Our Writers

boblujano[2]Bob Lujano, Editor

Before and after my disability I have always had a healthy active lifestyle. This has led to me being a very competitive sports athlete. I have been a wheelchair rugby athlete for 17 years. This includes a 7 year run on the US Rugby National team and in the US Paralympic program. This led to a spot on the 2002 World Championship Team, winning a silver medal and a spot on the 2004 Paralympic team, winning a Bronze medal. I also workout regularly and participate in various outdoor and recreational activities. However, my most joyful opportunities come from my public speaking job and my involvement in church activities.  I also enjoy reading, going to movies and the rare occasions of going dancing.

Kelly Bonner, Contributor

Kelly Bonner ( MA EP, ACSM-CIFT) is an Information Specialist for NCHPAD as well as a Fitness Specialist at Lakeshore Foundation where she has worked for the last 10 years. Originally from Miami Fl. she came to Alabama to play ball and get her undergraduate degree in Fitness and Health Promotion from Samford University. She started working at Lakeshore Foundation in 2000 and never left. A few years later she obtained her master’s degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in adapted sports. While working at Lakeshore she has helped with numerous activities ranging from adapted water skiing, rock climbing, aquatic classes,

Elizabeth Vander Kamp, Contributor

Elizabeth Vander Kamp began teaching fitness classes in 1999, after earning a White Belt in Nia, a mind-body-spirit fusion movement technique.  She now holds a Nia Brown Belt, is certified through the American Council on Exercise, the Arthritis Foundation, and is on the master teacher tract of Ai Chi (T’ai Chi in water).  Before journeying into the world of fitness, Elizabeth worked as a professional actress.  She wrote, performed, and toured the U.S., offering over 400 shows, of a one woman play about the world’s greatest athlete, Babe Didrikson Zaharias.  In 2003, Elizabeth returned to her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, and soon thereafter they had 2 daughters.  She works at Lakeshore Foundation and it was here that she met Dr. Bloom.  Elizabeth’s passion for people, art, and movement have united in the work she and Dr. Bloom do together.  She thinks it’s pretty funny that one of her greatest acting defects – overacting – has become one of her most useful teaching tools.

Kerry Wiley, Contributor

010 - Copy (959x1280) (2)Kerry Wiley earned a Masters of Social Work from the State University of New York at Albany and has worked in the disability field in research and program development for 15 years. She has wanted to share her journey to walk device free to demonstrate that there are a variety of non conventional ways to conquer obstacles. Through research and non-traditional partnerships, she is working toward a long desired goal.

 

Demi Eckhoff , Contributor

demipixDemi Eckhoff, 20, is from Birmingham, Alabama and a full time junior at a local University.  She is majoring in nutrition and dietetics.  Demi was born with a congenital form of muscular dystrophy, MD. Her impairment due to muscular dystrophy is significant and leaves her with only independent movement of her eyes, mouth and a few fingers. Demi has used a motorized wheelchair since 18 months old and utilizes several other assistive devices. Demi lives on campus during the week with full time attendant care.  Demi enjoys cooking, arts and crafts, hanging out with friends and checking out the new dives in town.

Katelyn Roberts, Contributor

Online Marketing Associate for MeasuredSEM, LLC. BS Entrepreneurship and Marketing – Lasell College MS Management -Lasell College Katelyn Roberts is a versatile blogger for a many websites, including Backyard Ocean Above Ground Pools. Her focus is on trends and fads in categories such as but not limited to: family fun, internet security, entertainment, and all natural solutions. As a young professional, Katelyn likes to stay up to date on the latest and greatest advances in the technological world.

cmpicChris Miller, Contributor 

The director of interactive marketing for The Mobility Resource, an online adaptive driving marketplace. His team helps people with disabilities regain driving freedom through vocational rehab, veteran affairs and several non-profit and private organizations. An avid fitness nut, his exercise philosophy focuses on a complex circuit including CrossFit, yoga, calisthenics, bodybuilding fundamentals and all-natural nutrition. He’s worked with the Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers, Reebok, ESPN and the CrossFit Games. In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his daughter while they dish up amazing meals for friends and family. A graduate of The University of Akron, he holds a B.A. in public relations. Follow him on twitter @SweetMobility.

