Monthly Archives

June 2016

Work it Baby! Workin’ it out without the gym

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You’re a woman on the go and finding the time to work out and stay healthy is a challenge. The good news is that waking up at the crack of dawn and stumbling off to a gym is not your only option. At-home alternatives for getting in the daily dose of activity may suit your lifestyle best. Forget the restrictions of a workout class or intimidating exercise machines. Instead, set your own schedule and your own terms for staying healthy and feeling great.

Walk it off

Walking is one of the most effective movements for burning fat. It is low impact, perfect for all skill levels, and the best part is that it can be done anywhere; all you need is a pair of shoes! Walking offers something for everyone, so turn your workout into time to spend with someone special.

  • Go on a walk in the morning with your spouse before you have to dive into your daily schedules and just enjoy each other’s company.
  • Do as the Europeans do and take a walk with the entire family after dinner. Spend some quality time catching up.
  • Take your dog for a walk and use it as an opportunity to explore a new park or neighborhood you’ve been dying to see.
  • Find a walking buddy or just a group of girlfriends you haven’t seen in a while and get in your girl time in the morning or as an after-work activity to unwind and vent to your friend after a long day.

Take it up a notch

So you’ve mastered walking, how about taking it to the next level with jogging! You’ll love the intensity boost, and it can also be done just about anywhere.

  • Take a jog around your neighborhood; meet some other families and socialize while you get a great workout.
  • Race yourself and try to beat your previous time or distance each time–you’ll be amazed at your progress.
  • Set a big goal like being able to run a 5K or 10K. You can find training plans online that take out all the guess work by telling you exactly how far to run and when! You can find a plan for you at websites like

Tone it up

It’s time to say goodbye to those flabby arms! Keeping a set of small weights at home is the key to your success. They are inexpensive, require minimal space, and are easy to use. Since most women want to tone rather than build bulk, small 5-10 pound weights are perfect.

  • You can get a great strength workout right in your living room—do squats, lunges, curls or abs while you watch the news or just spend time with the kids.
  • We all hate watching commercials, but instead of clicking the DVR fast forward, use the commercial break as a chance to get in a few extra reps.
  • Focusing on high repetition and low weights will allow you to tone muscle without adding bulk to your body so you look healthy, lean and feminine.

Have fun with it

Working out should never be boring. Have a little fun with it by playing sports with the family, trying something new, or challenging a friend. Time and workouts fly by when you are having a blast!

  • Playing basketball or touch football with the family is a great way to get the whole family together and to stay active.
  • Take the pedometer challenge! Pedometers measure the number of steps you take each day; they are very inexpensive and easy to use. Have some fun and challenge your family or friends to see who gets in the most steps. A little healthy competition adds fun and accountability. Get in some extra steps by parking farther from your office, taking the stairs, or walking to the coffee shop.
  • Shake that booty! Whether it is on the dance floor at the club, in a class, or just in your living room, dancing is a creative way to get a fun cardio workout and to strengthen your core.
  • Jumping rope is an excellent cardio workout for any age and a nice throwback to those recess days when you were in grade school! Take the opportunity to double-dutch with your kids and then amp up your own solo routine for some more intense cardio.
  • Opt for pushing the lawn mower rather than hiring a service or riding a mower. You can do it yourself—you will save money, check another thing off your to-do list, burn fat, get some sun, and enjoy the day while you do it!

Molly Deimeke

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Hair stylist Molly Deimeke was ecstatic in February 2015 when she passed a certified educator test for John Paul Mitchell Systems. Although she has aced the yearly certification exam many times, the 2015 test marked a milestone because it was her first test after a traumatic brain injury in May 2014.

“I lost my ability to read,” Deimeke said. “I had to start over, at the kindergarten level. The test was harder for me than it’s ever been. Before the accident, I would cram a week before. This time, I studied every day, beginning in December and all the way through January.”

Kristel Kronk, MS, CCC-SLP, speech language pathologist at Mizzou Therapy Services, helped Deimeke, 32, of Martinsburg, Missouri, regain her ability to read and speak coherently. It took a team of experts in speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy to help Deimeke recover motor skills and cognitive function that she took for granted before her accident. Deimeke attended appointments twice weekly for four months before her physician cleared her to drive again. She then returned to styling hair and teaching other hair stylists.

“Speech therapy was the hardest for me,” Deimeke said. “Physical therapy was the easiest for me because I enjoyed it but balance was the hard part.”

