Researching My Way to a Diagnosis

This post was developed in collaboration with Lundbeck

Sometimes your professional skills come in handy when it comes to your personal life. In the case of Bob, his lifelong job as a professor at a local university helped him understand which condition had confounded him with symptoms for so long.

Back in 2000, Bob began to feel lightheaded going up and down stairs or walking a long way across the university campus. Also, he would struggle standing up at different times, explaining that he felt like he had a weight on his head.

To compensate, he developed subtle techniques to hide the fact that he was feeling lightheaded. “I would lean back against a table or chair and try to look natural. I was embarrassed to talk openly to my colleagues about my symptoms and didn’t want them to be concerned, so I would often make excuses after we had lunch, telling them, ‘Go ahead. I’ll catch up.’ I knew that I needed time to stand up slowly and steady myself.”

Bob went to a lot of doctors to figure out what was wrong with him, including a neurologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist and cardiologist. They each tried to fix individual symptoms, but no one put all the pieces together.

So, as any good professor would do, Bob began to do research on his own to figure out what his symptoms could mean. He learned for the first time about the nervous system disorder pure autonomic failure (or PAF). When he brought this up to his neurologist, who is also a movement disorder specialist, his doctor conducted additional tests and eventually confirmed the PAF diagnosis, as well as diagnosed him with an associated condition called symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (symptomatic nOH). Bob’s doctor explained that PAF interferes with his body’s ability to control blood pressure and that when he stood up, his blood pressure would drop and remain low, which is what made him dizzy and lightheaded.

Bob finally felt like he was on a track to start managing his symptoms and began a treatment option for symptomatic nOH, called NORTHERA® (droxidopa). NORTHERA is a prescription medicine that has been shown to improve symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness or the feeling that you are about to black out in adults. Please review the full Use for Northera and Important Safety Information below, including a boxed warning for Supine Hypertension. NORTHERA might not be right for everyone, and it’s important to speak with your doctor about what might be right for you.

In addition to prescribing NORTHERA, Bob’s doctor also recommended ways that he could help control his nOH symptoms, including drinking a lot of water, eating lighter meals with fewer carbohydrates (a challenge for pasta-loving Bob!) and adding more salt to his food. 

As a way to help others in similar circumstances, Bob became an nOH Champion for Lundbeck (manufacturer of NORTHERA). In this role, Bob is part of a network of patients and care partner ambassadors dedicated to educating and supporting others living with or caring for someone who has symptomatic nOH. By becoming an nOH Champion, Bob shares his story and lets others know that they need to be an advocate for themselves, starting by logging their symptoms and directing them to helpful resources, such as a symptom tracker.

Everyone’s situation is different, but Bob certainly can serve as an inspiration of persistence and fortitude when it comes to advocating for your own health. If you don’t feel that you’re getting the answers you need, don’t give up and keep doing your due diligence until you’re satisfied with the answers and treatment plan.

Always remember that you’re your own best support system.

USE OF NORTHERA (droxidopa) CAPSULES (100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg)

NORTHERA is a prescription medication used to reduce dizziness, lightheadedness, or the “feeling that you are about to black out” in adults who experience a significant drop in blood pressure when changing positions or standing (called symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH)) and who have one of the following:

—    Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease that causes slowness in muscle movement as well as shaking in the hands

—    Multiple system atrophy (MSA), a Parkinson’s-like disorder with more widespread effects on the brain and body

—    Pure autonomic failure (PAF), a neurodegenerative disease that results in frequent drops in blood pressure upon standing

—    Dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency, a condition where the body cannot make enough of the hormones that help regulate blood pressure

—    Non-diabetic autonomic neuropathy, an inability to maintain blood pressure upon standing that can be caused by a number of rare diseases

—    Effectiveness beyond 2 weeks of treatment has not been established, and your doctor will decide if you should continue taking NORTHERA.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: SUPINE HYPERTENSION (this is high blood pressure while lying down)

When lying down, elevating the head and upper body lowers the risk of high blood pressure. Check your blood pressure in this position prior to starting and during NORTHERA treatment. If you experience high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about your NORTHERA treatment.

