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Current Issue
March 11, 2012






Clubs and Such

BNI (Business Network International) - Cedar Creek Professionals - meets every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Comfort Suites, located at U.S. Hwy. 175 and TX 198 in Mabank. Larry Williams (903) 887-2847 or
Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each Wednesday morning at the KC Senior Citizen Center, 405 W. Walnut in Mabank. (903) 887-6549 or (903) 887-1514.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. (903) 887-4796.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Contact Kathey Brown email  or (800) 422-2260 or visit
GriefShare Recovery support group meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at Cedar Creek Church of God, located at 142 Rodney Dr., Gun Barrel City. (903) 887-0293.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. (903) 451-4221.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Mabank Al-Anon Family Group meets at 6 p.m. on Thursdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. (903) 887-2781.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. (903) 887-5252.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 1:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Mabank TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Mabank First Baptist Church. (903) 887-7700 or (903) 451-0126.
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. Donna Dean at
Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. (903) 887-6201.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank.
Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
Trinity Valley Community College Band meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the TVCC band hall. Group is open to any community member who plays an instrument. (903) 675-6222.
Trinity Valley Singles Support Group meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Athens First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lovers Lane. This is a support group for singles of all ages. Jean Love at (903) 451-4697 or Donna Stinson (903) 675-7270.
Westside Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursdays at Cedar Creek Bible Church Activities Building, located at 700 N. Seven Points Blvd. in Seven Points. Seniors 55 and older are invited for games and fellowship. Call (903) 340-9672 for more info.


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Lake Life


Bariatric surgery makes a big difference in teenager’s life
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Jonathan Miller, 17, is like a lot of teens. He’s looking forward to the Junior Prom with others from Eustace High School. He feels he can do just about anything. He’s passionate about his interests (in his case, car racing), and he’s carrying a very heavy course load at school. But chances are if you met Jonathan a year ago, you wouldn’t have noticed any of these things. All you would have seen was his weight.
Last February, Jonathan, nicknamed “Tiny,” weighed 450 pounds. This Feb. 28, he weighed 250 pounds and likely by the end of the year, he’ll hit his goal of 200.
Now, before he puts anything in his mouth Jonathan always asks himself, “Is this good for me?” It’s just part of the many changes he has undergone. His mother, Misty, sees the emerging man in her son’s newly applied self-discipline. And his new confident self-image makes her smile with pride. “He’s a totally different person, so outspoken and ready to conquer the world,” she said.
Two years ago, Jonathan had shrunk into a self-imposed prison, seldom leaving the house (except for school), traded in baseball and basketball for video games and resisted the insistence of his father to join in family outings. Except for going to the racetrack, where Jonathan enjoyed driving at the 85 Speedway in Ennis, Jonathan kept to himself.
Then his doctor recommended him to the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for bariatric surgery. The hospital’s Center for Comprehensive Surgical Management of Adolescent Obesity takes a team approach in treating adolescents and their families. They employ a number of medical disciplines to treat the whole person as an individual.
Over a nine-month period, Jonathan and his family were able to meet certain stringent criteria and were admitted for laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.
The procedure is known for its reliable results and success at achieving long-lasting weight loss.
Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston is one of the few centers in the country offering this service to teens since 2004.
A cornerstone of the program is the hospital’s commitment to 10 years of patient follow-up that includes nutritional and psychological support.
But qualifying for the surgery was no picnic! And if you were to ask Jonathan for his recommendation of the procedure, even up to six months after he had his surgery, he would have said, “don’t do it!”
“The first two months were the hardest of my whole existence,” he told The Monitor. “It’s definitely not the easy way out,” his mother agrees.
Right after the surgery and up to three weeks afterwards, Jonathan said the pain was bad. “It felt like Mike Tyson punched me a bunch in my gut,” he said.
The fourth week, he still wasn’t allowed to go home, but had to remain near the hospital to keep appointments with doctors.
The hardest part of all, was not eating. Jonathan was only allowed to drink water, (64 ounces a day), and sugar-free Gatorade© for the better part of two months. His first solid food consisted of “soupy mashed potatoes.”
It was hard on the whole family. His mom and dad didn’t want to eat anything in front of him. They couldn’t bear going out for a meal, because Jonathan wouldn’t be allowed to eat any of it. The drastic change in eating habits was a constant source of stress. “Sometimes, I got to think I’ll never be able to eat, anything,” he said of his lowest moments.
The surgery reduced his stomach to a small pouch. From now on, Jonathan can not eat more than 6 grams of sugar (or carbohydrates) at one time. “You just don’t realize how much sugar is in everything we eat, until you can’t anymore,” Misty said. The consequences of going over that amount results in immediate rejection of the thing eaten. “It comes right back out, one way or another,” Misty said. Jonathan learned pretty quick how to read labels to avoid the penalty of taking in too much at one time.
Because his stomach is so small, he gets none of his calories from what he drinks but carries around a water bottle to slowly take in a gallon of water a day. He also has to eat a few bites throughout the day and he takes a handful of vitamins throughout the day as well. He’s still trying to get used to taking vitamins.
Where before he could eat an entire pizza by himself, now he can barely get down one skinny slice. He also can’t stomach very much fat. All his milk products are now nonfat or low fat. And after six months, he started to see the results of taking in 1,000 calories or less a day. What he misses most is a glass of chocolate milk, he said. But it’s worth it, he added.
Jonathan remembers buying his first pair of American Eagle Jeans, size 42. “I like to look good,” he said.
His view of himself still lags behind his success at weight loss. Regular exercise at the Cain Center gym three times a week, working out has also helped him fit better into his skin. Both he and his dad work out there.
As an inducement to stay on the program, Jonathan’s dad, J.R., asked him to pick out a shirt he wanted while at the Monster Truck Rally last year. At the time, Jonathan had dropped one whole shirt size to a 5Xtra large. Dad paid $25 for the shirt he wanted but got it in an XL size. “I was so mad,” Jonathan said. “I’ll never be able to wear that,” he told his dad. “Yes, you will,” his dad assured him. “That shirt hung in my closet for nine months, haunting me,” Jonathan said. Then he tried it on, and it was “tight, but I could get it on,” he said.
This year, he wore that shirt to the Monster Truck Rally and it fit him just right!
Jonathan told The Monitor the last time he weighed 250 he was probably 7 years old. “I was always active in sports,” he said. Dad found him a baseball and basketball coach who made Jonathan a part of their teams. He was always too heavy for peewee football, so couldn’t play that sport. And by the time he was old enough to play on school sports teams, he couldn’t meet the physical requirements.
From second grade to the sixth grade, Jonathan said he was bullied daily. Everywhere he went he heard the disparaging remarks made about him whenever others saw him. By middle school, the bullying and the discouragement got so bad he thought about killing himself, he said.
Jonathan said, remembering those times and thinking about his future is what motivated him to have the surgery and to see it through. He remembers “how I didn’t stick up for myself and how I never want that again. And all that I want to be and things I’m missing out on, including girls, and being able to do all the things I want to do. And once in the program, I didn’t want to fail,” he said.
So, he takes his vitamins and perseveres with his new regiment under a heavy course load and keeps all his doctor appointments in Houston.
When he gets discouraged, he just thinks about his next race or race car design he’s working on and that seems to remove the stress he has around eating. “I can’t not eat,” he acknowledges.
The racing season is set to start next Friday. From now on through the end of the season, he and his dad will be at the track.
Thanks to the surgery, his own resolve and the support of his family and true friends, Jonathan is ready to “start his engine on the road of life.”






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