Becky Edwards, MPT, MHA, clinical supervisor and Rock Steady Boxing Coach of Mizzou Therapy Services-Business Loop, said difficulty with balance is a common problem for those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury or have been diagnosed with a neurological condition such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.


“When you hit your head, it can cause damage to the inner ear and affect your balance, known as vestibular dysfunction,” Edwards said.

A self-described risk taker who loves to travel, Deimeke was overseas in Laos when she fell off a double-decker truck serving as a taxi. She fell approximately 10 feet onto the street and then rolled 20 feet down a hill, witnesses later told her. Deimeke injured the left temporal lobe, which controls language and memory.


Deimeke doesn’t remember her injury or much of her early treatment, which included surgery in Thailand to stop her brain bleed and a long hospital stay in St. Louis before returning to her family home in Martinsburg, Missouri. Deimeke does recall, however, all of her experiences in Columbia at Mizzou Therapy Services and the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic with her physician, Peter Hwang, MD.


“If I wouldn’t have done the therapy, I would have stayed in a weird childhood place,” she said. “I didn’t know at that time I had to go through all of these steps to heal me but they guided me through the steps I needed to take here.”

Deimeke joined a support group for brain injury survivors and said it helped her move forward. At a support group meeting, she became fast friends with the group’s facilitator, Dina McPherson, a fellow brain injury survivor. They chat like old high school friends about their lingering TBI effects, such as losing their sense of smell and tricks to spice up foods since their sense of taste is diminished.

Molly Deimke, of Laddonia, Missouri recovered from a traumatic brain injury with the help of Mizzou Therapy Services.

Molly Deimke, of Laddonia, Missouri recovered from a traumatic brain injury with the help of Mizzou Therapy Services.

“You never heal 100 percent from a brain injury,” McPherson said. “People learn to adjust as best they can, but both the brain and the person will never be exactly as they were before the injury.”

Deimeke said she is grateful to be alive and is thankful for her outstanding rehabilitation care and ongoing support through the brain injury support group.

“Hearing someone else has struggled with something that you are struggling with really helps you to see that you are not alone and gives you hope,” Deimeke said. “Now I want to teach other people by telling my story.”

It’s been two years since the accident, which led to brain surgery, six weeks of in-patient hospital care, four months of outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy and two years of natural brain healing, but Deimeke’s dedication and hard work never wavered.

She is a now a national color educator for John Paul Mitchell Systems and a traveling hair and make-up artist. Deimeke is taking her talents and creativity mobile — giving her the opportunity to do the work she loves all while sharing her story and educating others about traumatic brain injuries.

Influential Voice – Emily Edgington Andrews unites mid-Missourians of all ages around choral music

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Plenty of factors keep people at odds, but music is among the few that brings them together. That observation has led Emily Edgington Andrews to unite men and women of all ages and backgrounds, some of whom have never sung a single note, around choral music for the past 12 years.

“It is about the people, not the performance” says Andrews, 35, a Columbia resident whose work as artistic director of Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri has grown the organization to include more than 350 singers and 10 choral ensembles. “I use music as a vehicle to bring people together.”

Ever since graduating with two music-oriented master’s degrees—one from Truman State, the other from the University of Missouri—Andrews has made a mark on budding vocal talent in mid-Missouri. She teaches at Columbia Independent School and MU. She also conducts the Columbia Chorale; leads Columbia Youth Choirs (CYC), a youth choir program for students in grades 2 through 12; has served as conductor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church for the past decade; and directs the professional ensemble Prometheus: An American Vocal Concert as assistant conductor.

Andrews faces a demanding schedule of rehearsals, study sessions, classes and outreach on any given week. It might be daunting to some, but Andrews finds it exhilarating. The mother of two—Braydon, 21 months, and Brynn, 3 months—says her husband, Bryan, has provided an abundance of support to pursue her dreams and goals as a musician.

Turning Point. Andrews never expected to begin her career teaching students in middle school and early high school, but the opportunity proved transformative. In her first syllabus, she articulated for students the values she expected them to embrace as musicians.

“Kindness, respect and professionalism are the three keys to success I wrote,” Andrews recalls. She knew middle school could be tough developmentally and emotionally for kids, so she made an effort to model those principles.

She realized she had made a difference when students wrote letters to her at the end of that first school year expressing their appreciation for her class and for music. One letter from a ninth-grade boy stood out.

