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South Laurel/Montpelier: Inspiring resident fights Lupus herself and as team captain for Lupus Walk

South Laurel resident and Lupus patient Keonna Feaster served as team captain in the sixth annual D.C. Walk for Lupus Now! on April 21. A five-year resident of Laurel, and a Lupus patient since 1999, this is Keonna's second time participating in the walk. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease, which can affect joints, skin, kidneys, brain and other organs. There are more than 80,000 Lupus patients in the D.C. metro area. As a team captain in the walk, Keonna was responsible for establishing the team donation goal, recruiting members and keeping her team aware of the information about the race. She used Twitter, Facebook, email and word of mouth to solicit team members and donations. Some health challenges had limited her physical preparation, but she was able to finish the 1.5 mile course with ease. Keonna is active in events sponsored by the Lupus Foundation, getting to meet others who are experiencing the same symptoms and keeping up to date on current research, new medications and lifestyle recommendations.

Keonna's message to others with Lupus or other disabling conditions is heartfelt: "Feel your feelings. Living with Lupus and other disabling conditions is challenging because we often have so much to deal with at the same time (doctors, medicines, family, pain, work, insurance, etc.). However, we have to make time to deal with our feelings about those things because suppressing can be stressful on our bodies and cause us more problems. It's all right to have a moment of anger. It's all right to have a moment of sadness. Just be sure to find healthy ways to channel that energy into something helpful and productive. Sometimes after a good 'feelings session' I will bake, cook, paint, journal, or sing my favorite song." An inspiring message for all of us from an inspiring community resident!

Kudos are also sent to Montpelier resident Saucha Goodson-Robinson who celebrated her 16th birthday on Saturday. May 5 at a birthday bash arranged by her parents. Saucha is a sophomore at Laurel High and active in many activities there, and is a member of the newspaper staff and volleyball and tennis teams. Her birthday party included decorations created by her mom, Simeyon Goodson. Giant birthday packages in hot pink and green decorated the lawn, which was also the site for photo and money booths. DJ Joe from FM 93.9 kept the music flowing and Marcus Neither from the Flowers High School drama team serenaded Saucha with her birthday song. Happy 16th, Saucha!

The South Laurel Recreation Council is hosting a free concert this evening, May 10 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center on Contee Road. "Music, Memories and Fun!," presented by the ShowTime Singers, a group sponsored by the Howard County Arts Council, will include a variety of Broadway, patriotic and popular music. The concert will be held in the center's Great Room. For further information, call 301-776-2805.

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