Preparing For New Life

His smile says it all. Benjamin Tran is feeling better and ready to go home. After a weeks-long hospital stay, Tran recently spent time talking to bone marrow transplant social worker, Kim Baker with Integrated Care Management about his transition.

Tran is the first patient at IU Health to receive a groundbreaking gene therapy known as CAR-T cell. Specifically, the gene therapy uses custom-made cells to attack a patient’s own specific cancer. As part of the Indiana University’s Grand Challenge Precision Health Initiative, CAR-T cell therapy allows doctors to isolate T-lymphocyte cells – the body’s cells that fight infections and are active in immune response. According to Dr. Mervin C. Yoder, M.D., a leader in IU’s Precision Health Initiative, the T cells are then engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that targets a protein on a patient’s cancer cells, attaches to them and eventually kills them. Tran is under the care of Dr. Michael Robertson, who specializes in hematology/oncology. Indiana University Health is the only site in Indiana to administer the treatment.

“One of the things about my job is that I see patients before, during and after transplant so there’s a continuity of care and I get to see them progress,” said Baker. She has met several times with Tran, his wife Lien Phan and their 21-year-old son, Andrew during their stay at University Hospital. Her role has included connecting the family to cancer resources and education, and helping them navigate issues such as insurance and lodging.

“Mr. Tran is such a positive person and has such wonderful stories. It has been rewarding to watch him walk, talk, and smile again. His fortitude is inspiring,” said Baker.

The Trans who came to IU Health from Fort Wayne are originally from South Vietnam. Benjamin Tran worked as a machinist for nearly 20 years.

“I want to go home. I want to travel again around the United States and I want to get back to my life,” said Tran.

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email at T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.

​ LifeLine Paramedic Met Career By Accident

Kevin King initially thought he’d be an auto mechanic but when he took a phlebotomy class, he was hooked on a career in patient care.

He’s got the physical strength of a former high school wide receiver, but get Kevin King talking about his 20-year career with IU Health and there’s a tender side that speaks of his love for patient care.

Born in Chicago, King was raised by his aunt and uncle Robert and Thelma Beard on Indy’s eastside. He graduated from Arsenal Tech where he played football, baseball and basketball and ran track and field for the Titans. After high school he enlisted in the Army but was never really sure of his calling in life.

“I was young and thought of myself as a victim but my mind is in a different place now,” said King. He was one of 32 children raised by the Beards. “At one time we had up to 12 kids in the house, three or four to a bed. They did everything to raise us. Food was an adventure. Here’s what I learned from that situation – statistics show that staying out of poverty means graduating from high school and not having kids before marriage.”

After the Army he met his second wife Janna King. They’ve been married for 22 years and together have five adult daughters and three grandchildren.

“I wanted a better life for my children,” said King. He started his medical career as a phlebotomist and met someone on the job who encouraged him to become an EMT.  His first job with IU Health was with the Riley Hospital Critical Care Team. After the merge with LifeLine, he got his paramedic license and then began working ALS/BLS – a program that is expanding by leaps and bounds.

“I like the freedom that comes with working in emergency care. You aren’t stationary, you are always moving, and preparing for what’s next,” said King. He’s also learned over the years not to take anything for granted.

“I’m 51-years-old and I can see a 6-year-old boy with a terminal illness and have the family thank me for being there. There are kids who barely make it in this world,” said King. “I don’t let it get to me. I keep perspective and recognize that this job teaches me to be a better person.”

More about King:

  • He’s not the only medical professional in his family. His wife is a nurse; his daughter Rosie Carr and her husband Brian Carr are both surgery residents with IU Health; his sister Rhonda King works at Methodist Hospital; and his brother Chase King works at Riley Hospital.
  • What he’s most proud of: The success of his daughters. One daughter has a sociology degree, another is a lawyer and his youngest daughter, who is 21, attends Butler University on a piano scholarship.
  • Something that might surprise people to learn about King: He once played the lead role of Danny Zuko in his high school’s musical, “Grease.” He loves attending Broadway musicals. Other hobbies – he and his wife like to take hikes and identify different trees, he plays chess and rides a Honda VTX cruiser motorcycle.
  • What he’s known for on the job: His straightforward approach. “I won’t ask anyone to do something I won’t do.”
  • He and his wife live on nearly four acres with chickens and a donkey. At one time they also had a horse and a goat.