Jared Rehm, Contributor 

blogimage (2)He is pursuing his doctorate in biomechanics at Auburn University. He is the head coach and a player for the university’s wheelchair basketball team. Jared has participated in wheelchair sports for 14 years. With his degree, he hopes to conduct research on the optimization of wheelchair sports. Jared enjoys wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, and watching college football. He is also excited about his upcoming wedding in August 2013.

Josh Pate, Contributor

He is an assistant professor at James Madison University in sport and recreation management. His research expertise is in disability sport with an emphasis on inclusion and Paralympic sport. Pate also conducts research in the area of intercollegiate athletics and sport communication. Pate has written for Ability Magazine since 2004, covering topics such as the Paralympic Movement, sport for Wounded Warriors, adaptive sport, and accessible travel.

 

Susan Hawkins, Contributor
BA Journalism/Georgia State University
I’ve been a writer on a variety of subjects for decades. My extensive experience with family and friends dealing with mobility issues goes back to college, when one of my “little sisters” in my sorority was a paraplegic as a result of polio.  (She taught me how to use the hand controls on her car, and we took a trip to New York City!) Today, as the content writer and video producer for AMS Vans, Inc., an online, local and national dealer of high-quality, affordable wheelchair accessible vans, I’m learning more every day about wheelchair accessibility, and I feel privileged to share what I learn with this growing community. At home, I spend time with my husband and our two German shepherds. I’m a huge Atlanta Braves fan, and I especially enjoy reading, live theater, autumn, and pushing the “adventure” envelope.

 

Shelly Duell, Contributor

She has been writing ever since she was capable of holding a crayon, spelling words to the best of her knowledge. Today, writing is not only her hobby but part of her career. Shelly blogs regularly for TryMunity, an online social network community created by survivors for survivors of traumatic life experiences. The site (TryMunity.com) connects people with others facing the same circumstances and provides a forum where they can share their experiences, give hope for positive recoveries, provide advice, share treatment experience and give prayers for others’ rehabilitation. Shelly understands on a first hand basis the daily difficulties one must endure when something traumatic happens to one’s health. Her grandmother who helped raise her, had developed a chronic case of Multiple sclerosis (“MS”) before Shelly was born. Having been one of the primary people who raised her, this helped Shelly to understand the true meanings of strength, patience and appreciation.

Katie Henley

PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham

MS Wake Forest University in Health and Exercise Science

BA Gettysburg College in Health Sciences

Katie is originally from New Hampshire, where she grew up playing soccer, running, skiing, snowshoeing, and chasing wildlife. This love of physical activity encouraged her to pursue degrees in exercise science, first at Gettysburg College, where she played soccer, and then at Wake Forest University. In 2008, a fall from a ladder left her father a C3/C4 quadriplegic. It is his journey that inspired her to direct her passion for exercise towards improving the lives of people with disabilities. In September of 2012, God led her to Birmingham, AL to begin working for the UAB/Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative and pursue a research degree. Her favorite activities include adventures of all sorts, reading, creating high-intensity workouts, and backpacking with her husband, Mark, who works for Auburn University Campus Recreation.

Julia Venable

Currently completing: MA University of Alabama at Birmingham in Counselor Education

BA University of South Carolina in Sociology/Business Administration MinorGrowing up I was always active due to the healthy role models in my family.  I played many sports, but finally narrowed it down in high school to volleyball (freshman year), soccer (sophomore year), and basketball (all four years).  Basketball will always be my clear favorite as I began playing AAU travel basketball in fifth grade.  In college, I decided to stick with the intramurals (my favorite was dodge ball)!  Currently I am serving in AmeriCorps as a Healthy Relationships Instructor providing preventive education in middle and high schools.  I firmly believe that health transcends further than our physical care.  In September, I will be starting a second term of AmeriCorps and splitting my time between two local non-profits.  One organization is Girls on the Run, an organization that inspires young girls to be confident and healthy through an experience-based curriculum and exercise!  My favorite workouts include hiking, yoga, walking my dog, and playing basketball.  When I have more free time I enjoy swimming laps!