“He felt so safe in the classroom,” Andrews says. “It was OK for him to express the way he was feeling if he was having a bad day. He didn’t have to have this façade, this wall up. For me, it was really eye-opening the powerful effect music can have on an individual.”

Unity In Diversity. An overarching focus on bringing people together to break down barriers and promote social justice has guided Andrews in her career. It’s one of the reasons she is drawn to vocal performance.

“Choral music is accessible.” Andrews says, “Anyone can participate. It’s not something you have to buy, like an instrument. It brings many different people together.”

She is moved by music that teaches a lesson, such as music written about the Holocaust because of its capacity to teach tolerance against the backdrop of a tragic history of genocide. She once raised money to host a Truman State special performance by Robert Convery. The New York composer’s nine-part “Songs of Children” guides the listener through a boy’s experience in the Terezin concentration camp using poems written by real children who experienced it.

Pieces such as that one underscore the ability of music to cut through the noise of everyday life and create a lasting effect.

In January this year, Andrews had the opportunity to bring almost 1,000 people together through a unity concert she organized starting in 2014. The purpose of the concert was to work toward bridging the gap between two cultures, she says. Thematically, she showed this by creating a community gospel choir that sang African American gospel music. She involved Columbia Chorale, which sings music primarily from the Western European choral tradition, used some of the youth from CYC and brought the various groups together. It just so happened the university experienced tension this fall, she says, making the concert even timelier.

A Place Of Change. Andrews plans to continue her career working alongside other musicians and community members to transform Columbia and the surrounding area into a place where people of all ages and experience levels can come together to sing.

“I have a vision that we can continue making a positive impact on our community by creating a culture of choral music that rivals that of any metropolitan area,” she says. “By working side-by-side with both arts and non-arts groups in the community, there is potential for reaching countless individuals. To me, being a part of this is exciting and humbling.”

Dr. Rodriguez and H.O.P.E. Bring Patients New Option in Joint Replacement

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Dr. Rudy Rodriguez became a welcome addition to the medical community at the Missouri Delta Medical Center in 2013, bringing his orthopedic expertise and years of training and education in New York, Connecticut and Minnesota to the patients of Southeast Missouri. Now, he also offers his patients the benefit of  joint replacement surgery with a state-of-the-art robotic-arm assisted system.

This surgeon-controlled robotic technology, called the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System, is more precise in the placement of joint components, which can increase the life of the replacement joint, according to Dr. Rodriguez. And, the incision necessary to complete the replacement surgery is smaller, which reduces recovery time.

“This robotic-arm system allows us to be more precise than ever before,” Dr. Rodriquez says. “Instead of using an anatomical landmark to place the component, we use a three-dimensional image from a CT and the robotic system shows us where the cuts need to be made and where the component should be placed.”

Dr. Rodriguez says that when he compares a pre-operative image created by the Mako Robotic-Arm System and a post-operative image of the patient’s new joint, the two are almost an exact match. “It’s that accurate,” he says.

Currently, the system can be used for hip replacements and for partial knee replacements, giving patients needing these procedures hope for shortened recovery time and improved joint longevity. That hope is what inspired a group of elementary school students to name the robot.

The hospital recently held a contest seeking names for the “robot” and the students at St. Francis Xavier School won with their suggestion of  “HOPE” (Helping other People Electronically). Dr. Rodriguez says he wasn’t part of the selection committee, but he thinks the name is appropriate.

“This system helps the surgeon put the component in the best possible anatomical place, with the least invasiveness, and that’s why I think this technology will be adopted by more and more hospitals and be developed for more and more procedures,” Dr. Rodriguez says. “It’s more advantageous for the success of surgery.”


Dr. Rodriquez received his bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University. While a student there, he worked on a research project that involved studying osteoarthritis, which led to his interest in medicine and orthopedics. From that research experience, he published an article in the Osteoarthritis and Cartilage journal in 2004.

He attended medical school at University of Connecticut School of Medicine where he was a member of the Scientific Research Society and was recognized for his presentation on “Reducing the Burden of Osteoporosis.”

He completed an Orthopedic Surgery Residency at the University of Minnesota and then an upper extremity and hand fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Rodriquez said that he chose to move from New York to Sikeston, MO, because he wanted to practice general orthopedics and have the opportunity to treat a full array of different conditions. “If you practice in a big city, you only do knees or only do hips – you have to narrow to one small area of orthopedics,” he says. “I find it more more interesting to work with patients with a variety of conditions and to practice all the skills I learned throughout my education.”