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email at
T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.

Sending Your Kids to Camp – Start Thinking Now About Next Year

Most of you may be well into camp season already. But if you
have a child who will be going off for the first time next year, it’s not too
early to start preparing now.

The year ahead.

 

Perhaps the first thing you can do to prepare your kids for sleep-away camp is to encourage sleepovers with extended family and close friends. This is good practice for battling homesickness and separation anxiety. Depending on their age, you may want to get your kids’ feet wet with day camp before they make the jump into sleep-away camp.

Another really valuable preparation is swimming lessons. Camp offers so many water activities, your child will be better able to participate if he or she is confident in the water.
 

Let your kids join the conversation.  

Include your children in the process of choosing the right camp. Look together online, talk to other parents, and even visit in person before you sign up.
 

Talk to your children about the reality of homesickness, and give them a plan for what to do when it occurs. That plan may include an expectation of three to four letters from home over the duration, or packing a reminder from home, such as a toy or stuffed animal.
 

As you talk to your kids, remember that camp is an opportunity to have new experiences. Encourage them to make new friends and try new things.
 

Packing.  

Another great way to ramp up your first-timers’ enthusiasm is to include them in creating their packing list and let them help pack. Teach them how to use sunscreen and insect repellent and how important it is to stay hydrated. Go over camp safety procedures more than once.
 

And while you’re packing that sunscreen, bug spray, and water bottle, put your kid’s name on everything. Most campers will be traveling with the same gear, so you don’t want your child to go without.
 

Pack two of anything that needs a day to dry out, like swim suits and beach towels.
 

Ask ahead of time about the camp’s safety policies, medical facilities, and how they handle emergencies or sickness. Make sure the camp staff is clear about any allergies or medications concerning your children.
 

Remember, it’s only for a week or two.

Leaving home for the first time can be hard on both the child and the parent, but camp can also be an essential component of childhood development. In an environment created just for them, children learn real life skills, develop self-esteem, and gain a sense of independence and community.
 

The American Camp Association’s website offers an abundance of information and guidance, including why ACA-Accreditation is important, how to choose a camp, suggested packing lists, and a parent blog. Visit www.acacamps.org.

____

Author of this article

 

Emma Hollingsworth, MD, specializes in women’s health and pediatrics. She is a guest columnist and located at IU Health Physicians Family Medicine, 8820 S. Meridian Street, Suite 120, in Indianapolis. She can be reached by calling the office at 317.865.6700.

Kidney Recipient: Pulls Out All The Stops To Find A Donor

When Chandra Davis needed a new kidney, she extended her search far and wide – even displaying stickers on the vehicles of family and friends. On May 25, she received a kidney transplant.

Donna Fields describes her youngest child, and only daughter as one of the “kindest most loving people you’d ever meet.”

As a former pediatric nurse, for 17 years, Chandra Davis was known to do whatever it took to make her patients comfortable. She graduated from Franklin Central and was attending IUPUI when she was diagnosed with strep throat. Under the care of IU Health nephrologist Dr. Tim E. Taber, Davis was eventually diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, an inflammation in the tiny kidney filters. She completed her associate’s degree at Marian University and went on to obtain her BSN from the University of Indianapolis.

The symptoms persisted – including back pain and blood in her urine. Twenty years after her initial diagnosis she returned to IU Health to meet with Dr. Taber again. This time – with her kidney function at only 15 percent – she learned that she either needed a new kidney or she would begin dialysis.

In April of 2016, Davis, who has been married to Scott for 20 years, and the mother of two teen-age sons – Kobe and Kaden – was listed for a kidney. She immediately began working with a network of supporters including her mom, dad, Larry Fields, brothers, Mark and Mike Amos and a host of friends, to locate a match. 

“It was a shock when she said she was in kidney failure. She never showed any symptoms, never slowed down,” said Donna Fields. Davis continued to work, many days using a heating pad to soothe her back pain.

But once they learned the news, friends and family members began pulling out all the stops. Many tried to become donors, but were not suitable matches. Friends started a Facebook page “Chandra’s Crusade,” and distributed bumper stickers that read: “Life Saving Kidney Needed for Chandra Davis,” and included a phone number.

