Marcus Collins was working a construction job with his stepdad on May 29 when a freak accident sent a powerful electrical current through his 154-pound body. It was an electrical shock so strong that Collins, 20, a Natchitoches Central Louisiana High School graduate, would be dead today if it weren't for a combination of events that saved his life.
New Orleans Saints lineman Tim Duckworth felt like a kid again on Tuesday, May 13, when he ran through football training drills with Central Louisiana students. The students were attending the New Orleans Saints/Gatorade Junior Training Camp at Alexandria Senior High School, held in conjunction with The Rapides Foundation and its Get Healthy Cenla Tobacco Prevention and Control Initiative. The camp was part of the Louisiana Tobacco-Free Sports Statewide Program which promotes physical fitness and sports as healthy alternatives to using tobacco. The Rapides Foundation brought Duckworth to the Alexandria stop on the tour.
Rick Stoddard wanted the world to know that tobacco killed his 46-year-old wife. He was so passionate about it that he insisted her obituary list her cause of death as “cancer caused by cigarette smoking.” Those few words – written out of anger, grief and love – turned him into an unlikely champion for a tobacco-free society. “I had no idea what those words were going to stir up,” he said.
The AED Network of Central Louisiana celebrated its 10th anniversary Friday, Feb. 29, by honoring people involved in the project as well as the nine people alive today because of it. The “Celebrating An Extra Day” luncheon was intentionally held on Leap Year Day, Board Chairman Lee Weems said. “Leap Day is an extra day of the year. An Extra Day of Life was given to the survivors because of trained responders, appropriate equipment and a caring community.”
The grandson of tobacco-company founder R.J. Reynolds was in Alexandria Jan. 9 to warn the public of the dangers of tobacco use. Patrick Reynolds is one of the nation’s top champions of a smoke-free society. After watching his father and brother die from cigarette-induced emphysema and lung cancer, Reynolds in 1986 decided to speak out against the industry his family helped build.