Dr. Rodriquez attended specialized training to work with the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery system, practicing with a surgeon experienced with the system before beginning to treat patients with the system last fall.

Missouri Delta Medical Center is the only hospital offering this procedure for hundreds of miles, and Dr. Rodriguez is proud to be able to provide this service to his patients.

“Some people think you have to go to a big city for this, but that’s not the case,” he says. “We have it right here.”


Dr. Rodriguez and his wife, Amy,  have three children, Aubrey, 12, Leila, 9, and James, 5. He said the move from New York to Missouri was a little bit of an adjustment for the family, but they love the area and have discovered a love of hiking in the nearby towns.

“When we go on vacation, we like to get to the ocean, but we enjoy day trips to places like Mark Twain National Park and St. Genevieve,” he says.

Like most families with young children, the Rodriguez family stays busy getting kids to their extra curricular activities and sports. When he discovers a little down time, Dr. Rodriguez enjoys baseball, golf and reading.

Missouri Delta Orthopedics

Missouri Delta Orthopedics includes Dr. Rodriguez, a physician’s assistant and two nurse practitioners. They treat all types of orthopedic conditions including patients needing joint replacements or those with sports injuries, meniscus tears, shoulder dislocations, and hand, elbow, feet and knee issues.   The practice sees patients from Sikeston and all the surrounding communities, including Poplar Bluff, Charleston, Southern Illinois and even some from the Memphis area.

“I like meeting people and seeing how they are doing,” Dr. Rodriguez says about his job. “I take a real interest in people and developing the doctor/patient relationship. That’s what drives me to go to work every morning.”

About the Author

Michelle Cox is a wife, mother and professional freelance writer/communications specialist in St. Louis, MO. She’s a regular contributor to and an author for (launching in September 2016) as well as their social media director. She also writes short stories and is working on her first novel, and she writes about writing on her website,, where she encourages other midlifers (not young, never “old”) to pick up a pen or keyboard.

In the war against wrinkles… Ultherapy

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What is unique about Ultherapy ?
This new, FDA-approved technology combines focused ultrasound energy and the body’s own healing power to lift, tighten, and tone a sagging brow, chin, or neck. It has also been approved to reduce deep wrinkling on the décolletage. Ultherapy provides an attractive option for patients who are not ready to undergo facelift surgery and recovery, or who simply prefer a nonsurgical, noninvasive alternative to achieving a lifted, more youthful appearance. With the addition of the new Ultherapy Décolletage Treatment, Ultherapy is also now the only non-invasive procedure specifically indicated by the FDA to improve lines and wrinkles on the chest.

Ultherpy uses the power of ultrasound, which has been safely used in medical applications for more than 50 years. The Ulthera System uses a small handheld device to direct micro-focused ultrasound with visualization (MFU-V) to specific areas of the face or chest that have loose or sagging skin. Typically, these areas lose elasticity because of a natural breakdown of collagen, elastin, and underlying structural tissue. Ultherapy energy travels through the skin to safely treat these deep structural tissues and stimulate new collagen production. The end result is a tighter, firmer, smoother appearance.

Can Ultherapy replace a face lift?
Ultherapy treats the deep foundational layer addressed in cosmetic surgery, but won’t duplicate the results of a facelift. Ultherapy is a great alternative, however, especially for those not ready for surgery or for patients looking to extend the effects of cosmetic surgery.

How Does Ultherapy different from laser treatments?
Ultherapy uses sound energy – tried-and-true ultrasound – which has unique properties that allow it to bypass the surface of the skin to treat depths not matched by any other non-invasive cosmetic device. Ultherapy ultrasound stimulates collagen production in the skin’s foundation, resulting in a clinically significant lift of tissue over 2-3 months.

Lasers rely on light energy, which cannot reach deeper skin layers at an optimal temperature, so laser treatments typically only treat superficial skin and are not FDA-cleared to lift skin.

Since the two technologies often treat different types of skin issues, they’re actually very compatible.

How does Ultherapy Stimulate the creation of collagen?
Ultherapy deposits focused ultrasound energy deep beneath the skin at the optimal temperature for collagen regeneration. The treatment jumpstarts a natural process, known as neocollagenesis, to produce fresh, new collagen. Ultherapy doesn’t involve any creams, fillers or toxins; it just relies on your body’s own collagen-building process for natural, noticeable results.