They received a few calls but the perfect match came from a friend Brandi Baxter.

“I can’t say enough about Brandi. Before she was tested, I was frustrated. It took about six months for each person who was tested,” said Davis. She was on dialysis, unable to leave the house and was missing work and her sons’ activities. High school friends decorated her yard with posters showing words of encouragement, and the youngest of her supporters – a third-grader – raised funds with a lemonade stand.

“I can’t say enough about the doctors and nurses and my transplant coordinators – Josephine “Cissy” Brents, and Janel Lee,” said Davis. “My advice to patients who are waiting is to be patient, don’t lose faith, and be creative in getting the word out.”

And what about her nursing career? “I think I’d like to work in transplant. I’ve learned so much from my experience that I think I can be a positive influence on others.”

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email at
 T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.

Controlling Anxiety At The Orthodontist

For many kids and adults visiting the oklahoma city orthodontist can be a panic inducing experience. The fear of pain, sharp instruments, and being confined to a chair all play on many of our worst nightmares.  Not to mention most of us have an understandable aversion to people prodding at our mouths and teeth.

 

However, there are a few helpful tools to calm yourself.  Breathing is my favorite. Not just literally breathing, we do that all day.  No, intentionally breathing. This will not only help you at the orthodontist, but will make a difference in how you approach many other situations.

 

Take long, slow breaths.  Focus on the inhale and follow the breath in through your nose.  Feel it expanding your chest and your diaphragm. Follow the exhale back out.  Notice your breath. What is it like? Cold, shaky, slow, fast? As thoughts pop into your head, just notice them and let them go. With practice, this meditative technique can noticeably transform the way you engage with fearful situations.

 

Not into the meditation? Then just face the fear head on. For many of us our minds will continue to ask, “but what if something happens.” Well you should answer it.  Walk through each of those worst case scenarios. Actually face them. What if it hurts really bad? What if they cut your gums? Face those fears. Keep asking, “then what?” Eventually you will realize that everything is actually ok.  The orthodontist will not kill you. They are here to help you and make sure your bite, smile, and teeth are working at their best.

 

The orthodontist is not there to hurt you.  They have years of training and experience to keep exactly that from happening. All of them have attended at least eight years of schooling, apprenticeships. Remember, they really do not want to mess up.  Hurting patients explicitly goes against their best interests. The orthodontist okc is incentivized to make sure that you have the best experience and get the best results possible. That’s how they get more patients and continue to grow their business.

 

A few other tools can help. Bring a squeeze ball and hold on tight.  If you feel self conscious using a squeeze ball then find something smaller. Many people play with jewelry or a ring.  If you can imbue that task with meaning then it becomes even more powerful. For example, you can let your wedding ring remind you of your spouse, and how much they care for you.

 

Math problems are a great way to preoccupy your mind from worries.  Try counting by sevens or complex operations, such as multiplying and dividing large numbers.  You don’t need to be a math professor. Simple addition will suffice.

 

Basically anything is on the table except grinding your teeth.  If all else fails, bring it up with your orthodontist. They may have some simple techniques and tools to help you.  If your anxiety is severe enough it may warrant medicating. This is a discussion worth having with your orthodontist oklahoma city, primary care physician and therapist.

Art Therapy Show Opens Sept. 21

Ever wonder what art therapy is all about? The inaugural CompleteLife Art Show, Sept. 21 and 24-26, is your chance to see art made by patients, caregivers and team members at Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Center and IU Health University Hospital. The show is sponsored by Roche Diagnostics through a donation to the IU Health Foundation.

Much of medical treatment focuses on the body—but art therapy goes beyond just the physical to provide additional care for mind and spirit. Art therapy allows patients, loved ones and other caregivers to work through feelings that are difficult to verbalize, and it gives people a sense of control while reducing anxiety and depression. Each session is unique and based on the individual’s needs and goals.

The art exhibit is expected to include paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures and mixed-media pieces, on the theme of “Strength. Courage. Creativity.”

