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Urbana woman loses 184 pounds with diet, exercise, faith

URBANA – There was a time when Suzi Walthall couldn't go anywhere without feeling everyone was staring at her.

When she feared strangers were ridiculing her so much that she dreaded every time she had to leave the house.


'Moon walkers' well on their way to success with 4 weeks left

The 10-week "race to the moon" by the 1,776 registered Champaign County "moon walkers" is about 60 percent over, and there's a lot of good news.

First, we're ahead of last year's pace. Last year, in the first year that Champaign County participated in the Moon Walk competition against Peoria and the Quad Cities, we managed a total of 320,204 miles. This year we're already well over 215,000 miles with almost four weeks remaining in the race – with the best walking weeks coming up.


Health and wellness briefs

Camp aims at speech problems

DANVILLE – Enrollment is under way for Camp Chatter, a four-week therapy program in Danville for children pre-kindergarten through fifth grade with speech and language needs.


Wheelchair athletes speak to Unity students

Unity East Elementary School third-graders Lexi Garretson and Leanna Horton know that everyone has the ability to succeed, no matter what the challenges.

"Even if you have a disability, you're still the same as other people," Garretson said.

"People that have disabilities can still kind of do stuff that you do," Horton added.

The students were among those who listened to two sets of speakers for the school's "We All Come in Different Packages Day," a biannual disabilities-awareness event.


UI professor's research finds exercise helps kids focus

URBANA – One child spends 20 minutes walking, then takes a test.

Another spends the same amount of time resting, then takes the same test.

Guess who performs better?

Charles Hillman, a University of Illinois professor of kinesiology and community health, conducted research that suggests exercise increases children's ability to focus on a task.


More weight-loss surgery stories

FARMER CITY — You name the diet and Stacey Lange tried it.

A 38-year-old nurse at Gibson Area Hospital in Gibson City, Lange had been fighting her weight since her teens, starting a new diet every time her weight hit 200.


More weight-loss surgery stories

PANA – Christine Brizendine lost 100 pounds on a diet once.

That big weight loss a couple of decades ago gave her the confidence she needed to get a different job and go back to college for a master's degree.


Banding procedure seen as a lasting fix for obesity

There was a time when Don Hess would go to a buffet and really load up his plate.

He loved his own cooking and pretty much everybody else's.


Rantoul students getting education in all things green

RANTOUL – "Going green" has become a hot topic, a tag advertisers use more and more to attract people to their products.

But what about educating young people about it? This week, that's the goal at Rantoul Township High School. Monday marked the first day of Green Week, a schoolwide effort to raise awareness about the issues of climate change.


Illinois Marathon: Man happy he went distance despite pain

CHAMPAIGN – It's not often you hear someone say in the same breath he's ecstatic and in excruciating pain. Ben VonBehren did Saturday, smiling, wincing and sucking in air through clenched teeth as he limped into Memorial Stadium at 3 p.m.

The 22-year-old Sadorus man completed his first marathon with his aunt holding him up. A veteran of about 20 marathons in the last 12 years, Anita Sanders, 48, had the doting aunt aura big-time as she helped her nephew cross the finish line.