program and host the veterans.

“It’s our honor to have these special guests and support the Clinic and visiting veterans,” he said. “After their dedicated service to our country, supporting veterans injured in the line of duty is the least we can do.”

Savannah Nelson is communications coordinator for Resort Trends, Inc.

100 Club’s Hal Sundin of Glenwood recognized for helping to keep seniors active

The co-founder of the seniors 100 Club, Hal Sundin, received a proclamation from Glenwood Springs City Council Thursday evening and a subsequent standing ovation.

“Hal Sundin co-founded in 1990 the 100 Club, a social club whose aim was to enhance the health, lives and enjoyment of the citizens of Glenwood Springs,” Mayor Michael Gamba said in reading the proclamation before Sundin at Thursday’s council meeting.

“Because of Hal’s leadership, hundreds of Glenwood Springs’ senior citizens have remained physically active and healthy, mentally vibrant and active contributors to the health and well-being of the entire Glenwood Springs Community,” Gamba added.

Councilor Jim Ingraham, wearing his 100 Club shirt, led the standing ovation before offering a few words himself.

“I’d only been here a year, or less than a year, and I came out for a hike with all of you who are now my friends. I didn’t know anybody and it was a little intimidating the first day,” Ingraham said, addressing Sundin and numerous other 100 Club members who were present.

“One of the first guys to come up was Hal Sundin with the wildest things all over his hat,” Ingraham said, drawing laughter.

Ingraham, a volunteer forest ranger, said the impetus for his service was in fact Sundin.

According to the proclamation, Sundin volunteered his experience as a backcountry hiker and summiteer of all of Colorado’s “14’ers” (14,000-foot peaks), in addition to his expertise as a master naturalist to the 100 Club’s members, or any interested citizen for that matter.

“Hal is a guy that always has something to do. He always has something planned and that included other people,” Sundin’s neighbor, Bob Lutke, described of his close friend.

“Hal, one of his favorite sayings that I heard early on was he said, ‘you know, Bob, people go to Florida to die and they come to Colorado to live.”

Hal thanked all of those in attendance Thursday evening to honor his continued service in the community.

“I want to express my gratitude for being able to live in this community, the finest place in the world, for the last 30 years,” said Sundin, who is also a regular Glenwood Springs Post Independent opinion columnist. “And, I’ll keep on doing it for as long as I can.”


Science of living longer shared by Blue Zones speaker, panelists

The centuries-old search for the fountain of youth may finally be within your grasp.

The length of one’s life comes down to how active you are, your diet, keeping a sharp mind and even how much you socialize.

Nearly 100 Roaring Fork Valley residents came out for a panel discussion and to listen to guest speaker Tony Buettner of the “Blue Zones” at the Longevity Project event, presented by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent in the Morgridge Commons at Colorado Mountain College in downtown Glenwood Monday.

“How we live, what we eat, the decisions we make and how we stay fit factors in to our longevity,” panelist Jennifer Butterfield, MD, said.

Along with Dr. Butterfield, who is with Mount Sopris Plastic Surgery Center, panelists included Christopher George, MD with Glenwood Orthopedic Center; Jules Rosen, MD, chief medical officer of Mind Springs Health; and Judson Haims, owner of Visiting Angels.

Topics for the night included physical health, mental health, diet and social activity as people age into their senior years.

“A moderate amount of activity is helpful, doing something is better than nothing,” Dr. George said. “Staying active is certainly helpful in keeping up with bone and joint health.”

“The number one thing that helps people up here in the mountains, is they are physically fit,” Haims said. “People here in Colorado, when they have free time, what do they do, they go hiking or biking.”

A key point made during the discussion is that a person’s brain is a muscle as well, and it fatigues over time if not used. Not only do you need to stay physically active, but also mentally as well.

“There is one thing to keep in mind, what’s good for your heart, is good for your brain,” said Dr. Jules Rosen.

Rosen said he doesn’t consider Alzheimer’s a disease, but part of aging, and that it affects people at different times and different ages.

“If you can reduce your vascular disease, you can prevent your Alzheimer’s by years, maybe even decades,” Dr. Rosen said.

common threads

Guest speaker Tony Buettner, the senior vice president of business development at Blue Zones finished off the night speaking on his and brother Dan’s travels and research around the world on the secrets to a long life.

