After holiday, Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donors

The American Red Cross issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give immediately and prevent delays in care after a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors.

Businesses and other community groups organized approximately 450 fewer blood drives over the Independence Day week than during a typical week due to the large number of people across the country celebrating the holiday, Red Cross officials said in a statement.

Aloha: This time, it's not a goodbye: LA trainer relocates, streams classes at request of students


Courtesy of Michelle Melendez
Michelle Melendez, appearing on-screen in the background as she livestreams from Hawaii, leads a Pilates class for students at Marti’s Dance Studio in Los Altos.

Pilates Full Body instructor Michelle Melendez’s move from the Bay Area to the Big Island of Hawaii in January was inevitable, she said.

“I had been there on and off for the last 20 years,” Melendez said in a phone interview with the Town Crier last week. “Have you ever heard the expression ‘Hawaii calls you’? The islands call people.”

Arthritis Foundation honors local for thriving in college


Courtesy of Suzanne Taves
Los Altos native and rising University of San Francisco sophomore Katie Taves speaks at the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis, at which she was honored, in June.

Scheduling classes is a struggle for most college students. It’s even more challenging for Los Altos native Katie Taves, who must consider several factors when selecting her classes at the University of San Francisco.

Taves, a rising sophomore diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at age 9, must allot “crash days” with fewer classes. She doesn’t take a class before 10 a.m. to account for morning stiffness, when fluid gathers in her joints and makes movement difficult. And she blocks out time for her treatments and makes sure she has the 13 pills she takes daily.

'Mummy tummy': The postpartum problem no one wants to talk about


Courtesy of Michelle Reynolds
Physical therapist and Town Crier columnist Kim Gladfelter conducts a test on a patient to determine whether she is suffering from diastasis recti, a separation of the ab muscles.

The “mummy tummy,” or “mommy pooch,” may be one of the top concerns postpartum women want to discuss but avoid out of embarrassment.

The reality is, mummy tummy – that extra shelf of abdominal tissue that has a pooch-like appearance – is nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s an extremely common, albeit frustrating, issue for many women, whether they are new moms or have children graduating from high school.

10 tips for ensuring a positive birth

When it comes to preparing for your baby’s arrival, there’s a tendency to believe that we have no control of how our baby arrives. When working with parents, I encourage them to focus on all of the things they can control.

Following are 10 tips to help you stack the odds in your favor of having a positive birth experience, no matter how your baby arrives.

Don't worry, be happy: Five ways to leverage positive psychology

According to the recently released Gallup World Emotions Report, Americans are among the most stressed and worried people in the world at 55% and 45%, respectively. Causes for these negative emotions include workplace pressures, especially for women and working moms; increased competition within companies, schools and universities; frightening news events; political upheaval; and an overuse of social media and technology.

Now more than ever it’s important to prioritize health and well-being to overcome these statistics and help create a brighter, healthier and happier future for our country. While stress is an inevitable part of life, it can be managed effectively with the right tools.


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