The public is invited to an unveiling on September 21 from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm at the Simon Cancer Center, with remarks by IU Health President and CEO Dennis Murphy and Roche Diagnostics President and CEO Jack Phillips. The exhibit will close at 5 pm on Sept. 21, then be open again from 9 am to 5 pm on Sept. 24, 25 and 26.

The Simon Cancer Center is at 1030 West Michigan Street in Indianapolis, and parking is available at the Adult Outpatient Center Garage at IU Health University Hospital or IUPUI’s Vermont Street Garage.

The CompleteLife Program is a comprehensive therapy program that attends to the body, mind and spirit of the whole person. Art therapy is one component in a full range of complimentary services that also includes appearance consultations (including wigs), massage therapy, music therapy, support groups and yoga therapy. CompleteLife services are available for patients and families of IU Health Simon Cancer Center and IU Health University Hospital.

For more information on the IU Health Foundation and its work to support patients and caregivers, visit iuhealthfoundation.org.

College Prep Includes Focusing on Good Health

Whether you’re preparing to drop your child off at college or planning for their first visit home, it’s important to consider how your young adult’s health and well-being will be impacted by such a significant life transition. From vaccines to nutrition and mental health, there are many ways parents can help their children navigate the first few months “on their own.”  

Find out about vaccines. For good preventive health, be sure to ask your primary care provider for information about vaccines for college-aged students. (College and university websites typically list specific vaccine requirements.) Several Indiana colleges are now requiring the meningitis B vaccine. There are two vaccines available for meningococcal (bacterial) meningitis—one that helps prevent infection from subgroups A, C, W and Y and another that guards against subgroup B. The meningitis B vaccine is a two-injection series, so scheduling one before the semester starts and the second over winter break is a good strategy.  

Primary care providers also recommend that girls and boys be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause certain kinds of cancer. Before students head off to college is a good time to consider the HPV vaccine, if your child hasn’t already received it. For children under age 15, the HPV vaccine is a two-injection series, and for those over 15, a three-injection series is required.
 

Parents should also remind their college students to get a seasonal flu vaccine in the fall. Vaccines are available at local pharmacies and at most college and university health centers, or students can get a flu shot when returning home for fall break.
 

Talk about staying healthy. Living in a college environment offers both opportunities and challenges. As a parent, you know the areas in which your child is most vulnerable, so it’s important to find the right time to talk about issues that can affect their overall health and well-being. Conversations about nutrition, sleep, time management and drugs and alcohol are common among parents and children during this stage of life. Also, if you suspect that your child is having difficulty coping, is depressed or is abusing drugs or alcohol, consult your primary care provider for advice and resources. Most colleges and universities have on-campus counseling services available for students (often free or at low cost), and some primary care offices have therapists onsite.

 

Karuna Anantharaman, MD, specializes in family medicine. She is a guest columnist located at IU Health Physicians Primary Care – Allisonville and can be reached by calling the office at 317.678.3850.

Encouraging Patients In Journey Of Self Care

Cancer Resource Center CompleteLife yoga therapist Kelsey Underwood sees her role as one that encourages patients to take an active role in the healing process. 

Not only do they have the same first name, but patient Kelsey Wilson and yoga therapist Kelsey Underwood have the same goal. They want to move one step closer to improved health.

Wilson was admitted to IU Health University Hospital for complications with cystic fibrosis. Underwood, who recently joined IU Health’s Cancer Resource Center is part of a CompletLife team that helps patients focus on a holistic approach to healing – mind, body, and spirit.  She has been a yoga instructor for more than five years and is in the process of getting her masters degree in yoga therapy.

Yoga is new to Wilson, 21.

Sitting cross-legged on her bed, Wilson listened to Underwood’s instructions: “Breath deep. Feel your belly rise and fall as you inhale and exhale. Notice your shoulders relaxing.”

The exercise is part of Underwood’s professional commitment to helping patients take an active role in their healing process. Often that starts with relaxing and regaining strength.

“The three main components of yoga therapy are physical posture, breath work and meditation. So based on the patient’s ability and goals, I’ll do a combination of one or two of those techniques or just focus on one,” said Underwood. She first studied yoga therapy under her mother, Mary Duryea, a retired hospital physician who discovered yoga therapy as a second career. Her father, Ed Kraemer is also a family physician and a yoga instructor. 

