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A complete guide of resources for women, by women





    ONE ON ONE with THE HONORABLEDeAndrea G. Benjamin

    EXTREME MAKEOVERS We feature several makeovers in this issue from personal health to landscapes!

    KENNEDYBRANHAM Meet the young lady who is Surviving, Thriving, and Inspiring her community

  • www.midlandswoman.com


    EDITOR-IN-CHIEFLori Samples Duncan


    MEDIA REPRESENTATIVESTheresa AdamsCathy Williams


    CONTRIBUTING WRITERSKennieth AllenRuth Chapman

    Lori Samples DuncanTammy Ferris

    Adrienne FurgalBeth McCraryElaine SamplesMatthew Spain

    Mandy Summers

    COVER PHOTORobert Patrick Image Design

    DESIGN Melissa W. Morris


    Clark Berry PhotographyK. Dalton

    Robert Patrick Image DesignTammy Bevins Photography

    In this Issue


    Find us on facebook!

    16 Jessica Araya: A Breast Cancer Survivor

    Professional18 Spring Cleaning is NOT Just for Your Home!

    20 One on One with The Honorable DeAndrea G. Benjamin

    Extreme Makeovers22 From Tired to Trendy: Transforming a Space

    26 A Lexington County Womans Weight Loss Journey

    28 Backyard Makeovers

    30 What Is Your Calling?

    33 Endless Hot Water - A Makover MUST!

    Business & Web Directory35 Contact our advertisers

    Personal Note36 Legacy of Love

    From the Editor 2 Summer Has Arrived!

    Events 3 Whats Happening?

    Lets Talk 4 Community Spotlight: Marcus Williams, author of TheStopBullyingClub

    6 The House that DJJ Built

    7 Give Your Child a Brighter Future

    8 Sheer Xpectations: The Start of a Family Business

    Health & Wellness10 Gavins Journey

    Celebrating the Survivor in You!13 Learning to Trust a Different Plan

    15 Surviving, Thriving, and Inspiring the Community Around Her

    Midlands Woman MagazineWoman 2 Woman Publishing

    (803) 785-4475 602 Northwood RoadLexington, SC 29072

    Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume respon-sibility for errors or omissions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. 2012


    Dont miss our Makeovers!Starting on page 22 Summer isthe perfect time for makeovers!

  • Celebrating, Motivating and Educating Real Women

    elcome to the Summer issue of Midlands Woman! Isnt South Carolina a beautiful place to live? I am looking out the window of

    our newly madeover office, and I am so excited to see the flowers blooming and beautiful green foliage appearing where bare limbs recently could be seen. Thank you for choosing to spend some time with us in the pages of this issue. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.

    This issue is all about makeovers and mothers. I like to think that we can remake most things in our life. Obviously our choices have consequences and there are things we do that cannot be taken back, thank God for forgiveness!

    We also had our landscapers take on a backyard project that was simply neglected and needed a nice facelift. We are super excited to show you the new backyard. We have uploaded more exten-sive galleries online so you can see more photographs. Now with gas being so costly, families are spending more money on home improvements and having staycations this year! I kind of like the idea of spending my cruise money on something that is going to enhance my daily life.

    We also asked Lexington Medical Center for some help with our makeover issue and we have a weight loss story as well. While surgery isnt a viable option for everyone it is available at Lex-ington Medical Center and hundreds of patients have achieved success with the help of various surgical procedures.

    Of course we cannot forget our Survivor in this issue, Mrs. Jessica McCain a young Breast Cancer Survivor who is also a member of the Ta-tinis. Jessica is a true inspiration. Even when her diagnosis seemed iffy, she kept the faith. I was told that Jessica recently received news that she is now cancer free and also became Mrs. Roy Araya! Congratulations Jessica and Roy Araya!

    Your Friend,

    Lori Samples DuncanEditor-in-Chief


    2 Corinthians 5:17Behold, all things have become new.

    Summertimeis Here!

  • www.midlandswoman.com


    Whats HAPPENING?

    Happy Hour History Toursof Main StreetRecurring weekly on FridaysSC State HouseColumbias Main Street boasts architectural styles spanning three centuries that speak to the tastes, interests, and aspirations of persons living and working in South Carolinas second state capital. This guided tour offers insight into the history of Co-lumbia focusing on the progress seen through the life of its Main Street and downtown corridor. Partici-pants will stop at local historic sites and receive two free beverages and appetizers along the way.