  • Do not take NORTHERA if you have a known allergy to NORTHERA or its ingredients.
  • NORTHERA may cause high blood pressure when lying down, which could lead to strokes, heart attacks, and death. To reduce this risk of supine hypertension, take your late afternoon dose of NORTHERA at least 3 hours before going to bed.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare but potentially life-threatening side effect reported with NORTHERA. Call your doctor right away and go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these signs and symptoms: high fever, stiff muscles, movements that you cannot control, confusion or problems thinking, very fast or uneven heartbeats, or increased sweating. NORTHERA should be stopped immediately if NMS is diagnosed.
  • If you have coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeat, or heart failure, NORTHERA may worsen the symptoms of these disorders. Call your doctor if your symptoms become worse.
  • NORTHERA may cause allergic reactions. Stop taking NORTHERA and contact your doctor right away, or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience any signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction such as: fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, swelling, trouble breathing, hives, or rash. NORTHERA contains tartrazine (FD&C Yellow No. 5), which may also cause an allergic reaction, especially if you have had a reaction to aspirin.
  • The most common side effects with NORTHERA are headache, dizziness, nausea, and high blood pressure.
  • Taking NORTHERA with other medications may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if you take prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
  • You should not breastfeed during treatment with NORTHERA.
  • If you plan to become or are currently pregnant, talk to your doctor as it is not known if NORTHERA could harm your unborn baby.
  • Take NORTHERA the same way each time, either with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose of NORTHERA, take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Do not double the dose.

For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning for supine hypertension, or go to www.NORTHERA.com.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

References

  1. Freeman R. Clinical practice. Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. N Engl J Med. 2008;358(6):615-624.
  2. Mabuchi N, Hirayama M, Koike Y, et al. Progression and prognosis in pure autonomic failure (PAF): comparison with multiple system atrophy. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2005;76(7):947-52.
  3. Low P. Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension: pathophysiology and diagnosis. Am J Manag Care. 2015;21(13 Suppl):s248-57
  4. Heims H, Critchley H, Martin N, et al. Cognitive functioning in orthostatic hypotension due to pure autonomic failure. Clin Auton Res. 2006;16:113-120
  5. Goldstein DS, Sharabi Y. Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension: a pathophysiological approach. Circulation. 2009;119(1):139-146.
  6. Freeman R, Wieling W, Axelrod FB, et al. Consensus statement on the definition of orthostatic hypotension, neurally mediated syncope and the postural tachycardia syndrome. Clin Auton Res. 2011;21(2):69-72.
  7. NORTHERA [package insert]. Deerfield, IL: Lundbeck

©2021 Lundbeck. All rights reserved. NORTHERA is a registered trademark of Lundbeck

NA Ltd. DRX-B-100466

Time To Tell Him: “Show Me The Money, Honey!”

“This post is sponsored by Wealthramp, and FabOverFifty may receive compensation from Wealthramp if readers use their services.  Regardless, we think Wealthramp is an important service and as always we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers, as we’ve been doing for 11 years! The article contains affiliate links for Wealthramp, which can be accessed directly at https://wealthramp.com” – Geri Brin

Married at 19 years old, Sarah rarely stressed about money during the next 50 years. “My husband Rob was in charge of the finances from day one,” she said. A mid-level administrator at a printing company in New York, he was sensible and competent at everything he did. Sarah always turned her modest salary as a nutritionist over to him. 

But when Rob died at 74 after a short illness, Sarah’s money worries began. 

She had no earthly idea whether their mortgage was paid off, or if Rob kept his life insurance when their sons moved out on their own. She didn’t know a thing about their investments. And, she didn’t have a clue about their monthly expenses. Rob prepared their income taxes. He paid all the bills.

Sarah was beside herself with anxiety as she waded through mountains of files trying to get a handle on money matters. 

Halfway across the country in Chicago, Barbara had another type of distress when her ex died suddenly. Assuming their 17-year-old twins were still beneficiaries of his life insurance policy, Barbara was shocked to learn he left the money to his new – and much younger – wife. “I was counting on the inheritance to help pay the steep tuition bills when the kids went off to college in a year,” Barbara fretted.

Barbara is still kicking herself that she didn’t confirm the beneficiaries of her former husband’s insurance policy since their divorce. “I would have paid the premiums just as long as the money went to our children, but I had no one to advise me,” she groaned.

