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Grads - continued from page 10Senior Kylee Norman, Johnson HighHospital Recognizes Therapy DogsSchool Basketball AthleteBy Natalie GutierrezFy Tracy Petersor Kylee Norman, her morals and character strength are of upmost importance. As they go hand-in-hand in being a rounded basketball athlete. Norman’s grandma has taught her about overcoming adversity in the right way and putting others first, for rejoicing when others succeed brings real maturity. Norman tearing her ACL her senior year, she was put to the test mentally to overcome a variety of trials. She learned to make the best out of an unfortunate circumstance and to stay positive, “Every day I wake up knowing that no matter what I do today I will become 1% better as a player. It could be on the court or off the court, but no matter where it is, growth will occur.”An athlete all her life, Norman has been with the Johnson High School basketball team every year and played softball and track in previous years. Sophomore year she received female athlete of the year. Her team won 2nd all-district sophomore year and 1st all-district junior year. Eager to support others, Norman will pursue a career in physical therapy and hopes to also coach basketball. Norman’s coaching inspiration is Coach Desmarais who has deposited lifelong skills and vigor into Norman. Even after high school, the unbreakable bondsDuring April’s National Volunteer Awareness Month, Baptist HealthBformed within Norman’s basketball family, she will treasure for life.System wants to be sure some oftheir hardest working volunteersaren’t forgotten. Their therapydogs are also volunteers whodeserve recognition for thehard work and time they giveto helping patients heal andrecover. A hospital stay can be ascary and stressful time for boththe patient and the patient’sfamily. Therapy dogs are some ofthe most calming figures at thehospital. Research shows thatpetting a dog for just 15 minutescan lower blood pressure by 10 percent, research has revealed. Studies also indicate that interacting with a dog helps to release serotonin, oxytocin, prolactin and even lowers the stress hormone cortisol.7-year-old Nike is among those special four-legged friends who volunteers at North Central Baptist Hospital in Stone Oak. Nike is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, a breed that is also known as a “lion dog,” the national dog of South Africa. In the late 19th century, the Rhodesian Ridgebacks became known as the lion dog because it helped hunters in the jungles of Africa corner lions and held them at bay to protect their owners andfamilies. The Ridgeback was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1955 and has risen to become the 42nd most popular dog breed as of 2020.Nike’s owner, Jan Dunlap, said Nike especially enjoys helping patients get through their physical therapy exercises and snuggling in blankets with patients in their rooms. She is a friend to everyone she meets.Dunlap said Nike has trained to be a therapy dog since she was a puppy and now helps train foster Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies who may someday also become therapy dogs just like her.JOIN US• Expand Your Business Connections• Collaborate With Like-Minded Women • Attend Lunch & Learns• Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies• Provide Networking & Social Events• Building RelationshipsASSOCIATIONConnecting, Supporting&EmpoweringRegister today for our next event atWomen In Businesswww.stoneoakladiesba.comor all (210) 421-607616www.stoneoakhighlights.comJune 2022

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