As an undergraduate at the University of Missouri, Underwood earned a bachelor of science in health science. “I knew I wanted to work in a hospital setting. We have an amazing staff here and integrating yoga is a great way to bolster that support and help patients connect with mind, body and spirit,” said Underwood. Her primary focus is working with oncology patients but she will work with other patients individually.

Group chair yoga for patients is offered at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. Gentle hatha yoga is offered for caregivers and staff at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Underwood’s voice was soft and soothing as she spoke to Wilson. “I’ve been told it’s a grounding voice. A lot of my job is just holding space for patients to have their own experience and be active in their own healing. Yoga therapy gives them lots of autonomy to be part of the healing for themselves,” said Underwood. “I notice their breathing rate slows down and as they take deep breaths, their body begins to relax. It’s an overall sense of contentment.”

More about Underwood:

  • She was born and raised in Kansas City, the middle child of three.
  • She has been married to John Underwood for two years. He is a medical resident at IU School of Medicine.
  • She and her husband have two Siberian Huskies. They enjoy spending time outdoors – especially paddle boarding on Eagle Creek Reservoir with the dogs.

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email at
 T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.

Patients Ask: ‘Where’s Jerald?’

Rehabilitation technician Jerald Briggs has worked in the wound care clinic at Methodist Hospital for 31 years. His dedication has not gone unnoticed by patients and team members. 

On any given day, it doesn’t matter how busy things are in the basement of Methodist Hospital patients coming into the wound care clinic ask: “Where’s Jerald?”

He’s known for his calm demeanor, his enthusiasm and . . . his favorite quotes.

“Jerald has been a rehab technician for longer than my tenure here and when I first started you couldn’t go 10 feet in this hospital without someone knowing Jerald. He’s part of our foundation of Methodist Hospital and when he’s not here patients miss him,” said Elizabeth Altenburger, team lead in rehabilitation services. “He’s one of the most common names that appears on patient feedback forms. He is joyful, silly, makes our team members laugh, he listens and hears patients and will do anything to make their experience better,” said Altenburger.

Co-workers often share Briggs’ favorite quotes (Jeraldisms):  “It ain’t that deep,” “Tell the truth and shame the devil.”

The goal in rehabilitation services is to help patients heal, but sometimes patients return to the clinic many times. Briggs gets to know the patients well and their families too, said Altenburger. He’s been known to transport patients on a long walk to their doctor appointments, follow them to their cars to help them adjust their seats, and take time to simply talk to them about their lives.

“Jerald is the heart of our clinic. I always think how lucky we are to have someone who so beautifully reflects our level of patient care,” said Altenburger. She added that Briggs is the recipient of the annual Melin Award, from the late Dr. John R. Melin and his wife Virginia Melin. The award recognizes Methodist Hospital employees who have gone above and beyond to serve patients. Specifically, the award recognizes someone who interacts well with others, a mentor to other employees, someone who is consistently excellent in their daily work, has earned respect and admiration of their peers, and someone who dedicated years of service to Methodist Hospital.

After three decades of service to Methodist Hospital Briggs says he can’t imagine working anywhere else. He was born in northwest Kentucky in the town of Sturgis. Moved to Franklin, In. for junior high and high school and eventually to Indianapolis. Briggs was married in 1979 and started working at IU Health on Aug. 17, 1987. He has two children – one daughter deceased, and a son. His first marriage ended in divorce. Two years ago he married his partner Ken Nix. 

“I love people and I love working in physical therapy. My mother worked in a hospital in housekeeping and we were so close that I wanted to work in a hospital,” said Briggs, the fourth child born to Frances Collins, who died four years ago. He started his job as a transporter and spent six months training as a technician. About 50 percent of his job involves moving patients. The other part of his job involves cleaning rooms for patients, ordering supplies and assisting therapists at work. “I’ll do whatever it takes to make a patient comfortable. If they need ice water, I’ll get ice water; if they need someone to talk to, I’m there for them,” said Briggs. “At the end of the day, I just want to know that I’ve helped someone, encouraged them and that they understand what they’re going through is just a test. God will bring them through it.”