How long does an Ultherapy treatment take?
The length of the treatment will depend on the area being treated and your individual treatment plan. A face and neck procedure typically takes 60-90 minutes, while a chest treatment takes approximately 30 minutes.

What does the Ultherapy treatment feel like?
Some of our Ultherapy® patients notice visible results immediately after their first treatment, but maximum results usually appear gradually within two to six months of treatment.

That gradual improvement occurs because the Ulthera® System works in two distinct phases: First, the targeted ultrasound waves cause molecules to vibrate, creating friction and heat. When collagen fibrils are heated to a specific temperature, they contract, causing an immediate lifted appearance that many patients enjoy. Next, the body interprets the ultrasound treatment as “injury,” so it immediately initiates a wound-healing phase, which includes repairing damage and creating new collagen. Over time, the new collagen and elastin provide added underlying support, helping to lift and revitalize sagging tissues.

Most patients only need one treatment. However, based on the degree of skin laxity, the biological response to ultrasound energy and the individual’s collagen-building process, some patients benefit from additional treatments. Because skin continues to age, future touch-up treatments can help patients keep pace with the body’s natural aging process.

Are there any side effects?
You may see some mild, temporary side effects, including redness, swelling, discomfort, mild bruising, numbness, or tenderness to the treated area, but these side effects typically resolve soon after treatment. During the clinical study evaluation, no serious or long-term adverse events were reported.

Heart of a Woman

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More Information

The best way to prevent heart disease is through self-care. The American Heart Association reports that up to 80% of heart disease is preventable through lifestyle changes

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get regular exercise – the AHA recommends 40 minutes of physical activity, three times a week.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Keep track of your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and weight.

In movies, men get heart attacks, women get their hearts broken. But reality is harsher – according to the American Heart Association, 1 in 3 women in the United States die of heart disease each year, making it the leading cause of death. (By comparison, 1 in 31 American women die annually of breast cancer.)

And yet, heart disease can’t shake the image of an “old man’s disease.” More than half of women who die suddenly from coronary artery disease weren’t receiving treatment or didn’t report symptoms, and women are less likely than men to survive their first heart attack.

Most women develop heart disease due to atherosclerosis, a condition caused when plaque builds up inside the arteries, narrowing them and restricting blood flow. If a blood clot forms in the arteries, it can result in a heart attack or stroke.

Heart disease in women also commonly appears as congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems.

Like men, women’s main risk factors for heart disease include congenital heart conditions, family history of heart disease, aging, obesity, diabetes, overeating, physical inactivity and smoking.

Hormonal changes are another risk factor for women. Women who take birth control pills may have higher blood pressure and face increased risk of heart disease if they also smoke. Changes during menopause have also been linked to increased heart attack risk.

Women tend to experience different symptoms of coronary heart disease and heart attacks than men. Most people think of chest pains and cold sweats as heart attack symptoms, but women usually experience back pain, jaw pain, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, or fatigue, sometimes weeks before a heart attack occurs. It’s easy to mistake these symptoms for other conditions, such as a toothache or upset stomach.

Research is still being done to learn why women experience different symptoms, but learning to recognize them and seeking medical attention immediately can make a critical difference.

Apart from misperceptions of heart disease, another reason women may ignore symptoms is a tendency to put their family’s health care needs ahead of their own. Also, some health care providers may fail to recognize symptoms of heart disease more commonly experienced by women.

Even if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease or take prescriptions to manage cholesterol or high blood pressure, healthier lifestyle changes can still make a difference.

It’s important to advocate for your own health, just as you would for your family. Schedule annual examinations with your physician. Discuss your health history, risk factors, and when you should be screened for indicators of heart disease.

Finally, trust your intuition. If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms and strongly feel like something is wrong, seek emergency medical help immediately.

Jackie Bulgin

Jackie Bulgin – Emerging Victorious

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JACKIE BULGIN LEADS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL real estate teams in central Missouri – Jackie Bulgin & Associates in Columbia, MO. Her clients and colleagues know her as an effective, smart, action-oriented real-estate agent and leader in the business community. But Jackie’s determination and inclination toward success also served her well in her personal life, carrying her through not one, but three personal battles with cancer.

Having grown up at the Lake of the Ozarks, Jackie first came to Columbia, MO, to attend college at the University of Missouri. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematics and psychology education and taught at Columbia Hickman High School and Quincy, Illinois High School for 10 years.

