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Anna, pictured with husband Michael and Lauren, consulted her GP for advice, but said she did not get many answers at first

She had to wear pads almost around the clock – even then having accidents, when urine would leak through her clothes.

For 18 long months, she was left feeling “upset and embarrassed” about her problem.

A urologist diagnosed her prolapse which, according to the NHS, happens when one or more of the organs in the pelvis – be that the uterus, bowel or bladder – slip from their normal position and bulge into the vagina.

While not life-threatening, it can be incredibly uncomfortable, and symptoms include a feeling of heaviness in the tummy, feeling or seeing a lump or bulge, problems with weeing and discomfort during sex.

On top of this, Anna also has diastasis – where the two muscles running down the middle of her stomach separated – meaning she still looked pregnant months after giving birth.

Thankfully, both conditions improved after she began working with pelvic floor physiotherapist Emma Brockwell, having sessions once a month.

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    Some St. Luke's cardiologists grew so troubled by the program's direction in 2016 that they referred some patients to other hospitals for transplants.

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    Art Richards working with a blind student

    “All my classes are free,” he says. “To better serve all of the community, [having] dedicated courts, specific to players’ needs, is a must. Some communities have dedicated courts, but none for the [special needs].”

    For his blind players he tapes down tactile lines, doing so for the fourth straight year in Rotonda West. Last year he received an invitation as a U.S. representative to attend the first International Blind Tennis Tournament, held in Spain.

    This year is his 48th volunteering in tennis, starting in 1970 in Massachusetts, and continuing in Florida when he relocated in 2000.

    “Dreams, like these people dream, don’t materialize on their own,” he says of his blind and wheelchair students and why he volunteers in tennis. “Tennis is the sport for a lifetime — let’s make it that way for all.”

    USTA Florida thanks Art Richards as the May 2018 Florida Tennis Volunteer of the Month for his work introducing tennis to and working with special-needs and all tennis players in the Rotonda West and surrounding communities.

     

    ABOUT ART

    Birthplace: Boston, Mass.
    Family Members: wife deceased, five children, 18+ grandchildren, 16+ great grandchildren
    Favorite Movie: A Christmas Story
    Favorite Food: shrimp with pasta
    Favorite Travel: Maui, Hawaii
    Favorite Shot: “Backhand crosscourt drop shot from baseline side line, ad court”

    My earliest tennis memory was…”Watching [tennis] in amazement at age 12 after church on Sunday mornings. People dressed in whites, hitting white balls, on public courts.”

    If I could play tennis with three people, they would be…”My deceased wife, my blind student and my granddaughter.”

    When I am not playing tennis I am…”Working part-time two days and serving on community committees.”

    My best tennis memory is…”Presenting clinics in deaf schools in Massachusetts with a deaf teaching pro.”

    I like to volunteer in tennis because…”It’s the best family sport that lasts for a lifetime.”

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    Diets that sound too good to be true are often just that. But a plan called intermittent fasting that frees its followers from calorie counting and carb cutting is quickly gaining traction in Silicon Valley. Scientific research suggests its followers are onto something big.

    Popularized by Bay Area health nuts who don't mind being guinea pigs for science, intermittent fasting (or simply "IF" among fans), involves limiting the time you eat to a specific time period each day. While most of us snack somewhat regularly from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep, intermittent fasters only "feed" within a strictly defined window, often from morning to afternoon or afternoon to evening.

    Silicon Valley loves it. One Bay Area group of enthusiasts called WeFast meets weekly to collectively break their fasts with a hearty morning meal. Facebook executive Dan Zigmond confines his eating to the narrow time slot of 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and many other CEOs and tech pioneers are sworn "IF" devotees.

    Despite not requiring followers to count calories, ban carbs, or restrict their eating to celery and juice, intermittent fasting has been shown to be just as helpful for weight loss as traditional diets. And animal studies hint that the plan could have a range of other health benefits from curbing cancer risk to even prolonging life.