October 21, 2010

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Scarier then her confrontations with sharks, gorillas
Adventurous Hiller wins $61,600 on TV’s ‘Millionaire’

Diana (left) was on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” last Tuesday and Wednesday. She is seen here with host, Meredith Vieira.(Photo courtesy of Valleycrest Productions Ltd.)

Lifelong adventurous Chestnut Hill area resident Diana Zalewski, 25, was once five yards away from wild gorillas in the mountains of Uganda; she played with tigers in Thailand, was in an underwater cage in South Africa surrounded by sharks and has gone bungee jumping, but her confrontations with huge, powerful, unpredictable wild creatures were not as scary as appearing on the TV show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

“The show got my heart racing a lot more than any of those experiences with wild animals,” said Diana in an interview last Friday. “I was so nervous. There was one question that I knew the answer to (‘In a recent policy reversal, the U.S. Navy announced that female officers are now allowed to serve on what types of vessels?’), but I was so nervous that I started to doubt myself. I was allowed to ask the audience what they thought the answer was, and 93 percent said ‘submarine,’ so that’s what I said, and it was correct. But all in all, it was so much fun, and Meredith Vieira (the host) was great. I still can’t believe I was chosen.”

She gave up the practice of law
Hill volunteer gives her heart to hospice patients

Abby is seen here with Sam Bernstein (“a wonderful man,” she said), a patient at an assisted living facility in Northeast Philadelphia.

With the relentless, ubiquitous emphasis on money in this country, we need to be reminded every so often of the profound rewards that cannot be purchased with money. For example, Abby Slutsky, 47, Lafayette Hill mother of two who has been volunteering for three-and-a-half years for Life Choice Hospice: Comfort & Care (they supply services to those who have terminal conditions), has, among other things, obtained beautiful floral centerpieces from weddings and bar mitzvahs and delivered them to hospices

“On one occasion,” she recalled, “I was told that the flowers meant so much to this one woman in particular. What surprised me was when I found out that woman was blind. She had previously been an avid gardener, and she could tell what flowers they were by their smell. When something like this happens, it makes you feel so good to be a volunteer.”

Author/therapists aid those with ‘body image’ issues

It is an old problem. Some women, men and youths feel ugly, that their bodies are not attractive and are certainly inferior to those of the chiseled beautiful women and men pictured in magazines like “Sports Illustrated,” “Cosmopolitan” and “Seventeen.” And so, they may overexercise, worry or starve themselves, some even developing eating disorders.

But two local art psychotherapists, with more than 40 years of combined experience between them, have authored a book designed to teach what they say is the beauty inherent in all of us, each shape and size. Their goal is to empower both teens and adults to confront personal issues that make life difficult and prompt unhealthy behaviors like eating disorders.

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