This married mom of a 15 year old son is a woman of many talents. She is a successful local entrepreneur, coach and mentor to woman in business, perennial gardener, loves to rug hook, play piano and guitar, and loves riding her motorcycle!
Karey is one half of the dynamic duo who owns and operates HealthWalks - Podiatry Clinic and Shoe Store. The other is her husband, Richard. Their store in New Glasgow just passed its 20 year milestone, and their second location in Truro celebrated its first year anniversary in May. “Entrepreneurial blood runs through my veins. I was brought up in a self-employed family,” she smiled. “What’s it like working with your husband?” I asked. “It’s everything! He just gets it. We’re on the same page. It’s the ultimate trust and teamwork.” She laughed, “Having said that, there are days he drives me crazy.”
Karey and Richard employ 6 staff, and 2 reflexology contractors between both stores. Their son, Marcus, also lends a hand. “He helps out with cleaning, Sale Days, and back end marketing on social media,” she said. “Do you think he also has the entrepreneurial blood in his veins?” I asked. She smiled proudly, “I am under no illusion he will take over our business. He takes after me in his stubbornness so I think he would want to build something himself.”
I wondered what this honest, driven, passionate woman would do if she could retire tomorrow. She replied, “Travel....see more of the world. I haven’t been around Europe other than Prague, and I would like to visit Greece.” I love Greek food! “What is your favourite food?” I asked. She laughed, “All food is my favourite as long as I don’t have to make it!”
Everyone has a “secret dream” that they don’t always share with others; like being a rock star. I asked her to tell me something about herself that most people don't know about her. She quickly answered, “I’d like to do stand-up comedy!....and politics.” She laughed, “One in the same really!” Who would she love to see live? Chris Rock with Jim Carrey of course! I think George Eliot said it best with his quote, “You are never too old to be what you might have been.” Follow your dream Karey. I promise to get a ticket to your show and cheer you on.
It sure was a pleasure chatting with this lovely young woman. She is inspiring, determined, motivated, strong, kind,and much more. One thing she said really stuck with me, “Having high functioning autism doesn’t define me. I think I prove that quite well, and show people that anyone can do anything.” I agree completely Courtney. I also believe that there is nothing you cannot do. Thank you for reminding all of us to live life to the fullest.
“My Step Dad may not have given me life, but he’s definitely made my life better. My father passed away 11 years ago, and left a huge hole in my heart. Dave has filled it, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I believe that family isn’t always about blood, but it’s about committed and love.
Dad is such an amazing husband to my mother, and an incredible father to Julia, Tyler and I. I can always count on him to be here for me. I appreciate him so much, even if he’s a Toronto Maple Leafs fan…LOL.”
Love you Dave! Hope you have a great Father’s Day! Kayliegh Xoxox
“Josh has been a stay at home dad for 3 years now looking after our special needs son Joshua. It wasn’t easy, but I was able to train him pretty quick...now the kids prefer his cooking over mine..LOL.
He stepped up to the plate to become an amazing role model and step-father to my daughter Madison when she was 4 years old. We recently welcomed a son, Beckett, in March amongst all the craziness that’s going on in the world.
Josh will do anything for anyone, a great neighbour, father, son, and boyfriend. He keeps us on our toes with his quick wit and sense of humour. He’s the glue that keeps our family together and we couldn’t imagine life without him.”
Wishing you a Happy Father’s Day, and Happy upcoming 35th birthday! P.S. You are halfway to 40! LOL
We love you so much, Chelsea, Madison, Joshua and Beckett. And of course, your fur babies; Nahla, BB and Clem
“We are so lucky to have him as our dad! No matter what the project is he always works hard to support us and keep us happy.
Through the week he can be found selling car parts at Blenkhorn's Auto Recyclers, a place he's loved to work at for sixteen years. Then during the evenings & weekends he will happily be found with our mom who he's been with for sixteen years too and they're typically at a cold hockey rink or a soccer field cheering the four of us on!
He's not afraid to tackle Mom’s ‘Honey Do List’ which has included a lot of home projects...like a huge playhouse for us & a plywood basketball & hockey pad for us too. When he's not working or doing renos bringing our old house up to date, he's playing baseball with us in the field, swimming with us in the pool or watching tv with us before bed.
He coaches us in soccer and hockey and has recently been our only errand do-er thanks to Covid-19. Trying to keep us safe! He happily volunteers on our hockey organization board and helps out at our school too. Over the years he agreed to bring four big ol doggies and a kitty into our family too and never complained. He puts on a shy quiet front but he's a crazy lovable husband, father & friend. He will do anything to keep everyone happy.”
Happy Father’s Day Big Daddy! Love Sebastian, Memphis, Delylah & Preston xoxo
This young man born and raised in Truro, not only has a beautiful bright smile, he also has a beautiful bright positive attitude. I could feel this energy shining through during our recent conversation. He beamed when he shared his love of cars, his family, and friends. “I’ve always had a passion for cars. I’ve met countless friends through the car scene. I guess I’m not the only one that shares the love for them,” he laughed. In addition to his love of cars, he also enjoys hanging out with his friends, having a couple drinks on a Friday night alongside a fire, and loves going to the gym.
