For your Health: Local wellness news and events

Local author Catherine Faherty will discuss her book “Autism … What Does it Mean to Me?” at Malaprop’s.

Local author Catherine Faherty discusses her book “Autism … What Does it Mean to Me?” at Malaprop’s

Local author Catherine Fagerty’s book “Asperger’s .. What Does It Mean To Me?” has been lauded as classic within the autism community. The second edition of the book, “Autism … What Does it Mean to Me?” adds valuable information and resources, particularly information geared toward adults with Autism. David Spicer, who was diagnosed with autism at age 46, wrote in a review, “This book offers another approach to furthering the understanding of autism … encouraging autistic children to learn more about themselves and guiding them through a journey of self-discovery. It is a valuable resource for awareness and self-esteem! Such a book could have been very helpful to me and my family when I was a child.”

Jade McWilliams, the book’s illustrator who has autism spectrum disorder, as well as Ray Hemachandra, whose son has autism, will join Faherty for a discussion and presentation at Malaprop’s on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. In addition to being a local therapist, teacher, trainer and speaker, Faherty also co-hosts Malaprop’s monthly Autism Book Club.

More information at


American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood and platelet donations

Even with thousands of people donating blood in July, the American Red Cross continues to seek eligible donors, claiming that blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in. According to a press release, the amount of donors increased by approximately 7.5 percent through the end of July, resulting in more than 11,800 additional donations beyond what was anticipated.

“The Red Cross is grateful for those who stepped up to give this lifesaving gift and reminds eligible donors that hospital patients are still counting on them to roll up a sleeve,” says Sharon Pitt, CEO for the Red Cross Carolinas Blood Service Region. “As summer draws to a close, you still have the chance to give hope to patients in need.” To avoid a blood shortage, the Red Cross especially needs platelet donors and those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood.

See full press release for more info on how you can donate.


Hope Chest for Women hosts ‘Here’s Hope’ fashion show and luncheon

“Eliminating financial barriers to enable women to continue treatment can simply equal providing gas money to get to appointments or medical bill assistance for some clients,” says Sara Shuster, executive director of the Hope Chest for Women. Since 2003, Hope Chest for Women has awarded over $200,000 in assistance and has helped an estimated 1,000 women suffering from breast or gynecological cancer in the Western North Carolina community.

The organization continues its efforts to raise money with its second annual fashion show and luncheon, Here’s Hope 2014. The event will feature cancer survivors modeling fall fashions, live entertainment, a silent auction and a raffle.

The event takes place Saturday, Sept. 13 at 10:30 a.m. at The Omni Grove Park Inn, Grand Vanderbilt Ballroom. $50. More info and tickets at


Clinical trial underway at Mission Health studies new way to treat persistent atrial fibrillation

A clinical trial being conducted at Mission Health on a special catheter could one day help people with a persistent heart condition that doesn’t respond to medication.

The trial, known as VICTORY-AF (which stands for Evaluation of Multielectrode Phased RF Technology in Persistent AF) treats patients with persistent or long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). According a press release, patients in the trial undergo an ablation procedure — a widely used procedure where a catheter is inserted into the heart through a vein in an attempt to disrupt the source of the irregular heartbeat.

“With these trials,” says trial leader Dr. Joseph Souza, “we can get our hands on something that is an improvement over traditional catheters used in this procedure. Trials can get us closer to solving common problems for which we have limited solutions.” In addition to leading the trial, Souza is the director of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory at Mission Hospital

In total, 40 centers throughout the United States, Canada and Europe will participate in the VICTORY-AF clinical trial. Mission Health has the second highest number of enrollments in the VICTORY-AF trial in the country.

Learn more at


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About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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