DON’T WAIT FOR DEATH OR DIVORCE

Stop right here. Are you like Sarah or Barbara? If your husband died or you and he split up, would you know if your and your family’s financial future were secure?

Or maybe you’re single and make a decent living, but haven’t done a thing to ensure you’d be in decent shape if you lost your job or could no longer work.  And what are your retirement plans?

You see a doctor about medical issues. Rely on a plumber when a pipe leaks. And make a mad dash to a mechanic when a warning light pops up on the car dashboard.

Isn’t it high time you met another expert – a financial expert – who can advise you about one of the most crucial components in your life: Your Money?

You may feel more comfortable letting your partner deal with the family finances. Or perhaps you’re embarrassed that you know next to nothing about investing and would feel like a jerk talking to an expert. Or maybe you think your “future” is too far away, so why start planning for it now!  But you should stop making excuses. If you start learning about your finances today you’ll help give yourself a secure tomorrow. 

“SHOW ME THE MONEY, HONEY”

“Even if you don’t control the money, a lot of ‘what ifs’ can happen, so at least learn where the money is and where it’s going,” said Joyce Streithorst, director of financial planning with Frisch Financial Group. “It’s a lot easier to gather this information over time than to be forced into it by a divorce or a death. 

“You’re not looking to take over control, but to educate yourself and be involved,” Joyce added. Get copies of your tax returns, investment statements, credit card statements, bank statements. Discuss where your money is invested. Go through the estate plan and the beneficiaries. Find out if your husband bought disability and long-term care policies. And make sure your home isn’t in his name only.

“Tell your husband that you want to be on the call when he next talks to the accountant or financial advisor so you can try to understand what’s happening. If the advisor talks over your head, ask him to go slower. If you think commissions, not your interests, are his priorities,  suggest to your husband that it might be a good idea to get a second opinion from another advisor,” Joyce recommended.  After all, you want to make sure you have the right person working for you. 

                      Pam Krueger

Frisch Financial is part of Wealthramp, a free online referral service that connects consumers with top independent, fee-only financial advisors who best fit their needs. After all, each woman’s financial requirements are as unique as her health or beauty essentials, stressed Pam Krueger, Wealthramp founder. 

Also co-host of Friends Talk Money podcast and creator and co-host of MoneyTrack on PBS, Pam spent three years personally vetting every advisor for her smart Wealthramp service. She had heard one too many tales of woe from women who suffered financially because they were horribly mismatched with advisors. Or they accepted the advisors their husbands chose, not meeting them even once.

THE WEALTHRAMP DIFFERENCE 

Sixty-something Carol discovered Wealthramp after she sold a building she owned for almost 30 years, and was searching for an investment advisor. Single and a construction management professional, Carol had always been frugal and lived modestly, putting most of  the money she earned from her job and tenants’ rents back into her house.  When she decided  it was time “to start enjoying life instead of fixing toilets,” she put the building up for sale. Her modest down payment had turned into a handsome profit, and she knew it was time “to grow up and have an investment portfolio.”

Discouraged by meetings with women from a Forbes list of top advisors, “who’d blab on and on about themselves without asking me a single question,” Carol was encouraged to hear about Wealthramp on Pam Krueger’s podcast.  “Pam was personable and seemed to care about her clients,” Carol remembered.

After submitting a two-minute Wealthramp survey, Carol had a 45-minute call with Pam, who recommended two advisors. Carol interviewed both of them at length and chose Joyce. “She created a detailed document explaining how she’d invest my money, what the businesses did and why she chose them,” Carol said.

Carol speaks to Joyce whenever she has questions or gets nervous if she sees the value of her investments dropping and needs reassurance. “Joyce gets back to me right away,” Carol said. “I’ve never felt that she put me on the back burner or pushed me off. She doesn’t talk mumbo jumbo and say things I don’t understand.”    

Working with Joyce for the last five months, Carol has seen a good return on her investments. “I never had my life so stress-free, EVER! I know my money is in good hands. And so am I.”  

The advisors in the Wealthramp network don’t require that you invest millions like Carol. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to invest at all; you can simply get a sound analysis from an expert about the state of your financial affairs.

