Category Archives: Health

The Preventable Death of a Child

To witness the painful emotions of inconsolable parents, grandparents, and great grandparents was difficult to watch. Three children — ages three, six, and ten — were gone, seemingly in the blink of an eye, like steam dissipating from a hot shower gone cold. It’s like black magic. First, they’re here; then they’re not. Past joyful memories cannot erase the three white caskets that are spread out in the pulpit before us. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Health, People


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Crocs™, Not Your Child’s Shoe

I’ve known about Crocs™ since its debut in 2002. However, I refused to jump on the bandwagon. I viewed this plastic shoe as kids’ play shoes or adult shoes for the beach — definitely not a trend or a shoe for comfort. Then, in 2011, I had a long overdue bunionectomy. Due to this large bony protrusion on the side of my big toe, I was unable to wear stylish shoes, and definitely no heels. In order to pacify the pain, I increased the width of my shoe from a normal B to a wide D, which alleviated the pressure somewhat on my bunion.

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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Health, People


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You Have the Power to Donate the Gift of Life

Gwen Pegram and Andre BraggPlease register to Become an Organ, Eye, or Tissue Donor?

Today is Andre and my 11th Anniversary. We are bound together by my kidney.

Eleven years ago, I participated in a pilot program (Living Kidney Donor) through the Washington Regional Transplant Community. This program allows an individual to donate a kidney to the pool of waiting patients who are anonymous. The list holds the names of thousands of patients awaiting a kidney. Prior to this pilot program, a patient had only two choices: a kidney donation with a blood-type match relative or await a kidney from a stranger’s loved one who is brain dead/on life support.

I was honored to meet my recipient and quite surprised to learn that my 50-year-old kidney went to a 13-year-old boy. Andre and I are both doing well and I have no regrets.

If you need a really great story to get you inspired to “register to donate,” please read this very touching and humbling story of paying it forward, which was posted in The New York Times a year ago, February 18, 2012.

Please tweet or email me. I’m happy to share my experience with anyone who wants more information on becoming a living organ donor.

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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Health, People


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My Morning Joe with Jay

2-1-2013 293Everyone should experience the pleasure of having an exhilarating discussion with an elder. Over the last five years at my residence, Metropolitan of Lorton, I have been honored to have deep discussions and inspirational conversations with Jay and his wife Caroline. What makes these conversations so enlightening are that the elders are in their 80s, sharp as a tack, witty as anyone you’ll ever meet, and white. I bring up race because I’m black, 60, and nothing is off-limits to talk about; probably because we respect each others’ viewpoints, no matter the topic. Read more


Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Health, People



The Significance of the Big Three O

yo-yo-dieting-not-all-badNo, I didn’t just turn 30. I’m turning into a freaking dieting yo-yo. I’ve lost 30 pounds and gained 30 pounds at least 30 times over the last 30 years. What the bleep is the problem? I’m fat, then skinny; fat, then skinny; and fat, then skinny over and over again. I end up regaining the same disgusting 30 pounds, and of course at a much faster pace than it took to lose the pounds. Why can’t I keep these 30 pounds of blubber off? I’m not depressed. I’m not stressed. Come to think of it I’m a pretty happy lady. So, am I doomed to vacillate between plus 30 pounds and negative 30 pounds for the next 30 years too?

I lose the weight easily. I stick to a diet no matter the restrictions. Keeping it off is the conundrum. I can’t pretend I don’t know the culprit — it’s right before my eyes. The second — or is it 30 seconds ­­– I step on the scale and see I’ve reached my goal weight, it’s like I’ve hit the chow-down lottery. I’m back to Glutton-ville — downing pints of Häagen Dazs, popping almonds and pecans, and eating fine dark chocolate like it’s my last day on Earth. And what happens — 30 days later the weight starts creeping up full speed ahead. And I have the audacity to be surprised as the lever on the scale is moved toward the 30-pound gain mark.

So here I am today on another diet to lose 30 pounds. And as usual, I’ll swear for the 30th time that I won’t regain a new 30 pounds.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Health


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Is Sitting the Smoking of Our Generation?

I was excited when I saw Nilofer Merchant’s article, Sitting Is the Smoking of Our Generation on the Harvard Business Review Blog. I wanted to know the angle that would be presented in comparing sitting to smoking. However, I was disappointed because the article really focused on the benefits walking has on health and the death rate associated with obesity. I don’t have anything against getting up off your butt and moving, but I already know the stats — 10,000 steps a day — of incorporating walking into one’s daily regimen. I was hoping for an eye opener behind the statement, which didn’t materialize. Merchant said, Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Employment, Health


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A Letter to the CEO of Whole Foods

Dear Mr. Mackey,

On your blog yesterday, you said, “I made a poor word choice to describe our health care system, which I definitely regret.” Well Mr. Mackey, I for one nanosecond don’t believe you have any regrets comparing ObamaCare to fascism. The only thing you regret is that liberals like me balked at your derogatory statement and are considering boycotting Whole Foods. And your backtracking will not convince me to ever step foot again into any Whole Foods. All I can say is shame on you for your detestable display of disrespect toward the highest position in the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Health


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