Mary Coram said she has “been there, done that” and is “waiting for my T-shirt” as she explained her passion for extolling the ageless adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
A nurse coordinator and breast care educator at Total Imaging on Parsons Avenue in Brandon, Coram’s table was one of more than 60 exhibitor stations in operation at the Greater Brandon Chamber of CommerceHealth Fair at the Campo Family YMCA in Valrico on March 5.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in November, operated on in December, and awaiting a victory T-shirt from her doctor, Coram speaks passionately about early detection — which she said was imperative in her case — and the need to treat the body like a machine.
“There are a lot of women who don’t know how to do a breast exam and a lot of them don’t get the mammograms,” Coram said. “Over the past three years we’ve seen more cases of women being diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30’s. My motto for this year is, ‘Spring Into Action.’ Start taking care of your yourself, get empowered with your life, make sure you get exercise and eat good foods.”
Coram is not shy about using an analaogy.
“Treat your body like it’s your car,” she said. “Make sure you have the fuel to run it, the nutrition its different parts need, and when you start seeing dings or dents, or you notice your body looks a little weary and doesn’t have that same spirit, and especially if there’s something that doesn’t sound right or feel right, take it to the shop. Get a checkup.”
The health fair, billed as an exhibit based on “Future Trends in Health Care,” featured 68 services and businesses, mostly related to health but also to other community offerings, such as transportation, education and banking.
Scott Robinson said it was his fourth year at the fair and that it has been four years since he has been in business with A Touch of Wellness, a massage therapy and wellness clinic.
“Most people don’t realize how rich Brandon is in the health services that are available,” Robinson said. “Many of the services are free, including health screenings, and you have to take advantage of them.”
Robinson said the fair also provided an opportunity for health-care professionals to network among themselves with people who share a similar passion.
In his line of work, he said, “compassion, for sure, (is imperative), truly caring is vital.” The fair, he added, “is mostly about relationship building, which is important in every business.”
Kali “Kinetic” Crum is one of those exhibitors that is a welcome delight for children and lovers of science. “A lot of people are not even aware of a lot the things available in their own community,” said Crum, of Mad Science of Tampa Bay, an education business that provides after-school programming that focuses on science and fun. “This is good because it makes people aware of what’s around them.”
Terri Cecchini, of Hawthorne Village Retirement Community, agrees. Hawthorne offers all levels of housing and care for retirees and senior citizens, including independent, assisted living, skilled nursing and outpatient rehabilitation, at its facilities at 851 West Lumsden Road in Brandon.
“It’s good to get the word out about our facility and also interact with the other vendors,” she said. “We’re non-profit, we have a very stable workforce and we are a very caring facility.
Cecchini said the fair gives an opportunity to talk to people about their issues and concerns as well as to share business cards and details about services.
“Sometimes people need 24-hour care and if you can’t turn yourself into three people you can’t do it alone,” Cecchini said about the decision to seek nursing care for a loved one.
Moreover, she added, no one outgrows the need for a sense of community.
“Especially for the independent and assisted-living, the socialization is very important because oftentimes people are alone,” Cecchini said. “And maybe even if they live with their adult children, the adult children often work and they have no one to talk to or play cards with. It affords a certain level of safety, too.”
EXHIBITORS LISTED IN THE 2011 HEALTH CARE FAIR PROGRAM:
- AAA Auto Club South
- A Hired Hand (in-home care)
- A Touch of Wellness
- Alafia Village Assisted Living
- American Business Women’s Association
- American Medical Research Associates
- Aparicio-Levy Adult Technical Center
- Arbonne International
- Area Agency on Aging (FL SMP)
- Avon (Amy Fleming)
- Bill’s Prescription Center
- Bloomingdale Radiology
- Brandon Chiropractic Associates
- Brandon Dermatology
- Brandon Health and Rehabilitation (Central Park)
- Brandon News & Tribune / The Tampa Tribune
- Brandon Outreach Clinic
- CharmVille Day Spa
- Cindy’s Bucket of Bubbles
- Conyers Covenant Spa & Fitness
- Coventry Health Care
- DCSI Inc. (security and sound systems)
- DirectBuy of Tampa Bay
- Drug Screen Solutions Inc.
- Everest University
- Family Medical Specialists
- Florida Medical Training Institute
- Focus on Females Education Foundation
- Fortis Institute
- Fred Astaire Dance Studio
- Frubob USA Inc.
- Hawthorne Village Retirement Community
- Hillsboro Bank
- Hope Chiropractic
- Insphere Insurance Solutions
- Interactive Education Academy
- Kotila Chiropractic
- Liberty National Insurance
- LifeCare of Brandon
- LifeLink Foundation
- Mad Science of Tampa Bay
- Mary Kay (Christine Cartaya)
- Mary Kay (Brein Huffman)
- Montefu Consulting Inc.
- MTO Cleaning Services
- Music Showcase
- Mutual of Omaha (Paulo Echer)
- Planet Smoothie
- Primrose School of Bloomingdale
- Ride-Away Handicap Equipment Corp.
- Roni Deutch Tax Center
- Sam’s Club
- Shakespeare Photography
- Suncoast Community Health Centers Inc.
- Tampa Pain Relief Center
- Thornton Chiropractic Center
- Traventours Events & Excursions
- Trump Network
- Turning Pointe of Tampa Bay
- Universal Health Care
- University Community Hospital
- Valrico Spine and Rehabilitation Center
- Wachovia (a Wells Fargo company)
- YMCA — Campo Family
- YouFit Brandon