“Medical researchers believe the human body is built to live to a healthy age of 90,” Buettner said. “The problem here in the United States is, on average, people live to age 78 – we are leaving 12 good years on the table.”

One of the common threads in each of the so-called Blue Zones around the world where people live longer is a primarily plant-based diet, he said. Others include finding ways to de-stress and socialize with others who are also living a healthy lifestyle.

Whether it’s the diet, the lack of activity or isolation of the American lifestyle, as a whole this country isn’t living as long as others across the globe, he noted.

“Our work at Blue Zone is helping individuals, families, organization and even communities takes some of those good years back,” Buettner said

The age-old myth that ones longevity is genetic is only 20 percent of the truth.

In reality, 80 percent of how long you will live is tied to two things, your environment and lifestyle.

One of the many questions Buettner asked the crowd included the question of what are the two most dangerous years of life?

“The first year you’re born is the most dangerous; the second most dangerous is the year that we retire.” Buettner said. “It has to do with your sense of purpose, which is the reason you get up every morning.”


Buettners’ ‘Blue Zones’ research reveals keys to longevity

Do you think Garfield County, Colorado, is the healthiest place to live?

Okinawa, Japan, has less cancer, heart disease and dementia than the U.S. And Okinawan women live longer than any other women in the world.

Sardinia, Italy, has the highest concentration of male centenarians — 10 times more per capita than the U.S.

Natives of Ikaria, Greece, are almost entirely free of dementia and the other chronic diseases that plague Americans.

Nicoya, Costa Rica, has lower rates of middle-age mortality.

Loma Linda, California’s 7th Day Adventists lead the entire country in longest life expectancy.

According to brothers Dan and Tony Buettner, the lives of the people in these five disparate parts of the world hold the secrets to longevity and good health.

In 2004, researcher and explorer Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic and longevity experts to find the regions where people live much longer than average.

They discovered what they call “Blue Zones,” the five geographical areas where people live longest. Buettner’s findings first appeared in National Geographic’s November 2005 issue, “The Secrets of Living Longer.”

Buettner decided to put his findings to work. His Minnesota-based company, “Blue Zones,” works to instill the world’s best practices in longevity and well-being into peoples’ lives.

Dan’s brother, Tony Buettner, the company’s national spokesperson and vice president who is visiting Glenwood Springs to speak at the Post Independent’s Longevity Event Monday night, explains.

“Blue Zones distills why these populations live so long,” he said. “On average, they live 10 years longer.”

According to the Buettners, research on genetic determinants shows that longevity is tied to genes only by 20 percent. Lifestyle is 80 percent.

And around 68 percent of Americans are obese or diabetic.

Buettner’s research led him to what he calls The Nine Commonalities. “We call them the Power Nine lessons of living a longer, happy life,” he says.

The Power Nine

Move: These Blue Zone populations move naturally — their lifestyles and environments nudge them into physical motion. These people do not need to belong to gyms.

Reduce stress: Take a walk. Have dinner with family. Meditate.

Have a sense of purpose (plan de Vida — a life mission statement): Research shows that people that have a sense of purpose live seven years longer than those that don’t.

Drink in moderation: Sardinians drink only a couple of glasses of wine a day. A glass of goat’s milk wouldn’t hurt either.

Eat less red meat: Look at the Mediterranean diet — fruits, vegetables, beans and olive oil. What 95 percent of these populations consume is a plant-based whole grain diet.

Eat less: Okinawans tend to stop eating when their stomachs are about 80 percent full. The Blue Zoners rule: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

Families: Long-lived populations have a simple rule — put family first.

Faith: People attending a faith-based community four times a month live four to 14 years longer than those who don’t.

Be social: Have a laugh with friends. That laugh will reduce stress levels.

putting it into practice

The Buettners have taken their findings to American cities and towns.

“We work with organizations and communities to create community health initiatives that get people doing more of what the longest lived populations do,” says Tony Buettner. “We help people learn how to eat better; teach them what these populations eat.”

In 2009, the “Blue Zones” made its debut in Albert Lea, Minnesota, a town of 18,000 people. Around one-quarter of the adults, half the workplaces and nearly all kids in grades 3-8 participated.

“The community showed an 80 percent increase in walking and biking, 49 percent decrease in city workers’ healthcare claims, and a 4 percent reduction in smoking,” says Tony.

In 2010, the Blue Zones team visited three Southern California communities — Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.

