Tonawanda News

Features

April 7, 2014

Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

Two Niagara County residents among first group of volunteer honorees

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

That part of Maxian’s fight culminated when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in June that human genes could not be patented — but her fight to educate and help women about the disease continues.

“She went from patient to advocate and she’s done things on the national level,” Bartsch said. “To take something that is personally a devastating diagnosis and turn it into something impacting women throughout the country. Talk about lemonade from lemons. Definitely an amazing woman.”

Just recently, Maxian said, she gathered with other advocate leaders in Washington D.C. while the Supreme Court heard arguments in challenges to part of the Affordable Care Act that requires many employers provide insurance coverage for contraceptives. (Studies have found that women who take oral contraceptives for five or more years cut their risk of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 50 percent.)

“Yesterday, I stood on the steps of the Supreme Court with other women advocates ... and the Supreme Court is a very, very special place for me,” she said. “You don’t often get a unanimous decision from the Supreme Court. It’s surprising how far you can be taken when you begin advocacy work.”

Maxian also spent time with federal legislators talking about funding of ovarian cancer research and awareness. She was just elected to a three-year-term on the National Institute of Health gynecological steering committee, one of two patient advocates.

She’s been cancer-free since “very aggressive surgery” after her cancer reoccurred last year, but her fight to advocate for fellow patients and to make other women aware of the symptoms and dangers of ovarian cancer continues.

“It’s huge. I’m very humbled to be here. I’m very humbled to do this work. I take it very seriously ... because I know I stand on the shoulders of women who’ve gone before me,” Maxian said while sitting at her desk, surrounded by mass cards and obituaries and pictures of those women. “We really are effecting some change. We’ve seen an increase of federal funding, we’ve seen an increase in awareness. But we’re not there yet. Until everyone knows as much about their gynecological health as they should know ... our work isn’t done.”

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Features
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    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

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    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

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    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

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    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

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     Following a trend of public, outdoor exercise programs, a number of local venues are offering their own free events aiming to get residents outside and active during the summer.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE muscoreils 1 071314.jpg Beyond the bakery

    For years, Muscoreil’s Fine Desserts & Gourmet Cakes has been a go-to location for desserts and wedding and occasion cakes in Western New York.

    This summer, even as the bakery deals with the rush of wedding season, changes at its associated bistro aim to create a revitalized focus on that side of the business, as well.

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    The options when you escort your child to a birthday party are endless, really. Everywhere you turn, there’s another thrill to uncover.

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