Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Approaching a sunnier season, dermatologist Toral Patel M.D. shares little-known secrets about skincare ]]> Lead story image

I’m a dermatologist, so I think about the skin a lot. But I have to admit that I didn’t always think about my skin or even take very good care of it, for that matter. As a teenager, I’d wash my face and brush my teeth and call it a day. I (gasp) didn’t even wear sunscreen regularly until I became an adult. I figured as an Indian girl I wouldn’t get sunburns, so I didn’t have to worry about it, right? Wrong. So wrong. Sunburn is the most obvious sign that our skin has been damaged by the sun, … ]]> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:06:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Interfaith House’s Executive Director Jennifer Nelson-Seals on extending a helping hand to Chicago’s homeless population ]]> Lead story image

I’m the executive director of Interfaith House (IFH), a unique program in Chicago that provides medical respite care, interim housing, meals and housing advocacy services to ill and injured homeless men and women. Each year, I witness hundreds of individuals heal, rebuild their lives and regain their self-sufficiency. In addition to providing shelter and medical respite care, we serve hot, nutritious meals to 64 residents at a time, three times per day, 365 days per year, for a total of more than 70,000 meals each year. I still remember when for one of our residents, Denise Allen, one particular meal … ]]> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 11:23:06 -0600 <![CDATA[ How Stephanie Arnold survived against all odds to become an advocate for women’s health ]]> Lead story image

In October of 2012, after seven rounds of intense and emotional IVF procedures, I became pregnant with my second child. All was fine until my 20-week ultrasound, when I became overwhelmed with premonitions of my own death. It felt like I was a ticking time bomb. I had no idea that what I was feeling would actually come true. Our daughter Adina was born 2½ years earlier by C-section, so I knew all too well exactly what to expect during the upcoming birth. Due to several factors that complicated my pregnancy — like a placenta previa diagnosis, which meant the … ]]> Sat, 31 May 2014 13:36:54 -0600 <![CDATA[ Windy City Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director Jennifer Parks on one family’s journey home ]]> Lead story image

When I hear people gripe about their commute home, I only have to think of Houlaymatou Diallo, whose own journey home took more than 20 years and traversed more than 4,500 miles. As a young woman in 1992, Houlaymatou left Conakry, Guinea, and immigrated to Chicago in search of a better life for herself and her family. She worked as a hair braider, a skill she learned in Guinea. Over the next two decades, while building a family, she moved around the city, from neighborhood to neighborhood, rental apartment to rental apartment — along with her two sons, Amadou, now … ]]> Fri, 30 May 2014 12:40:11 -0600 <![CDATA[ Justin Cooper shares why he became an advocate for people with disabilities ]]> Lead story image

I’ve lived with cerebral palsy and with hip dysplasia my entire life. But in 2001, at the age of 18, my disability progressed to the point that I needed to use a wheelchair. My life became a sort of hell. Inaccessibility forced me to leave St. Benedict’s High School; my plan was to attend public school for one year, then go back to St. Benedict’s for my senior year after the school installed an elevator. But I never returned. I shuffled back and forth between three different high schools: Senn, Lane Tech and Mather. While at Mather, without my knowledge, … ]]> Fri, 30 May 2014 10:09:15 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago author Sara Berelsman on how writing helped her quit drinking ]]> Lead story image

My name is Sara, and I’m an alcoholic. I am not ashamed to say that. In fact, I feel a sense of pride every time I say it, because it means I’ve finally admitted the absolute truth. It’s liberating. It hurts to hide a secret sometimes, and I held this one for a long time. My husband proposed to me at the top of the John Hancock building. I was gazing out at the stunning view, the sunset serving as a vibrant backdrop to the buildings’ twinkling lights. I turned around, and there he was, down on one knee, with … ]]> Thu, 29 May 2014 09:28:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ As AutismOne heads to Chicago, curator Jacquelyn Marquette shares how creating art can combat adversity ]]> Lead story image

My son Trent was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. I have many memories of advocating for his rights and struggling to be a good mother to my other two sons, Todd and Travis. Throughout the school years, I held in my heart the desire that Trent would mature into an adult and become fulfilled doing what he enjoyed, and somehow contribute to something larger than himself. The most difficult time in life was right after high school graduation — the phase in life where building a new way of living is critical to the individual’s adaptation. Thankfully, … ]]> Thu, 29 May 2014 09:28:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Mark Tebbe takes a step back from technology to enjoy life in real time ]]> Lead story image

It’s an understatement to say that I love technology — and that I’m constantly working to keep ahead of that learning curve. As such, I hope you can appreciate how frustrated I was when I discovered I had become a slave to technology — more specifically, my iPhone. Yes, I was an iPhone addict. Looking around, it appears I’m not alone. I constantly see people texting while walking down the street. At restaurants, I see both diners on their phones instead of talking to each other. And worst of all, I regularly see people texting while driving down the highway. … ]]> Thu, 29 May 2014 09:28:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ President of Kendall College Emily Williams Knight on why she believes losing might be life’s greatest lesson ]]> Lead story image