His enthusiasm led me to believe there was a story behind his love for the gym, and I was right! This determined, strong, fun-loving guy has lost 120lbs! “Wow! What led you to make the decision to lose 120lbs?” I asked. He replied, “To be honest, I just wasn’t happy with myself so on April 13th, 2017, I woke up and made a change." He continued, “Never doubt your inner ability to do better. I actually have that tattooed on my arm, and I live by it every day.
Alijah has three brothers; one older and two younger. “I was raised by my Mom, “he said. “My dad is originally from Jamaica which makes me half African Nova Scotian,” he said. I asked, “What does your heritage mean to you?” With a warm smile he replied, “It means a lot to be honest.” He continued, “I recently started the application process to get my citizenship for Jamaica. I am very excited to learn more about my culture.”
Since January 2017, Alijah has also been a Big Brother volunteer “I was in the program when I was a young kid, and it’s my way of giving back. It’s a great thing to do. And we’re ALWAYS looking for volunteers!” Well Alijah, you are a wonderful role model, inspiration, and a fine young man. Keep up the great work!
We are kicking off our week long Father & Father Figure Day celebrations with another special message...
“Fraser is a dad to Abbie and Georgia as well as a husband, super team member, and best friend to me. Our daughter Georgia is very special needs and Fraser is half of our super team. For the last 7 years, he has stayed home every weekend with Georgia while I traveled the province with Abbie for her sports. He never has complained and does it with a smile. He misses out on a lot because he always offers to stay home with Georgia.
He has worked every day over the pandemic even while Georgia was in the hospital 3 times. He would go straight from work to the hospital to give me a break, getting home at 10pm every night to get up and do it again. He can do feed pumps, hospital trips, g tube meds and just recently learned to catheterize Georgia.
Fraser is the service manager at MacKay’s Truck and Trailer. He went to school and became a Class A Golf Pro and he ran a golf course for years. He loves to golf, plays hockey a few times a week, volleyball and take Georgia to challenger baseball.
He would give the shirt off his back and give away his last dollar. He thinks about everyone else before himself.”
To us, he is a Number One Daddy and Husband. Enjoy your special day - Love, your wife Kristen
According to Krista’s daughter Shelby, “we act like sisters most of the time” is the best way for her to describe their close knit relationship. “My mom has always put maximum effort into making my life as good as she possibly could even though she was a very young mother. I think we collectively inspire each other and push each other to do new things, which brings us even closer,” she smiled. Her mom couldn’t agree more and added, “Shelby inspires me to speak up when there is injustice and be an ally for those who need someone by their side.” She continued proudly, “She also just finished her first year of a Health Sciences Degree at ST. FX and plans to go into medicine.”
Being an ally for those in need is something that Krista and Shelby enjoying doing by volunteering at the Truro Homeless Outreach Society – Hub House. Krista said, “Shelby was actually the one who suggested we volunteer together at Hub House. I loved volunteering with THOS so much that I decided to join the Board of Directors in September.” Shelby added, “I love the relationships you build, and the amazing stories and advice I gather from the guests. At this point, it’s just like another extended family.”
I wondered what some of their hobbies were. “I am a Harley rider, obsessed with dogs, love hiking, exploring, travel and any outdoor adventures, yoga and music, “said Krista. “I love working out, hiking, socializing with friends and of course spending lots of time with my dog, Summer, “Shelby added. “What is your favourite food Krista?” She laughed, “I really dislike cooking so I love anything I don’t have to cook myself!” Shelby laughed too, “Hmm, anything with melted cheese.” They are both music lovers; Krista’s all-time favourite band is Fleetwood Mac while Shelby prefers The Glorious Sons.
“Dad I would like to thank you for helping to make me the person I am today, and for continuing to teach and support me. Also, Kaylynn couldn’t ask for a better Grampie.”
Enjoy your special day - Love, your daughter, Ashley
Pictured: Ashley (L), Kaylynn, (M), and Greg (R)
I first met Kristen when she sent us a photo and story of her oldest daughter, Abbie, for our 2020 Grads feature. We struck up a conversation that went beyond the details of participating in the Grad feature. In addition to telling me more about Abbie, she shared more personal details of her life. I quickly developed an admiration for this kind, strong, dedicated, married mother of two.
Kristen has been married to her amazing husband, Fraser, since 2010 and they have two beautiful daughters; Abbie and Georgia. Before Georgia was born, Kristen worked as an Early Childhood Educator in Truro. “When she was 4 months old, we realized she was sick. I left my job, and I’ve been home taking care of her since.” She continued, “Once we realized she was only one of 5 in the world with her condition, and how hard our lives were going to be, I experienced a lot of anxiety.” I could only imagine what she must have felt like in those first few months. I asked, “how did you overcome your anxiety?” She smiled, “My husband and I are an amazing team and without him there is no way I could do it. I also joined a local gym and started exercising. I lost 60 plus pounds and I’ve never looked back!”
