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January-February 2020

Features

Parenting through Grief

A week after my grandmother passed away, a friend asked if my children were doing okay. “I’m really not sure,” I told her. “I don’t even  know  how I’m doing.” When we first learned of my grandmother’s sudden but peaceful death, my 8-year-old Evan cried his heart out. Then he…

Life-Saving Work of UNOS in Richmond

Charlotte Cavanagh’s parents were thrilled when their daughter was born. She was the couple’s first child, and everything about the delivery and their new baby seemed typical. But just two days after her parents brought Charlotte home, she wouldn’t eat and became lethargic. “My mother-in-law, who had been a nurse…

Big Science Win for Families with Cystic Fibrosis

Shortly after 15-year-old Anna Thompson was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a newborn, she had to spend thirty minutes three times a day participating in what is known as chest physical therapy. For the first years, her parents had to beat on her chest and back to loosen up the…

Disney’s New World of Star Wars

Resistance! Ignite the spark! Light the fire! Those are the orders for fighting the First Order that kicked off my family’s journey into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Okay, so I admit I haven’t seen all the Star Wars films, but I do have a special place…

Columns

Help Your Kids Not Vape

“How can someone so smart be so damn stupid?”   My mother hugged me tightly and didn’t let go. When the hug lingered longer than usual, I knew she had picked up the smell of cigarettes in my hair.  I had just arrived home for winter break of my junior year…

“It’s okay to ask for help.”

My husband and I are the proud parents of two young women. Our younger daughter is eighteen and has multiple disabilities. Parenting any child is not for the faint of heart and can be simultaneously exhilarating, exhausting, exciting, and terrifying. Parenting a child with a disability takes all those highs…

Dad Habits

“Whatcha eating dad?” My daughter has spotted the spoon on the counter – the only evidence of the mint chocolate chip ice cream I have just shoveled into my mouth.  ”Just looking,” I fib, allowing the shared fiction to continue. There’s a place in our kitchen where I eat my…

Well Wishes for a New Year!

Welcome to a shiny new decade, rife with possibilities! And welcome to RFM’s annual health and wellness double issue, packed with inspiration for the new year. This time of year is packed with advice, it seems. Giving it. Receiving it. Searching for it. Looking for words of wisdom to help…

Departments

Hospital Born in a Hotel

One hundred years after Richmond’s founding, two Virginia doctors organized the first medical school here. They selected Richmond because of its large population of African Americans, both enslaved and free. At a time when there was no legal way to acquire bodies for study, cemeteries where black bodies were buried were…

Sweet Dreams or Worst Nightmare?

Getting your baby to sleep can be a challenge for the modern multi-tasking parent. After working extra hours or taking care of never-ending household chores, laying your baby down to sleep can feel like a triumphant end to a long day. However, other than natural causes, sleep-related death continues to…

Break Free From Depression

Depression makes you feel like the whole world is on your shoulders, dragging you down. Most days, it feels like gravity gets the best of you. All you want to do is lay down. Sleep. Escape. Depression makes you feel powerless, but there is hope. You can break free from the grasp…

Improving Access to Healthcare

As parents, our natural instinct is to protect our children and keep them healthy, safe, and happy. We will do almost anything to accomplish that goal. Parents and family members of children with rare diseases and chronic illnesses face even more challenges caring for their loved ones. Determining how to…

Can You Really Buy Time?

Many families have two working parents these days. This can lead to a serious time-crunch for most people who want both happy families and busy careers. When so many people respond to the question, “How are you?” with “Busy!” – you might think they would be inclined to find a…

6 Big Recycling Mistakes

What’s the big deal about contaminants in your recycling? If the item has the recycling symbol, isn’t it recyclable? Are plastic bags really a problem? What about batteries? Shredded paper? Metal caps and lids? Aluminum foil? The list of questions about recycling goes on and on. First, thank you for…

Stay on Top of Scams and Fraud

Each year in the United States, consumers and businesses lose billions of dollars to fraud and scams. According to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker data, the number of cases of fraud reported continues to climb.   From online romance and puppy purchase scams to home improvement schemes and identity…

When Your Baby is a Biter

My 2-year-old son is biting other toddlers at our childcare center and I don’t know where to start. Do you have recommendations to stop this behavior?     Ouch! This hurts on many levels, doesn’t it? Thoughts swirl in our heads: Why did he bite? Is the other child hurt?…

Healthy New Year for Pets

During the holiday season, many of us found ourselves loosening our belts and avoiding thoughts of the scale as we enjoyed delicious meals with family and friends. As the new year begins, we often resolve to adopt healthier habits. While we head to the gym and make these positive lifestyle…

Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

Shhhhh! is a sound rarely heard at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. Oohs, aahs, and squeals of laughter are more like it at the museum that encourages guests of all ages to explore history through touch-screen exhibitions, interactive games, docent storytelling, and a quiz that’s full…

Not Your Grandbaby’s Vaccinations

Vaccines are not just for children. There are vaccinations for adults that protect against several preventable diseases, including influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (also known as whooping cough), human papilloma virus (HPV), shingles, and pneumococcal disease. For your health and the health of the people around you, it’s important to stay…

Savor the Science of Eating Bugs

At the start of the new year when people consider changing their eating habits, they are probably thinking about subtracting elements – like carbs, sugar, and processed foods – instead of adding protein sources. But there is some interesting science to show that incorporating insects into your diet could have…

Prepping Your Child for Surgery

A little preparation and extra comfort go a long way for a child facing surgery. From the weeks leading up to surgery to the no-food directive the night before and a special send-off when you leave your child’s side, there are ways you can support her and ease the stress…

4 Vegetarian Show Stoppers

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole 1 cup uncooked quinoa2 cups water or low sodium broth (for cooking quinoa) 4 cups fresh broccoli florets 2 tablespoons butter 1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onion 6 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons oat flour (all-purpose will work too) 1 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)…

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