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Kerri Vanderbom

PhD-Oregon State University, Movement Studies in Disability
M.S.-Chico State, Kinesiology
B.S.- Chico State, Therapeutic Recreation
I am very passionate about sports and recreation for individuals with disabilities, as I have experienced the benefits from participating.  I like to partake in a variety of activities including spin class, playing basketball, and most recently I discovered kayaking– and love it!  I was a competitive water skier for 15 years, and competed on four U.S. Water Ski teams. In 2003 I earned the women’s overall gold medal at the world championship.  Other hobbies include cooking, traveling, and hanging out with family and friends.

Allison Hoit, Contributor 

She is an Information Specialist for the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD).  She obtained her Master’s degree in Community Health Education from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, and also attended Auburn University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.  Her work and passion is to promote inclusive healthy communities for all of the five sectors to include community, institutions/organizations, healthcare, schools, and worksites.  Leading by example, Allison is an advocate for NCHPAD’s mission by participating in regular physical activity such as running, strength training, and yoga along with consuming a healthy diet.  Her motivators are the impact that health education and promotion can make, and how inclusion will create a framework for a healthier America.

 

thCAHU3DZEMary Allison Cook, Contributor

She was introduced to the world of adaptive sports at the age of four and was immediately hooked. She grew up playing every sport imaginable but found her true passion on the hardwood. Milford’s dedication and passion for wheelchair basketball earned her a scholarship to The University of Alabama, a spot on the U.S. women’s team, and ultimately a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. Now Milford’s journey has come full circle as she works at Lakeshore Foundation as a recreation specialist, organizing and implementing recreation programs for youth and coaching wheelchair basketball.

Christy Weatherspoon, Contributor 

She is a writer and health care professional based in Tampa bay area, Florida. She has been working in the medical industry for 15 years and enjoys being able to give comfort and care to disabled patients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family while camping or any outdoor activities. She recommends <a href=”http://www.topmobility.com/”>pride mobility scooters</a> and <a href=”http://www.topmobility.com/jazzy-br195c2.htm”>jazzy power chairs</a> as they help transform lives of physically challenged seniors and people with disability.

meggsMegan Mindel

Sports have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I did the typical girl sports like dance and gymnastics when I was little. Then at age eight I discovered soccer and that has been my sport ever since.  When I was 16 I accidentally stumbled upon two of my passions in life, coaching and adapted sports, when a friend of mine told me about a program her little brother participated in called TOP Soccer. I took a break from coaching when I moved to Birmingham in 2008 to start my freshmen year at Samford University.  I quickly realized how much I needed coaching in my life so I started again with a recreational team in Vestavia Hills. I took a class in the fall of 2010 that allowed me to volunteer at Lakeshore, and I never looked back.  I have been blessed during my last three years at Lakeshore to meet amazing athletes, service men and women, members, and co-workers.  I graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in Sport Administration and am currently working on my Master’s in Sport Management. I am a Recreation Specialist and am starting my third season as a head coach of Lakeshore’s Power Soccer team.

 

MegrowMeagan Rowe

Meagan is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She completed her undergraduate degree in May of 2013 at the University of South Alabama.  Shortly after completing her degree, she began working in Birmingham, AL at Lakeshore Foundation. Originally from Mobile, AL, Meagan has always enjoyed sports and the outdoors, anything from basketball, kayaking, and even some rugby. At Lakeshore Foundation, Meagan works with the adult and youth recreation programs.

 

 

 

David Novak, Contributordanov

He is an internationally recognized syndicated columnist and Online/Offline Marketing Expert. Born in Evansville, IN, David attended Depauw University in Greencastle, IN, where he double-majored in English and Economics. Mr. Novak went on to obtain his Masters in Business at St. Francis College in Ft. Wayne IN.  A renowned expert in consumer electronics and information technology, David’s nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY appears in over 145 newspapers around the world each week, where David enjoys over 3 million in readership. David also writes for many major publications on various topics that run gamut, including Health, Fitness, Wellness, Travel, Real Estate, Lifestyle, Current Events and Non-fiction. David’s Articles have been featured in: Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, Info-World, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. David’s radio appearances include: The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey Radio Show. Mr. Novak’s TV exposure has been a featured expert on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show.