Kristen credits exercise for saving her mental health. In addition to working out 5 - 6 times per week, she also enjoys playing volleyball, slow pitch, ball hockey, and trail and mud runs. “Working out is my therapy. I’m in the best shape of my life. I actually workout in the hospital,” she said. Kristen has been at the hospital with Georgia three times during the Covid-19 pandemic with stays up to 10 days. “It’s been long, and lonely with no visitors allowed. However, I do get to help other families who have children with special needs or rare genetic disorders which brings me joy,” she smiled.
I wondered if I could wave a magic wand, what Kristen’s "perfect day" would look like. “My perfect day would be walking down to the Farmers Market with my husband and both girls, drinking coffee, and chatting with everyone. I would have to include a workout. Then maybe a bonfire with friends and family, “ she smiled. Every day may not be “perfect” but the love she has for her husband and daughters certainly is.
This Mom of two young children has experienced some challenges recently but that does not stop her. Lee-Ann credits her mom for giving her the strengthen she has today. “My mother is the strongest woman I know. She taught me to be independent. She was a single mom before it was acceptable to be a single parent.” I asked, “What’s the best piece of advice your Mom gave you?” She answered proudly, “Don’t ever become reliant on anyone else.” She continued, “I guess that’s why I’ve always been 100% independent becoming a top female provincial triathlete, competing in provincial bodybuilding shows, and buying a house for us.”
Lee-Ann is originally from Toronto but moved to Kentville with her mom when she was young. “I went to Acadia University for my first Bachelor of Science. After Acadia, I was accepted to Dalhousie for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.” She smiled, “Right after obtaining that Degree, I was offered a full time position delivering babies at the old Truro hospital which I couldn’t say no, so I moved.”
Lee-Ann has been a Registered Nurse in Truro for the past 17 years. She is very physically active and eats well so when she took a heart attack while out running in November; it was a complete surprise! “How has that experience changed you?” I asked. She replied, “The experience definitely changed me. I’ve re-evaluated what is important in life and what isn’t. I am started to feel better. I try to let the small things go and focus on the positive.”
Focusing on the positive for Lee-Ann includes helping others by working at the Covid-19 clinic in Truro. I asked, “How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected or changed you?” She replied, “I’ve always worked in Women and Children’s Health delivering babies, taking care of children and their families. Being able to work front line during this pandemic at the Covid-19 clinics has been a very intense and rewarding experience.”
At the end of our conversation, I felt a sense of gratitude having had the opportunity to chat with this strong, powerful, and truly inspiring woman. One of her life mottos is, “Always have a good story to tell.” Well Lee-Ann, you certainly have a story. Here is to the next chapter including lots of fun, laughs, good health and lots of love
I chatted with Michele a couple of weeks ago while she was excitedly waiting for her mom to arrive at her house. “My mom and I are actually spending the day together and making 60 – 70 liters of spaghetti sauce “she said. I could tell by the excitement in her voice that spending time with her mom is something that she truly enjoys and she is someone that she truly admires. “I would definitely say my mom is my superhero. She’s had a lot of struggles and she always seems so strong. She is always there when we need something…for ourselves or the kids.”
Michele grew up in Kitchener Waterloo area in Ontario but moved to the Truro area 11 years ago with her young daughter to follow her Mom who moved to NS after Michele’s dad passed away. “I didn’t want to raise my daughter so far away from my mom. I wanted my daughter to grow up close to her Grammie, so that is why we moved,” she said. Since that time, Michele married her husband, Matt, two years ago after being together for 6 years. “We both brought a child to the relationship. Lucas is Matt’s son and Jessica is my daughter.” She said. “During speeches at our wedding, Jessica asked Matt to adopt her, and since then he has,” With a warm smile she continued, “Matt may have brought Lucas into the relationship, and even though the option to adopt him is not there, I feel like he is just as much my son as Jessica is my daughter.”
I wondered how this beautiful blended family has been doing during the Covid-19 situation,” I am home full time right now so that definitely helps! Matt has just recently gone back to work which is fantastic! Everyone home full time was tough,” she laughed. “Jessica is a cheerleader and she is a Coach in Training right now and has been helping run the conditioning and stretching classes online. It helps, but she sure is missing seeing her extended Cheer family.” She continued, “Lucas is a goalie and since being locked down, he has not been able to be on the ice. He is struggling with that a lot! He’s obviously an active boy (at 8 who isn’t?) and being tied to the house has been difficult.”
This story reminded me that every family has their ups and downs during this time of Covid-19 uncertainty. But one thing I know for sure, family by blood or by choice, is always a blessing.