AREA RESIDENTS WHO HAVE EMBRACED THE GOLDEN YEARS WITH ENTHUSIASM
Loving life means living your days worry free and filled with joy, doing what you love to do. We set out to find local area residents who are doing just that. Meet three West Suburban residents who, in their own way, have found paths after 60 to help them live their healthiest and happiest lives.
ELBURN–Ever since Cynthia Baranowski was young and saw her first musical, Okalahoma, she has been enchanted by musical theater. However, it was only after retirement that she was able to have the time to attend shows whenever she wanted and signed up for subscriptions to the Paramount Theater in Aurora and The Mac at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.
Along with her subscriptions, Cynthia will also add in a few Drury Lane and Lyric Opera House performances to round out her year. Amongst the many types of shows she attends, the musicals are still her favorite. “I am drawn to the musical because of how the words and songs move the story line forward,” says Cynthia. “I love watching the dramatic and musical talents of the performers and the orchestra.”
Among some of her favorite shows in the past few years are Million Dollar Quartet, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, My Fair Lady and Porgy and Bess.
Besides the theater, Cynthia enjoys good movies, going to bars with live music, visiting public gardens and museums and exploring different cities. She recently helped her mother-in-law check off a bucket list item for her 83rd birthday. She and her mother-in-law and her mother-in-law’s family rented jet skis together on Shaefer Lake to celebrate. She believes the key to living the life you love is to make sure you are participating in activities you truly enjoy and taking a few risks. Photo Submitted
Six-Time Cancer Survivor
NAPERVILLE – In 2010, Nora Gorman went for her routine mammogram and was diagnosed with cancer in her right breast. This is where her cancer journey all started. Since then, Nora has been diagnosed with six cancers, has had seven different surgeries and three different chemotherapy treatments. Her second cancer was an aggressive kind of ovarian cancer that caused her to have major surgery and 4 ½ months of chemo. Her third cancer was diagnosed in her left breast stage 0, and she underwent lumpectomy. Then in 2014, Nora was diagnosed with her fourth cancer in her right neck lymph nodes. “This is the cancer I thought would end my life,” says Nora. “I saw my doctor’s reaction to the report and asked him if he was worried. He said he was, but he would do everything he could to make me live longer.”
Since the neck cancer was inoperable, Nora went through three sessions of Cyber Knife radiaton therapy and eradicated the cancer. In 2015, she was diagnosed with her 5th cancer in her left rib cage and in 2016, her 6th cancer above her right shoulder. Her chemo for those cancers ended in June of 2016. Since then she has been in remission!
The year 2017 was a great one for Nora. It was the first year in seven years she did not have to deal with another cancer or treatment. She is on a mission to help anyone going through cancer to keep hope alive. Her advice is to stay strong, keep being positive, pray like you have never prayed before, and live fully one day at a time! Photo Submitted by Edward Health Services
Dedicated Yoga Practice
Jo Anne Jurkovic
WHEATON–Before joining CorePower Yoga in Glen Ellyn three years ago, Jo Anne Jurkovic had never tried yoga before and was not very interested in the hot yoga. Her daughter introduced the studio to her (which she had joined in Chicago), and after the two-week trial period, Jo Anne was hooked. She now makes yoga a regular practice, stating that it helps her live a better life physically and mentally.
“Yoga sculpt classes are my favorite,” says Jo Anne. “I feel like I am getting stronger and focusing on different muscle groups with every class.” An avid runner that completes several 5-10K runs a year with her daughter, she finds the Hot Power Fusion class helps keep her muscles stretched and flexible. She usually finds time for her practice in the evenings during the week for a nice end-of-the-day release. “The instructors at CorePower are exceptional and keep me motivated and inspired in class. I am also motivated by just feeling better.”
Besides the physical benefits, Jo Anne touts the benefits of the relaxation skills she learns during her classes. “Learning to focus on your breath during class is also something that I am able to use in my everyday life.” Jo Anne feels her regular practice has been a huge benefit to guiding her through the physical challenges of her senior years as well as enjoying all her activities with her family. Photo by Mike Catuara
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