linmcLindsey McMahon

I have always been an enthusiast when it comes to health and taking care of the body. I believe that true happiness can be partially achieved from exercising both the brain and the body and in my free time I try to exercise, travel, and play as much as possible. When I was 18 years old, I broke my leg from roller skating and since then I have also become interested in the topic of disabilities. Although it was not a very serious injury, I had a lot of time to do research on health and disabilities and came across some really interesting information. Since starting to learn more about health not only for study purposes but as a hobby, I have gained a lot of information on the subject. I would be interested in sharing what I have learned with you.

 

 

Joan Steward

Joan Steward has been writing about latest trends in senior living and senior health. Check out his wordpress blog to read his articles on senior healh, alzhemizer’s care, dementia and assisted living https://seniorlivingfacilities.wordpress.com/

Angela Prickette, Contributor

Angela Prickette is a recent college graduate. She works for herself as a freelance writer and photographer. Her favorite activities include, skiing, rock climbing, and personal fitness.

Katie Brind’Amour, Contributor

Katie Brind’Amour, MS, is a Certified Health Education Specialist who enjoys writing about nutrition, mental health, pregnancy, fitness, and wellness. She is chipping away at her PhD in Health Services Management and Policy and eagerly awaiting a life free of homework and classes. Katie is ever in search of the perfect chocolate and wine pairing, and enjoys blogging about friendship and life in the slow lane during her free time.

Susan Silverman, Contributor

She is PhD Candidate in Rehabilitation Science at University of Alabama at Birmingham MS Movement Studies in Disability at Oregon State University BS Athletic Training at Creighton University   I am Susan Silverman. I dislike being still so naturally I love to get out and explore, try new things and play sports! I was a collegiate rower for the Creighton Bluejays and continue to enjoy the sport of rowing. I also enjoy hiking, water skiing and occasionally I get to hit the court with the Lakeshore Demolition wheelchair rugby team. I am passionate about adapted shorts and sports medicine for athletes with disabilities, particularly wheelchair athletes with shoulder pain. I spend a lot of my time studying and doing research related activities, however I also enjoy playing music, cooking, crafting, spending time with friends and family and being involved at my church. I believe that there should be attractive and accessible opportunities for meaningful physical activity for all people regardless of ability or disability.

Suzanne Gray, Contributor 

Suzanne’s four sons were the inspiration to re-energize, teach, and share “hands-on” experiences in her career devoted to fitness and well being.  Staying active in the community and the dream of starting a fitness company that specialized in helping adults and youth with special needs became a reality. Right Fit Sport Fitness Wellness L.L.C. was founded in 2004 and is an all inclusive fitness facility offering fitness programs to all populations. Suzanne hopes that her passion is contagious and invites you to join her on this journey to bring the benefits of fitness and disability together.Be sure to check out Suzanne’s book, “101 Games and Activities for Youth with Autism”, and her DVD “Raising the Bar: Exercises for Youth and Adults with Autism”, for more information on fitness for individual with Autism.   To learn more about Suzanne Gray log on to http://www.right-fit.com/.

Heather Pennington, Contributor

I have been in the Adapted Sport and Recreation/Fitness field for about 15 years.  I worked providing workouts for individuals and athletes with disabilities at the recreation as well as elite Paralympic level for the Lakeshore Foundation and I was so blessed to have done so.  I currently am very excited to say that I now teach Exercise Science and PE students about the Endless CapABILITIES of individuals with disabilities at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO.  My husband is also in the field as a Recreational Therapist and a completely independent C6-C7 Quadriplegic.  Our hope and prayer is that people would realize the potential and possibility for a FULL LIFE for those that are affected by Chronic Disease and Disability.  In our down time, we enjoy spending time with family and serving our awesome God in our church family.  We have also been renovating our house and growing produce on it’s land.  Enjoy LIFE to it’s ENDLESS POTENTIAL!  Email me with any additional questions: hmp@bellsouth.net

Donna Shannon, Contributor

She is a writer and health care professional based in New York. She has been working in the medical industry for more than 8 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family while camping or any outdoor activities. She often writes about <a href=”http://ehealthmd.com/content/what-causes-high-blood-pressure”>what causes high blood pressure</a> which mainly causes due to hypertension at <a href=”http://ehealthmd.com/”>eHealthMD</a>.