    2012 Fight For Air ClimbJune 2Check-in at 8 a.m., Climb at 9 a.m.Capital Center, ColumbiaEach year, too many lives are lost to lung disease and this is your chance to climb, raise money and make an impact in their honor. Join us for one of the most unique events in Columbia. Hundreds of people will huff and puff their way up 479 steps in the Capitol Center. This is more than your same old 5K; this event takes people with stairs!

    Climbers will proceed in 30 second intervals. Climb-ers will be divided into one of three categories upon receiving their chip the morning of the event: those climbing to win (fastest), those climbing who expect to have a good time (faster), and those climbing to cross the finish line (fast). Start times are flexible, but passing is difficult in the narrow stairwell. Therefore it is best to start with others who are similar to you in finish time. You may run, you may walk, but please dont crawl!

    The registraion fee is $25.00 per person and the minimum fundraising requirement is $100.00 per person. Registration fee and minimum fundraising goal are required per person in order to participate in the event, whether you are an individual or on a team. Register at the website below.www.fightforairclimb.org

    Ribs & RenaissanceJune 2, 10 a.m. 8 p.m.Eau Claire Town CenterNorth Columbia will be a blast on June 2 and not because of the summer heat. The Ribs & Renaissance Festival is back and ready to spice up your summer festival season. Just like a secret barbeque sauce rec-ipe, the Eau Claire Community Council is blending food, fun and family entertainment to bring you an excellent community event. So bring your family and

    friends to Ribs & Renaissance Festival at the Eau Claire Town Center from 10 am 8 pm.www.ribsnrenaissance.com

    Sesame Street Live: Elmos Super Heroes!June 8, 7 p.m.; June 9, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; June 10, 2:30 p.m.Colonial Life ArenaCalling all super heroes! Super Grover has lost his su-per-ness! Never fear, the fabulous five Super Heroes are here featuring Elmo as Captain Fuzzy! Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Zoe and all their furry friends are on a quest to put the super back in Super Grover. Singing and dancing their way through fun lessons on healthy habits, they discover how exercise, rest, nutritious food and good hygiene can save Super Grover and turn your children into Super Heroes, too! Youll be feeling good when Elmos Super Heroes comes to town!www.coloniallifearena.com

    4th of July Celebration onLake MurrayJune 30, starting at 12:30 p.m.Lake MurrayThe event will begin at Bomb Island with the annual Boat Parade, which is sponsored by The Southern Patriot. Fireworks launching from both Spence and Dreher Islands will start at dusk, approximately 9:15 p.m. Tune into B106.7FM and Magic 98.5FM for the patriotic musical show that the fireworks are choreographed to!

    Please Call Today! www.consultativeinsurance.com

    I cant predict the future,but I promise Ill helpyou prepare for it.

    Dont just think youre covered. Let someonewho cares help make sure youre covered.

    Consultative Insurance Group, Inc.776 St Andrews RdColumbia, SC 29210(803) 772-6969

    2006 Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and AliatedCompanies. Nationwide Life Insurance Company. Home oce:Columbus, Ohio 43215-2220. Nationwide, the NationwideFramemark and On Your Side are federally registered servicemarks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Not availablein all states. www.midlandswoman.com

  • Celebrating, Motivating and Educating Real Women

    n our last issue, we featured an article titled An Era of Meanness, which talked about some of the effects bullying is having on our society. We want to educate adults on how cyber bullying is affecting our youth. I recently had

    an opportunity to visit a young man at West Ashley High School, who is making a difference by educating young readers about bullying.


    Marcus Williams is the perfect ex-ample of a student that has applied my philosophy of teaching. I inspire my students to think creatively and to look at problems in our community as an opportunity to make a differ-ence in the world we live today. Not only is he making a difference in our world today, but in our community! He has positively impacted many lo-cal elementary schools by giving The Stop Bullying Club presentations and conducting book readings. He also has reached a much larger audience by embracing the social network with a Facebook Fan page: www.facebook.com/TheStopBullyingClub

    Eva W. Rutiri, M.Ed(West Ashley High School)

    Marcus Williams interest in writing began in third grade when he wrote a series of short sto-ries, one of which was titled I saw Mommy Kiss-ing Santa Claus. He also wrote a supe