FOR FINANCIAL SECURITY TOMORROW

Naturally Alleviate Hot Flashes

EQUELLE compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit others. Geri Brin, Founder, faboverfifty.com #EquelleAmbassador

No matter how many articles I read about hot flashes, or how many women described theirs to me in excruciating detail, I never could have imagined how wretched they’d actually make me feel. Like contractions during labor, until you personally experience a whole bunch of hot flashes, you’ll never understand the anguish they can cause.

If you’re currently suffering through hot flashes due to menopause, you surely don’t need an essay about them from me. If you haven’t yet had one, nothing I say will make it any easier when you do. Both groups of women, however, should know about a new non-hormonal [1] supplement, EQUELLE, that can help alleviate the frequency of hot flashes as well as muscle aches associated with menopause.

The most common menopause symptom and the second most common in perimenopause, hot flashes affect 75 percent of women in the US [2], many for as long as a decade. While some women might experience just a couple of hot flashes every day, others might have several every hour.  Considering how debilitating they can be, EQUELLE is a potential godsend to millions of ladies.

Happily, scientists are discovering how to replicate crucial chemical reactions in our body, without using hormones, so that vital biological processes aren’t hindered as we age. Although the exact cause of hot flashes isn’t known, they’re definitely linked to the decline of estrogen during menopause, and its effect on the brain’s ability to regulate our body temperature. We may no longer need estrogen to conceive when we’re 50 years old, but when our estrogen level starts falling, it can take quite a toll on a woman’s body. A sudden feeling of feverish heat, accompanied by profuse sweating, especially on the upper body, is one of the most distressing reactions. 

HOW EQUELLE THROWS “COLD WATER” ON HOT FLASHES

Of course, not every available treatment works the same on every woman. What’s more, many women don’t want to treat their hot flashes with some of the drugs and supplements on the market, such as hormone therapy. The beauty of EQUELLE is that it does its job without a single hormone. [3] Its active ingredient, S-equol, is naturally produced from a plant compound in soy through an exclusive process. It helps to alleviate the frequency of menopause-related hot flashes and muscle aches by binding to select estrogen receptors (groups of proteins) inside our cells.

“The active ingredient has a structure similar to estrogen, and can be an option for those seeking different solutions due to potential risks associated with systemic estrogen therapy for certain women,” explained Dr. LeeCole Legette, a principal scientist at Pharmavite, the company that manufactures EQUELLE. LeeCole did the research for her PhD on the effects of botanical compounds such as S-equol on our health. Now she’s delighted women have the option to take a nutritional solution to help them feel their best during the menopausal transition. Interestingly, about three out of 10 U.S. women naturally produce S-equol, LeeCole told me, which might account for why some women have fewer menopause symptoms like hot flashes. EQUELLE recreates this natural compound so more of us can get its benefits, which have been clinically shown.

Women taking a daily oral dose of EQUELLE (with 10mg S-equol) in a 12-week clinical study saw a 58.7% reduction in the frequency of their hot flashes, significantly more than the 34.5% reduction experienced in women who received a placebo. They also had significant improvement in the severity of their neck or shoulder muscle stiffness compared to those on a placebo. While clinical studies showed benefits in four weeks, optimal results were achieved within eight to 12 weeks.

Only on the market a few months, EQUELLE is getting impressive reviews. Consider this 5-star review from Pam M in San Francisco, who participated in a sampling program:

“Prior to taking EQUELLE, I felt like I had lost the ability to function in everyday activities. I was too tired, always sweating, getting hot flashes that would lead people to ask, ‘Are you ok?’ (all because I would flush deep red). Then I began taking EQUELLE, and the hot flashes dropped to almost zero so I could sleep easier and wake up with more energy! I stopped being embarrassed because the hot flashes were not as extreme, and people stopped asking, ‘Are you ok?’ I felt more like myself and able to return to more normal activities!

EQUELLE is so confident you’ll see relief from hot flashes and muscle aches, it invites you to try it for 60 days, and, if you “aren’t feeling EQUELLE,” you’ll get your money back.

This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

[1] Free from human or animal hormones. Contains trace amounts of isoflavones, a type of naturally occurring plant hormone

[2] US Office of Women’s Health. Menopause symptoms and relief. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-symptoms-and-relief#13

[3] Free from human or animal hormones. Contains trace amounts of isoflavones, a type of naturally occurring plant hormone

The Daily Routine Susan Is Never Going To Stop

When Susan Tolliver’s doctor told her she had Type 2 diabetes, she figured it was time to “stop spending all that money on Dr. Pepper and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and start spending it on something that’s good for me,” said the 66-year-old Texan. “My body was starting to feel so run down from eating too much sugar and not getting the nutrition it needs. My poor diet also was putting me at risk for developing other medical conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease.”

