Health

Group effort

For 90 days, a bunch of men from Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kensington gave up alcohol and sweets, took cold showers and committed to praying for an hour each day. It wasn’t easy, but the impact on their health and spirituality made the journey worth it.

‘She’s still my mom’

Two years ago, Holly Gross was diagnosed with ALS, a disease she calls ‘a monster with no mercy.’ As her husband struggles with Parkinson’s, it’s her sons who mostly take care of her. She can’t use her voice, but she talks to them. She can’t move, but she keeps them on track. All they want now is more time with her.

Rallying

Steve Parker taught tennis in the Bethesda area for more than three decades. When he suffered a stroke in April 2020, players stepped up to help him—and they haven’t stopped.

By their side

College sophomore Nick Opack has Type 1 diabetes. So does his younger sister and their father. For years they’ve relied on dogs who are specially trained to detect the scent of low blood sugar and alert them when something is wrong.

Fighting back

After Mark and Jenny Mosier lost their 6-year-old son, Michael, to a rare form of brain cancer, the Bethesda couple committed to doing whatever it takes to keep other families from suffering the way they have

‘A sense of peace’

Before the pandemic, hospice volunteers could hold patients’ hands and talk with them face-to-face. They’re still finding ways to keep patients comfortable—and that connection helps the volunteers, too.

Survivor

As a child, Megan Mendoza faced leukemia, then a relapse and the bouts of depression that came along with it. Pediatric nurses had such an impact on her life that she decided to become one, too.

‘Miracle man’

When Mike Lavorel developed a rare infection, likely from something he ate, it didn’t look like he would survive. Less than a year later, the Bethesda dad was coaching soccer again—and adjusting to challenges he never expected.