By Tamer Abouras
No matter how far society progresses in terms of medical treatment and technology, there will always be those who pine for the past. Out of all the golden age fallacies we are prone to fall for — even commodify — few compare to the yearning for a simpler time in healthcare, when old-fashioned remedies carried the day in lieu of Big Pharma’s more instantaneous potions.
What the artisanal enthusiasts frequently fail to mention, of course, is that the concoctions their grandmothers used to make were the only options available — and if mortality rates are any indication, those options were routinely not strong enough.
Similarly, people of faith can often find themselves on the side of more holistic and homeopathic cures for common and even acute illnesses, eschewing whatever the latest unpronounceable medicines happen to be.
For Pastor Jerry Reeves and his wife, Venodia, co-founders of the Milwaukee Pentecostal Outreach, they wanted to ensure that their congregants were as well physically as they were spiritually. As such, the church hosted its first “Get Healthy and Live" seminar since 2003 on November 13.
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Featuring presentations and testimonials on Alzheimer’s, breast and prostate cancer, stroke, hypertension and diabetes, the seminar was intended to inform, educate and help prevent new cases of these conditions, which the Reeves said are common among African-Americans.
“We want to teach people what to do and what not to do to prevent and treat these diseases. Fear of going to the doctor is especially common among African-American men because they are scared of what they’ll hear,” said Mrs. Reeves, a registered nurse.
According to Milwaukee Courier’s Mrinal Gokhale, “The speakers included speech pathology masters student Courtney Brasher, Health Unit Coordinator at St. Mary’s Columbia Hospital Eucita Seals, Mrs. Reaves, occupational therapist Annie Whitlock and administrative assistant Laura Bowen.”
Brasher commented on stroke and signs to be on the lookout for, discussing how stroke actually affects the brain as much or more than the heart, which runs counter to conventional wisdom. “Stroke happens when blood flow is cut off in the brain’s area. However, heart conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure can increase chance of stroke,” she said.
For members of the Milwaukee Pentecostal Outreach community, it’s truly a blessing to have a pastor proactive enough to make sure their physical well-being is in order. As Pastor Reeves noted himself, “Some very religious folks assume that if you pray on it, the illness will go, but if you have bad diet and lifestyle habits, you’re going to have to pay for it.”