Eventually, Jackie returned to college to work on her graduate degree and she was teaching mathematics at the university when she met her second husband, Lawrence Bulgin. Lawrence was a builder and developer and he wanted his wife to work with him, so he encouraged to obtain her realtors license.

“He had a construction company and already had his realtor’s license, so I got my license in 1979 and we started Bulgin Real Estate, which was a ‘mom and pop’ construction company and development company,” Jackie says. “We built houses, developed land and the real estate company to market the properties.”


Cancer Makes Its Appearance

The couple expanded the business in the years following their marriage, adding a condo development, office park, mini warehouse and a car wash. Jackie faced her first bout with cancer during this time, which involved cancer of the cheek in 1984.


In 1990, she and Lawrence decided to merge their real estate company with House of Brokers Realty, which is a locally-owned real estate brokerage company that had been in business since 1981. Jackie is one of six owners of the company along with Bev Curtis, Carol Denninghoff, Gary Meyer, Wanda Northway and Jeff Radel.


About 10 years after the merger, Jackie learned that she would follow in the footsteps of her mother, a breast cancer survivor, and her late aunt, who died of breast cancer when Jackie was young. Jackie’s cancer was discovered in 2001.


“My mother was a breast cancer survivor and she had a very aggressive form of cancer, so that put me into early mammograms,” Jackie says. “I went for my yearly checkup and the cancer did not show up on the mammogram or on the sonogram, but a very observant nurse saved my life.”


The nurse noticed some dimpling on Jackie’s left breast and she ordered a biopsy. The biopsy showed cancer, and Jackie opted for a double mastectomy.


She underwent chemotherapy and radiation, and then did re-construction in 2002. All the while, she kept her cancer battle very private. Thanks to her team, she would schedule her chemotherapy treatments on Fridays so that she could suffer the worst effects of the treatment over the weekend and be back on her feet and back at work by Tuesday.


“At the time, I didn’t want people to know what was going on because I didn’t want them to ask me how I was feeling. I just thought that would be a negative for me, so I didn’t tell anyone about it until I was completely done with treatment.”


Sadly, in October of 2003, Lawrence was diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer. He underwent radiation treatment and was scheduled to start chemotherapy after the first of the year, but he collapsed and died suddenly in December.


“When he died, my whole world turned upside down and my work became extremely important to me,” Jackie says. “I had always been very involved in work, but it was even more important to me then – it’s where I put all my energies.”


Jackie and Lawrence had closed the building company a couple of years before he died, and she sold off some of the other parts of their business so she could focus more on real estate.


Unfortunately, in 2012, Jackie faced cancer yet again. She was diagnosed with cancer inside her mouth on the jaw bone. The required extensive radiation which resulted in the removal of a portion of her jaw. Her jaw was reconstructed in a two-step process; first by taking some bone from her leg and moving it to her jaw, then by placing a titanium plate in her jaw. In addition to all this, the extensive radiation burned the inside of her mouth, her taste buds and salivary glands.


“I couldn’t talk very well and it was a very rough five months,” she says. “I had wonderful support from my family and physicians, and my team again, picked up work for me and kept things going during that time. I couldn’t have done it without all that support.”


Jackie said that when she first learned of her jaw cancer, she felt alone. “I thought , ‘I’m the only one in the world who has this.’ But then I found out the surgeon in Columbia does 60 to 70 of these surgeries a year. Now I’m very grateful to be a three-time cancer survivor.”


Passionate About Business

Through it all, Jackie remained committed to her business and her clients. “I really love my job and working with people,” Jackie says. “I look forward to work everyday. It’s just fascinating because there are never two days that are the same, never two clients that are same.”


Jackie says it’s a joy to help people select a home. “You become a part of their lives because it is one of the biggest investments they will make in a lifetime. Whether someone is buying their first home, upsizing or downsizing, it’s exciting to be a part of a milestone in their lives.”


Not surprisingly, Jackie is surrounded by others who are similarly passionate about the business. The House of Brokers continued to grow, and currently has 85 agents. Jackie’s team has three agents in addition to her partner, Shannon O’Brien and associates, Nicole Waldschlager and Debbie Fischer.


Jackie says her passion for real estate and her entrepreneurial spirit come from her parents. Her father was a builder at the Lake of the Ozarks, and her mother led a craft novelty business. “They were always self-employed and had a great work ethic,” she says.