There’s a lot of talk about today’s competitive environment for children. People seem to fall on either side of the issue. Some believe children should be encouraged and awarded equally (a soccer trophy for participation) and others feel children need to understand that the world is challenging (sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you always push forward). I believe in the latter. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel with my 8-year-old daughters to Orlando, Fla. They’d qualified to represent the Midwest Region in a 3X3 soccer tournament held at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of … ]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 06:02:24 -0600 <![CDATA[ ‘The Dinner Party’ host Elysabeth Alfano on how to succeed in business (and definitely trying) ]]> Lead story image

After owning an art gallery for 10 years, I started a production company called Fear No ART Chicago, which produced a WTTW-TV show of the same name. I now produce “The Dinner Party,” a monthly live talk show with celebrities and chefs. I know firsthand that arts and entertainment can be a tricky and emotional business, and I’m often asked how I have survived in the mercurial entertainment world. Here are some of the tricks I’ve learned, which have helped to keep me grounded, moving forward and, on good days, at the top of my game. ◆ Show me the … ]]> Fri, 09 May 2014 14:10:31 -0600 <![CDATA[ Approaching Mother’s Day, ‘American Dream Builders’ star Monica Pedersen shares memories from her first year as a mom ]]> Lead story image

As you may recall from my last column, I became a mother to Holly last summer. I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally be a mom — this past year has been filled with so much love and beauty (and, of course, a lot of surprises). Since we’re approaching Mother’s Day, I thought I’d reflect a bit on what this first year of motherhood has been like for me. The word that best describes the beginning of my journey into motherhood? Clumsy! While labor itself was truly an amazing experience, it’s definitely called labor for a reason: It was only … ]]> Fri, 09 May 2014 14:10:56 -0600 <![CDATA[ Julie Smolyansky on refusing to accept the status quo abroad and at home in Chicago ]]> Lead story image

I still remember hearing the story of a 30-year-old mother of five living at the United Nations Refugee Agency Nakivale Refugee Settlement in western Uganda. Unspeakable acts of war and sexual violence forced her and her family from their home four years ago; when I first learned of their predicament, they were living in a clay mud home under a grass roof. She arrived at the camp feeling broken and depressed. Then she learned about a vocational class being offered at the camp, where women and men could learn how to sew. She signed up and began attending twice a … ]]> Fri, 09 May 2014 14:10:38 -0600 <![CDATA[ Grant Thornton CEO Stephen Chipman on the importance of supporting adoption ]]> Lead story image

During my time in China in the 1990s, I became very aware of the thousands of children who lacked a loving family. Along with a deep-seated belief that every child deserves an environment in which to thrive, this spurred my wife, Kim, and me to adopt two girls from China a number of years later. Though we were grateful to build a loving home for our daughters, we could not forget the children that we left behind. We were haunted by the lost looks of children destined to live in an institution without the skills and resources to provide them … ]]> Fri, 09 May 2014 14:10:38 -0600 <![CDATA[ Jaslene Gonzalez shares how she triumphed over domestic violence ]]> Lead story image

In the summer of 2003, I started dating someone. I was a senior in high school and he was three years older than me. I immediately fell in love with him — we said the words “I love you” only a few months after we began dating. We formed a special bond; he was my first love. He made me laugh, we dressed alike, we’d go out dancing together. We did everything together. When I was with him, it seemed like I was having new experiences and new feelings every day. But not all of the experiences and feelings were … ]]> Fri, 09 May 2014 14:10:16 -0600 <![CDATA[ Dana Hokin Garvey, Joffrey board member and co-chair of Joffrey’s Spring Gala, on the universal language of performance ]]> Lead story image

As a lifelong student of and practitioner in the arts, joining the Joffrey Ballet’s Women’s Board five years ago made perfect sense for me. My days as a young woman studying at the School of American Ballet in New York City instilled in me discipline, grace and an appreciation for physical expression I incorporate into my daily personal and professional life. I believe studying, watching and performing world-class dance is transformative and, therefore, everyone should have access to it — something the Joffrey also believes. A perfect example is Joffrey’s Community Engagement (CE) program, which reaches 5,000 students a year … ]]> Fri, 09 May 2014 14:16:42 -0600 <![CDATA[ Bob Sirott imagines a future in which the Cubs win the World Series — and transform Chicago ]]> Lead story image

It’s been exactly one week since hell froze over and the Cubs capped their magical, miracle 2015 season with a stunning World Series championship. When Cy Young and Comeback Player of the Year candidate Edwin Jackson bested Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees 1-0 in a nail-biting Game 7, Wrigley Field, the surrounding neighborhood, most of Chicago, and for that matter, much of the free world, erupted in a massive celebration. It continues this afternoon with 5 million people expected to brave the chilly fall temperatures for the Clark Street ticker-tape parade. Clark, the Cubs mascot, whose personal appearance fee just … ]]> Fri, 09 May 2014 14:10:16 -0600