July 23, 2014

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Looking at life through the eyes of cancer survival
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:30 PM


By JIM LANGHAM • Feature writer

When Paulding’s Krista Gonzales sat down to watch television with her husband on a July evening in 2011, little did she realize she was about to encounter an unanticipated experience that was going to change her world.

“I always put my hand on my chest when I am watching TV,” said Gonzales. “Something that night didn’t feel right. I asked my husband about it and he said it’s probably nothing but suggested I might see our doctor.”


The family doctor, Dr. Joseph Kuhn, in Payne, had the same response but suggested that she might get it checked out.


When Gonzales conferred with a doctor at the local hospital following some tests, she was totally shocked. She was informed that the biopsies had indicated cancer and that she needed to address the problem immediately.

“I wasn’t worried at all. In fact, I was so confident that nothing was wrong that I drove to the doctor alone,” observed Gonzales. “I didn’t know what to say when he gave me the report. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh!’ I didn’t hear a thing he said the rest of the time I was there.”

Because of the nature of the cancer, Gonzales decided to go to a doctor at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne with the thought of having a reconstruction surgery.

“I was stunned, once they got back their reports, things were worse than I thought,” said Gonzales. “There are two kinds of cancer in the breast and I had both of them.”

Gonzales then underwent a double mastectomy and had some lymph nodes removed from her right side. She also took chemotherapy in September of that year.

To add drama to the situation, Gonzales cracked a rib during that time period. A first cousin, who had also suffered from breast cancer, was concerned that the disease might have developed into bone cancer and insisted that she get it checked out. Fortunately under the circumstances, it was determined that the injured rib had occurred during a coughing spell.

These days, Gonzales notes that her innate sense of strength got her through the unexpected ordeal.

“I am a strong person anyway. This made me even stronger. I didn’t really stress over it,” said Gonzales. “I had great support. We have such an amazing family and network of friends. My husband (Charles) was such a help with the kids and house.

“My mom was phenomenal with the kids. Friends and family brought in food. I never realized what encouragement and support meant until this,” continued Gonzales.

These days, Gonzales has an entire different outlook on life. She has always been close to her family, but she won’t miss anything, even the smallest things, involving her children.

“I was not able to attend some football games while I was sick. That just broke my heart,” Gonzales said. “That was the hardest thing for me.”

Last year, Gonzales was involved in an event in Fort Wayne known as “Francine’s Friends,” an event in which she publicly made some comments about the illness at a fashion show at the Expo Center.

“This was something I would have never done, but the opportunity to speak out for cancer was worth it,” observed Gonzales.

Prior to the cancer incident, Gonzales hadn’t been involved with the local American Cancer Society Relay For Life. She will help lead the Survivor Lap on May 30 to open the two-day event. Now, as an honored survivor this year, the opportunity to be involved and to help anyone who has need in the area has become a passion.

“I see everything differently these days,” said Gonzales, who works at the Paulding Police Department. “It’s so amazing how the whole community comes together to raise such a phenomenal amount of money. I feel honored to be involved with this.”

For further information concerning the local Relay For Life this month, see the website at www.relayforlife.org/Paulding.


Tips for dealing with autism
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:29 PM


Feature writer

Third of three-part series dealing with issues of autism.

Cathy Ruiz, service coordinator with the Paulding County Family and Children First Council, recently summarized her feelings about stereotypes surrounding individuals with autism.

PCH announces Biggest Loser Challenge
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:29 PM

PAULDING – The Paulding County Hospital (PCH) Fitness Center decided to put out the challenge for biggest loser again in January. The program began on Jan. 6 with 25 people deciding to try to win a money prize. The people in the challenge collectively lost over 168 pounds in the 12 weeks of the challenge. An additional bonus this year were educational classes held for six weeks.

The big winner this time was Sis Stauffer, who lost 13.4 percent of her body weight. She works in the physical therapy department at Paulding County Hospital.

Chief Good Neighbor Day nets $18,000
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:27 PM

DEFIANCE - Chief Supermarket has held Good Neighbor Day each spring since 2009. This year’s event was held April 22. Chief donated a percentage of sales and proceeds from the Buck-A-Brat event held at each Chief location. Customer food and monetary donations and vendor support also contributed to the total. Altogether, $18,562 was donated to local food pantries.

Museum hosts tea and hat show PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 4:56 PM
From left are hat models Treanna Bidlack, Jacee Harwell and Stephanie Habern and historical society president Kim Sutton. Staff photo/Paulding County Progress

The John Paulding Historical Society hosted its first Tea & Hat Show on Saturday, May 10 at the museum in Paulding.

Museum volunteers beautifully decorated the dining area with fine china, fresh flowers, linen tablecloths and table favors for a lovely afternoon tea time. The table decorators included: Bargain Bin, Ethel Clark, Judy Wells, Mary Friend, Oakwood Arbor #759 (Gleaners Insurance Co.), Pam’s Prime Cut, Paulding County Area Foundation, Paulding County Carnegie Library, Paulding County Republican Women, Paulding County United Way, and Romaine Boundy.

The afternoon began with three young women – Jacee Harwell, Stephanie Habern and Treanna Bidlack – serving a luncheon of chicken salad on croissants, fresh vegetables and fruit, butter cookies, decadent petit fours, and bite-sized cheesecake cups. Each table had a “host” who tended to the hot water for the guests’ choice of teas.

After everyone was refreshed, Kim Sutton, JPHS president, introduced the three girls who then walked among the tables with their favorites of the collection of 500 vintage hats the museum owns dating back to the 1890s. They modeled a vast array of styles, including bucket, straw, pill box, juliette caps, and whimsies.

The tea and hat show was such a success, many attendees hope it becomes an annual tradition of the John Paulding Historical Society.

The museum’s next event is “Celebrating the Arts and Artists of Paulding County” exhibit from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 17. This exhibit will feature oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings. Admission is free.

Adopt a Dog: Heart PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 4:13 PM
Hello, my name is Heart!

Hello, my name is Heart because your heart will fill with love as soon as you meet me!

I am a Beagle mix and am still pretty young, probably between one and two years old. I am medium sized weighing about 40 pounds. I am the most sweet and loving girl in the world and all I want to do is be with you! I can be a little shy but show me some love and I will warm up to you right away. I am also so very beautiful, you can’t see here, but I have a very short tail... it’s super duper cute!

I get along well with other dogs and love to run and play! I would love a home with lots of treats and a warm bed to sleep in .... sleeping in bed with you would be just perfect! Will you take me home and love me forever?

For more information about me, please contact the Paulding County Dog Kennel at 419-399-3791.