Family and Community

In addition to a passion for her work, Jackie considers herself blessed on the family front. She has a daughter, Paula Elam, and a stepson and daughter-in-law, Trevor and Denise Bulgin, all of Columbia. Her stepdaughter, Melinda Schumacher and her husband Rick, and their four children live in Olathe, KS.


During her spare time, Jackie is active in her community. She has been extensively involved in and was a charter member of the Regional Economic Development Inc., and she served on the Columbia Planning & Zoning Commission from 1979 to 1984. She also served on the Governor’s Council for Affordable Housing and as a past treasurer, secretary, vice president and on the Board of Directors of the Columbia Board of Realtors.


She continues to do some volunteer work for Phoenix Programs, a organization that serves individuals suffering from addiction. And she contributes to Honor Flight Network because her father was a World War II veteran.


Remaining Vigilant

Because Jackie’s mother and aunt had experienced breast cancer, she was vigilant from a young age about getting checkups.


Her daughter, Paula, has regular check-ups and recently had something show up that required an MRI. For now, her doctors are watching it. And her step-daughter, Melinda, lost her mother to breast cancer and her father to the brain tumor, so she’s also dedicated to getting screened.


My family and I are eternally grateful to my nurse and for her skills and expertise in finding my “needle in a haystack” tumor. Please tell everyone you know, breast exams can save a woman’s life, I know because it saved mine.


About the Author

Michelle Cox is a wife, mother and professional freelance writer/communications specialist in St. Louis, MO. She’s a regular contributor to and an author for (launching in September 2016) as well as their social media director. She also writes short stories and is working on her first novel, and she writes about writing on her website,, where she encourages other midlifers (not young, never “old”) to pick up a pen or keyboard.

Woman combing her hair

26 beauty secrets for a beautiful you

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1. If you have thick tresses that get dry and frizzy, apply a conditioning hair masque and leave it on overnight, rinsing in the morning. Hair will become angelical soft.

2. Brush hair from roots to ends nightly. This distributes natural oils throughout the shaft and gives hair a healthy sheen.

3. Always rinse out conditioner with cold water to seal the cuticle and promote shine.

4. Are your roots showing? Hide them by zigzagging your part.


5. Treat your eye area gently. This is the most delicate part of your face. Cleanse with care; blot, never rub.

6. Line your eyes first with a pencil liner because it’s easier to make that straight line with it. Then I go back on the line with the liquid liner. It’s kind of like coloring! The result? Your eye liner will stay on, smudge-free, and well-lined.

7. Get eyeshadow to stay in place by priming lids with moisturizer and foundation.

8. Stop pencil eyeliner from smudging by applying powder shadow (in a matching or slightly darker shade) over the pencil.

9. Switch to brown mascara for a softer look for day.


10. To stop makeup from fading during the day, apply a primer before your foundation.

11. For lipliner that glides on, warm it up first by pinching it with your fingertips.

12. To keep lipstick from bleeding, pat a little concealer around your lips.

13. Smile when you put on your lipstick – it’s the best way to ensure complete coverage, corners included.


14. The best time to apply lotion is right after a shower or bath, when skin is still damp.

15. When drawing a bath, scatter bubbles or crystals directly under the faucet before turning on the water and drop in perfume oil while the tub is filling.

16. Beautiful skin starts from within. Include lots of vegetables, fruit and water in your diet.

17. Too much perfume? Dab rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball on your skin. The alcohol will cut the scent without altering it.

18. Microwave lotion for 5 seconds to soothe dry winter skin.

19. Help perfume last longer by dabbing petroleum jelly onto pulse points before spraying on fragrance. (Perfume evaporates faster from dry skin.)

20. Exfoliate with a body scrub once a week to slough off dead cells that make skin look dull. When skin is freshly exfoliated, lotion and oil are better absorbed.

Feet and Hands

21. Improve circulation in your legs and lower the risk of unsightly veins by elevating your feet when resting.

22. Shape nails with an emery board, filing sides toward center – never straight across – and rounding off edges.

23. What works for your face works for your hands. Remove age spots with facial brightening cream.

24. The fast way to remove nail polish: Hold cotton saturated with polish remover firmly on your nail for a few seconds to let it start working, then wipe nail clean.

25. Relieve swollen feet by soaking them alternately in hot water (for 3 minutes), then cold water (for 1 minute), for a total of 15 minutes.

26.  To avoid toenail fungus, keep feet dry and clean, and remove athletic socks and shoes immediately after working out.