I started the new year without diabetes.
What makes that remarkable is the fact that I had diabetes in 2012.
I literally walked into St. Luke's Hospital's Allentown campus Dec. 31, 2012, with diabetes and walked out on New Year's Day without the disease.
The reason for the overnight turnaround is metabolic surgery. Specifically, I had gastric bypass, which is a form of bariatric or weight loss surgery. It's important to note, however, that not all weight loss surgeries are metabolic surgeries.
Fundraisers abound for childhood cancer patients, teenagers who have been in car accidents and parents awaiting life-saving organ transplants.
And it is not just monetary donations that are offered. Babysitting services, home-cooked meals or transportation to doctors' appointments are other ways people pitch in to ease the burden and create a support system for the ill person and their family.
Animal cruelty, unfortunately, exists but a number of organizations are bringing the issue to the forefront and are available to assist when needed.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have seen the ASPCA commercials on television spotlighting abused animals and asking for your monetary assistance in continuing their work.
The familiar song by Sarah McLachlan, "In the Arms of the Angel," is just one of the songs on an ASPCA commercial; you know what the commercial is about if you hear that song playing.
Alcohol is still the preferred substance for teens, according to Jennifer Britland with the Center for Humanistic Change, in Bethlehem.
Britland led a drug-trend training program recently for middle and high school personnel from Lower Macungie, Easton, Northwestern, Whitehall, Parkland, Freedom and the High School for the Performing Arts along with Lehigh University students and health care individuals.
The purpose of the training was to alert attendees to the trending drugs, recognize the signs and symptoms and learn the strategies to assist those with these problems.
Dess Alt Yohr is now fer-bei; wos now aw-fongt is yoh gons nei.
Mier leava un mier wolda, fom Neia biss tzu'm Alta. Darrich feel Ongsht un Druvvel; darrich Tzittera un darrich Farricht. Darrich Grieg un grossa Schrecka; dess dutt de gons Welt be-decka.
The old year is gone; what is now beginning is all new.
We live through much fear and trouble; through nervousness and through fright; through war and through terror this covers the whole world and we leave this to the disposition of God from the new to the old.
New Year's resolutions come and go.
Often they are short-lived, typically lasting no longer than a few days to a few weeks.
What should each of us resolve to do this coming year? What should each of us hope for and wish for this new year?
Throughout our communities are family members and neighbors who may be in need or want.
There are those inside our own workplaces, schools, churches and communities who are hurting and in need of an ear, shoulder, hand and heart.
Many parents have been asking for guidance on how to talk to their children about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and understand the short and long term impact of the events.
Jodi S.W. Campbell, MS, KidsPeace leader of the Critical Incident Response Team, assistant director of Organizational Development and Training shared with The Press tips for parents to help children in the wake of a large scale tragedy such as this.
The last week-and-a-half since the Catasauqua Borough Council's vote to approve the devellopment agreement for the FL Smidth property has been a surreal whirlwind - I am still processing it all in my mind.
As the random bits of the last few months and years of hard work flash through my mind, the item that I keep coming back to is the way council members Mitzi Smith and Gene Schlegel voted.
The cool air of winter is now upon us and it is time to make sure we are all prepared for the season.
Most of us probably wish we could snuggle up by a fire with a good book but commutes and travel do not stop because the flurries begin to fall.
Do a routine winter check of your vehicle to ensure you are prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you.
Check your vehicle's fluid levels and be sure to fill up with a de-icing windshield wiper fluid. Make sure your wipers do not streak and think about installing new winter blades.
"You only live once," a friend who smoked and drank to excess since his teens would respond when I'd chide him about his body abuse.
Right. So since we get only one shot at life as we know it, shouldn't we try to make it last?
Today, as this friend lies terminally ill, far beyond medical repair, he has regrets.
But it's too late. His 62-year-old body has given up.
His sad situation reminds me of another friend who died at 50, the victim of lung cancer.