Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Taking care of the caregiver

People who work at Heritage Christian Services serve with their hearts – and that sometimes means the sense of pleasure and satisfaction makes it easy for employees to forget to care for themselves, said Barb Cacia, wellness coordinator at the Pieters Family Life Center.

That’s why she’s leading an employee wellness program called Healthy You.

“I’d like to remind them to keep the oil changed so they can continue to do what they are good at,” she said. “They don’t always know that they need to take good care of themselves.”

Already she’s planning to meet with direct support professionals at each home to talk about sleep management, keeping stress levels under control and other wellness goals. Intramural sports are starting up within the agency as are programs for those who share a love of biking, photography or running. Soon she’ll be coordinating a group that meets to talk about grieving and another group that meets to map out their goals.

“We’ll probably meet in the Garden CafĂ© at the Pieters Family Life Center and do a little journaling about goals,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what the goal is. How can we help you get there?”

Eventually, Cacia wants to add an after-work exercise group and sponsor family events – like a trip to the local zoo – once a month, just to get people in the habit of moving and enjoying life.

“We want to help people explore wellness,” she said. “Instead of slugging through life, let’s start living. As our attitudes change, better health will come.”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Q&A with Kelly Nash: Raising money for the Legacy Mile & 5K

Kelly Nash, a volunteer coordinator at Heritage Christian Services, is running for 24 hours on treadmill to raise money to support people with developmental disabilities. She starts at 9 a.m. Friday at the Pieters Family Life Center in Henrietta and proceeds go to the Heritage Christian Services Foundation.
1.       How did you get started in running?
I started running about 6 years ago after receiving a postcard in the mail from "Train to End Stroke.”  It was a program through the Stoke Association, I'd raise money and they'd train me to run a marathon.  I wanted to do this in my father's memory. He died after having a massive stroke.
2.       What has been your longest run to date? How long did that take?
My longest run to date is a 12 hour Ultra Marathon.  In the 12 hours I ran 63 miles.
3.       What do you rely on to keep you going?
During long runs I need to have plenty of liquids and carbs, usually gels and sport drinks.
Mentally I need to keep my mind moving and constantly remind myself of how far I've come and visualize how far I can go.
4.       Why is it important to you to challenge yourself?
I am a competitive person, mostly with myself.  It is during times of challenge that I grow, as a person and a runner, and I still feel relatively small ;)
5.       What advice do you have for others who want to try long distance running – or really anything in life that they are going to need to work at for a long time?
Running a marathon is similar to living a faithful life.  The training takes commitment, dedication, discipline and focus and it’s just plain hard at times.  But the reward of achieving a dream is priceless and well worth the effort!
Favorite verse:  Let us run the race before us and never give up! Hebrews 12:1

Kelly Nash has raced in 17 marathons, two ultras, 10 5Ks and two 10Ks for a total of 598.4 miles. In her training, she logged 1,150 miles in the first half of 2012.

Monday, July 2, 2012

24-hour run will benefit people with disabilities

An Irondequoit woman who has already run 17 marathons and two ultras will run for 24-hours straight starting at 9 a.m. Friday.
The woman, Kelly Nash, is running in support of the Heritage Christian Legacy Mile & 5K, which raises money to support people with developmental disabilities. By making a donation, people can rent the treadmill next to hers at the Pieters Family Life Center, 1025 Commons Way, Henrietta.
Events – like Zumba classes, movies and live music – are planned throughout the day.
To donate, visit and search for Kelly Nash.

About the Legacy Mile & 5K
The Heritage Christian Legacy Mile & 5K is an annual event which benefits the Heritage Christian Services Foundation, which works to ensure people with developmental disabilities will have compassionate care now and in the future.
  • Saturday, Aug. 25 at Monroe Community College, 1000 East Henrietta Road, Brighton
  • Registration 7 a.m.; 5K 8:30 a.m.; One-mile walk 10:15 a.m.
  • Event highlights: live music, clowns, face painting, bounce house, yard games and more! 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Register or donate at