“Our work helped to lower their Body Mass Index by 14 percent, and their smoking by 30 percent,” says Tony. “In these beach cities, we helped those communities reduce childhood obesity by over 50 percent.

“There’s no silver bullet here, but our project drives awareness,” he said.

Super Seniors Pt. 4: Glenn Vawter voted top Super Senior by PI readers

Editor’s note: The Glenwood Springs Post Independent concludes its four-week-long series of Sunday profiles on the “Super Seniors” of Garfield County aged 80 and older who were nominated online by readers earlier this summer as part of our Longevity Project.

Glenn Vawter – Colorado bred, world traveled

Glenn Vawter was voted as the Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s top “Super Senior” in online voting by our readers this past summer.

A Colorado native who was born in Denver, and raised in McCoy, Colorado through eighth grade, his family moved to Glenwood Springs so he could attend high school.

After graduation, he attended and graduated from Colorado School of Mines, receiving his degree in petroleum engineering. While at Mines, he was in the Army Reserves. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1978.

Glenn loves to travel. He has over a million miles on United Airlines. He has been to Europe, New Zealand, Australia, India, Nepal, Egypt, Israel, and China (in the 1970s) to name a few.

Some of Glenn’s hobbies are fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, rock hounding, traveling, photography, and four-wheeling in the back country.

Glenn volunteers for Rotary, the Elks Lodge, the Glenwood Springs Historical Society, and his church. Giving Halloween tours in the old cemetery is one his favorite volunteer jobs.

Glenn has lived all over the country, but Colorado is his pride and joy, writes his nominator. “He is an ambassador for all of Colorado, offering assistance and information to visitors and friends alike. Glenn is a true asset to our community.”

Ruth Barber – Skydiving octogenarian

How many seniors go sky diving for their 81st birthday? That’s how Ruth Barber celebrated this summer in Moab.

Ruth stays active by walking her little dog, Gilbert, a couple of miles every day, and she still mows her big lawn at her West Glenwood home. Keeping fit no doubt helped her beat cancer a few years ago, and having good genes from her pioneer family helps, too.

Ruth volunteers for LIFT-UP, Chat & Chew, and the Lions Club, and is active with the Walk & Talk cancer survivor group at Valley View.

Ruth and her late husband, Roy, traveled the world, and Ruth still enjoys seeing new places. In the past couple of years, she’s driven to South Dakota and New Mexico, and she’s flown to Hawaii and Florida. Here in Glenwood Springs, she went paragliding in 2016 and rode a Segway through town for her 80th birthday last year.

“Ruth is active, fit, helpful, funny and a good friend to many. She’s a high-flying perfect example of a Super Senior!,” writes her nominator.

Judy Fester – Aging with style

Judy Fester, also known as “Nana the Great,” is a face widely recognized around Glenwood Springs.

She is a frequent flyer on the Traveler to various Chat & Chews, Valley View Knitters Club, and the Elks.

Judy is also a delegate for the senior coalition, traveling to monthly meetings all over the Western Slope. Most people will recognize her from the local live music events.

“She is always up there dancing with her oxygen and walker, having a blast,” says her nominator. “I believe she is a poster child for aging well … with style.”

Ed Grange – Fit to serve others

Ed Grange turned 90 on April 12, 2018, and celebrated by skiing with family in Aspen (happy to finally receive his much anticipated “free lunch”).

Ed grew up on a ranch in Basalt and married Lorraine, a local gal from Aspen. They raised five children in Glenwood Springs, and he has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren with another due in December.

“I believe that dad’s good health and longevity can be attributed to several things,” writes one of his children, who nominated him as a “Super Senior.”

“He has a strong faith and walks every morning to attend his church, St. Stephen’s. He volunteers regularly at church events and is a member of Knight’s of Columbus.”

Ed worked for many years as General Manager of Holy Cross Energy and only retired fully just a few years ago.

“He still misses it. He lives independently in his home, mows his own lawn, grows raspberries, makes jam for family and friends, and volunteers at the Glenwood Frontier Museum,” the nominator continues.

Ed also enjoys walking, skiing, and keeping his family cabins in Fulford in good repair for everyone to use.

“At the heart of Ed’s good health is an attitude of service toward others … he is always available to help a neighbor in need and consistently puts others above himself.”

Ed wears a Fit Bit to make sure he meets his daily “steps” goal and often times stops at City Market to put together a healthy salad for lunch, attempting to include a variety of colors for the best nutrition.