Susan liked a blurb she had read from her health insurance carrier about a company that would recommend personalized, doctor-approved nutritional supplements based on her health, daily habits and goals, and the medications she was taking. “They’d also deliver them to my door, so I decided that instead of wasting my energy and my calories on food I didn’t need to eat I’d focus on what would make me feel better,” Susan reasoned.

TAKE YOUR 5-MINUTE ASSESSMENT AND GET YOUR PERSONA RECOMMENDATIONS TODAY!

SMART, SIMPLE & CONVENIENT

On January 23, Susan filled out the five-minute questionnaire on www.personanutrition.com, received her supplement recommendations from a highly trained nutritionist and backed by four doctors, and placed the order. She thinks it’s “a treat” that her daily supplements are divided into morning and evening packets, which makes them easy to take. And, she can tuck a packet into her handbag if she’s planning to be out late. When Susan has a question, she’s delighted to be able to reach a nutritionist in minutes. “It’s also simple to add or cancel a supplement anytime I want,” she said.

Susan’s been taking a multivitamin and spirulina in the morning; in the evening she takes her second dosage of the multivitamin, ubiquinol, turmeric, Omega 3, garlic and a supplement for blood sugar balance. Ubiquinol replenishes an important enzyme that’s being depleted by the statin Susan’s doctor prescribed for her high cholesterol. The blood sugar balance supplement helps regulate her diabetes. Her multivitamins are split in the morning and night packs so that she can absorb more nutrients at a time. “I used to be hungry an hour after I ate, which was a sign of diabetes, “the doctor told me.  A week after I started taking the supplement for my blood sugar, I didn’t feel that hungry anymore,” Susan said.

TAKE YOUR 5-MINUTE ASSESSMENT AND GET YOUR PERSONA RECOMMENDATIONS TODAY!

Susan wakes at 6 am weekdays, walks her dog, goes to work as a Geographic Information Service Manager at an oil and gas company, gets off at 7 pm, returns home, walks her dog again, cooks and eats dinner, and goes to bed. “If someone tells me I should start working out, I say, ‘When?’ ” she said.  Susan had consistently put on weight since her son was born 35 years ago. “I remember thinking it was nutty when the doctors told me after I gave birth that I’d be gaining a pound a year. But I’ve probably gained 35 pounds. I look in the mirror and say, ‘Lordy, look at the 35 pounds on me!’”

Besides cutting out the soda and Peanut Butter Cups, Susan didn’t change anything else in her lifestyle. Her latest blood test results showed she’s now a borderline diabetic, and she’s lost three pounds. “It was time to make a decision to stop eating junk food. Did I want to keep feeling mushy and have diabetes destroy my blood vessels, my eyesight, and more?” Susan considers the money she spends on her Persona supplements an investment in herself. “I felt so much better by the end of the first round of supplements, there’s no way I’m going to stop,’’ says Susan. “Each month I just feel better and better and more energetic. That can’t be just from losing three pounds!”

to take your 5-minute assessment and get your Persona recommendations today!

Plus, an additional 50% off your first order

He’s 77. She’s 72. They’re Still Enjoying Sex!

Ann and Harvey still made passionate love in 2004, after 13 years of marriage! Harvey, 62 years old at the time, and Ann, 57, would have rated their sex a solid 10!  When Harvey first noticed signs of ED (erectile dysfunction) he wasn’t overly concerned. But, when it reached the point where he’d “go south and become flaccid” during intercourse, he and Ann’s first inclination was to stop trying to have intimate relations as frequently.  “We were worried we’d keep having failures,” Ann remembered.

“Even though we intellectually knew what was happening, my emotions kept telling me we wouldn’t be having this problem if I was prettier or younger,” Ann recalled. “I still wanted to have a sexual relationship with my beautiful wife, but I didn’t feel whole because I couldn’t perform,” Harvey added. That feeling not only affected Harvey’s ego; it affected Ann’s and his relationship. “We were still best of friends, but I was, at least, frustrated,” Harvey said.