Luke Hanson, Contributor

I love to build. As a toddler, I was a virtuoso with a bucket of Legos. All throughout my teens, I built more ropes courses than I can count. And now, as a twenty-something, I’m part of an amazing team at NCHPAD working to build a fully inclusive society for all of us to enjoy. When not fighting for a better future, some of my hobbies include hacking away on the golf courses, experimenting in the kitchen, and getting lost in a good story in a book or a movie theater.

Katy Reeve, Contributor

Katy is a writer, blogger and fitness expert. Ask her anything about health and fitness and she would love to share some valuable information. Refer to more of her articles for help on fitness, elite sports and a healthy lifestyle. She is an avid blogger who is deeply motivated by exercises and modern fitness tools to stay in shape. Reading through her articles is an exhilarating experience for fitness geeks.

Ashley Williamson, Contributor

“I’m a freelance blogger who loves to write about anything and everything that excites me at a given moment. My past and current interests include travel, tech, and lifestyle blogging, and I love seeing the ways in which different topics and ideas can intersect. I love health blogging, and am an avid yoga fan. I enjoy anything exercise-related, actually, and will take any opportunity to go for a nice jog. My other passions include reading and getting involved in my community—I particularly enjoy assisting in the lives of older people and have learned a great deal from the my time spent with them.”

Mak7Daniel “Mak” Nong, Contributor

I was born “lucky”. I was born with not only one leg, but with the motivation and drive to be successful. I was exposed to sports at the tender age of five and from there the rest is history. Throughout the past 15 years I have participated in various sports such as wheelchair tennis,hockey, and football. Where I excel most is in wheelchair basketball. Through my academic prowess and passion for basketball I earned a full athletic scholarship to play wheelchair basketball for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am extremely fortunate to have basketball as my vehicle on my road to a degree in recreation, sports, and tourism and possibly a master’s degree in kinesiology. Since September of 2013, I have been interning at the Lakeshore Foundation and have enjoyed the experience of interacting with many different amazing people and learning about their adaptations in life.

Alice Mason, Contributor

Alice Mason, a blogger and a Writer is keen to share some new research on the Health related issues to let the readers know the way to protect themselves before they face that issues.

Donna Spencer, Contributor

She is a freelance writer and blogger, who loves to write an article on various topic on Health.

Kyle Albert, Contributor

Has an undergraduate degree in Business Technology Management from the University of Greenwich. Currently finishing master’s thesis about the implications of distance and digital learning on learners across all age demographics.
He has been actively involved in ed-tech drives in London since 2011. Works as a researcher and writer specializing in the integration between technology and education. He believes that mobile technology is a significant tool in education, also enthusiastic about various trends in the industry, including Assistive Technology, MOOCs, O2’s The Learn and emerging Web 2.0 resources including augmented reality technologies. He desires to travel the world as a volunteer technology educator to kids as my greatest achievement so far. “I plan to initiate ‘Teach for Tomorrow’, a collective effort from peers in the industry to spread ed-tech across the world, in the nearest future.”

Chris Meloni

Chris is an expert adviser and a medical consultant in an Insurance company. Besides his job he really likes to share his views on Pain Management.

auqaticblog1Sheila Cook

Lakeshore Foundation Aquatic Staff Specialist who has worked with people with various disabilities. She has provided many Aquatic Services geared to chronic illness and physical disability. She is also a fan of the outdoors and an avid fan of grounding.

 

 

 

 

 ashleyladyAshley Williams

Always curious, Ashley Hardway is constantly learning and passionate about sharing what she learns with others. Based in the Houston, Texas office of Morningside Nannies, she loves to help families grow stronger, help their environments and communities, and keep moving forward!

 

 

 Bency George

Bency George is professional article writer who regularly writes content based on the health concerns and how to deal with them. Writing is his passion and he has also rather turned it successfully into long-term secondary source.

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