Ed has also worked diligently to keep up with technology and utilizes his computer (he’s even on Facebook) and tablet every day.

“So, his secret to good health is multifaceted … faith, service to others, attention to healthy eating, daily physical activity and maybe more than anything, staying connected to and involved with family and friends. He is my mentor and my hero.”

Viola Huber – A ‘wandering’ inspiration

At 83 years of age, Viola Huber definitely falls into the category of an active senior, according to her nominator.

Two days a week, Viola volunteers at Valley View Hospital and on Wednesdays she hikes all around the Roaring Fork Valley with the wonderful Wednesday Wanderers.

When she isn’t out and about hiking, volunteering at VVH, or walking with friends and/or family, she is working diligently at her sewing machine.

Viola is a master seamstress and creates beautiful quilts, children’s books, clothing, wall hangings and more. Another hobby that she keeps busy with is counted cross stitch; making hand-stitched Christmas cards to give out to friends and family every year.

Viola is an avid reader and works on crossword puzzles daily. Viola is also an amazing mother and grandmother and is an inspiration.

Arlene Law – Artistry is her passion

Arlene Law of Glenwood Springs is the “biggest Bronco fan!,” proclaims her nominator for Super Senior.

In addition to that, Arlene has been a longtime artist in the community, having shown her own paintings and provided venues for others to show and sell their artwork over the years.

Arlene was a charter member of the Glenwood Springs Art Guild and a Master Signature member of the Western Colorado Watercolor Society (WCWS). According to an April 2016 story in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Law’s art has enjoyed wide acclaim on both the local and national level.

She started out like most artists, drawing for her own enjoyment.

“I’ve drawn pictures since I was a little girl,” she said in that 2016 article. “My friend Joan always had paper at her house. So I would go to her house a couple times a week and just sit and draw, often (getting inspiration from) out of comic books.”

Law was one of the founders of the former Fall Arts Festival, a juried annual art show that ran for more than 50 years up until a few years ago.

Today, Law is one of the driving forces behind local art co-ops like the Cooper Corner Art Gallery in Glenwood Springs.

Lt. Col. Dick Merritt – Helping his fellow vets

Lt. Col. Dick Merritt is currently the safety officer at the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt, rides his bike daily, plays golf with his wife, and is very active in the community.

In 1966, Merritt began serving in the Vietnam War as a member of the Marine Corps. He is now in his early 80s.

As reported in the Aspen Times in June 2016, Merritt has worked with others to develop the Huts for Vets program, which helps vets with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by taking them on backcountry trips.

Other volunteer efforts have included participation in the winter sports clinic for disabled veterans, work with the Aspen Institute and Colorado Mountain College to focus on veterans’ issues, completing the We Honor Veterans Volunteer Training program by Hospice of the Valley, and being instrumental in the Roaring Fork Veterans History Project that began in 2007 and memorializes the stories of local servicemen and women.

Merritt’s volunteer work has been recognized by numerous Roaring Fork Valley governments and organizations. He has spoken to several student groups about his military experience and veterans issues, and has been active with the Smiling Goat Ranch’s Go Autism walk in Carbondale, which helped generate awareness about autism and PTSD.

Bob Millette – Slopes and rivers call

Bob Millette is 85 years old and is very active.

You can find him several times each week at the athletic club and fly fishing on the Colorado or Roaring Fork rivers.

He also loves traveling, fishing and birdwatching in Mexico and Oregon. In the winter, you can find him on the slopes with the 100 Club or his family.

He went on safari to Tanzania two years ago, and the guides treated him with honor as “grandfather.” He continues to be active for important environmental and political causes.

“Bob is definitely an active super senior,” writes his nominator.

Jean Mullenax – Holding down the Thrift Shop

Jean Mullenax is 86 years old and runs the Rifle Thrift shop, located at 102 East Avenue in Rifle.

Jean shows compassion every day in her work; the profits from the Thrift Store all go towards creating scholarships for students. Her age doesn’t stop her from the hardships of her work, including heavy lifting, sorting through donations, and transporting unneeded items to the recycling plant and dump.

All of her extra time goes towards caring for her husband, who has had multiple back surgeries recently.

“In my opinion, her gracious heart is willing to do anything for anyone,” writes her nominator. “Whether at home or at work, Jean Mullenax puts 100 percent into her work. I highly recommend going and spending time with this loving woman.”