They both suffered like this for about nine months, while each of them privately harbored their new-found feelings of insecurity and discouragement. “We didn’t discuss the problem together until we realized the situation was becoming our new habit. When we were able to identify the problem together, we became determined to solve it,” Ann related.

They tried all three oral medications for ED that were available at the time.One would be wonderful for a few months and then it became less helpful, so the urologist would write a new prescription for the next medication. We’d repeat the pattern with that one, and then again with the third,” Harvey said.

They tried a vacuum penis pump one time but “it was cumbersome and left Harvey’s penis cold,” Ann said. “Besides, it  wasn’t spontaneous,” Harvey added.

They tried medication that Harvey injected into his penis with a small needle, but that, too, stopped being dependable.

At the close of 2011, seven and a half years after getting on the ED roller coaster, 70-year-old Harvey and 65-year-old Ann began searching for new solutions. They refused to give up hope, even when a urologist advised them to just accept their circumstances. No other treatments were available, he flatly stated. Fatefully,  a sharing friend of Harvey’s mentioned that he had had a penile implant and was extremely satisfied with the results, literally and figuratively. That got Harvey’s full attention!

Keep reading…

How It Feels To Be 100!

About to blow out the candles

“How does it feel to be 100?” I asked Mimi.  The second the words popped out, I knew it was one of the dumbest questions I had ever uttered.  

“Very much like it felt to be 99,” Mimi answered.  As you can tell, Mimi’s a lot sharper than I am!

Mimi and daughter Betsy

An active member of the 60+ Program at the bustling 92nd Street Y in Manhattan until the last couple of years, Mimi would attend weekly current events discussion groups led by Douglas, my ex.  They became pals, and over the last decade Douglas has often visited Mimi at her apartment where they talk for hours and have dinner. Douglas loves to learn about everyone’s family history. As a matter of fact, he knows more about my family than I do!

Mimi and daughter Jane

Mimi, an only child,  became an orphan by the time she was six months old. Her mother’s brother adopted her, but Mimi told Douglas that his wife never treated her lovingly, as she did with her biological children. A graduate of the University of Chicago when women were scarce on college campuses, Mimi worked in a munitions factory during World War II and then became an early education teacher and guidance counselor.   She married twice, to a lawyer and a labor union organizer, and had two daughters. Betsy teaches at Brooklyn Law School and Jane is a retired professor of anthropology at Cornell University.

Granddaughter Vanessa chatting with Mimi’s 91-year-old friend Lore Segal, a successful author

Mimi also passed her smart genes down to her grandchildren. Granddaughter Vanessa went to Harvard and now works for world-renowned American economist Jeffrey Sachs. Her sister Allison worked for a climate think tankGrandson Nicky graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School and worked for President Obama.

“We are all here hoping to follow in my mother’s footsteps. She’s progressive, adventuresome and loyal, a devoted and inspired grandmother, and a favorite of all my friends in Ithaca,” daughter Jane said during the toast.

Douglas and Pat (who was married to Mimi’s cousin-step brother) toast Mimi

Up until she was about 95, Mimi did hours of Tai chi each week, which Douglas credits for her wonderful attitude and good health. Mimi once told Douglas that if she was younger, she would want to marry him!  She sure is a pistol.

Happy Hundredth, Mimi.  And many many more!

 

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A Woman Who is Saving Thousands of Necks–Literally and Figuratively

Cathy at home with one of her four rescue dogs

Growing up in a beautiful little village about 20 miles SE of London, Cathy Kangas, now 55 years old, cared for three tortoises, one horse, dogs, and a ferret. “I had a little bit of a farm going right there at a young age,” said Cathy, whose lifelong passion for creatures led her to create the Cathy Kangas Foundation for Animals. “We ensure that every animal is protected and loved, particularly those in animal shelters.  Two to three million healthy dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States every year,” she explained.

“We hold all the power with animals, and how we use that power shows who we are. Nothing gets my hackles up more than someone who is deliberately cruel to them,”  Cathy said. Living with her husband and four rescue dogs in New Canaan, CT, she also shelters 12 rescue horses and a rescue donkey in a barn. Not surprisingly, she sits on the board of The Humane Society of the United States.