More about Briggs:

  • He had a twin brother, Joel who died Feb. 1, 2017.
  • He grew up singing music in the church choir; his grandmother the late Fannie McGuire was the minister of music.
  • He loves music – especially R & B and gospel. He and his spouse Ken sing in the church choir and have traveled with the praise team to perform in Huntington, W.V.

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email at
 T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.

One Mom, Nine Babies, One Hospital

Nine times Megan and Sean Delaney have driven across town to IU Health West Hospital because they trust the labor and delivery team to bring their babies safely into the world. 

It’s not easy to calculate the birth of nine babies, but Megan Delaney figures she has spent 62 hours in labor. That’s equal to nearly eight typical workdays – all at one hospital.

Delaney and her husband Sean of Greenwood chose one hospital for all nine deliveries – IU Health West Hospital.

“After we had our seventh baby who was premature, we spent time in NICU and thought about getting a hospital closer to home but we’ve grown to know and love the staff, doctors and nurses at IU Health West Hospital. They keep a close eye on my pregnancies and are so warm and welcoming. We joke that we could put a down payment on a house with all the gas money we’ve spent but it’s all been worth it and something we wouldn’t change,” said Delaney.

Six of the nine were born premature; the longest labor was the firstborn at nearly 20 hours; the shortest delivery was baby number six at about two hours. Five doctors were part of bringing the babies into the world: Dr. Ivy Lee delivered one baby; Dr. Michael D. Allen delivered five babies; Dr. Sharon Walker-Watkins delivered one baby; Dr. Karla Loken delivered one baby; and Dr. Claire Bernardin delivered one baby – on Christmas Day.

The couple welcomed their youngest child, Sloane in July. She joined four sisters and four brothers in the Delaney household. They include: Coyle, 9; Shea, 8; Cayce, 7; Cael, 6; Quinn, 5; Brynn, 3; Coyln, 2; and Cadyn, 15 months. Sean is credited with choosing the names.

“We’re both Irish and we like names that kind of reflect that heritage,” said Megan, whose maiden name is “O’Gara.” She met Sean in 2004 when he was bartending at her parent’s Irish pub and she was a server. They were married in what Megan describes as a “big Irish wedding” in 2007. The celebration included an appearance by Irish dancers and a cake topped with a Notre Dame football helmet. They are big fans of the fighting Irish. Baby number one arrived a year later. In addition to nine children the couple welcomed two mini golden doodles into their family – named after two fighting Irish coaches “Lou” (Lou Holtz) and “Ara” (Ara Parseghian).

The Delaney children join a long line of Irish Catholic families. Megan’s parents are John and Jean O’Gara. Sean’s parents are Mike and Sue Delaney. There are 41 grandchildren on Megan’s mom’s side and 78 great grandchildren. Sean’s dad is one of nine.

“We knew when we got married we wanted a big family,” said Megan. “All of our kids were planned based on my health, our baby’s health and our finances. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” So how do they manage? In their five-bedroom home the two oldest boys share a room; the two little guys share a room; the oldest daughter has her own room and the three little girls share the biggest room in the house because they all wanted to be together.

Will they have any more children? “We have a 12-passenger van and all nine still have car seats,” says Megan. “We have room for one more but my grandmother jokes that we’ll probably have twins next time. Then what?”

Megan offers more advice:

Staying organized: “I try to plan ahead. We have a laundry basket for each child to stay organized.” The night before the older children leave for school at Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi, Megan sets out their outfits to help the morning routine run smoothly.

Meal planning: “Sometimes we have two or three sports practices a night including wrestling, football and kick ball. I try to cook at least four nights a week. We’re not one of those families where they have to eat only what we cook. We encourage them to try it but they also have a choice of cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We’re lucky. My kids love pasta, a lot of fruits and vegetables and casseroles. We do a lot of crock pot meals and they help out loading and unloading the dishwasher and taking turns helping around the house.”

Advice to parents:  “I would say to take it one day at a time. Roll with the punches. You only get the moment you’re in once. It goes by so fast. You only have 18 summers with them. Make sure they all get enough attention. It’s such a team effort raising these guys. People say I’m super mom, but I don’t have all nine kids by myself except for a few hours each day. My husband comes home from work and it’s both of us working together and we also have our parents to help out.”

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email at
 T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.