Free The Shelters, one of  Cathy’s foundation programs, is an international campaign to unite homeless shelter animals and families by paying for adoption fees.  “Shelters have to charge these fees to offset the costs associated with the animals’ medical and food bills. But many people will say, ‘Why spend $200 for a shelter pet when I can buy a pet for $250?’ By removing that obstacle, we give shelters the chance to promote free adoption weekends,” Cathy explained.  “The first weekend we did, a year ago in Tampa Bay, FL, found homes for over 200 animals. Some had been languishing there for over two years.” Only eight to 12 animals will be adopted at this shelter on a normal weekend, Cathy said.

Giving Homes To Thousands Of  Shelter Animals

Three shelters are selected every month to participate in the Free The Shelters program. “We go where the greatest needs are,” Cathy explained, such as to a shelter in a city that’s been hard hit by a hurricane. “We’ve found homes for over 6,000 shelter animals in the last year.”

Fortunately, Cathy can promote her foundation’s work on the shopping network HSN, which has been selling her skin care brand for women over 50, Prai Beauty,  since its debut  in 1999. After being immersed in the beauty industry as a long-time Revlon employee, Cathy was annoyed when the big beauty giants hired “16-year-old models” to promote their  wrinkle cremes and firming lotions. She wanted to create an affordable luxury line which focused on the concerns of “the forgotten woman.”

The collection of about 50 Prai products includes Platinum Firm & Lift Serum and Eye Creme,24K Rose Gold Wrinkle Repair Night Butter, and Radiant Precious Oil Drops. But it’s Prai serums, cremes and concentrates for the throat, neck and decolletage areas that most set it apart from the proliferation of anti-aging brands on the market. “What woman hasn’t glanced down as she’s aging and suddenly thought, ‘OMG all those crinkles have popped up out of nowhere,’” Cathy said. “It’s such a vulnerable delicate area of skin where you get the vertical lines when you wake up, the tree trunk lines around the neck, the double chin and turkey wattle. It’s the area that shows the first telltale signs of aging.”

Saving Our Necks Too

The Prai AGELESS Throat & Decolletage Creme is the company’s number one seller worldwide. “We sell one jar every 60 seconds around the world,” Cathy said. “The complex of ingredients make the creme feel like no other on planet earth. Press your fingers against it and it springs up and down like a trampoline when you’re bouncing on it,” she added. “It’s made with a plant-derived, wrinkle-correcting agent  from France, called Sepilift, that firms, tightens and restores elasticity to the skin by stimulating the concentration of collagen fibers,” Cathy explained. “I call this smoothing and moisturizing creme Spanx for your neck and throat because it scoops all that nasty, jiggly stuff back up to where it used to be.”

One of Prai’s stunning models over 50

Prai Beauty is certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny and Peta. “Leaping Bunny is the gold standard and is very difficult to get. We  feel very strongly about not testing on animals and we’re happy to make that higher standard,” Cathy stressed. Besides selling on HSN, Prai is available on QVC around the world and at all Marks and Spencer and Boots stores in the UK. “We use a 68-year-old model in our ads across the UK , so women can feel she’s just like them,” Cathy said. “When you get to be in your 50s, you’re successful, enjoying life, and doing things you want to do. You don’t want to be 20 again, but all the beauty ads for anti-aging products use young models. ‘Oh, that’s not me,’ you think.”   Prai also works with five models on its monthly HSN shows who are in their 50s through their 70s. “Our 75-year-old neck model is on every show. An 82-year-old applied to be a model, too,” Cathy noted.

Cathy originally wanted to be a barrister in England, but after working as a Revlon intern in the United States right out of college, she decided the law would be “way too boring.” So she accepted a permanent offer to work at the beauty giant in America, later became a citizen, and launched a successful career. Combining her love of animals with her love of beauty, Cathy donates a portion of each Prai Beauty sale to her animal rescue efforts. Now she’s saving thousands of cats and dogs, not to mention our necks!

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This is a “sponsored post.” Persona Nutrition compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers. All insights and expressed opinions are our own.—Geri Brin


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How Do I Love Thee?

Millions went around singing that “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing” in 1955, but how splendored is your love in 2019? The survey is completely anonymous, but it’s sure going to be fascinating to see the results.